Expert opinion

Despite the availability of a highly effective vaccine and targeted global policy, measles has persisted for decades. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, with contributions from LSHTM, outlines the current global status of measles vaccination and burden.
Prof Kathryn Holt
Dr Charlene Rodrigues
How do antibiotics work? Antibiotics are made from naturally occurring chemicals that stop bacteria growing, either by slowing down their normal functions or by killing them directly. We use antibiotics when we need to treat serious bacterial infections, like urinary tract infections, skin infections or meningitis.
What are the issues around pneumonia, particular in displaced populations? Lower-respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are a leading cause of death in children under five worldwide, with increased rates in displaced populations. We believe that a substantial proportion of these infections are caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus); a common bacterium that can cause pneumonia and meningitis.
Dr Oliver Brady
What are the symptoms of dengue and what health impacts does it have globally? While the majority of dengue infections cause mild flu-like symptoms or are even asymptomatic, some people experience headaches, severe joint pain and even internal bleeding that can lead to death. Globally dengue causes 50-100 million cases a year across over 120 countries. Many of these are concentrated in high profile outbreaks that are difficult to control.
Dr Ian Ross
Imagine you share a pit latrine with three neighbours and you can see and smell the last user’s faeces through the drophole. Imagine people can peep through holes in the walls, which are made of old maize sacks and rusting pieces of corrugated iron. You’ve heard stories of people being assaulted on their way to the toilet at night.
Pakistan is one of the most epidemic-prone countries in the world, with ever-present outbreaks of dengue, malaria, and the persistence of poliomyelitis transmission. Now, unprecedented flooding due to deadly monsoon rains is burdening 33 million of the country’s 222 million population.
Dr Muhammad Alkasaby
Mental health is beginning to get the recognition it needs during public health emergencies, and COVID-19 resulted in more attention on its impact from policymakers, the media and the public. Now policymakers and mental health actors must capitalise on this increased attention, to prioritise mental health as much as physical health in outbreak response.
Dr Palwasha Anwari
On 15 August 2021, Afghanistan was thrown into a state of shock and the nation plunged into chaos. The withdrawal of support from the United States and its Alliance led to the sudden collapse of the Afghan government after two decades of rebuilding.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all in many different ways, but some of the hardest hit were schoolchildren. Many children and families were affected in different ways, and while there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence from the pupils, parents and teachers who experienced the challenges firsthand, we may not know the full implications of this pandemic on children for many years to come.
Marked every year on 20 June, World Refugee Day is an opportunity to understand the life-threatening plight of refugees, recognise their resilience, and offer support by giving refugees a platform, raising awareness of their situations and calling for their rights – for safety, asylum, protection – to be upheld.