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[Editorial] Why Roe v. Wade must be defended

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
“Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.” So begins a draft opinion by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, leaked from the US Supreme Court on May 2, 2022. If confirmed, this judgement would overrule the Court's past decisions to establish the right to access abortion. In Alito's words, “the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives”. The Court's opinion rests on a strictly historical interpretation of the US Constitution: “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” His extraordinary text repeatedly equates abortion with murder.

[Comment] Offline: Bill Gates and the fate of WHO

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
Bill Gates was not shy about his disdain for WHO. Of its staff he said, “If you’re not very good, you’ll stay working there for a long time.” Gates fired his broadside during the London launch of his book, How to Prevent the Next Pandemic. The audience laughed. But as someone who has been welcomed into the global health family, there was something cheap and unpleasant about his remark. It diminished him. Gates was there to promote the idea of GERM—a Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization team.

[World Report] Health organizations fear effects of US abortion ruling

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
Health and human rights groups are concerned about women's health and rights as many states would outlaw abortion if the Supreme Court topples Roe v Wade. Susan Jaffe reports.

[World Report] Calls to restart testing for parasitic disease at US CDC

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
Researchers and clinicians pressure the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reintroduce parasitic disease testing amid concerns about patient care. Andrew Green reports.

[World Report] Zero COVID in China: what next?

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
How China cornered itself into an unsustainable COVID-19 control strategy, and the slim prospects for change. Shawn Yuan reports.

[Perspectives] Raj Panjabi: bringing a global outlook to the US pandemic response

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
In February, 2022, US President Joe Biden appointed global health physician and epidemiologist Raj Panjabi as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense at the White House National Security Council in Washington, DC, which advises Biden on foreign policy and security issues. In this position, Panjabi's presence ensures that global health threats “are considered in discussions of national security and foreign policy, and are not an afterthought”, said Jennifer Kates, Senior Vice President and Director of Global Health and HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, Washington, DC.

[Perspectives] Migrant traumas heard

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
Silence Heard Loud by Anna Konik offers snapshots of traumatised lives through the stories of migrants who have fled persecution and settled in the UK. The film gives the viewer a chance to hear people whose stories remain trapped within them. People who are usually ignored, cast aside, or, sometimes, demonised. As one person in the film remarks, “it is hurtful to dream when you know that your dreams are controlled, your destiny, my very destiny, is controlled by someone else”.

[Perspectives] Researcher trauma: when our stories collide

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
I was mesmerised as I knelt on a grainy floor beneath the storyteller, my village neighbour. Her name is long gone, buried in the crevices of her husband's name on her tombstone, erased beyond the dust that she became within the soil. I do not think I ever learnt her name, she was simply Bibi, Bibi who carried the village stories. Bibi shone in her language, but she was without a pen, or Qalam, which was a dangerous instrument for a woman to wield. Like Bibi, my grandmother also captivated me with the stories she shared.

[Obituary] Luc Antoine Montagnier

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
Nobel Prize winning co-discoverer of HIV. He was born in Chabris, France, on March 18, 1932 and died in Paris, France, on Feb 8, 2022 aged 89 years.

[Correspondence] Capitalism, not racism

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
Richard Horton1 correctly states that, in efforts to construct a fairer world, “we need to undertake a more realistic and rigorous analysis of where power lies”. However, Horton's Comment does not exhibit the required rigorous analysis. Citing the dubious work of Cheikh Anta Diop and Martin Bernal as authoritative commentary is precisely the type of shallow gesture that he correctly criticises as inadequate. Contrary to what Horton and Kehinde Andrews describe, the primary logic underpinning the western world order is not “that Black and Brown life is worth less”.

[Correspondence] Decolonising global health: a Philippine perspective

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
We read Richard Horton's Offline1 with interest. We agree that “Medicine and global health continue to be entangled with colonial attitudes, structures, and practices.”1 That is, in systems of power. Horton concludes that “Decolonisation must mean much more.” We present perspectives from the Philippines.

[Correspondence] The truth about decolonising global health worth spreading

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
With any myth about decolonising global health (as Richard Horton1 describes it), always question intent, dissent, lament, and discontent. Then, remember the wise words of Frederick Douglass, “power concedes nothing without a demand, it never has and it never will”.2

[Correspondence] Yes, democracy is good for our health—but which democracy?

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
Richard Horton wrote a compelling inquiry on the complex scenario surrounding the challenges emerging from liberal democracies in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.1 We take his timely discussion one step further. To discuss the benefits and shortcomings of democracies, especially in a global context, we need to look in detail at the actors and politics that govern the design and implementation of health policies. As Horton argued, choosing between liberal democracies and autocracies is an overly simplistic decision.

[Correspondence] Tobacco harm reduction matters

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
A recent Lancet Editorial1 about the slow pace of tobacco control around the world singled out the UK as a leader in reducing the number of smokers. It has accomplished this feat, the Editorial stated, through measures such as increased tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws in public spaces, and health warnings on product packages.

[Correspondence] Tobacco control: getting to the finish line

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
Tobacco control is not working for most of the world.1 Four out of five of the world's smokers are in low-income and middle-income countries. In these countries where most of the eight million deaths caused by tobacco occur each year, rates of tobacco use are falling only slowly. Globally, the overall number of tobacco users has barely changed. Only 30% of countries are on track to achieve the WHO adult tobacco use target of a 30% reduction in prevalence by 20302 and most countries are not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 for non-communicable diseases; its achievement will require a much more ambitious tobacco target.

[Correspondence] Tofacitinib for juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
We welcome the trial data for tofacitinib1 as a drug that might provide benefit for children and young people with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. We are encouraged by the findings, particularly the safety data, but seek clarification on the clinical efficacy.

[Correspondence] Tofacitinib for juvenile idiopathic arthritis – Authors' reply

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
We thank Grainne Murray and William Renton for their response to our work1 and take this opportunity to specify the outcome of the trial on tofacitinib in polyarticular course juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

[Articles] The addition of androgen deprivation therapy and pelvic lymph node treatment to prostate bed salvage radiotherapy (NRG Oncology/RTOG 0534 SPPORT): an international, multicentre, randomised phase 3 trial

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
The results of this randomised trial establish the benefit of adding short-term ADT to PBRT to prevent progression in prostate cancer. To our knowledge, these are the first such findings to show that extending salvage radiotherapy to treat the pelvic lymph nodes when combined with short-term ADT results in meaningful reductions in progression after prostatectomy in patients with prostate cancer.

[Clinical Picture] Acute onset of fever, eosinophilia, rash, acute kidney injury, and a positive Monospot test in a patient on lamotrigine: DRESS syndrome

Sa, 14/05/2022 - 00:00
A 20-year-old daycare teacher presented to our hospital reporting a generalised erythematous maculopapular rash. The patient also had a fever, myalgia, nausea, reduced urine output, peripheral oedema, and dyspnoea on exertion. She reported that the rash had rapidly increased in size over the past 72 h—coinciding with a doubling of the dose of her lamotrigine which she was prescribed for bipolar affective disorder.

[Editorial] COVID-19: the next phase and beyond

Sa, 07/05/2022 - 00:00
After living for more than 2 years with COVID-19—with over 6·2 million confirmed deaths (but probably many more, with an estimated 20 million excess deaths) and over 510 million confirmed cases—the world is at a critical point. The omicron wave, with its high transmissibility and milder course than previous variants, especially for people who are fully vaccinated and without comorbidities, is abating in many countries. Restrictions are being relaxed, and people are slowly returning to pre-pandemic activities, including gatherings, office-based working, and cultural events.