Welcome to the blog pages of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London.
This site provides frequent blog posts from staff and students within the College relating to the various global health topics we are working on within the institute and Imperial. It aims to be an arena for debate and discussion and we welcome your comments and suggestions.
We are always looking for guest bloggers (internal and external to the College). If you would like to write for our blog, contact IGHI’s Communications and Events Assistant Nikita Rathod firstname.lastname@example.org tel 0207 594 8841.
By Professor Mark Thursz, Professor of Hepatology within the Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London
According to the World Health Organisation it is estimated that 250 million people worldwide are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and 70 million with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Untreated, these infections can lead to premature death from cirrhosis and liver cancer; recent statistics suggest that together HBV and HCV are responsible for more deaths than HIV.
By Chris Bird, MSc Health Policy student at Imperial College and Project Manager in the System Engagement Programme at NICE
Today mark’s World Blood Donor Day – an event to celebrate and thank volunteers the world over, who generously donate blood to support life-saving care and to raise awareness of the continued need for donations of blood and blood products to support high quality safe care for patients who need it most.
by Ana Luisa Neves, General Practitioner and Research Associate at Imperial NIHR PSTRC
Making motherhood safe is a human rights imperative. In the last 20 years, a steady decline has been observed in maternal mortality rates worldwide, but much more needs to be done: nearly 300,000 women still die every year because of pregnancy or childbirth-related complications (1). This means that a mother dies every two minutes.
By Dr Shivani Misra, Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine
This Diabetes Week, it’s important to remember that there are more than just two types of diabetes and how global insights into ethnic-specific types can benefit local people with diabetes.
By IGHI guest blogger Chanice Henry, Pharma IQ
Researchers have uncovered a new drug candidate that could relieve millions of people who are under-served by current asthma treatments.
Asthma is a relatively common disease that hinders the respiration of over 300 million individuals globally, leading to episodes of wheezing, chest tightness and other severe problems.
Indeed inhalers and other medications exist to manage the disease. However, many of these manufactured treatments have critical side effects and fail to provide relief for around one-third of asthma suffers. Bronchodilator inhalers are used by the majority of asthma suffers and although effective in treating respiratory conditions there are still some gaps in understanding on how and why these inhalers work.
By Rachel Dunscombe, CEO, NHS Digital Academy
Standing in the Royal Society on the 16th of April waiting for the participants to arrive was both surreal and exciting. Surreal because of the rapid journey our wonderful team had taken to make the programme happen – this had become a reality so quickly. Exciting because I couldn’t wait to get started – this programme is important for the system and for me something I am hugely committed to.
The Digital Academy operational team, of which I am a part, are all keen to ensure that this programme is as grounded in digital leaders’ practice as much as possible rather than being too high end academic.
By IGHI guest blogger Chanice Henry, Editor, Pharma IQ & Pharma Logistics IQ
Similar to new Hollywood feature Rampage, a recent study has urged the life sciences industry not to underestimate the dangers that could hide within CRISPR Cas9.
Although the film has been criticised for wildly exaggerating the capabilities of the gene editing technique, it can be recognised for its effort to draw focus from the excitable buzz around CRISPR Cas9 towards the importance of considering the ethics and dangers associated with the tool.
A recent commentary piece also emphasised the importance of methodically debating the potential outcomes of CRISPR within the task of tackling Malaria.
By Paul Huxley, Research Postgraduate, Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health
Ronald Ross, a British medical doctor of the late-19th and early 20th centuries, was first to identify the mosquito as the winged-insect carrier of malaria-causing parasites. Prior to this breakthrough, bad air (mal aria in Italian) was thought to have been the culprit. Together, Ross and Giovanni Grassi (who’s work, unlike Ross’, was controversially ignored by the Nobel Committee in 1902) uncovered a truth of huge ecological and epidemiological significance and sparked an ongoing international research effort aimed at answering fundamental questions about the processes that drive patterns of human morbidity and mortality caused by diseases carried by mosquitoes.
by Lily Roberts, Centre for Health Policy, Institute of Global Health Innovation
Did you know that not only does your gut do an incredible job of nourishing you by digesting your food, but that the composition of your resident gut bacteria also has a profound impact on your quality of life? While some of the specific mechanisms are still to this day unclear, a plethora of significant research is out there, with answers to our burning questions on how our gut bacteria can affect us.
On day one, the human body is exposed to a multitude of bacteria via the birthing canal.
By Dr Ryan Li, Adviser, Imperial College London, Global Health and Development Group
Universal health coverage is about ensuring all people can get quality health services, where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship. No one should have to choose between good health and other life necessities.
As part of World Health Day, Dr Ryan Li from the Global Health & Development Group who is an advisor for the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI), which supports countries to get the best value for money from health spending, reflects on a visit to Vietnam and the principles for developing clinical quality standards in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs):
I remember very vividly two of the hospitals I visited in Vietnam, during my first field trip as a global health advisor for iDSI.