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Global health briefs December 2010

November/December 2010 | Volume 9, Issue 6

Lancet calls for medical education reform


A Lancet Commission is calling for major reform across the entire medical education system to improve training so that doctors and other healthcare professionals are prepared for the 21st century. Changes are needed because of fragmented, outdated, and static curricula that produce ill-equipped graduates, the study says. Redesign of professional health education is necessary given the solutions offered by global interdependence due to acceleration of flows of knowledge, technologies, and financing across borders.

WHO says neglected tropical diseases control feasible


The misery and disability caused by a group of chronic infectious diseases, found almost exclusively in very poor populations, can be substantially reduced, according to the WHO.  A new report, titled “Working to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases,” covers 17 neglected tropical diseases that thrive in impoverished settings.

Call to action on mental health


A call to action on mental health has been issued in a recent WHO report. Persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities are a vulnerable group that continues to be marginalized in terms of development aid and government attention, the study says.  It urges investment in persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities to improve development outcomes.

Study examines future of tobacco control


Tobacco use is the leading cause of disease and premature death worldwide, costing the global economy more than $500 million annually, according to a report issued by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The study examines the future of tobacco control efforts and includes information about Fogarty’s tobacco control research and training program.

Poll shows Americans support global health


While many Americans remain wary of foreign aid in general, they are more supportive of efforts described as “improving health in developing countries,” according to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Six in 10 Americans say the U.S. spends too much on foreign aid but only about 30 percent say the U.S. invests too much on global health. 

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