There are five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) which are the scourge of Africa, the Indian sub-continent, the Far East and South America. Onchocerciasis is one of these 5 and until the late 20th century caused millions of people to gradually lose their sight and eventually go blind. The parasite is spread by infected Simulium blackflies which when they bite a human, transfer microscopic larvae to the human host, where they develop into adult worms and females produce millions of new larvae during their lifetime. It is these larvae that are the cause of irreversible blindness in as many as 25% of the adult population in several countries in Africa.
By guest bloggers Sarah Greaves, Katherine MacInnes and Alex Stockham, IN-PART
For the first time in history, antimicrobial resistance was addressed recently by the United Nations (UN). In New York at the 71st General Assembly of the UN, all 193 member states signed up to combat this ever growing problem.
To fight what is said to be one of the biggest threats to 21st Century society, world leaders committed to a global, coordinated and multi-sector plan of action to not only increase the regulation of antimicrobial drug use but also to increase awareness of antimicrobial resistance and promote the development of alternative antimicrobial drugs.
Each year, World Blood Donor Day highlights the importance of blood donations as the transfusion of blood is a life-saving intervention. In any health system, the provision of adequate supplies of safe blood for transfusion is an essential undertaking.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the blood requirement for countries to be in the region of 10 – 20 units per 1000 population per year. Yet in many sub-Saharan African countries, donations are far lower, in some countries as low as 2 units/1000 population/year.
By Guest blogger Natasha Chainani
With it being International Womens Day this week, I thought it would be apt to recognise breakthrough innovations in women’s hygiene that have been doing the rounds of social media lately. Even more so, it would be apt to recognise that women’s health need not be pioneered by women alone by highlighting the efforts of a common man turned social entrepreneur and frugal innovator in rural India taking the feminine hygiene industry by storm.
In a country where sanitary products remain a luxury and accessible to those who can afford to buy pricier, international brands, women still resort to traditional methods – often unhygienic and at risk of disease.
By Imperial medical students Thomas Hughes and Thomas O’Connor
Today, 17th February 2016, marks the first ever World Cholangiocarcinoma Day.
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a primary liver cancer, usually formed from glandular structures in the epithelial tissue (adenocarcinomatous). It occurs in the bile ducts and is classed as being either intra-hepatic (IHCC) or extra-hepatic (EHCC) depending on whether the tumour forms inside or outside of the liver.
CCA is the second most common form of primary hepatic malignancies in the world, with survival beyond a year of diagnosis being <5%. It represents 30% of primary hepatic malignancies with a mean survival rate of 3-6 months after diagnosis, due mostly to the late presentation of symptoms which massively reduces treatment success rates.
Developed through a collaboration between HarvardX and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, ‘Practical Improvement Science in Health Care: A roadmap for getting results’ is a free online course, which starts 20th January and lasts for 6 weeks. It aims to provide learners with the valuable skills and simple, well-tested tools they need to translate promising innovations or evidence into practice.
Learners will dive into short, engaging lectures and have access to additional materials and resources. They also will have full access to the social network provided by the edX platform, which provides immediate peer-to-peer feedback and facilitates shared learning.
The course is designed so that learners will begin building and applying basic practical improvement skills right away, regardless of their role in health or health care, and regardless of previous improvement experience.
To mark Universal Health Coverage Day on 12th December, we interviewed former CEO of the NHS and Adjunct Professor at IGHI, Sir David Nicholson.
Universal health coverage (UHC) improves how health care is financed and delivered – so it is more accessible, more equitable and more effective.
In the final video of our series below, Sir David talks about how the key to obtaining and maintaining UHC across the world is to get the support required from leadership and politicians in order to make it happen.
He provides examples of countries that are already working towards UHC and addresses how IGHI are contributing towards the UHC system in order to make quality and safe healthcare a reality for all.
In Feb 2015, we took part in the IGHI Student Challenges competition and won the 3rd place prize of £1000, towards our Photovoice App Development Project.
Photovoice is a research method, which is already in use globally, whereby photographic data is collected and analyzed in order to gain insight into various health, social or community problems. Currently, the methodology is inefficient and expensive. Cameras are distributed to communities in and they’re asked to capture images, which depict a problem in their life, however, our concept was to modernize and improve the Photovoice methodology in a digital age.
Today, the Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) will join 500+ organisations around the world to launch the first-ever Universal Health Coverage Day. This historic coalition will mark the anniversary of a landmark UN resolution urging all countries to provide universal access to healthcare without financial hardship.
We believe that no one should fall into poverty because they get sick and need healthcare. Universal health coverage (UHC) is essential for making progress against challenges like HIV, cancer, Ebola, dementia, diabetes and mental health issues – and for creating a fairer, more resilient society.
By Sunila Prasad, Imperial Hub
Imperial Hub was honoured to host special guest speaker and FGM survivor, Ms Hoda Ali, and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial, Dr Naomi Low-Beer, to offer their insights into the increasingly prevalent issue of female genital mutilation (FGM).
With Hoda as the first speaker, the audience was immediately immersed into the world of FGM through the perspective of a survivor. Having experienced FGM at the age of 7 in her native Somalia and then forced to flee her war-torn country, she finally settled in the UK to work as a sexual health nurse and FGM campaigner.