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Is gender making us sick

news editor2 July 2013

pencil-icon Written by James Smiths, Global Health & Development MSc student at the UCL Institute for Global Health

At a recent symposium, Dr Sarah Hawkes, co-author of the recent ‘Gender and global health: evidence, policy, and inconvenient truths’, presented a compelling argument that gender is a significant, yet misunderstood, determinant of health.

IGH_gender

Dr Jenny Parkes (Institute of Education) and
Dr Julian Walker (UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit)

It is well known that health disparities exist between men and women. A quick glance at the latest World Health Organisation figures reveals that only three countries report a higher life expectancy for men than for women: Qatar, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

Other high-profile research such as the 2012 Global Burden of Disease study identified that the most common diseases disproportionately affect men.

In order to avoid confusion, the panelists and members of the audience were quick to note that health programmes focusing on women and girls clearly play an important role, in light of the significant impact that gender inequalities have on girls and women.

However, these programmes are complementary to, but not fully representative of, efforts to promote gender equity in health. (more…)

Aid for Health simulation

news editor17 December 2012

UCL students and staff taking part in the ‘Aid
for Health’ negotiations at the Institute for
Global Health

Written by Rebecca Seglow Hudson (BSc Anthropology undergraduate).

UCL’s Institute for Global Health (IGH) was the site of some heated negotiations on Saturday 8 December.

A collection of 72 students, with an enormous range of experience and disciplinary backgrounds, spent the day simulating the discussions behind international aid deals.

Students represented organisations such as the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF and governmental departments of the simulation country, Malawi. Three parallel simulations took place in three separate rooms, with each room reaching a different conclusion on the use of the $200 million that donors were offering to improve Malawi’s health system.

(more…)

A grey area: do the elderly hold the key to tackling non-communicable disease?

news editor6 December 2012

The Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London.

Written by Amelia Tait of the UCL Institute for Global Health.

On Tuesday 4 December, the Attlee Suite in the Houses of Parliament was filled to the brim with more than 140 audience members, policy makers, and global health experts from around the world meeting to discuss the growing global burden of non-communicable diseases.

Professor Anthony Costello, Director of UCL’s Institute for Global health, chaired the debate and opened by remarking that the “wicked problem” of NCDs accounts for 63% of deaths worldwide.

Non-communicable or lifestyle diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes are medical conditions of a non-infectious nature, and – in Costello’s words – are “the biggest killer of people in the world”.

Learning from HIV?

The panel’s experts led a debate on the ways in which the NCD movement can learn from the precedents set by the HIV/AIDS movement in the 1980s.

(more…)

Beyond social exclusion: emerging logics of expulsion with Saskia Sassen

James M Heather23 June 2012

Professor Saskia Sassen

Professor Saskia Sassen

On 13 June, renowned sociologist Professor Saskia Sassen, who popularised the term ‘global city’, came to London’s Global University to give a talk on some of her current research.

Centring around the idea that in recent history changes to the socio-economic make-up of capitalist nations has brought about changes to the way society values and includes its members, the talk focused on how the dynamics and metrics of exclusion – and expulsion – have altered throughout much of our society, and largely for the worse.

We started by learning the definition of social expulsion, as opposed to exclusion. Imagine, if you will, those people that reside at the edge of a system (not necessarily a geographical edge). Exclusion would be the prevention of people outside of that system entering it. Expulsion, however, is the act of those already within the system being ejected from it, and finding themselves on the other side of the line.

(more…)