By Harriet Gliddon, winner of the IGHI Student Challenges Competition 2015-16
During March 2016, I blogged for IGHI on World TB Day about my experiences of entering the Student Challenges Competition.
The intervening six months have been busier than I could have imagined, and filled with things like delivering an invited talk at the Biosensors Summit in Sweden, submitting my PhD thesis and completing an internship at the World Health Organization.
Despite the chaos, I’ve managed to make some exciting advances with the nanomaterial-based diagnostic test for TB that I presented at the Student Challenges Competition. One component of this work has focused on validating the genetic markers that are the biological targets, or biomarkers, of the test.
By Hamdi Issa, PhD Candidate, Institute of Global Health Innovation
On the 20th and 21st October 2016, the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET) hosted their annual conference: ‘Evidence, Effectiveness and Impact’. This two day conference brought together academics, health care professionals, policy makers, government officials and students from all over the world, to celebrate and perhaps more importantly, learn how different health partnerships are changing the face of development.
Day one of the conference explored various elements of health partnerships, notably: the UK’s contribution to health globally and how the UK can best respond to the challenges thrown down by the Sustainable Development Goals. Day two captured the work of individuals/groups involved in different types of health partnerships and the benefits and challenges of the different health partnership models.
By Joshua Symons, Policy Fellow, Big Data & Analyitcal Unit, Centre for Health Policy
On the 8th and 9th October, I had the opportunity to attend the Open Data Science Conference in London. In addition to the United Kingdom, the ODSC also occurs on both the East and West Coast of the US, as well as Tokyo. The 2-day conference had an array of speakers presenting problems and solutions they have worked on as data scientists. It was an opportunity to meet some of the leaders in the field of data science such as Gael Varoquaux. Gael is a core contributor to the popular Python machine learning resource scikit-learn and he spoke about the new and existing features of this package which help ensure rapid development in data science.
By guest blogger, Alex, from That Butterfly Effect to mark Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on Saturday 15th October
The 6th October marked a rather sad day for me and for my little family. On this day in 2015, I was admitted to hospital for a procedure called ERPC which stands for Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception and means a surgical removal of the remains of a pregnancy. It was a day that I had never thought I would ever have to experience and yet it happened to us. Just as it happens to more than one in five pregnancies in the UK every year – around a quarter of a million each year…
This second pregnancy started off wonderfully well, just as the first one.
By Professor Alan Fenwick of Imperial’s Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)
‘Oncho blind’ – 60 years ago blind older people were led by children
There are five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) which are the scourge of Africa, the Indian sub-continent, the Far East and South America. Onchocerciasis is one of these 5 and until the late 20th century caused millions of people to gradually lose their sight and eventually go blind. The parasite is spread by infected Simulium blackflies which when they bite a human, transfer microscopic larvae to the human host, where they develop into adult worms and females produce millions of new larvae during their lifetime.
By Dilkushi Poovendran, Research Assistant in Patient Experience and Patient Safety, Centre for Health Policy
The World Health Organisation recognises the 10th of October as World Mental Health Day. The theme set for this year is on the delivery of psychological first aid, and the need to recognize and support individuals who are in distress.
At some point our lives, most of us will know someone experiencing a mental health issue or experience one ourselves, including stress, anxiety, depression, bereavement, or drug and alcohol problems. Yet the subject of mental illness continues to be taboo, and the stigma attached to it prevents many from speaking out and getting the attention that they need. Worse is when someone finds the courage to seek help or advice, but are actually unable to access the treatment that they require.
By guest bloggers Sarah Greaves, Katherine MacInnes and Alex Stockham, IN-PART
For the first time in history, antimicrobial resistance was addressed recently by the United Nations (UN). In New York at the 71st General Assembly of the UN, all 193 member states signed up to combat this ever growing problem.
To fight what is said to be one of the biggest threats to 21st Century society, world leaders committed to a global, coordinated and multi-sector plan of action to not only increase the regulation of antimicrobial drug use but also to increase awareness of antimicrobial resistance and promote the development of alternative antimicrobial drugs.
By Alexander Carter, Health Economist, Centre for Health Policy, IGHI
Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to be invited to the ‘2016 Summit on China Hospital Development’, which also provided an opportunity to visit and learn first-hand about the health reforms there. My destination was Hangzhou – considered China’s most beautiful city – which is also where the recent G20 summit was held. Indeed, it is an enchanting place that seems to draw its energy from the Western lake and the surrounding mountains that cocoon the 9 million strong population in a relatively serene, yet commercially vibrant environment – exemplified by Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, which is based there. This backdrop emphasises the contrast between China’s Maoist origins and its modern society, which has radically changed in recent decades due to the relaxation of anti-protectionist policies and expansion of internationalism.
The letter you always wanted to write…..
The day you killed yourself was a Wednesday and when my husband called to tell me I was at work. I felt dizzy in the sunny and overheated hallway in the hospital where I work. I sat down and cried right there, in the hallway on a radiator. And I didn’t care that doctors, patients and colleagues were walking past me, looking away, probably feeling bad for me, but feeling uncomfortable and not knowing how to help.
It couldn’t possibly have been you, I thought as I sat there. You were so funny, so bubbly, so warm. Your children, your wife, a thousand people whose hearts you’ve warmed; you have left such immense wreckage in your wake. I know a bit about that wreckage. Mine is not the same as yours, but when my father killed himself, he left a mess behind to clean up too.
By Professor Kathryn Maitland, Director of the IGHI Centre of African Research and Engagement.
First published by the Hippocratic Post on 22/8/16.
Professor Kathryn Maitland
‘Back in 2011, my research team published the results of the largest trial of critically ill children ever undertaken in Africa (FEAST trial), a trial that examined fluid resuscitation strategies in children with severe febrile illnesses (including malaria and bacterial sepsis). Contrary to expectation, the trial showed that fluid boluses were associated with an increased mortality compared to no-bolus (control), the greatest effect was in children with the most severe forms of shock. We were delighted when the FEAST trial won the prestigious 2011 BMJ Research Paper of the Year award and expected that doctors around the world would sit up and take notice – and guidelines for management of children suffering from shock due to sepsis would change.