Policy & Public Health Page

CMJ | 23 Apr 2013 | Policy & Public Health

The use of medication in secondary and tertiary prevention is well established, for example, antihypertensives for asymptomatic hypertension to prevent ischaemic heart disease (IHD), and warfarin for ischaemic stroke survivors to prevent further strokes. Similarly, combination medicines containing more than one active ingredient, such as co-amilofruse, co-amoxiclav and co-codamol, which can simplify treatment regimens and improve patient adherence [1] have long been in regular use in both secondary and tertiary prevention.

CMJ | 14 Aug 2012 | Policy & Public Health

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.
Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

Introduction

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of infectious diseases, mainly caused by parasitic eukaryotes, which disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people (1, 2). At least 1.2 billion people are infected with one or more NTD, mainly living in tropical regions of Africa, South Asia and Latin America (2). The impact of NTDs on global health and development is substantial: they reduce agricultural productivity, impede socioeconomic development, promote societal destabilisation, civil unrest and conflict, have serious adverse effects on childhood education and cognition, and aggravate cycles of poverty. Despite this, many NTDs are easily treated. Efficacious drugs, particularly for helminth infections, are already available that could eliminate much of the global NTD burden at relatively low cost. Large-scale NTD eradication programmes would improve the quality and quantity of life for over a billion people, contributing to socio-political stability and socioeconomic growth. Such efforts must be a major focus for international development and diplomatic relations at the start of the twenty-first century, and will rely on international collaborations between the public and private sectors. This review examines four key areas of global NTD medicine: causal organisms, epidemiology, public health impact and intervention strategies.

CMJ | 5 Mar 2012 | Policy & Public Health

Introduction

Tuberculosis (TB) results from infection by the bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. According to the WHO in 2009 around 1.7 million people are thought to have died from TB, with the majority of these deaths occurring in Africa (1). TB is a particular problem in this area due to the high incidence of HIV infection, which acts to suppress the immune system, allowing M. tuberculosis to overcome the body’s defences. In 2008 the number of new cases of TB was still rising each year in regions of Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and South East Asia (1). With TB being responsible for such a large number of deaths the demand for an effective vaccine against it is great. This article aims to investigate the implications that a novel vaccine against TB might have for reducing the number of deaths caused by M. tuberculosis.

CMJ | 10 Dec 2011 | Policy & Public Health

“Every 45 seconds, a child dies of Malaria in Africa”
World Health Organisation - 2010

Balazs Fazekas discusses the challenges facing the development of a malaria vaccine, and the progress so far.

CMJ | 11 Jun 2011 | Policy & Public Health

Will Hamilton discusses the features of Guinea Worm Disease, and the progress which is being made in its eradication.

CMJ | 21 Apr 2011 | Policy & Public Health

David Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the DG Murray Trust, discusses the differences between sexual behaviours in hyper-endemic countries and the rest of the world in relation to HIV transmission

CMJ | 16 Mar 2011 | Policy & Public Health

The coalition government’s white paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS' [1] is the first step along the road in their vision to majorly reform the NHS; harked by many as the biggest overhaul in NHS structure since its conception in 1948. Its strongest critics say that it is flawed, under tested and will lead to the destruction of the NHS [2]. But are their concerns unfounded?