No strings attached: public health messages from puppets!

Image:Loren Javier           Father Christmas & wife puppets         Happy Christmas!                                                                                        One intriguing way of getting health messages across to communities who are illiterate and whose spoken language may not even have words to describe the medical concept, is to entertain them. Travelling theatre groups  in Africa sing or act out AIDs prevention…
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NICE people lend a helping hand

“Nice” is not a word often used in scientific research and when it appears in the UK media, it’s now associated with NICE, National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence. More often than not this government organisation makes headlines with bad news: the press reports quickly when a drug is not approved for general use…
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If I ruled the world…

On the way home yesterday I was musing about the UN summit on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) happening next week. If I was in charge what would I do? As we are dealing with limited resources in many countries, prevention could achieve more than concentrating on cure. What I’d do about NCDs would be to ban…
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Veterinarians Target Next Virus for Eradication

 Following the recent eradication of rinderpest virus in cattle (see blog), the veterinary profession is contemplating which viral disease of animals should be targeted for eradication next. This is not an easy task considering the vast number of viral diseases that plague livestock animals and have devastating effects on animal health, public health and people’s livelihoods. According to…
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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…
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Prostate cancer prevention – why do posters target women?

All of a sudden I’m seeing public health posters everywhere- about symptoms of bowel cancer and prostate cancer. The second one was a bit odd, as it’s a man’s disease but the poster was in the ladies toilets. And it was aimed at women. Why? Are there posters about breast cancer prevention in the men’s…
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Epigenetics: epi what?

Pity the poor editor on BBC’s news programme  “Breakfast” (11 jan 2011) subtitling, as Professor Robert Winston and others discussed the possibility of gender selection to "complete your family in the way you desire" i.e. to finally achieve that longed for girl or boy. Throughout the discussion the text editor had kept up admirably, coping…
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Xmas camels, tobacco and kids

    Copyright: W.Norris My daughter decided to make this camel for the annual school Xmas tree competition. To her, at age 11, camels are “cuddly” and linked to the Three Wise Men, part of the Christmas Story. To me, whilst overseeing her sewing efforts, I’d made the link to the 2 empty packets sitting on my…
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Wot no conference bag?

Leading by example is important in public health. How can you convince someone to change if you haven’t tried yourself? UKPHA was leading by example by reducing its carbon footprint this week in Bournemouth. Bag making workshop at UKPHA. (photo courtesy Wendie Norris)
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B-list celebrity in shock relationship scandal

the headlines in the journals are written specifically to grab your attention and make you read the rest.
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