Welcome to our blog

icon.jpgWelcome to the blog pages of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London.

This site provides frequent blog posts from staff and students within the College relating to the various global health topics we are working on within the institute and Imperial.  It aims to be an arena for debate and discussion and we welcome your comments and suggestions.

We are always looking for guest bloggers (internal and external to the College).  If you would like to write for our blog, contact IGHI’s Communications Manager, Jo Seed j.seed@imperial.ac.uk tel 0207 594 1484

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Infectious Diseases Hub speaks to tuberculosis experts from CICH seminar

Last week IGHI’s Global Health Forum linked up with the Centre for International Child Health (CICH) for the first event in their bi-monthly seminar series focusing on the question, ‘Tuberculosis- why are we not winning the fight?’

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Engaging with a public engagement project: Understanding TB from the experiences of the ill

By Bianca Masuku, Eh!woza

Students on a shoot day, interviewing a local resident in the neighbourhood of Nkanini.

Eh!woza is an evolving public engagement project focused on two infectious diseases (HIV and TB) that continue to burden communities within South Africa. The initiative is based at the recently awarded Wellcome Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Africa, and the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town. Previously described on this blog, this piece provides insights into an anthropological investigation of the work of Eh!woza, as well as the personal and lived experiences of persons affected by TB throughout South African communities.

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Tuberculosis in England: How research at Imperial is supporting the national strategy

By Dr Luis C. Berrocal-Almanza, Research Associate- Epidemiologist and Dr Alice Halliday, Research Associate, Imperial College London

World TB Day on 24 March commemorates the announcement by Dr Robert Koch in 1882 of his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) as the cause of tuberculosis (TB), a disease that still affects approximately 10 million people and causes 1.8 million death globally each year. The Royal Society of Medicine commemorates this day with an annual TB meeting to review the most relevant advances in clinical, public health and scientific aspects of TB, organised by Professor Ajit Lalvani of the National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London.

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ActiveMiles – an intelligent food intake and energy expenditure mobile application

By Dr Daniele Ravi, Research Associate, Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Computing, Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Institute of Global Health Innovation

Obesity is a growing global health problem that has received increasing attention in recent years. It has been estimated that over 700 million people in the world are classified as obese. In the UK, the obese population has more than triple in the last 25 years.  Obesity has been identified as an escalating global epidemic health problem and is found to be associated with many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Although there is well-publicised guidance on recommended daily calories intake, very seldom people will comply with such guideline as recording of calorie intake is time consuming and inaccurate, as methods for dietary and daily activity assessments mostly rely on questionnaires or self-reporting.

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Is bariatric (weight-loss) surgery safe and effective in renal transplant patients?

By Emma Rose McGlone, RCS-funded research fellow, PhD student and bariatric surgery registrar, department of metabolic medicine, Hammersmith Hospital.
Author of ‘Is bariatric surgery in patients following renal transplantation safe and effective? A best evidence topic’ 

Many patients undergoing renal transplant are overweight or obese. This is not surprising given that the two most common causes of long-term renal failure in this country are type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, conditions often associated with obesity. After transplant, many patients gain further weight: on average 8-14kg during the year after transplant. There are several reasons for this, including the immunosuppressant drugs, such as steroids, given to patients after transplant to prevent kidney rejection.

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Women in Surgery Sticking Together

By Saniya Mediratta, President of the ICSM Surgical Society

It seems strange to me, that when women have shattered the proverbial glass ceiling in innumerable fields, the statistics of women in surgery are still so low. At an astonishing 11.1%, the only heartening news is that it was once as low as 3% in 1991.

Why isn’t the field of surgery evolving with the current shift in workplace demographics? Why aren’t women choosing to pursue the seemingly impossible journey that is surgical training?

Why are so few of us women, studying medicine, not drawn to a career that inspires such awe, pride and prestige in the single word, “surgeon?” Is it because of distorted perceptions that see this plum role more suited to agentic males that are perceived to be assertive, able, task-orientated and competitive, as opposed to women that are often thought of as only nurturing, sensitive and communal?

Speaking to young female medics and doctors, many speak of concerns about the gruelling and intensive training, the impossibility of being able to maintain a work-life balance, or conversations about deskilling if time is taken out for child care, and the one that riles me most, the gender inequity and pay gap that still exists in the surgical field. Continue reading

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PROGRESS: Towards the Personalisation of Ovarian Cancer Screening and Disease Prevention Behaviour 

By Dr Jon Krell,  Principal Investigator within the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre (OCARC), a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team of clinicians and scientists, focused on translational research to improve outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness MonthMarch is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and an opportunity to highlight a key part of our Centre’s research programme aimed at improving early diagnosis and identifying risk factors.

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Kawasaki Disease: A 50 year old mystery

By Stephanie Menikou, PhD student, Faculty of Medicine

picture2Kawasaki disease (KD) was first identified in 1967 by the Japanese paediatrician Tomisaku Kawasaki. He saw his first case in 1960 and over a period of six years he identified 50 cases of this distinct unusual illness.1 50 years later, we still don’t know its cause, or whether it is caused by an infectious organism, a toxin, a chemical substance or something else. Kawasaki disease has emerged as the most common cause of childhood heart disease in many developed countries.2 Over 60 countries around the globe have reported cases and currently in many countries it’s on the rise. The highest incidence rate currently recorded is in Japan with 264.8/100 000 children, followed by South Korea (134.4/100 000) and Taiwan (74.9/100 000).3 The incidence rate reported in most European countries is somewhat lower (<16/100 000).4

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Sickle cell anaemia – a rare disease of increasing global importance

By Professor Thomas Williams, Chair in Haemoglobinopathy Research, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine

SCDSickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the commonest serious genetic condition of humans. The disease is caused by an inherited defect in haemoglobin, the red pigment within red cells that is important for the carriage of oxygen in the blood, and results in a life-long illness characterised by recurrent pain, ill health and chronic anaemia.

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How might we increase uptake of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme?

By Gianpaolo Fusari and Madeleine Maxwell at the Helix Centre for Design in Healthcare, a multi-disciplinary team of designers, technologists, researchers and clinicians based at St. Mary’s Hospital, using human-centred design methods to tackle problems in healthcare.

Bowel cancer screening testOver 41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK, and at 16,000 deaths per year, it is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK behind lung cancer.

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