Antibiotic resistance: how ignorance, lack of coordination with animal health sector and payments for drugs contribute
Antibiotic resistance is growing steadily round the world and threatening our ability to treat many infectious diseases. The World Health Assembly approved a new action plan to counter antibiotic resistance recently, sparking off activities in countries round the world. Several reports on antibiotic use and resistance caught my eye this week, while I was scanning…
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.
Papers at the 4 day AHILA Congress, 2014, covered the theme “ICTs and access to information and knowledge”. Information seeking behaviours, access to and resources for health information were extensively reported and covered disparate groups ranging from academic researchers and students to mothers and students, teenage pregnant girls and older people (60 onwards). The problems of providing health information in rural areas, where some religious and cultural values can be a barrier to western medicine were the subject of a several studies and lengthy discussion. Highlights were presentations from community health workers and the organisation which trained them CUAMM.
Day1, 14th AHILA congress. CABI prize [publishers: Global Health database] was awarded for a short report on health information activities in an AHILA member country. Keynote presentation highlighted the 30 year role of AHILA in ICTs and access to health information. The principal guest speakers - the representative for the Minister, for Health and Social Welfare and His Excellency the Vice-President of the United Republic of Tanzania - emphasised the importance of e-health resources in the education and practice of health care and the effects of health on poverty and the national economy.
In the week of World NO Tobacco Day (31st May 2014) this blog addresses tobacco packaging: the use of standardized packaging & pictorial health warnings for cigarettes to further reduce consumption and address the world's leading agent of death...tobacco.
Dengue situation in a Southern Indian state (Andhra Pradesh) – Gaps and opportunities in Community Awareness
Dengue is the fastest growing vector-borne disease worldwide, and reported cases in the Southern Indian state Andra Pradesh have steadily risen from 313 in 2008 to 2299 in 2012. The many missed cases due to partial reporting by private hospitals and clinics in this state, increased urbanisation and lack of people participation in health issues, makes one sceptical of the true burden of this potentially deadly disease. A community physician in Hyderabad summarises knowledge and practice on community awareness of dengue in Andra Pradesh, and looks at strategies to make information & communication a priority for addressing know-do gaps.
For World Health Day April 7th 2014, CABI's "Handpicked" features blogs from regions where vector-borne diseases daily kill or debilitate. In “The 2014 World Health Day focuses on Vector-Borne diseases”, Joseph Ana, editor of BMJ West Africa and former Commissioner for Health, Cross River State, Nigeria, makes the case for information dissemination & regional cooperation on vector-borne diseases. Drawing on personal experience, he highlights the need to support low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) where good public health practice has significantly reduced vector borne diseases, & to actively extend their best practice to other regions lagging behind.