global

Infographic: Future Pandemics

Featured From Gap Medics Blog   As predictions go, pandemics are one of the scariest. Inevitable and with a huge unknown quantity, pandemics are something that even the World Health Organisation are urging people not to ignore, with the frightening forecast that there will be, “sometime in the future, an event that will kill…somewhere between 80 and 90 million people.”   There are lots of hypothetical situations and theories about where a virus will come from, what it will do and the devastation it will have. In fact, there are already scientists working on vaccines that the human population may need in the event of a global outbreak. There’s actually a World Health Organisation Global Vaccine Plan!   In this infographic, we take a look at some of the possible pandemics of the future and how you can best prepare yourself against the spread of germs....

How Global Health Can Help With Student Loans

Match Day may have come and gone, with fourth year students having visions of residency dancing through their heads. Unfortunately, no such vision would be complete without the hulking monstrosity that is our loan burden. The Committee on Global and Public Health within the AMA-MSS has put together a piece about ways to address the elephant in the room, but first, credit where credit is due. This article would not have been possible without the work of Van Kenyon, Chethan Rao, Sagar Chawla, Morgan Hardy, Nafeeza Hussain, Josh Eikenberg, Allen Young, Tyson Schwab, Brian Yagi, and Stephen Belmustakov under the leadership of Divya Sharma (Chair), and Jessica Peterson (Vice Chair).   Now let’s dive in: With the ever-increasing interest in global health, students looking to assist international health care efforts may be searching for means to obtain financial support for their work.   Medical Scholars Program from the Infectious Diseases Society of America The Medical Scholars Program was established in 2002 and has awarded over 500 medical students interested in the sub-specialty of infectious diseases the opportunity to pursue independent clinical or research activities outside their institutional program and explore the field of infectious diseases. It helps attract the best and brightest to the field by giving medical students a first-hand look at the challenges and opportunities of working in infectious disease. Projects should be classified as belonging to...

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Field Visits

By Alanna Shaikh Flickr | ILRI Here’s how to get the most out of your field visits: 1) Don’t call them missions. That’s just offensive. It’s a field visit, a site visit, or a trip out to see your programs. Unless you are trying to convert people to the one true faith of your choice, it’s not a mission. Calling it one implies that you’re heading out there to teach the locals what’s what. You are heading out there so the locals can teach you. Don’t forget it. 2) Always keep this in mind: your two primary goals in any trip are to learn more about your programs, and more about the context they operate in. You may have specific tasks to achieve on your trip, but if you fail at those your trip still has value as long as you learn. Flickr | highersights 3) Listen. Talk to people. Talk to your staff. Talk to your beneficiaries. Talk to government officials and community leaders, and taxi drivers. It doesn’t take probing questions, or special insight on your part, just a willingness to sit down and hear what people have to say. Pack your schedule with as many meetings as you can humanly stand. By listening, you learn how your project and organization is perceived, what your community thinks of you, and what your own staff is thinking. You...

What’s in a Name: Consequences of Haphazard Disease Naming

In 2009, Egypt wiped out its entire pig population in response to the fear of swine flu alone, as the disease hadn’t affected anyone in the country yet. In the following months after the major ecosystem disruption evidenced by hazardous trash accumulation in the streets (formerly consumed by the pigs), severe economic consequences, and the newfound presence of swine flu in the country, Egypt acknowledged the misguided move, but the damage was already done.     Another case, which illustrates the lasting effects of such haphazard naming, is the fate of Old Lyme, Connecticut, the namesake of the tick-borne disease, which is still suffering the repercussions of the disease first discovered in children there in the 1970s, as the New York Times explains. The accumulation of various unnecessary misunderstandings with drastic consequences around the world has sparked a new initiative by the World Health Organization to combat unintended negative and often destructive impacts towards populations, communities, and economic sectors.   As of May 8th, the WHO announced a new set of guidelines for naming infectious diseases in light of recent epidemics with strongly stigmatized names. According to Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the assistant director-general for Health Security, WHO, while this may seem like a trivial issue, “we’ve seen certain disease names provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities, create unjustified barriers to travel, commerce and trade, and...

TED Talks For Food Lovers #10: What’s Wrong With What We Eat

There’s no better way to bring it all home with a talk that reviews some of the basic facts behind what we eat, why it’s bad, and the need to change. TED speaker Mark Bittman brings his wealth of knowledge from years of experience as a New York Times food writer, pointing to the necessary changes that need to be implemented in order to save human society from itself.     Diet and health are highly interdependent. The food people eat over the course of a lifetime often plays a huge role in determining many of the ailments they incur. Referring to some recent exploration into the field of microbiomics, the large quantity and variety of bacteria in our body may likewise be acutely as well as chronically transforming due to the food we eat and the changes we make to our diets. Lastly, for aspiring medical personnel, quick food sources such as cold pizzas, Chipotle veggie bowls, and espresso shots often make up our daily sustenance. What effect do these have on our health?   Over the course of the next several articles, I would like to take you all on a run through some of the most interesting TED talks on food, some quite interesting and others downright genius. As you watch these videos, reflect on the close ties between nutrition and medicine, and what we can...

TED Talks For Food Lovers #8: Teach Every Child About Food

Ignorance is one of the first concerns in encountering a global issue. According to the TED prize winner Jamie Oliver, obesity needs to be targeted with this very angle in mind, going even further by incorporating childhood learning and understanding in order to help prevent the issue from precipitating in the first place.     Diet and health are highly interdependent. The food people eat over the course of a lifetime often plays a huge role in determining many of the ailments they incur. Referring to some recent exploration into the field of microbiomics, the large quantity and variety of bacteria in our body may likewise be acutely as well as chronically transforming due to the food we eat and the changes we make to our diets. Lastly, for aspiring medical personnel, quick food sources such as cold pizzas, Chipotle veggie bowls, and espresso shots often make up our daily sustenance. What effect do these have on our health?   Over the course of the next several articles, I would like to take you all on a run through some of the most interesting TED talks on food, some quite interesting and others downright genius. As you watch these videos, reflect on the close ties between nutrition and medicine, and what we can due as future clinicians to best counsel our patients in the face of changing food consumption...

This Isn’t Your Average Toy – The Mine Kafon

Inspired by the makeshift wind-powered toys of his Afghan childhood, Massoud Hassani is on the verge of something special.   The Mine Kafon is a low-cost wind-powered mine detonator with the appearance of a giant, spiky-armed tumbleweed. Check out his Kickstarter campaign. As a child living in war-torn Afghanistan, Massoud Hassani was well acquainted with the devastating nature of war and the long, perhaps endless road to recovery. Landmines concealed underground are a ubiquitous threat to countless communities in Afghanistan. A report from the Electronic Mine Information Network states that “over one million Afghans (3.7% of the total population) live within 500 meters of landmine contaminated areas.” Growing up, Hassani was a tinkerer; of particular interest to him was the creation of wind-powered toys, which he would race with other children in the windy, desert outskirts of Kabul. His interest in engineering led him to pursue a degree at the Design Academy Eindhoven.   Out of this tumultuous past sprung the idea for the Mine Kafon, a wind-powered mobile constructed from biodegradable plastic and bamboo. Hassani’s creation has caught the eyes and imaginations of many, and the prototype has been exhibited all across the globe. It was exhibited by The Museum of Modern Art in March of 2013.   Featured image is a screenshot from the video...