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global health

What, if anything, does the EuroHealth Consumer Index actually tell us?

9 Feb, 16 | by BMJ

Since 2005, the Health Consumer Powerhouse has produced its annual EuroHealth Consumer Index, ranking European health systems according to their performance on a host of indicators around (i) patient rights and information, (ii) accessibility, (iii) outcomes, (iv) range and reach of services, (v) prevention and (vi) pharmaceuticals. In its most recent iteration, the United Kingdom ranked only 14th of 35 countries studied. This is in stark contrast to the assessment by the Commonwealth Fund just a year before, in which the UK was rated as the best performing health system among a set of high-income countries in 2014. more…

Andrew McDonald Johnston: Ebola resilience in Sierra Leone

4 Feb, 16 | by BMJ

andy_johnson_ebola_clinicOn the 14 January 2016 a new case of Ebola virus disease infection was confirmed in Sierra Leone, only hours after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that the Ebola epidemic was over. This was deeply disappointing, but had been anticipated by the organisations involved in the Ebola response. We know that Ebola sometimes persists in immune privileged sites in survivors and is present in the semen of male survivors for many months after recovery. There have been secondary cases associated with sexual transmission and therefore sporadic further cases were expected in the affected West African countries. There are also a few reports of resurgence of infection in survivors, although it is not yet clear if these carry a risk of spread to others. more…

Aeesha NJ Malik: Improving children’s eye health in Pakistan

2 Feb, 16 | by BMJ

aeesha_malik1.5 million children in Pakistan are blind. Many from eye diseases which are preventable and treatable. Often children don’t know they have a vision problem because they assume they see the way everyone around them sees. However childhood visual impairment or blindness has a huge impact—its effects last a lifetime and affect not just the individual, but their family and society. more…

Luqmaan Malik: Inside Zaatari—Jordan’s largest refugee camp

20 Jan, 16 | by BMJ

Luqmaan Malik“Thank you for remembering us and being here.” These were the grateful words of a Syrian man who had migrated to Jordan in the wake of the conflict in Syria.

I was volunteering in Jordan with an American medical charity (Salaam Cultural Museum), which specialises in medical relief missions to help Syrian refugees who need access to healthcare.

I was travelling with various humanitarian and healthcare professionals from a host of different countries, visiting villages around Jordan that had a high proportion of refugees and providing healthcare more…

Merrilyn Walton: Sexism in medicine in Australia

11 Jan, 16 | by BMJ

merrilynAustralian women, it seems, have had enough. Last week, politicians, a cricketer, and a specialist medical college apologized for sexist comments. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) recently got into trouble for planning a debate called Membership Before Maternity Leave: Should Every Registrar Have a Mirena to be discussed at a scientific meeting in February. The college argued that the title was intentionally provocative and it believed no one would take it seriously. Most of those responsible for publicised sexist comments respond with a similar theme—it was a joke; light-hearted; or tongue-in-cheek. more…

Jørn Olsen et al: The future of birth cohorts

6 Jan, 16 | by BMJ

The origins of some common chronic diseases lie early in life, often before birth. This observation, championed by David Barker, has spurred several countries to start national pregnancy or birth cohorts in order to identify early determinants of chronic diseases. [1] Some efforts have been successful, for example in Norway, Denmark, and Japan there have been exciting early results. [2,3] Another—the US “National Children’s Study”—has been a notable failure. [4] more…

Zahra Al-Asaadi: Medical volunteering in the refugee crisis

4 Jan, 16 | by BMJ

zahra_al_asaadiThe current refugee crisis and mass migration into Europe is the biggest since World War Two and is probably the greatest humanitarian challenge of the century. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that at the end of last year almost 20 million people worldwide were living as refugees.

I had been particularly moved by some of the images and stories in recent months. Reading about the dangers involved in crossing treacherous seas in flimsy, overcrowded boats as well as numerous drownings and the terrible conditions in transition camps made me determined to assist in some way. more…

Building up the research capacity of government medical officers in LMICs

30 Dec, 15 | by BMJ

research_trainingThe Nepal Health Research Council was established in 1991 for the purpose of: regulating health research in Nepal (ensuring the ethical conduct of health research), generating and collating evidence for translation into policies and programs, and building the capacity of health research in the country. As part of one of our three major mandates we have been training people within and outside the health system in health system research, covering topics from writing research proposals; research management; data analysis and report writing; as well as scientific writing, including manuscript preparation.

Since we began this training program in 1991, we have trained 3601 health professionals until 2014. more…

Gavin Yamey: Can Japan rouse the G7 nations to action on universal health coverage?

22 Dec, 15 | by BMJ

Gavin_Yamey3In Tokyo last week, at a workshop to prepare for the May 2016 G7 summit in Ise Shima, I arrived early at the hotel’s conference room; I was giving a presentation later that day and wanted to pre-load my slides. The hotel staff were setting up the room, placing print copies of the day’s meeting agenda at each place setting at each table. To ensure precision in their task, two women were using a length of string that they pulled taut along each table and that they used to confirm an exactly equal spacing between the print-outs. It was an impressive display of dedication, focus, and seriousness of purpose. A perfect metaphor for how Japan is approaching its role of G7 chair. more…

Aula Abbara et al: British air strikes may affect Syrian healthcare

14 Dec, 15 | by BMJ

The vote by the British parliament on 3 December for air strikes on Syria has consequences for the already catastrophic humanitarian and medical situation in Syria and surrounding countries. The four and a half year conflict has already led to considerable destruction of health infrastructure, hospitals, and clinics, and has resulted in the death of at least 679 health workers. [1]

An estimated 12 million people are displaced without adequate healthcare, shelter, or food. [2] Official figures are lacking, but an estimated 180,000 civilians (included 20,000 children) have been killed as a direct result of the conflict [3]; one million people have been injured, and 200,000 have died because of lack of healthcare. more…

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