A column by Donald G. McNeil Jr. about global health news.
Bill and Melinda Gates Grade the World’s Health
Bill and Melinda Gates handed the world a report card last week, assessing its progress on 18 global health indicators: infant mortality, AIDS, vaccine use, smoking rates and so on.
Lasting Merit Found in a Tuberculosis Vaccine Invented a Century Ago
Tuberculosis kills almost two million people a year. A perfect vaccine could save many of them, but the one now in use — invented in the 1920s and known as BCG, for Bacillus Calmette-Guérin — has so many flaws that some countries, including the United States, have never adopted it.
I let out a huge sigh as I picked up the next chart in clinic. “Chief complaint: Behavioral concerns” was typed out on the top of a thick packet of papers. My young patient was sitting on the exam table comfortably. His parents sat stoically with furrowed brows in the chairs next to him. They were nervous, rigid, clearly concerned.“What’s been going on?” I asked. Apparently he had been acting out at his elementary school. I sifted through the papers, chock full of documentation from teachers, detailing his behavior. He was on the verge of expulsion. His parents expressed understandable frustration to me given his remarkably normal behavior at home.
I gathered my history per usual, directing my questions toward him as he swung his legs back and forth on the exam table. I did not seem to be getting anywhere when I happened to ask, “Is anyone at school making fun of you?”
Researchers say there has been a substantial increase in women under the age of 26 who have received a diagnosis of early-stage cervical cancer since the health law came into effect in 2010. Cont
Extracting medical care from the health care system is all too often an expensive exercise in frustration. Dr. Eric Topol says your smartphone could make it cheaper, faster, better and safer.
That’s the gist of his new book, The Patient Will See You Now. Lots of people are bullish on the future of mobile health to transform health care, but Topol gets extra cred because of his major medical chops: Former head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic and present director of the Scripps Translations Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif.