By Nicholas Penney, Clinical Research Fellow, Osama Moussa, Clinical Research and Surgical Fellow and Sanjay Purkayastha, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Bariatric Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Imperial College London
Obesity is a worldwide epidemic and leading preventable cause of death, with increasing rates in both adults and children. Between 1980 and 2008, global obesity prevalence doubled from 4.8% to 9.8% in men and from 7.9% to 13.8% in women1. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, of which over 600 million were obese2.
By Michael J. Taylor, Honorary Research Associate, Division of Surgery, Imperial College London
Weight management camps can provide an effective way for obese children to lose weight. Although many attendees successfully maintain their new healthier weight after leaving the camp, there are also some who regain the weight they lost after they go back home. Imperial College London, in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University and Qatar University, have been carrying out a project investigating how weekly educational after-school clubs can be used to encourage children to continue to work towards reaching and maintaining a healthy weight after they have attended a weight management camp.
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day (12th December) highlights the growing consensus that health coverage should be for everyone. On this day in 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person across the world. Since then, governments have been urged to move towards this.
By Kalpna Mistry, Staff Networks Coordinator, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre at Imperial College London
In the UK the law protects the rights of disabled people, for instance the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which gave way to the Equality Act 2010 describes disability as a protected characteristic. It places the responsibility on service providers and employers to provide a discrimination-free service or make reasonable adjustments in the workplace. So, where 30 years ago if a wheelchair user could not access the cinema due to steps leading to the entrance or there being no wheelchair access in the screening room, the cinema had no obligation to do anything about it.
By Student Challenges Competition 2nd prize winner James Mcilroy, Eurobiotix
Earlier this year I made the trip down to London from Aberdeen to participate in the final of the Institute of Global Health Innovation’s Student Challenges Competition. Upon reflection, I have to say that I was slightly apprehensive about delivering my pitch. Imperial College commands a pretty formidable reputation as a centre for excellence in life sciences and I knew that the format of the competition was a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event, which essentially means that the participants get a good grilling by the judges.
By Anastasia Koch and Bianca Masuku, Eh!woza
Khayelitsha, a peri-urban township outside of Cape Town, South Africa, has some of the highest rates of HIV and TB in the world. Many members of this community have had personal experiences with TB and HIV, either being directly infected or as a result of the death of loved ones. This is also the setting for a major clinical research site established by The Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative (CIDRI). The research group, which focusses on finding better ways to intervene in and understand HIV-associated TB, was established by Professor Robert Wilkinson and has laboratory and academic space at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM).
By Professor Sarah J Fidler, Professor of HIV and Communicable Diseases at Imperial College London
There are over 37 million people living with HIV globally and in the UK this is now over 100,000 people.
There has been the most dramatic improvement in the treatment and care now available for people living with HIV; a result of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). This represents a huge success in terms of life expectancy as well as reducing the risk of passing virus infection from an HIV-positive person to their partners or children. In fact, if people start on ART when they first test HIV-positive and remain on treatment so that the level of virus in their blood tests remains below the limit of detection; “undetectable” they can expect to live a normal healthy life and not risk passing the virus on to their partners or children.
The diffusion or spread of innovations over time through a specific population or social system is important to unlock the potential benefits of an innovation. There has been much study of how to encourage the uptake of innovations so that they become part of everyday practice and benefit many, rather than a few. In this research, we explore this from the demand side. This report, ‘Global Diffusion of Healthcare Innovation: Making the connections’, which is to be discussed this morning at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) looks at how frontline health workers (FHWs) and leaders find solutions to their everyday challenges, and which sources are the most influential.
Developing country governments and aid agencies face difficult decisions on how best to allocate their finite resources. Investments in many different sectors – including education, water and sanitation, transportation, and health – can all reap social and economic benefits. This report, ‘Investing in health: The economic case’, which is to be discussed at today’s World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) focuses specifically on the health sector. It presents compelling evidence of the value of scaling-up health investments. The economic case for increasing these investments in health has never been stronger.
Having made progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, and deaths from infectious diseases, it is essential that policymakers do not become complacent.
The health of a population is influenced by a wide range of factors, most of which lie outside the healthcare system. This includes social, economic and environmental factors, as well as individuals’ behaviours.
Tackling the major health challenges facing populations across the globe – including the rise of chronic diseases and widening inequities in health requires co-ordinated action between different parts of society. Yet approaches to improving population health are typically fragmented and imbalanced towards healthcare services.