Malaria, measles and TB – to end the health crisis Venezuela must learn from its ‘toxic political past’
From my experience of working on the ground in Latin America for many years, it is clear there is a shared experience of corrupt parties, political coups and toxic politics. Venezuela’s health crisis is ultimately the sum of accumulated tragedies affecting different sectors of society, which has resulted in the collapse of its health system.
As a doctor, I work with newly diagnosed leprosy patients who go online and find images of people with severe consequences of disease. Part of my job is to reassure them that leprosy is now a 21st century curable disease, not the ancient stigmatising disease it once was.
Deprived of oxygen but full of life – how can we support African children affected by neonatal encephalopathy?
Globally, complications around the time of birth leading to ‘birth asphyxia’ is the third leading cause of deaths in children under five years of age, and developmental disability amongst survivors is common. However, they are rarely mentioned in the media or the global health agenda.
Mrs Brown, a 50 year old woman attended her local A&E with flu-like symptoms and fever. Following some simple investigations she was discharged home with a diagnosis of viral illness. As the symptoms continued she re-presented 48 hours later and this time her blood tests showed evidence of a bacterial infection. Delays in instigating antibiotic and fluid treatment culminated in a cardiac arrest on the ward eight hours later and subsequent death from sepsis related to a perforated appendix. Could her death have been avoided?
Extreme hydrometeorological events, such as tropical storms, floods and droughts, can impact the timing and intensity of outbreaks of mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika. This is because the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is responsible for the transmission of these diseases, thrives in warm and humid conditions, with rainfall increasing the number of outdoor breeding sites.
The Guttmacher Institute estimates more than 50,000 induced abortions occurred in Senegal in 2012, the vast majority of which were clandestine and unsafe. So why are Senegalese women missing their family planning appointments?
However, it’s also important to remember the progress that has been made in tackling HIV/AIDS since 2000. The annual number of global deaths due to AIDS-related illnesses among people living with HIV has declined by around 50% from 2004 to 2017, mainly due to scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART). This drastic decline has been mainly due to progress in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in eastern and southern Africa where about 66% of people living with HIV were accessing ART in 2017, and more than 80% were aware of their HIV status.
Climate change is projected to affect health through a myriad of different pathways. From the direct effect of heat and exposure to other extreme events, including floods and droughts, to effects on natural systems such as on vector-borne or water-borne diseases and undernutrition. Socially-mediated effects, such as migration and conflict are also estimated to have an impact…but what about poverty?
In two tweets, he wrote: “They [the Puerto Rico government] hired GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?). This method was never done with previous hurricanes because other jurisdictions know how many people were killed.” Trump’s objection seems to be that there is no list of 2975 people killed directly and violently by Hurricane Maria. But that is not what the GWU researchers set out to provide.