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global health

William Cayley: What happened? A US doctor on Brexit

27 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

bill_cayley_2What just happened? Sitting in my clinical office in rural Wisconsin, the outcome of the “Brexit” vote seems quite far away—yet the day after 23 June’s vote, the shock and surprise emanating from the news stories is almost palpable.

While I can’t claim to know much about the inner workings of British domestic politics, as I’ve followed recent news the parallels between the options facing voters in the UK and in the US are strikingly clear: one finds strength in rugged independence, in nationalism, and keeping “them” at bay; while the other side represents (or represented?) a choice for collaboration and for the (perhaps uninspiring?) status quo. more…

Chris​ Simms: Global health and Brexit—choosing when anxious

21 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

Chris_simsRecent research shows that anxiety not only fails to produce good decisions but seems “exquisitely designed” to produce bad ones. In local and global health, where anxiety often thwarts good decision making, efforts to improve how choices are made have focused on collaboration and the use of scientific evidence. These efforts may have some relevance to an anxious public deciding this week whether the United Kingdom remains in the European Union.

Patient centered care envisions collaboration and shared decision making. One recommended way to improve medical decision making is through the application of prospect theory. This theory is rooted in economics and psychology, and addresses the behavioral underpinnings of choice in the face of uncertainty. more…

Goher Rahbour: In the Calais refugee “Jungle”

17 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

Goher_RahbourHaving read about and witnessed scenes on television of the humanitarian disaster affecting refugees across Europe, I developed a desire to help in some form.

In February 2016, the United Nations Refugee Agency stated that “It is concerned about some 4000 refugees and migrants currently reported to be living in the Calais ‘jungle’ and almost 2500 in Grande-Synthe, on the edges of Dunkerque, often in dire circumstances, aggravated by the winter conditions. Of particular concern are hundreds of children, many of them travelling by themselves, who arrive at the informal camps in northern France in need of both shelter and adequate protection.” more…

David McCoy: Antibiotic resistance is also a food and climate issue

17 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

david_mccoyWhen George Osborne spoke to the IMF in April about antibiotic resistance being a greater threat to mankind than cancer, one might assume that the current government had actually listened to some professional advice from the medical community. Sally Davies, the country’s Chief Medical Officer, has been raising the alarm that the growing emergence of antibiotic resistance is a ticking time bomb of potentially apocalyptic proportions.

This impending crisis has been in the making for decades during which time governments across the world have failed to implement the financing arrangements, laws and policies to ensure proper stewardship over the sale and use of antibiotics. Underlying this failure has been the broad trend towards the deregulation and marketization of health systems, and the effects of structural adjustment programmes and public budget cuts in many countries. more…

Lifebox and Medsin—making a difference to the future of safer surgery today

17 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

It’s wrong that surgery is up to a thousands times more dangerous in low resource settings. It’s wrong that 70,000 operating rooms worldwide don’t have access to a pulse oximeter. Most medics remember a time when they were more idealistic—but do they remember taking action?

Maybe they didn’t have a local branch of Medsin.

Medsin is a UK wide student network advocating for global health equality. It’s an organised campaign machine, sophisticated in message and messengers (and the age difference only means we have better music at our AGMs). As UK partners to the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA), we’ve got a platform stretching from the student centre to the World Health Assembly—and we’re proud to partner with Lifebox Foundation as we expand our focus on global surgery. more…

Marriage is not a solution to problems and doesn’t guarantee a happier life, but staying in school can

16 Jun, 16 | by BMJ


Usually when you hear about child marriage, you hear stories of young girls being pressured by their families to marry early for a bride price, or they marry to escape poverty, or because parents say school is too expensive.

I was only 15 when I got married. My parents didn’t approve and tried to convince me to stay in school. I went against their wishes, convinced I was doing the right thing. more…

Priyanka Shah: Antimicrobial Resistance—a ticking time bomb

9 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

Priyanka ShahIt is estimated that by 2050 infections that have become drug resistant will result in a global loss of 10 million lives annually. This chilling revelation was the crux of a report released last month, titled “Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally: Final Report and Recommendations,” commissioned by the UK government, and led by renowned economist Jim O’Neill.

At present over 700 000 people die annually due to drug resistant infections. According to O’Neill’s report, by 2050 AMR will cost over $100 trillion annually. more…

Madhukar Pai and Barry R Bloom: TB elimination—India can lead the way

8 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

Public hospital microscopy centerAs the Prime Minister of India speaks to the US Congress today, a neglected epidemic threatens India’s progress. It’s not Ebola or Zika, but rather tuberculosis—an ancient disease that silently kills one Indian every 90 seconds. In one year’s time TB will sicken over 2.2 million Indians and kill 300 000. Between 2006 and 2014, TB cost the Indian economy a staggering $340 billion. Because TB strikes people in the prime of their lives, it’s the third leading cause of healthy years of life lost.

India also has the highest number of patients with multidrug resistant TB in the world, including cases that are nearly impossible to cure. more…

Ashish K Jha and Liana Woskie: Funding, trust, and the 69th World Health Assembly

6 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

Ashish-Jha-Photo_2Liana-Woskie-Photo2By traditional measures, the recent World Health Assembly (WHA) was a success. The assembly, which governs the World Health Organization (WHO), passed resolutions on important topics such as reducing traffic accidents; improving nutrition; and promoting integrated, patient centered care. All good things. But the west African Ebola outbreak and WHO’s failure to respond effectively cast a long shadow.

Margaret Chan, the director general of the WHO, started the assembly with a warning on infectious disease readiness: “The world is not prepared to cope.” more…

Recognising vulnerabilities and building resilience: A UK conference on migrant health

3 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

sarah_migrant_conference“My problem is your problem.” These were the words of a mother of four who has been waiting for a decision on her asylum claim for 17 years, and who was an attendee and speaker at the University of East Anglia’s (UEA) migrant health conference last Friday.

Her declaration was not a demand that the audience recognise or help with the challenges she has faced; she was explaining the attitude that had helped her to turn her life around after she arrived in the UK. Not being able to work, hardly being able to afford food for her children, and being away from the people she knew and loved was difficult. What gave her a sense of purpose and lifted her out of depression was finding an opportunity to offer something to a community. She took on roles supporting other migrants, participating in health research, and acting as a service user representative. more…

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