Department of Population Health Sciences, King's College London

Category: Article

Considering the role of religion in health protection and promotion

The Ebola outbreak that began in 2014 confronted scientists and doctors trying to stop the virus from spreading with an unexpected challenge: When they instructed grieving family members to no longer wash and bury their deceased in the traditional way as this would increase chances of them catching the disease themselves, people did not follow their advice but continued their religious practices even when they saw others getting sick as a result. For many helpers, this was a complete puzzle. Why, given the evidence, would people take such risks? Why would they not do the rational thing? And how could they be convinced to follow the medical advice?
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Time to retire P-values?

Researchers often view the production of P-values as an essential component of statistical analysis. But in recent years many statisticians and epidemiologists have become increasingly disillusioned with P-values. Wrong beliefs about P-values, and wrong interpretations of P-values, are encountered on a daily basis. Mis-interpretation of P-values is contributing to the reporting of non-reproducible research results. P-values were the subject of a recent debate at a School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences seminar. Abdel Douiri and I spoke about P-values. There was also a lively exchange of views among those present.

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Access to contraception: a human rights-based approach

Today, 830 women will die as a result of complications in pregnancy and childbirth (1). This figure is symptomatic of global inequalities with 99% of all maternal deaths occurring in low resource settings. The lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 36 in Sub-Saharan Africa, a stark contrast to the 1 in 5800 lifetime risk in the UK (2). Global health inequalities is one of the central themes covered in the Public Health MSc, particularly in the Global Health module.

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GPs role in mental health in the community

Ever since I was a medical student, I have been passionate about making a difference and admired the faculty members who were researchers and teachers in my medical school. As a child, I wanted to become a doctor in order to make the world a better place, through healing the sick and helping the needy. Lofty ideals indeed! As I have grown up and matured as a doctor and, in parallel, as an academic, I have come to realise that my passion lies in improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people in the community.

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Rough sleeping and the unhealthy city

The rise in rough sleeping in the UK is shaped by policies of austerity and exclusion. Yet, increasingly, public policy responses frame homelessness as an individual problem. This is a problem for us to think about in our teaching and research on public health: this disconnect between the social determinants of health and then an individual focused response. How can we refocus this debate?

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