Last week, Somalia became the 195th country to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), making the USA the only UN member state yet to ratify the treaty. The CRC, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989, is a landmark international agreement delivering a comprehensive set of rights for the world's youngest citizens; Somalia should be applauded for its move. The news comes in a year that is critical for children, and for women. In less than a month in Delhi, India (Feb 26–27), a consultation will take place on transitioning the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health (2010–15) into a post-2015 environment.
Quality of care is a major concern for clinicians, but faced with the complexity of modern health care, assessing how an individual and their team is doing and what they can do to improve can be challenging. To help demystify the process, the UK Royal College of Physicians has published a toolkit that acts as a starting point for clinicians on how to collect and interpret data to improve patient care.
This week we publish a comment with the unusual heading “Retraction and republication…..” linked to the China PEACE study. For the first time, we retract a version of a paper that was published online in June last year and republish a corrected version in print together with a supplementary appendix that clearly highlights the discrepancies. We made this decision because the paper needed substantive corrections of its findings. The authors had pointed out this error to us shortly after publication.
In a 1961 address to the UN, President John F Kennedy stated “Every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable.”1 Although he was referring to the hydrogen bomb, the future of human wellbeing and security hangs in the balance, now more than ever. There are many threats to the future of human wellbeing and security, and we reflect on four that are of key importance and warrant more considered discourse and debate. We expect these issues to inform discussions at the Raffles Dialogue on the Future of Human Well-Being and Security in Singapore on Feb 2–3, 2015.
[Comment] Retraction and republication—ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction in China from 2001 to 2011 (the China PEACE-Retrospective Acute Myocardial Infarction Study): a retrospective analysis of hospital data
On June 24, 2014, the China PEACE-Retrospective Acute Myocardial Infarction Study was published online by The Lancet.1 On Aug 14, the authors drew our attention to a miscalculation in the weight of one of the urban areas in the study, affecting the national estimates for rates of hospital admission, use of aspirin, clopidogrel, and primary percutaneous coronary intervention, proportion of patients not receiving reperfusion, median length of hospital stay, in-hospital mortality, outcomes, and characteristics of patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.
“Achieving your personal best: improvement based on evidence” is the theme for this year's American College of Surgeons' Clinical Congress. The Lancet recognises the importance of high-quality evidence in delivering excellent care and is committed to publishing cutting edge, practice changing research from leading international researchers. To coincide with this event, to be held in Chicago, USA, on Oct 4–8, 2015, The Lancet will publish a surgery-themed issue.
An election in the UK would be inconceivable without health—and specifically the health of the National Health Service (NHS)—being a central campaign issue. “We will save our NHS”, cries the Labour Party. With a UK election set for May 7, much political blood will be spilled during coming weeks concerning a health system that has become a barometer for Britain's identity. Meanwhile, John Boehner (Speaker of the US House of Representatives) and Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader) have promised to repeal President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Even with a boost in funding for Ebola research, the US National Institutes of Health's fiscal year 2015 budget is the lowest in years. Susan Jaffe, The Lancet's Washington correspondent, reports.
The new head of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health faces a challenging global health environment as the Millennium Development Goals come to an end. John Maurice reports.
“It was life-changing from the outset”, says Elle Dormer about the continuous glucose monitor (CGM) her 4-year-old son, who has type 1 diabetes, has had for the past year. “For the first time, we could make treatment decisions in close to real time without the need for endless finger stick tests.” The CGM monitors his glucose concentrations and relays this to an external hand-held receiver, whilst a further adaptation enables these results to be sent to Elle's smartphone.
The Theory of Everything's poster shows the young Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde gazing into each other's eyes, as dawn breaks over King's College Chapel. Above them the stars morph into numbers and letters, becoming equations on a blackboard sky. It's an arresting image that holds out the promise of two stories—a latter-day Romeo and Juliet romance, set among the spires of 1960s Cambridge, and the quest to decipher the cosmos through physics, to sum it up in one elegant equation. And this is exactly what the film delivers early on.
Amy Jo Burns grew up in Pennsylvania during the 1980s and 1990s in Mercury, a small rust belt town with “fewer people in it than passengers aboard a large luxury cruise liner”. Life was football, homecoming queens, and burning leaves every autumn. Mercury was a place where “repetition masked itself as tradition”. As can be typical of small towns, rumour was a substitute for creativity, with double standards the weapon of choice. “Boys would be boys, and girls would be trouble.” A girl had, Burns writes, four choices of identity: “Prude.
Matshidiso “Tshidi” Moeti smiles from her office in Harare, Zimbabwe, as she remembers the day last year that she was elected as the new Director of WHO's Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO), a 5-year position that she assumes on Feb 1. “I was jumping up and down and hugging my husband. I was completely elated!” Her celebrations, though, didn't last long. As a physician and public health practitioner whose 35-year career has encompassed work for Botswana's Ministry of Health, UNAIDS, UNICEF, and WHO she's under no illusions about the size of the task at hand.
The core of Robert Louis Stevenson's famous story The Body Snatcher probably derives from an urban legend from the Edinburgh region. It was written in the Scottish village of Pitlochry, where Stevenson settled for a couple of summer months in 1881 with his American wife and their small family.
Internationally renowned specialist in resuscitation and prehospital care. Born in Sydney, Australia, on Sept 23, 1958, he died from a brain haemorrhage in Perth, Australia, on Oct 19, 2014, aged 56 years.
Australia is often listed as one of the best countries for quality of life, but for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people this is not the case. The life expectancy gap for this group is one of the worst of Indigenous populations around the world.1 However, policy initiatives in the past year have seriously compromised Australia's ability to meet its responsibilities under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly its responsibilities to Indigenous children.
Inequality is increasing in many countries, including in India, a country where the Lancet Editorial (Nov 29, p 1901)1 and Arundhati Roy have pointed to a uniquely deified source of health inequity. Individuals from an impoverished background who survive to young adulthood are, while still young, able to hide or cast off the associated health drawbacks to some extent. However, after a lifetime of exposure to poverty, these drawbacks become more evident with age. Using data from the SAGE study2 in India to compare adult health and ageing between different castes lends support to these points.
I read the Lancet Editorial1 on health in India with interest, but also with great disappointment. I agree that economic inequality has a substantial effect on the health of India. However, the Editorial raises two issues, health and caste, and links them together, which I believe is wrong.
We read the Lancet Editorial1 regarding the caste system in India. The caste system is entrenched in Indian culture, dividing society into various castes. Bhimrao Ambedkar, Shahoo Maharaj, and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule were the reformers who tried their best to remove the caste system and fought against injustice to so-called low castes and Dalits.
In their study comparing nitrous-oxide-based and non-nitrous-oxide-based anaesthetic for major non-cardiac surgery, Paul Myles and colleagues (Oct 18, p 1446)1 reported no difference in cardiovascular outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease or risk factors. The concentration of inspired oxygen in both groups was similar. These results differed from their earlier trial in which the non-nitrous oxide group received 80% oxygen and the nitrous oxide group received 30% oxygen, and in which they recorded a non-significant increase in ischaemic cardiac complications within 30 days and a significant increase in late myocardial infarction in the nitrous oxide group.