Tuesday, August 26, 2008

FILL-IN-THE-BLANK : Disease management

Help us fill in the blank:

"The best strategy for managing disease outbreaks on a local level is _____________"

1918 Flu Pandemic deaths not just due to influenza

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic is often spotlighted as an example of the rapidity with which outbreaks, even those occuring under past conditions very different from today, can move from one place to another.

New research published by NIH proposes that many who died during the epidemic, were sickened not just by the influenza virus but also succumbed bacterial pneumonia. A conclusion is that a similar type of scenario could unfold during a future influenza pandemic.

More: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/aug2008/niaid-19.htm

WHO and World Bank team up to better health

As delegates gather at the International AIDS Conference (3-8 August), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank today address the pressing global debate around health systems and initiatives in specific aspects of health, nutrition and population. Critics claim that disease-specific initiatives are eroding already weak health systems, while others assert that weak health systems are holding back progress in disease-specific initiatives. In an effort to gather evidence and provide technical guidance in this area, WHO and the World Bank have agreed to join forces in collaboration with a wide range of interested stakeholders including country officials, academic and research institutions, Global Health Initiatives and civil society organizations.

Read more: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2008/pr26/en/index.html

Natural disasters and disease risk

Natural disasters and an increased risk of disease go hand-in-hand, say those at the World Health Organization. Of particular note, are areas in West Africa beset with flooding and impacted through health risks as well as food insecurity.

Full story, from WHO:http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2008/pr28/en/index.html

Villages in Ghana being washed away

A report from Ghana on the eastern coast of Africa of beach front being reduced by several yards every year. The consequence is the disappearance of villages, animal species, and potential impact upon disease vectors.

"...unless global warming is reined in, millions of seaside dwellers will experience flooding, up to one-third of coastal wetlands will be lost, and increasingly ferocious storms will batter the shores."

What role should other countries / governments / agencies / the public be expected to play?

Full story: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-ghana-village-under-sea,1,7438106.story

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bed bugs on the move - The invasion is underway!

Appears that new freshman aren't the only thing invading college campuses!

Aided by our typical convergence vectors (transportation, humans, etc.), bed bugs are on the move.

What to do? Any strategies?

Read more:

MSNBC: Bedbugs biting their way across country: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10987651/
USA Today: Bed bugs move into dorms: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-08-20-bedbugs-dorms_N.htm

Friday, August 15, 2008

What's your USP?...What's a USP?

A USP is your “unique selling proposition.” It is what separates you from all the rest. Know yours - and be able to give yours in 8 seconds or less.

A “I do a really cool show about everything” is not a USP. Here are some USPs to model from:

I develop and disemminate strategies for managing global disease dilemmas.

I help people leverage New Media to get their message out to more people with less effort and for greater profits.

We enable Podcast personalization, secure delivery, tracking and the sales of RSS delivered media. Everyone doesn’t have to get the same Podcast.

ABC company is a free service that provides a single point for detecting and diagnosing pathogens, uploading that data to global databases, and powerful analytics on who, what, and how that information is being used.

ABC company is an accelerator for training and education, using Podcasting, and social networks to deliver the next generation large animal management experience to veterinarians.

Post your USP below!

(Source for content above from www.paulcolligan.com)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New strain of bird flu in Nigeria

The migration of birds are suspected in the appearance of a strain of bird flu new to Nigeria.


What are your local strategies?

Local Action Global Health has been in action for a little more than 1 1/2 years now.

A lot of effort has been put toward developing strategies for local action to manage disease dilemmas.

Some of our lessons learned are:

- Science and society are increasingly bedfellows -- We must recognize how these two can fit together to overcome disease-promoting conditions

- Individual action & collective action – We need to reframe key issues as collective challenges requiring shared action by many

- Creativity at the edges – We have to recognize that not all of the answers will come from people in positions of leadership...How can the rest of us work collectively and upstream to provoke change

What are your lessons learned?
What would you add to this list?

Caught in the grasp of food production superpowers

Anticipating the increasing need globally for more food for more mouths, private industry is snapping up farmland, production systems, fertilizer and shipping companies at a higher rate than ever before.

In his book, "The End of Food," Paul Roberts ("The End of Oil") recognizes the growing potential for the domination of a world food trade axis. Imagine Brazil and Argentina and one end and India and China at the other. The U.S.'s best efforts are maintained through Cargill, Monsanto, Tyson, and Mosaic.

As we start to look at food as the new oil and the geo-political power that is at the disposal of those in power, what will happen to the less powerful -- the poor, hungry, the 1 percent upon whom the rest of rely for food, and those striving to be 'localvores.'

The consequences aren't pretty, says Roberts.

Who are our heroes?

As the Beijing Olympic rolls on and we celebrate the human will and spirit of competition, much is being made of athletes as spokespersons.

For example:
- U.S. basketball star LeBron James is linked with Spongebob Squarepants to teach kids what they can do to protect the earth.
- Olympic swimmer and fashion model Amanda Beard is a spokesperson for WildAid, communicating the plight of sharks
- Cyclist Adam Craig and many other Olympians have signed on with Green Laces, pledging to use recyclable shopping bags and other things to protect the environment

It has me thinking...Who are the heroes for the convergence issue? And, what should they be saying?


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What will happen when the food supply runs out?

A review of Raj Patel's book "Stuffed and Starved."

Patel predicted the current global food crisis - spiralling food prices, starvation and obesity.

Patel talks about agro-economics and what will happen when all the food finally runs out

Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jul/29/food.climatechange