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[Editorial] Nigeria: rightly taking its place on the world stage

Me, 16/03/2022 - 01:30
Nigeria is emerging as a world power. It has great intellectual, cultural, and social capital, as well as financial assets. It dominates west Africa, having more than half of the region's population, and has the highest gross domestic product on the continent. The population of more than 200 million is projected to double by 2050, and to reach 733 million by 2100—making Nigeria the third most populous country in the world, after China and India. This rapid population growth has been accelerated by falling infant mortality combined with a steady birth rate and can create a demographic dividend for Nigeria.

[Articles] Population health outcomes in Nigeria compared with other west African countries, 1998–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study

Me, 16/03/2022 - 01:30
Health outcomes remain poor in Nigeria despite higher expenditure since 2001. Better outcomes in countries with equivalent or lower health expenditure suggest health system strengthening and targeted intervention to address unsafe water sources, poor sanitation, malnutrition, and exposure to air pollution could substantially improve population health.

[The Lancet Commissions] The Lancet Nigeria Commission: investing in health and the future of the nation

Me, 16/03/2022 - 01:30
Health is central to the development of any country. Nigeria's gross domestic product is the largest in Africa, but its per capita income of about ₦770 000 (US$2000) is low with a highly inequitable distribution of income, wealth, and therefore, health. It is a picture of poverty amidst plenty. Nigeria is both a wealthy country and a very poor one. About 40% of Nigerians live in poverty, in social conditions that create ill health, and with the ever-present risk of catastrophic expenditures from high out-of-pocket spending for health.

[Comment] UK Public Health Science 2022: a call for abstracts

Ma, 15/03/2022 - 01:30
The Public Health Science: A National Conference Dedicated to New Research in UK Public Health, will be held in Glasgow, UK, on Nov 25, 2022, and we are delighted to invite abstract submissions. This year marks a decade since the inaugural conference, which celebrated the talent and creativity of the public health research community in the UK and Ireland. This vision remains at the heart of the conference, which provides a platform to highlight excellence in public health science and enable discussion of important public health issues; the latest public health perspectives and science; and their implications for public health practice, policy, health services, and research.

[Comment] Successes and challenges to ensure health and wellbeing in Ethiopia

Lu, 14/03/2022 - 01:30
Policy makers, funders, programme managers, and implementers need comprehensive evidence on the magnitude, as well as the causes and risks, of disability and death for strategic decision making to ensure health and promote wellbeing. The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) offers a detailed resource to understand disabilities, deaths, and their causes and risks.1 The GBD study also provides estimates and evidence to identify disparities, help understand their causes, and develop programmes to improve health and health equity.

[Articles] Progress in health among regions of Ethiopia, 1990–2019: a subnational country analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

Lu, 14/03/2022 - 01:30
There were substantial improvements in health over the past three decades across regions and chartered cities in Ethiopia. However, the progress, measured in SDI, life expectancy, TFR, premature mortality, disability, and risk factors, was not uniform. Federal and regional health policy makers should match strategies, resources, and interventions to disease burden and risk factors across regions and cities to achieve national and regional plans, Sustainable Development Goals, and universal health coverage targets.

[Comment] Conflict in Ukraine undermines an already challenged health system

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:30
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February, 2022 looks set to create another 21st-century humanitarian disaster, joining the protracted conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, and Darfur, Sudan. Over the coming weeks millions of people will be displaced both internally and to neighbouring countries. The international community must provide far more humanitarian support, including medical evacuations all over Europe, immediate visas, appropriate care and support for displaced populations, and increased financial assistance to host countries.

[Comment] Meeting the health challenges of displaced populations from Ukraine

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:30
The worsening humanitarian catastrophe and conflict in Ukraine has led to the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War 2. Millions of people are expected to flee Ukraine, with more than a million individuals having fled the country in the first week of the conflict alone.1 The consequences of war, trauma, and devastation must be tackled swiftly. The resultant mid-term and long-term needs must propel all sectors, including health, into rapid action. The UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health report highlighted evidence-based approaches to address the health needs of forcibly displaced individuals.

[Editorial] Ukraine's humanitarian disaster: priorities for health

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its third week, the results of President Vladimir Putin's cruel and destructive onslaught are becoming clearer. At least 352 civilians have been killed and 1684 wounded so far, although Ukraine's State Emergency Service puts the number of civilian deaths at more than 2000. Official sources report that 17 children have been killed and 30 injured. Roughly 2 million people have fled to neighbouring countries. Russian officials have reported that nearly 500 of their troops have been killed; Ukrainian armed forces puts the number at more than 11 000.

