Vageesh Jain is a medical student, currently intercalating a Master of Public Health at King’s College London, and was a finalist at Policy Idol 2015. Vageesh’s pitch ‘From Smallpox to Ebola: the rise and fall of the World Health Organization’ won him the title of Policy Idol. In this blog post, Vageesh tells us why he entered the competition and what it was like to take part. You can read the details of Vageesh’s pitch and watch his winning three minute pitch. Continue reading
This week is the first global Antibiotic Resistance Awareness Week. If you are aware of that – indeed if you are even aware that modern medicine is under serious threat from increasingly common drug-resistant pathogens – you’re probably at least a little in debt to Dame Sally Davies. Professor Davies, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, has focused much of her considerable energy over the past four years on putting antimicrobial resistance in the global spotlight and on motivating policymakers to take action to combat it.
Speaking at a Strand Group event, the Policy Institute’s at King’s signature seminar series, on Tuesday 17 November, Dame Sally described how she managed to turn an acknowledged but widely ignored problem into one of the hottest topics in global health. Her talk was a masterclass in the strategic use of influence in domestic and international circles. Importantly, she sought allies outside of the echo chambers of health and international development, persuading respected Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill (now a Treasury minister) to chair a review looking at the damage antimicrobial resistance (AMR) might do to the world’s economy, and to suggest solutions that will work for industry as well as for medics.
What disease affects 8.3 per cent of the global adult population, absorbs 11 per cent of world health spending (including 10 per cent of the NHS’ budget) and is listed as the primary reason for a third of physician visits and 40 per cent of hospital outpatient visits in the US? Heart disease? Cancer? The answer may surprise you – it’s actually diabetes.
As the burden of diabetes rises worldwide (particularly that of type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90 per cent of all cases), the imperative is growing for the launch of more effective prevention efforts. But it is clear that an approach geared exclusively towards prevention will not be enough; there are already 3.3 million people in the UK alone with diagnosed diabetes and as such there is a pressing need for treatment options that are both clinically proven and cost effective. Continue reading