Saturday, May 24, 2014

Horizon - The £10 Million Challenge


Yesterday, hitting around 11pm, I was just about getting ready to snooze off and get myself some beauty sleep for next day when I quickly checked my emails and read an email from a close friend who asked me to watch the latest episode of Horizon. As she knows my passion for Global Health, she knew that this programme was perfect for me.

So I went on BBC iPlayer found the show and gave it a watch.
This show is great. Great presentation, great filming, great concept and just Global Health filled. The general concept is all about a challenge that has been created by Nesta and the Technology Strategy Board called the Longitude Prize 2014, who are giving out a £10 million prize fund to help solve one of the greatest issues of our time.

They have documented six issues that are in need of serious attention and development in order to create a sustainable path in future in terms of the technological solutions to each issue.

We, the public, can vote and decide on which issue out of the six we feel need to most attention and should be given the £10 million prize fund. The six issues are:

Antibiotic Resistance 

Sustainable Nutrition 

Dementia Care 

Paraplegic Mobility 

Fresh Water 

Zero Carbon Flight 

Trying to choose which issue should 'win' the prize fund has been super difficult as I feel that they are all important and are predominant issues that we face globally. After hours of contemplating, I feel that the issue that needs the most attention and should deserve the £10 million prize fund is .....

Every person in this world should have the right to have access to food that can cover most parts of a healthy diet. The fact that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012 and that almost all the hungry people, 852 million live in developing countries just shows how much attention, innovation and development is needed in Sustainable Nutrition. With these figures increasing exponentially, I believe that the prize fund will help to decrease these figures and provide each individual on this Earth, the ticket towards improved diets worldwide.

Nutrition has become an issue that needs quick attending to because if it is not worked on and developed now, it can become an even more serious issue in the future. The innovations that Horizon presented are unique and distinctive. I also feel that through these innovations, other people's ideas and inputs can be added upon the original concepts to improve the plans that we have for sustainable nutrition.

Make sure you give this Horizon episode a watch and cast in your vote by 25th June 2014.

Monday, April 28, 2014

World Immunization Week

Slightly coincidental that I am revising Immunology at the moment for my upcoming AS Biology exam and I find out through Twitter that this week marks #WorldImmunizationWeek.

I have been covering the topic of Immunology from the first line of defence right down to the mode and action of B and T lymphocytes and how they function in the immune response. Immunization have been one of the most greatest developers in boosting world health by saving the lives of millions. It has been estimated that if all children were immunized with existing vaccines, we could save between 25 million lives between 2011 & 2020 (@unfoundation)

Here's a short clip by WHO informing us about the importance of Immunity:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

HIV Prevention - The Pratt Pouch

I came across this video earlier today and was amazed at the creation of the Pratt Pouch. It is amazing what we can do as motivated individuals can when our forces are combined together and we focus on one goal. The Pratt Pouch was first designed and developed by students at Duke University who were aiming to reduce the amount o children born per year with HIV transmitted diseases from their mothers. The video below gives a detailed insight into this wonderful invention:


For  more info visit: http://www.dukesead.org/1/post/2013/06/first-human-use-of-pratt-pouch.html

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Why Health is Politics and Politics is Health PART 1 - Introduction

In general, when we look at places of order and structure for example a school, we have a hierarchy of people in authority and people in leadership. If there is a disruption to the chain of authority, the rest of the chain will be affected. For example, if we took out the Head of the Humanities Faculty, the people within and under the humanities department will suffer severely as there is no leader to take charge with lesson ideas,  oversee the planning of strategic polices to work towards the advancement of the department, to assess the performance of the department, teachers and pupils and contribute to the modification of educational plans. In effect, the pupils grades will drop and the standard of teaching will be lowered.

If we relate this concept into the world of health, the 'authority' in this case wold be political leaders (e.g. parties) of a certain country. Above that would be the president or prime minister. If people in leadership are corrupt, the people below the chain will be severely affected. These people are the population of the country - children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. The health of the population could be at risk if the leadership of a country is corrupt as planting the original seed of corruption leads to generations of poor leadership. Corruption is defined as "dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery". If the top tier of the hierarchy are dishonest or fraudulent, it will disrupt the entire chain as their could be rebellion from each sector of the chain which could potentially destroy the country. It is important that the people at the top of the hierarchy are united and are positively motivated to contribute towards benefit and progress of the country. This is why politics is health and health is politics.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

H.E.A.L.T.H - What is Health? PART 1

With almost a billion web pages/links relating to the term "health", it is more than evident that health is ranked as one of the most important things in human existence.



Health is defined as (extracted from WHO): Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

From the definition I can see that health is not just based around physical well being i.e. being able to walk, talk, smile etc. but is focused on a wider and larger scale of human well being, touching aspects of social development and psychological characteristics, spiritual growth and many more. 

Health is a blessing given unto each individual, right from the start of contraception. It has been shown that during the eight week of embryo development, the embryo becomes a fetus. Essential health related organs such as the kidneys, liver, brain, and lungs start to function indicating that health is incessant process starting right from age zero. 
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2008/05/09/foetusnew460.jpg
The key towards the building blocks of life start from the formation of health. Without health, essentially there would be no "us" - no me and you, no world leaders, no doctors, no nurses, no teachers. Health can be generalized and extended to non-health related fields such as economics. In order to achieve a healthy and diverse economy, a strong and healthy banking system is needed from personal consumption from the population. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Social Determinants of Health

I recently found this video with Dr. Claire Pomeroy discussing and explaining the social determinants on health. I was very intrigued to see her view on health in the USA and her experiences with health as she grew up in foster homes. Her story, very inspirational yet very eye-opening, has given me an insight into how important social determinants into health are and that health is not just based on the medical field. Yes, MEDC's have the money and resources to afford all these medicines, vaccination etc. but do they have the right schemes and policies in place to take full advantage of what they have? There is no point spewing thousands of pounds on medicines if there is no stable health systems or policies in place in order to reach out into the public. I believe that everyone should be entitled to health care services no matter what background, age, society, race ethnicity they are from. Good health is universal, has no limits and should apply to every person on this planet. A basic right for continuous living should be readily available to everyone. I hope you give this video a watch, I enjoyed listening to her input into such a beaming issue in the world today.