Culicoides impunctatus is a persistent biter of outdoor types, occurring in vast numbers in some of the most beautiful parts of the countryside. But if midges make it harder to enjoy the Scottish outdoors, there may soon be an important consolation. Work began by researchers several decades ago to help understand why they prefer certain types of people is informing new research into another bloodsucker whose feeding habits can be deadly: the mosquito. If it succeeds, the results could make a big difference in the battle against malaria.
The expansion in the provision of life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa over the past fifteen years has been an unprecedented achievement for public health, resulting in dramatic declines in HIV-related deaths and disease.
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.
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.
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.