Blood donation in post-Ebola West Africa
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…
Finding a balance between equality and safety in blood donation: the 12 month ban for MSM donors
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?
Five more bird species that can spread Lyme disease identified in USA
By Miroslav Djuric, DVM, CAB International, Wallingford, UK. Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis is the most prevalent arthropod-borne disease of animals and humans in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere1. Risk of infection in humans is primarily associated with occupation (e.g. forestry work) or outdoor recreational activities. Recent surveys show that the overall prevalence…
Accurate and timely communication is key to stopping transmission of Ebola
Global coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa began with courageous foreign health care workers being flown home by their governments to save their lives, and rapidly moved onto the sheer panic amongst the local populations experiencing the outbreak: riots, health care workers and government officials abandoning their posts. Somewhere imbetween mention was made, usually by the foreign health care workers, of their local colleagues left behind who struggled on without resources and personal protection. We examine the need for timely accurate communication of health information to frightened communities to stop transmission and the death toll.
Handwashing: harnessing the yuck factor to improve public health
The recent E. coli O104:H4 outbreak has set us thinking about handwashing again. (We've tackled it before in Now wash your hands) It’s very difficult to change people’s behaviour and to prove my point, just watch this video“Do Shocking Images Change Hygiene Behavior”. The video refers to a study from University of Denver "Using a…