Expert opinion

Climate has an important effect on mosquito-transmitted viral diseases, such as Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. In epidemic-prone areas such as Ecuador, temperature and rainfall drive both mosquito and virus transmission dynamics. In a recent study, we used climate forecasts to predict the risk of a dengue epidemic in the coastal city of Machala in 2016, following one of the strongest El Niño events on record.
2017 has brought unprecedented political attention to the issue of migration, including its impact and links to health and health systems. In February, a Global Consultation on Migrant Health took place in Sri Lanka. Member States at the recent World Health Assembly in Geneva also debated the issue, and requested the World Health Organization’s support in responding to the increased movement of people and resulting impact. Increased focus and asking questions are a start – finding answers is the next step.
As an infectious disease epidemiologist who works with Ministries of Health in low-income countries and WHO regional offices, I am keenly aware that the leader of WHO will have a huge impact on my partners and my work.
This year alone 750 people have died and more than 8,000 cases have been reported in a Meningitis C outbreak in the north of Nigeria. This is the fourth meningitis C outbreak in the past five years, countering claims that the strain can’t be prepared for because it occurs too infrequently.
Edmond Ng
People living in 35 industrialised countries can look forward to longer lives, a recent Lancet study suggests. The research showed that women in South Korea are expected to have a better than 50/50 chance of breaking the 90-year barrier by year 2030 - a remarkable feat that was not considered possible by many at the turn of the 21st century.
“It is quite possible that we will see a drug-resistant tuberculosis epidemic of unprecedented global scale.” The view of Dr David W Dowdy from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a Lancet Respiratory Medicine comment piece (PDF) this week. Alarming words, and we need to listen.
In his latest annual letter, Bill Gates warned of the imminent threat of a deadly pandemic to the global community.
Today we have a similar emergency on our hands, but one that is largely silent and failing to secure the necessary global attention and funding. The prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is comparable to the greatest global health challenges we have had to confront in recent history.
The evidence that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking was described in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recent report as “scant and of low certainty”. Predictably, this triggered the latest round of claims and counterclaims in an ongoing, and often acrimonious, dispute about the potential of e-cigarettes.
‘Dengue fever kills 20 in Burkina Faso’ reports the BBC. ‘Dengue claims 26 lives in Maharashtra’ leads the Times of India.