The recognition of Mycetoma: much needed attention finally given to long neglected tropical disease (NTD)
In May 2016 at the 69th World Health Assembly, mycetoma was added to the World Health Organization's list of neglected tropical diseases. I did not know that mycetoma is a destructive fungal (eumycetoma) or bacterial infection (actinomycetes) of the foot that results in disfigurement and social stigma, and is linked to poverty. I did not know there was a mycetoma belt with most cases reported from India, Mexico, Sudan, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Somalia and Yemen. If mycetoma was unfamiliar to me, how many other people had never heard of this disease?
Copyright: James Meiring. Winner HIFA Photography award 2016 What do wellington boots drying in the African sun have to do with blood donation in the post-Ebola era? Tell you later. But first, as its World Blood Donor Day on June 14th, lets consider the differences between the blood transfusion services in a high income country like the…
World Blood Donor Day 2016 uses the theme “Blood connects us all” to motivate new blood donors to come forward and encourage regulars to continue to give blood. Donors must meet certain rules in order to provide safe blood. Gay and bisexual men (LGBTQ) used to face a lifetime ban, but now can donate blood if they have not had sex with another man for at least 12 months. Now, the 12 month rule is under fire in the wake of the Orlando shooting. Is this discrimination due to association with HIV/AIDS, or is the policy based on sound evidence?
Traffic congestion in Oxford is a public health issue. It increases air pollution, lowering air quality breathed, which is a known cause of asthma, lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It increases the risk of traffic accidents through poor driver behaviour and judgement. Stuck in a traffic jam last week in Oxford, brought about through traffic control system failures, this driver experienced first-hand both air pollution and road safety issues. Globally, road traffic accidents cause 1.25 million deaths per year, with the highest road traffic fatality rates in low-income countries.
Air quality in Delhi, India, is so poor due to vehicular pollution that it caused the city to run a 2-week experiment in January 2016: private cars were allowed on the streets only on alternate days, depending on license plate numbers. Delhi's PM10 particle levels are nearly twice that of Beijing, and its PM 2.5 the worst of 1600 cities in the world (including Iran and Bangladesh). Similar experiments have been tried in major cities in France, Italy, UK, China, all suffering public health problems (cancer, heart attacks, asthma, premature death) due to their love affair with the motor car.
Farming edible insects to provide protein for people and in animal feed is seen as a way to meet food demands of the world’s population in 2050. Dr Sarah Beynon, an entomologist, was a guest on BBC radio 4 programme Midweek[18th November 2015] & fellow guests were invited to try cricket flour cookies and mealworm burgers. She is on a mission to both educate the UK public on the importance of insects (including wasps and spiders) and to provide sustainable food by farming tropical insects. CABI’s role in ProteINSECT, the EU project trialling insect protein in animal feed, is highlighted.
Faced with an humanitarian crisis taking place on their shores, EU governments debate how to redistribute Syrian migrants fleeing conflict. In 2009, international health and travel medicine specialists at ECTMIH (Italy) identified mass migration as a key public health issue that Europe needed to prepare for because of climate change. What lessons can we learn from handling the current migrant crisis to prepare for the future warming of the planet?
Helping writers provide accurate health information in TV medical dramas delivers entertainment and added benefits of increased health (medical) awareness & wellness to the population. Stephen McGann’s essay (Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine) describes the steps taken by the writers, production team and actors of TV medical drama, Call the Midwife, to ensure medical accuracy and authenticity. Though set in the 1950s, he demonstrates that the series has raised health awareness in populations (health promotion): in the UK (diphtheria) and in Bangladesh, by providing advice on how to depict authentic birth scenes and show safe maternal health practices.
For world malaria day april 25th 2015, expand rapid diagnosis of malaria by playing the MalariaSpot online game, an innovative and successful exercise in crowdsourcing. All it takes is just one minute of your time!