Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represents a group of lifelong neurodevelopmental disorders emerging during early childhood and interfering with a person’s ability to socially relate to and interact with others.
As of 2010, there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASD worldwide, representing a substantial increase over the past 40 years. Meanwhile, the economic impact of ASD in the United States (US) alone – based on direct medical, direct non-medical and productivity costs – reached an estimated $268 billion in 2015, a figure that is expected to rise to $461 billion by 2025. ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders also affect the quality of life of those with the conditions, as well as of their families and caregivers.
By Nikita Rathod, Communications and Events Assistant, Institute of Global Health Innovation
Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Historically, the date of the 25th of November was designated as an awareness day in December 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly through resolution 54/134. The aim of the day was to increase worldwide awareness and create opportunities for discussion about challenges and solutions.
By Eve MacKinnon, PhD candidate at University College London
To mark World Toilet Day on Saturday 19 November, guest blogger Eve MacKinnon takes a look at the developing innovation in sanitation.
In 2015 Google held a technology festival in South Africa aiming to develop ways to digitify billions of people in the continent, who as yet unconnected are a significant potential new market for their products and therefore hugely valuable for future growth.
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.
By Professor Alan Fenwick of Imperial’s Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)
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. It is these larvae that are the cause of irreversible blindness in as many as 25% of the adult population in several countries in Africa.
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 Professor Kathryn Maitland, Professor of Tropical Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Director of Centre of African Research and Engagement, Imperial College London.
Each year, World Blood Donor Day highlights the importance of blood donations as the transfusion of blood is a life-saving intervention. In any health system, the provision of adequate supplies of safe blood for transfusion is an essential undertaking.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the blood requirement for countries to be in the region of 10 – 20 units per 1000 population per year. Yet in many sub-Saharan African countries, donations are far lower, in some countries as low as 2 units/1000 population/year.
By Guest blogger Natasha Chainani
With it being International Womens Day this week, I thought it would be apt to recognise breakthrough innovations in women’s hygiene that have been doing the rounds of social media lately. Even more so, it would be apt to recognise that women’s health need not be pioneered by women alone by highlighting the efforts of a common man turned social entrepreneur and frugal innovator in rural India taking the feminine hygiene industry by storm.
In a country where sanitary products remain a luxury and accessible to those who can afford to buy pricier, international brands, women still resort to traditional methods – often unhygienic and at risk of disease.
By Imperial medical students Thomas Hughes and Thomas O’Connor
Today, 17th February 2016, marks the first ever World Cholangiocarcinoma Day.
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a primary liver cancer, usually formed from glandular structures in the epithelial tissue (adenocarcinomatous). It occurs in the bile ducts and is classed as being either intra-hepatic (IHCC) or extra-hepatic (EHCC) depending on whether the tumour forms inside or outside of the liver.
CCA is the second most common form of primary hepatic malignancies in the world, with survival beyond a year of diagnosis being <5%. It represents 30% of primary hepatic malignancies with a mean survival rate of 3-6 months after diagnosis, due mostly to the late presentation of symptoms which massively reduces treatment success rates.
Developed through a collaboration between HarvardX and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, ‘Practical Improvement Science in Health Care: A roadmap for getting results’ is a free online course, which starts 20th January and lasts for 6 weeks. It aims to provide learners with the valuable skills and simple, well-tested tools they need to translate promising innovations or evidence into practice.
Learners will dive into short, engaging lectures and have access to additional materials and resources. They also will have full access to the social network provided by the edX platform, which provides immediate peer-to-peer feedback and facilitates shared learning.
The course is designed so that learners will begin building and applying basic practical improvement skills right away, regardless of their role in health or health care, and regardless of previous improvement experience.