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Reducing tuberculosis in London and beyond: the woodpecker and weasel approach

GuestBlogger27 March 2015

pencil-iconWritten by Catherine Smith, UCL Infection and Population Health PhD student

'What do we need to know to reach, treat, and cure everyone with TB?' eventMany people are surprised to learn that the problem of tuberculosis in London is so serious that it is now known as the ‘TB capital of Europe’. In the worst affected London Borough of Newham, more than one in every thousand people is diagnosed with the disease each year, and the trend is increasing.

I live in Islington, where the situation is not quite as severe. However, it is still alarming to note that the rate here is much closer to that of relatively high incidence countries, like Bosnia and Herzegovina and Brazil, than the USA or Sweden.

London is also a major hub for TB research. On 24 March, the 133rd anniversary of the discovery of the pathogen that causes the disease, researchers from UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine jointly hosted an event that asked the question: What do we need to know to reach, treat, and cure everyone with TB? The event was attended by 270 people, and watched online by over 1,300 from 46 different countries via a live stream.

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Let’s talk about Natsal

KiraMcPherson28 January 2014

If you were to sum up the results of the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), it would go something like this: gay marriage is fine, cheating is bad and sexual behaviours can be hindered by bad health.

Natsal infographic (http://www.natsal.ac.uk/)

Natsal infographic – number of partners
(Credit: http://www.natsal.ac.uk/)

You could also explain the results much more eloquently, as did Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Population Health) in her Lunch Hour Lecture, ‘Studying sex comes of age.’

Statistics are tricky. In theory, they should confirm what we already know empirically, but often they still manage to surprise. In this regard, I found Professor Johnson’s talk a mixed bag of expectations met and surpassed. (more…)