Many common infections are becoming resistant to the antimicrobial medicines used to treat them, resulting in longer illnesses and more deaths. The fact that world leaders are using the UN as a forum for discussions about AMR is a promising move toward developing a coordinated global plan.
The U.S. and the EU are committed to tackling antimicrobial resistance. Their efforts share objectives around key areas for improvement, such as the stewardship of existing antimicrobials, surveillance of their use, and development of new antimicrobials.
Brazilian scientists detected drug-resistant bacteria growing off some of Rio de Janeiro's beaches, close to where it will host sailing and wind-surfing events, and in the lagoon where the rowing and canoeing events will take place.
In addition to being a public health problem, antimicrobial resistance is also a major economic concern. It crosses sectoral boundaries, because resistant bugs can pass between animals and humans, and through food, agriculture, and the environment.
The O'Neill Review aims to increase global knowledge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and generate international consensus about the nature of the problem and the necessary steps to tackle it. A RAND Europe analysis of the potential economic costs of AMR contributed to the Review.
Scientists across universities, governments, and industry are doubling down to gain a better understanding of the Zika virus and develop the diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic tools needed to combat it. In the meantime, the public must be actively engaged.
For now, public health officials and their partners must do all they can to control Zika virus, using the tools at hand. That may include instituting a public health campaign to reduce mosquito-breeding sites and promoting prudent protection against mosquito bites.
The Kwara Community Health Insurance program in Nigeria provides a remarkable proof of concept and template for addressing the challenge of providing risk protection for the poor in the developing world.
Over the past decade and half, Africa has made great strides toward meeting the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, eight objectives that included halving extreme poverty rates, providing universal primary education, and ending the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015.
Partnerships between public and private organizations have become a powerful mechanism for addressing longer-term and structural challenges faced by developing countries that have a high burden of poverty-related diseases.
As China strives to sustain its upward economic trajectory, it must also address its domestic problems—such as its air pollution and the challenges presented by its aging population—if its people are to share fully in the rewards of economic development and expansion.
The threat of drug resistance can be tackled with the right set of actions, including the development of new antimicrobial drugs and alternative therapies to disrupt the rise in resistance. German Chancellor Merkel has emphasized the importance of a joint global action plan for addressing this growing problem.
Lessons learned through the analysis of this most recent Ebola outbreak as well as other disease outbreaks can have far-reaching consequences, helping authorities to both improve the continuing, ongoing response and plan for the best possible response to future threats.
Depression is the leading cause of disability throughout the world and is especially prevalent among low-income African countries, where 75 percent of the people who suffer from mental illness do not have easy access to the mental health care they need.
For much of 2014, the world has confronted the most deadly Ebola outbreak since the discovery of the disease in 1976. What lessons have emerged? What should the world do to better prepare for transnational outbreaks?
Melinda Moore, a RAND public health physician and senior researcher, hosted an 'Ask Me Anything' session on Reddit to answer questions about Ebola, including whether a U.S. travel ban would help prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
Operation United Assistance, which includes the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to respond to the Ebola crisis, is a welcome recognition of the range of missions the military is increasingly able to tackle, particularly in disaster-management assistance.
Medical and public health systems are crucial to controlling the transmission of Ebola and treating patients. But the public's role in becoming aware and engaged, both in West Africa and the United States, cannot be overstated.
Developing clinical research in sub-Saharan Africa requires a more holistic approach that considers not only individuals and institutions concerned with clinical research but also the wider health and research systems in these countries.
The rapid, uncontrolled spread of aggressive diseases such as Ebola is often a matter of national security. U.S. intelligence professionals must establish relevant information collection and dissemination mechanisms to deal with such contingencies.
No amount of research can save those who've already perished from Ebola in West Africa, but our capacity to learn from such tragedies is a silver lining that has historically enhanced global resilience to disease. With that in mind, here are six key lessons from the outbreak.
Lately, stories about outbreaks seem to be spreading faster than the diseases themselves. An outbreak of measles in Ohio is just part of an 18-year high of U.S. cases. Meanwhile, polio continues to circulate in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, while spreading to other countries, like Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Syria.
Despite public awareness campaigns in the United States and Europe, many people persist in the mistaken belief that antibacterial drugs — like amoxicillin and azithromycin — are the best treatment for flu. And many doctors simply surrender when patients demand them, ignoring the scientific and medical truth: when treating the flu, antibacterial drugs just don't work.
Frederick S. Pardee, a former RAND researcher, contributed $3.6 million to support the Pardee RAND Graduate School and to create its Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress. His generous gift will seed projects that help those in developing countries.
Speaking of Medicine, a Public Library of Science blog
Mentorship at various levels could help overcome barriers to joining the access loop of international health research publishing, while also fostering greater communication and stimulating innovative, collaborative international research, writes Janice S. Pedersen.