Public Health

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Coronavirus UK – Understanding the UK Government’s Policy on COVID-19

The UK government has regularly been denounced by many in the public health community for its absence of strategy in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of this criticism, however, reflects a simple dislike of the strategy or of the government that has authored it. On closer inspection, the UK government does have an intellectually coherent position – just one that is different from that preferred by many public health specialists and activists, and, to some extent, the biomedical community in general.

4 weeks ago

What the AIDS Response Can Teach Us for Addressing COVID

The ways in which epidemics interact with human society suggest that much can be learned from previous epidemics. Drawing on the historical response to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, Donald Nicolson describes four parallels between the responses to these outbreaks and suggests what lessons can be learned by public health authorities responding to COVID-19.

5 months ago

The Other Dead of 1918

Although it won’t see the memorials and centenary events that the World War I Armistice will, it’s worth thinking back to the ravages of the ‘Spanish flu’ of a century ago and the implications that that pandemic of the past has for infections of the future.

2 years ago
Zika virus poster from CDC

Zika – What Are the Real Lessons from Ebola?

Another disease in the tropics has the World Health Organisation in a lather, and again biomedicine’s response will not be all that useful in the short term. Social science can help now to address the underlying problems that help the Zika virus to spread — if policymakers will listen.

5 years ago

Malaria Vaccine – Great Science But What’s the Point?

Bully for the researchers who have developed a vaccine can build resistance against some instances of malaria, says Robert Dingwall. But before the WHO recommends for its adoption, he suggests a harder look at user-centered design and cost-benefit analysis may be in order.

5 years ago

Ebola: WHO and the Consequences of Ignoring Social Science

A new report from the World Health Organization on the response to the African Ebola outbreak backs up what our Robert Dingwall has been writing all along — by downplaying social science lives have been lost. The question now is whether a new WHO can improve.

5 years ago
Amoxin pills

Antibiotic Resistance – Missing the Point?

There is no point in improving the innovation pipeline for antibiotics, argues Robert Dingwall, if the drugs that come out at the end all fall into the same chaotic patterns of use as today.

5 years ago
Medicins Sans Frontieres staff in Guinea

Ebola: The Human Cost of Neglecting the Social Sciences

There is a genuine cost from ignoring lessons from social science in the fight against Ebola. What’s even sadder — these lessons were taught in blood three decades ago in the fights against AIDS. Are we ready for the next malady?

6 years ago