12-18 September 2019

Peter Piot describes being part of the team discovering Ebola in 1976 to the Telegraph, and discusses his biggest global health concerns over 40 years later. Peter said: “We obviously did not know there was Ebola in the samples from Zaire. Looking back, probably the most dangerous moments were working in the lab in Antwerp… I was only really scared afterwards.”

Peter also provides expert comment in the Telegraph about threats to global health from climate change, calling for greater cooperation between health and climate change experts. Peter said: “You have people working on climate change and people working on health, and only in very few instances do they come together.”

Anne Mills speaks to talkRADIO (at 16:16) about the addition of Florence Nightingale, Alice Ball and Marie Sklodowska-Curie’s names to the Keppel Street building frieze. Anne said: “It’s quite a major step to change what’s on the outside of a listed building – I think it really took the energy of our director, Professor Peter Piot, to suggest it.”

Heidi Larson talks to BBC Newsnight (from 23:22) about ways of improving vaccine confidence in the UK. Filmed in our labs, the piece also showed some of our lab-based vaccine work. Heidi said: “What people refer to as the anti-vaccine movement is actually a very small proportion of the public. What is a bigger issue is the mainstream hesitancy, questioning and uncertainty.” 

Heidi also speaks to Al Jazeera on the same issue, and provides expert comment in the Evening Standard about vaccine hesitancy in London.

Colin Sutherland provides expert comment to BBC News as the world’s first malaria vaccine was released in parts of Kenya. Colin said: This vaccine does not give complete protection against malaria – but idoes show a very promising ability to protect young children in those first five to ten years of life by reducing the number of times they get malaria and potentially by reducing the severity of it.

Speaking on BBC World, Colin also said:“This is very exciting to see a third country now rolling out this vaccine routinely in an area of Kenya where we know malaria risk is at its highest.” 

Martin McKee speaks to Reuters about rising suicide rates in US rural communities. Martin said: “Those with the least personal resources, which include education, skills, and assets that can be drawn on when times get tough, suffer most, hence, it is hardly surprising that poverty is associated with suicide.”

Martin’s comments also appeared in Mercury News, the Daily Mail and elsewhere.

Martin was also mentioned in a Guardian report on the safety of vaping, and his research on the cardiovascular impact of e-cigarettes was mentioned in the Telegraph.

On social media:

This week’s social media highlight comes from Instagram, where we have had an Instagram takeover from @colouringadulteczema during National Eczema Week 2019. This project, led by Sinéad Langan and supported by the Wellcome Trust, has seen artists Julia Vogl and Peter Hudson develop art workshops inviting people living with eczema to explore the condition through craft, photography and colourful lighting.


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