It took time to realise that there was an outbreak happening, and then to work out that it was due to anthrax. We needed to urgently arrange treatment and cattle vaccinations, alert human and animal health authorities, and warn communities and advise them how to deal with cases and prevent more occurring. More recently many of us were part of the international response to the recent Ebola outbreak in west Africa. This was a huge complex operation but brought the same feelings of nervousness, exhilaration, sadness and achievement.
An argument I often hear when I talk about including people with disabilities in health services goes something like this - “Yes, that would be good/nice/worthwhile, but it is too expensive/impractical/unrealistic”. Essentially, there is a widespread belief that providing good healthcare for people with disabilities is a luxury, which we will get to once services are provided for the majority. Let me try to dispel this myth.
With 13% (650 million) adults obese the world is in the grip of an obesity crisis that shows no sign of abating. In response, some governments are implementing policy interventions that use fiscal levers on food and drink with the ultimate aim of reducing obesity and related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.
What is it like responding to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and deploying to emergencies?
Working in the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team Olivier le Polain is the senior epidemiologist and deputy director for operations of the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST).