Salud Pública (Continuación)

By Jonathan Rauch, a senior writer for National Journal and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, is the author of «Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights and Good for America.» (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 04/06/06):

WE feared for our lives; we prayed for a remedy. What none of us in the gay world imagined, when word of a mysterious affliction surfaced 25 years ago, was what proved to be the epidemic’s most important moral legacy: AIDS transformed the gay-marriage movement from implausible to inevitable.

In May 1970, two men applied for a marriage license in Minnesota and then filed suit after being refused.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Dean Jamison, an economist, was lead editor for DCP2 and Nancy Padian, an epidemiologist, was co-lead author of DCP2’s chapter on AIDS. Jamison is a visiting professor and Padian is director for research in global health sciences at the University of California at San Francisco (THE WASHINGTON POST, 20/05/06):

Last month public health experts from around the world gathered in Beijing to celebrate the launch of a comprehensive international study of health interventions and strategies for the 21st century. The book that resulted is known as Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, second edition (DCP2). In over 1,400 pages of research by more than 300 authors, it presents the scientific community’s cutting-edge understanding of the most and least effective ways of meeting the health challenges the developing world faces.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por María C. Freire, presidenta y CEO, Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (LA VANGUARDIA, 07/05/06):

Parece mentira que hoy en día cada 15 segundos muera una persona de tuberculosis (TB), una infección que puede ser tratada y controlada de una forma efectiva. Desgraciadamente, las razones son muchas incluyendo el estigma y la ignorancia. Pero también hay razones prácticas, como la falta de diagnóstico apropiado y el hecho de que el tratamiento, aunque eficaz, es largo y complejo ya que requiere un mínimo de 6 meses tomando 3 o 4 fármacos.

El tratamiento estándar se realiza bajo la supervisión directa de profesionales de la salud.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Tim Suter, a partner at Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. Response to ‘Tough on crime, to hell with the causes of crime if they make money‘ (THE GUARDIAN, 05/05/06):

It is for others to judge whether there is indeed a link between diet and violent behaviour (Tough on crime, to hell with the causes of crime if they make money, May 2). Our job as the broadcasting regulator is to protect viewers and listeners from exploitation and harm, and to ensure that they have available to them a wide range of programmes and services.Ofcom’s current consultation on the advertising of food and drink products to children set out various options, each of which would achieve a significant reduction in the volume of such advertising.…  Seguir leyendo »

By George Monbiot (THE GUARDIAN, 02/05/06):

Does television cause crime? The idea that people copy the violence they watch is debated endlessly by criminologists. But this column concerns an odder and perhaps more interesting idea: if crime leaps out of the box, it is not the programmes that are responsible as much as the material in between. It proposes that violence emerges from those blissful images of family life, purged of all darkness, that we see in the advertisements.

Let me begin, in constructing this strange argument, with a paper published in the latest edition of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Henry I. Miller, a doctorand a fellow at the Hoover Institution, headed the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Biotechnology from 1989 to 1993 (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 28/04/06):

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration staked out its position on the long-standing controversy over the medical use of marijuana — and made a lot of people smoking mad. The F.D.A. endorsed a multi-agency study that found that «no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use.» This came as an affront to those who claim that cannabis is an appropriate treatment for ailments from nausea and vomiting to muscle spasticity and intractable pain.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Johnjoe McFadden, a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Surrey and author of Quantum Evolution (THE GUARDIAN, 13/04/06):

Creationists often claim that evolution is just a theory since no one has ever observed it. Being generally a slow process, it is hard to catch evolution in action. But it isn’t always slow. For fast replicating pathogens, such as the bird flu virus, evolutionary change can be rapid and lethal. Even Darwin, the originator of the theory of natural selection, lamented the «clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low and horribly cruel» nature of its action. The evolution of the H5N1 strain of bird flu is now advancing on a million wings, and its course may seal the fate of many of us.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Jackie Ashley (THE GUARDIAN, 10/04/06):

There has been panic in Scotland, with an estimated 45,000 masks bought within days of the first reports of the possible pandemic, and calls for anyone with flu-like symptoms to be detained. This, though, was three years ago, when the coming plague was Sars, an infection we were told might sweep the world as it emerged from China and Vietnam. There, it is true, several hundred people eventually died; the toll in Britain, and indeed Scotland, was zero.

So we have been here before. When we read of emergency food plans to tackle shortages, of school closures to cut the likely death toll among children and of even grimmer contingency plans for mass graves for up to 320,000 people who might die from bird flu, then we all need to pinch ourselves and remember the earlier waves of media-fanned panic.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ricard V. Solé. Laboratorio de Sistemas Complejos, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (REAL INSTITUTO ELCANO, 07/04/06):

Tema: Pocos virus se han cobrado en el pasado un número tan alto de víctimas como la gripe. La posibilidad de una nueva pandemia ha generado una alerta más que justificada tanto a nivel social como en términos de su posible impacto en las economías de todo el mundo.

Resumen: La Organización Mundial de la Salud ha señalado que sólo 40 países del mundo han desarrollado planes de prevención contra la pandemia de gripe. Sin embargo, la gripe de 1918 y otras pandemias fueron efectivas en gran medida debido a la falta de previsión.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Kendall Hoyt, an assistant professor at Dartmouth Medical School and an associate with the New England Center for Emergency Preparedness (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 03/03/06):

As avian flu makes its way from Asia across Europe, the United States has yet to meet the challenges that this potential epidemic and other biological threats pose to our health and security. One challenge in particular needs attention: the shortfall in countermeasures like vaccines.

Most biological threats are likely to be unannounced and unfamiliar (like the outbreak of SARS in 2002 and 2003), so rapid drug development is critical. With few exceptions, the United States lacks the ability to develop, manufacture and administer vaccines in response to specific threats as they arise.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Simon Jenkins (THE GUARDIAN, 24/02/06):

Who says nobody gives credit to ministers where it is due? Let us hear it for Margaret Beckett. She is playing avian flu absolutely right. Invited to panic by a coalition of scaremongers, lobbyists, academics, headline writers and nutcases, Beckett and her junior, Ben Bradshaw, at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are keeping their heads.

No, they are not quarantining something called «the national flock» at the bidding of the tabloids. No, they are not hiring every agri-spiv in the land and paying them millions to cull, jab, immobilise or incarcerate birds.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Magnus Linklater (THE TIMES, 22/02/06):

The goverment’s response to the threat of bird flu in Britain is heart-sinkingly predictable. As soon as the first infected creature is identified, there will be mass slaughter around the site where it is found, and isolation of any threatened premises. All birds within a fixed radius will be eliminated and movement restricted. Vaccination has been all but ruled out — indeed there has been no attempt even to order up the vaccines that other countries, like the Netherlands, are using. If all this sounds depressingly familiar — it is. As last week’s devastating report from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne on the 2001 foot-and-mouth (FMD) outbreak pointed out: “The UK’s approach to combating animal disease has remained broadly the same since the FMD crisis.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Wendy Orent, an Atlanta-based writer and the author of Plague: The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World’s Most Dangerous Disease (THE WASHINGTON POST, 16/10/05):

For two years, a deadly strain of chicken flu known as H5N1 has been killing birds in Asia. While slightly more than 100 people are known to have contracted the disease, and 60 of them have died, there is still no sign that the flu has begun to spread from person to person.

That hasn’t prevented a recent outbreak of apocalyptic warnings from health officials and experts about the specter of a worldwide pandemic.…  Seguir leyendo »

Emilia Herranz es médico y presidenta de Médicos sin Fronteras España (EL MUNDO, 15/09/05).

El esfuerzo considerable que supone la evaluación del cumplimiento de los Objetivos del Milenio en la cumbre mundial que se celebra durante estos días en Nueva York, debería traducirse en acciones concretas que permitan la consecución de dichos objetivos.

Desde que se establecieran estos compromisos en la cumbre de 2000, aquellas metas relacionadas directamente con la salud de las poblaciones, claves para conseguir el desarrollo global que se pretende para 2015, no sólo no se están cumpliendo, sino que han sufrido un retroceso alarmante en algunas regiones como el Africa subsahariana.…  Seguir leyendo »

SIDA. Tina Rosenberg es editorialista de The New York Times y fue premio Pulitzer en 1996 (Foreign Policy – Edición Española, ABR/05)