[Comment] Cell therapy for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an X-linked recessive disorder caused by changes in the gene encoding the muscle isoform dystrophin, and is characterised by severe, progressive muscle wasting.1 Clinical suspicion first arises by 2–3 years of age when patients present with difficulty climbing stairs or running. For unclear reasons, the myopathy associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy begins in the proximal lower limbs before spreading to affect the upper extremities and distal limbs.2 Patients usually rely on the use of a wheelchair by the age of 12 years and develop a progressive cardiomyopathy throughout their adolescence.

[Comment] Spreading of SARS-CoV-2 from hamsters to humans

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
During the past 2 years, SARS-CoV-2 has spread globally through human-to-human transmission causing a devastating pandemic. Since its emergence, SARS-CoV-2 has displayed considerable host plasticity, with an expanding list of wildlife, pets, livestock, and laboratory animals shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection both experimentally and naturally.1 Indeed, large outbreaks in mink farms occurred as early as April, 2020.2,3 Given the fact that these outbreaks led to spill back to other animals and humans, and because the virus accumulated mutations during continued passage through mink (potentially affecting vaccine efficacy) large-scale culling of mink was enforced in the Netherlands in June, 2020, and in Denmark in November, 2020.

[Comment] Offline: The fearful emptiness of power

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
Ukraine's catastrophe is yielding flamboyant judgements. The era of globalisation is dying. The proclaimed triumph of liberalism is a mirage. The international system of peace, security, and development is breaking down before our very eyes. But we should be more careful. What is happening in Ukraine today presages none of these outcomes. In Robert Service's study of Vladimir Putin, Kremlin Winter (2020), he warns that “Russia is too important to have its politics exaggerated, over-simplified, or turned into a fantasy”.

[World Report] Report finds no common cause for mystery brain disease

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
A cluster of cases of neurological syndromes in New Brunswick, Canada, has caused widespread alarm. Paul Webster reports.

[World Report] 11 years of war in Syria

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
The humanitarian situation in Syria is dire, and aid agencies have accused the Assad regime of manipulating aid. Sharmila Devi reports.

[World Report] Children's health caught up in Ukraine conflict

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
As well as killing and injuring children directly, Russia's invasion is preventing children from getting the care they need. Saleyha Ahsan reports.

[Perspectives] Jenna Lester: advancing diversity in dermatology

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
For as long as dermatologist Jenna C Lester can remember, her decision to follow a career in medicine was inspired by her mother Sharon Brangman, who is now Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Geriatric Medicine at State University of New York Upstate Medical University, USA. “Principles of service and advocacy have always been a consistent thread for me”, Lester says. Her maternal grandmother was a nurse practitioner, who, Lester explains, “wanted to get this advanced degree to be able to have as much independence and impact as possible.

[Perspectives] Shocking discoveries and mysteries

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
Despite more than a century of neuroscience since Santiago Ramón y Cajal proposed his neuron theory, “The brain remains largely an electrical black box. We send electrical signals in and we get electrical signals out, but what it all exactly means is open to a lot of interpretation and some intense controversy”, remarks health physicist Timothy Jorgensen in his new book. Even so, neuroscience and the application of electricity to medicine have made striking progress, without a profound understanding of how neurons and electricity control brain functioning, behaviour, and consciousness.

[Perspectives] The beauty of medical language

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
One of the pleasures of editing Bellevue Literary Review for the past 20 years is the opportunity to indulge in the aesthetics of writing. Creative writing, particularly poetry, places a premium on language for pleasure, words for beauty. For all of us trained in the scientific world, it is a secret indulgence, a private ice-cream sundae.

[Obituary] Jeremiah Stamler

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
Pioneer in cardiovascular disease prevention. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, USA, on Oct 27, 1919 and died in Sag Harbor, NY, USA, on Jan 26, 2022 aged 102 years.

[Correspondence] Midwives need a useable past to shape their future

Sa, 12/03/2022 - 01:00
Scaling up midwifery to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths has been identified as a global priority.1 Yet, the latest State of the World's Midwifery report outlines how midwifery work remains undervalued.2 Conventionally, professions are granted autonomy and social recognition for the services they provide but midwifery often lacks such status, potentially impeding midwives’ success.