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global health

Jocalyn Clark: World Association of Medical Editors’ first conference—an international affair

6 Oct, 15 | by BMJ


For its first ever conference, the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) chose New Delhi, India as the inaugural location—a reflection of the global nature of medical science and publishing, and to emphasise the organisation’s growing commitment to global health.

Over three days this past week, 220 delegates from 17 countries learned about professionalism and ethical issues (including addressing research misconduct); practical issues in medical journal editing (including setting up an editorial office and harnessing digital technology); and the role of the medical editor in global health. There were a series of workshops providing training in editorial processes and best practices. more…

Arthy Santhakumar: What makes the new global goals different?

1 Oct, 15 | by BMJ

arthy-santhakumarThe end is in sight. Or more accurately the beginning. Following three lengthy years of negotiations, we have a new (and improved) sustainable development agenda for global action—The Global Goals. The world has agreed on our global priorities, and only time will tell whether we can hold—and be held—to our promises. more…

Sara Bennett and Kabir Sheikh: How the new global goals can help drive systems to address health challenges better

1 Oct, 15 | by BMJ

sara_bennettkabirThe fact that the sustainable development goals have only one solitary goal for health has been criticised by many with concerns that it signals a new more diluted and less ambitious era in global health.

We disagree. We believe that the sustainable development goals promise a significant improvement for global health over what went before.

Of the eight anti-poverty millennium development goals, three focused on global health. They committed the global community to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. The benefit of the eight was that they helped propel global health into the public’s consciousness and into aid agencies’ budgets. But they also led to unintended consequences. more…

Shreelata Rao Seshadri: From MDGs to SDGs—do global goals contribute to health equity?

30 Sep, 15 | by BMJ

The era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) came to an end on 8 September 2015, and a new era in global milestones have been launched with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In India, most of the MDG targets were not achieved; and this raises the question: what role do such goals play in achieving better health for all? more…

Andy Young and Sarah Collis: The real Ebola heroes will not be getting medals

21 Sep, 15 | by BMJ

ebola_workers_dotwWe are two of many British doctors and nurses chosen to receive a medal for providing medical care as part of the response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa that left thousands dead and already weak health systems in tatters. Recognising actions that are valuable to our society is important, but we shouldn’t lose sight of who contributed the most, or convince ourselves into thinking the job is done.

The real heroes, West African healthcare workers, will receive no medals. They remain in a region where more people are dying than ever before from preventable diseases as a direct result of the Ebola crisis and where things will only worsen unless there is serious investment. more…

Richard Smith: How well are countries doing in responding to the NCD pandemic?

18 Sep, 15 | by BMJ

richard_smith_2014A pandemic of NCD (non-communicable disease) is sweeping across the world, particularly in poor countries, causing much suffering and premature death and swamping health systems. NCD (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and common cancers) accounts for 63% of global deaths (37 million annually), with 80% occurring in low and middle income countries. Almost a third of deaths from NCD in poor countries are in those under 60.

Recognising the scale of the problem and that deaths from NCD are expected to increase by 15% between 2010 and 2020, the United Nations held a high level meeting in 2011 and produced plans on how to reduce the growing burden from NCD. Afterwards the World Health Organization (WHO) set a range of targets, including reducing deaths from NCD in those under 70 by 25% by 2025. But how well are countries doing? more…

Chris​ Simms: Global health and altruism—the case of Canada and its treatment of refugees

11 Sep, 15 | by BMJ

Chris_simsLast year, government cuts to basic health services for refugees—especially those meant for women and children—outraged Canadian physicians to the point of petitioning the courts to intervene. The Federal Court agreed with the physicians, and in ordering the restoration of these services, it described the conservative government’s policy as “cruel and unusual.”

Indeed, the past 10 years have not been easy for refugees hoping for sanctuary in Canada. And when Canadians, already disturbed by photos of the Syrian child Aylan Kurdi washed up on the beach of Turkey, learned that members of his family in British Colombia had applied to sponsor him and were turned down, many might have concluded “right country, wrong time.” more…

Uganda’s medical diaspora and their engagement in global health

9 Sep, 15 | by BMJ

Mariam AligawesaMoses MulimiraBackground
The World Health Organization has previously identified the emigration of healthcare workers as the most critical problem facing health systems in African countries. However, despite this documented negative impact of the brain drain of health professionals from Africa, there is an argument that transnationally oriented medical migrants (or diasporas) can act as development agents for their countries of origin. Financial remittances, in particular, are said to have substantial potential for transformative development and can reduce the number of people living in poverty. African countries are also expected to benefit from the transfer of knowledge and skills, which is exchanged through the return of health professionals from abroad. more…

Trish Groves: How research data sharing can save lives

8 Sep, 15 | by BMJ


Everyone’s been missing a trick.

The whole debate on sharing clinical study data has focused on transparency, reproducibility, and completing the evidence base for treatments. Yet public health emergencies such as the Ebola and MERS outbreaks provide a vitally important reason for sharing study data, usually before publication or even before submission to a journal, and ideally in a public repository. Not just from randomised controlled trials, but from case series and samples, lab testing studies, surveillance studies, viral sequencing, genomic work, and other epidemiological observational studies too. more…

Georg Röggla: Refugees and civil society

7 Sep, 15 | by BMJ

georg_rogglaThe migration crisis has reached Central Europe.

About 10 000 migrants arrived in Vienna within a few hours on Saturday, most of them on their way to Germany.

The situation is dramatic: Four children, including a baby girl, were among 71 migrants found suffocated in a truck on a highway just outside Vienna last week. more…

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