10-30 October 2019

LSHTM’s CRASH-3 trial received widespread global coverage, with the study’s findings that tranexamic acid could reduce deaths from traumatic brain injury featuring in over 600 outlets worldwide, including BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (at 53:30), the GuardianThe Times (£), The Indian Express and News 24. Speaking on BBC World Service, Haleema Shakur-Still said:This is the first trial that’s ever shown a positive benefit of a drug for traumatic brain injury.

Mark Petticrew talks to the Guardian about his research suggesting that alcohol industry-funded bodies may increase risk in pregnancy by sharing misinformation online. Mark said: “This study provides further evidence that these organisations pose a potential risk to public health, specifically to the health of pregnant women and the baby, and should have no role in disseminating health information.”

David Leon talks to the i, the Daily Mail, the Telegraph and other outlets about his research suggesting that life expectancy gains in England and Wales have fallen since 2011 and are among the worst in a group of 23 high-income countries studied. In the i, David said: “We are concerned that the configuration of economic and social forces that have operated since the middle of the 20th century that have enabled the advances in life expectancy seen since the 1950s are not necessarily going to remain.”

Martin McKee speaks in the i, the New York Post and elsewhere about his call to ban cigarette filters, published in BMJ Opinion. In the New York Post, Martin said: It’s very difficult to go back on something when [the tobacco industry] made this big fuss that these filters were here to protect you. How can they then say, ‘Oh, we made it up all along’?”

The BMJ Opinion piece achieved widespread global coverage, particularly in Germany, appearing in over 300 regional outlets.

Martin also discussed a UK mental health hospital’s plans to provide free e-cigarettes to those trying to quit smoking in the Telegraph, saying: “This is an extraordinary time for the NHS to engage in a project like this, in light of what we are seeing in the United States, and the risks of vaping.

Gillian McKay speaks to the Telegraph about how changes in Ebola response may be helping to slow the epidemic. Gillian said: “One of the biggest successes and shifts that has happened is that we are not looking at this outbreak in isolation” – but cautioned, “We can’t get complacent, we have to maintain a lot of vigilance and we should expect a bumpy end.”

Heidi Larson talks about the Philippines’ new polio vaccine campaign on PRI, discussing how vaccine-derived polio can spread and how to combat it. Heidi said: “One of the biggest challenges in the world with all vaccines is that they’re a health effort that needs everyone to cooperate.”

Heidi also wrote a piece for the Pakistan Daily Times about the road to a polio-free Pakistan for World Polio Day on 24 October. Heidi said: “If Pakistan can win the fight against leprosy, it can win the devastating disease that is polio too. Persistence is the crucial ingredient here.”

Rachel Lowe discusses the relationship between climate change and this year’s dengue outbreak in Mexico with Al Jazeera Español. Rachel said: “Climate change is having a wide impact on our health… Climate-sensitive diseases are expected to rise.”

Tanya Marchant speaks to the Hindustan Times, the Addis Standard, the Deccan Chronicle and elsewhere about her study examining the effects of community-based healthcare programmes for mothers and newborns in Ethiopia, Nigeria and India. In the Hindustan Times, Tanya said: “Our findings have both an optimistic and a pessimistic interpretation, in that families from all socioeconomic status groups benefited, but inequities have also persisted.”

Sally Bloomfield provides expert comment in the Guardian about the importance of washing your hands correctly to help prevent the spread of E coli. Sally said: “The important part of washing your hands is rinsing them. That’s what takes the microbes off your hands.”

James Logan’s talk ‘How we’re using dogs to sniff out malaria’ is published by TEDx. James said: “What if we could detect the chemicals that are given off by our bodies when we’re ill, and use that to diagnose people? It turns out that the world’s best sensors already exist – and they’re called animals!”

On social media:

Our social media highlight comes from Instagram, where we celebrated future Women in STEM for the Day of the Girl by sharing images of just a few of LSHTM’s inspiring women in science:


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