X Close

Events

Home

UCL events news and reviews

Menu

Sir Michael Marmot in conversation: “Social injustice is killing on a grand scale”

ucyow3c6 October 2015

pencil-icon Written by Helen Stedeford (UCL Life & Medical Sciences)

Sir Michael Marmot speaks to audience members

Public health expert Sir Michael Marmot introduced his book The Health Gap by sharing the story of Mary, a First Nations Canadian who hanged herself aged 14. Every case is tragically unique, however the suicide rate among young First Nations members is five times higher than for other young Canadians – why? The suicide rate for Indian cotton farmers is much higher than for Indians in other rural occupations – why? Poverty – at least that’s part of the answer.

Using case studies and population statistics, Marmot illustrated the social gradient in health, which is found in all societies; those at the top of the income ladder have low levels of disease and long lives, and with each step down the ladder the chance of physical and mental illness, and early death, increases. So began a fascinating evening of discussion between Marmot, The Lancet’s Tamara Lucas and audience members.

(more…)

UCL-Lancet Commission: Shaping Cities for Health

news editor6 June 2012

Jessica Lowrie, UCL Communications & Marketing intern.

By 2030, globally, three in five people will live in cities. Despite the perception that city living provides an ‘urban advantage’ over those who live in rural areas, those who live in poor urban areas can often have worse health outcomes than wealthier city residents, but also in comparison to rural dwellers.

Urban and economic growth will not automatically create an ‘urban advantage’ – public policy is needed to maintain and improve conditions to allow for such an advantage to exist.

Healthy cities
This concept was the foundation for an event held by the UCL-Lancet Commission on 30 May to launch their high-profile report on Healthy Cities, published on the same day.

The report was the second from the UCL-Lancet Commission, recognising the valued commitment from both organisations to UCL’s Grand Challenges (Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing).

The well-organised and insightful event began with introductions from Professor David Price (UCL Vice-Provost – Research) and Professor Richard Horton (Editor, the Lancet).

Professor Yvonne Rydin (UCL Bartlett School of Planning), lead author of the report, then embarked on a comprehensive overview of the report and its main findings.

Professor Rydin explained that the report aimed “to understand how better health outcomes can be delivered through interventions in urban environments in cities across the world”.

Certain components of a healthy city seem obvious: good water and sanitation infrastructures, clean air, uncontaminated land, safe homes, opportunities for safe and active mobility and effective green infrastructure.

(more…)

Economic growth in India and how women are paying for it

news editor7 December 2011

India’s human development rankings are struggling to keep up as the country rises through the per capita GDP rankings. At the UCL Lancet Lecture, Professor Jayati Ghosh set out an alternative public health-centred growth strategy to address the deepening divide. Kelly Clarke reports.

Professor Jayati Ghosh and Dr Richard Horton The dream
An increase in per capita income increases the amount of money available to spend on food. Governments have access to larger funds for public health programmes to improve basic health facilities, sanitation, education, housing, transport, etc, etc.

The Indian reality
Ghosh, one of the world’s leading economists, described how the Indian government is failing to synergise economic development with an improvement in basic health indicators. The reason: a lack of investment in public health.

(more…)

Child development in developing countries

news editor29 November 2011

Despite some dispiriting statistics, Rob Eagle finds grounds for optimism at a Lunch Hour Lecture about child development on 22 November.

It is no surprise that children from wealthy backgrounds not only develop stronger cognitive skills, but also then become more successful later in life. One need look no further than the politicians from privileged backgrounds who are at the helm of this country’s government.

Long before David Cameron and Nick Clegg went to their private schools and elite universities, they were (presumably) raised in an environment that provided mental stimulation and encouraged education.

(more…)