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NIH hosts event to launch Council of Science Editors' global theme issue

The National Institutes of Health today is hosting the launch of the Council of Science Editors global theme issue on poverty and human development, to coincide with the publication of related research by more than 230 journals worldwide. Seven of the most outstanding articles examining interventions and projects to improve health and reduce health-care inequities among the poor are being presented at the event. The diverse topics include childbirth safety, HIV/AIDS, malaria treatment, food insufficiency and sexual behavior, interventions to improve child survival, physician brain drain from the developing world, and influenza's impact on children.

The symposium is being webcast live and archived for future viewing:

"The scope and diversity of these critical research projects illustrate the complexity of today's major global health challenges that require multi-disciplinary approaches," said Elias A. Zerhouni, NIH Director. "As we begin to reap the benefits of our investment in cutting-edge fields such as genomics, we must ensure that these incredible scientific advances are adapted for effective delivery to all people, including those in resource-poor settings."

The global theme issue launch is being sponsored by two NIH components: the Fogarty International Center and the National Library of Medicine, in cooperation with the Council of Science Editors. Based in Reston, Va., the council serves its more than 1,200 members around the world by fostering networking, education, discussion, and exchange and providing an authoritative resource on issues involving the communication of scientific information.

This remarkable international collaboration highlights the tremendous health disparities that exist in the developing world and demonstrates that, through science, we can reduce the huge inequities that exist, according to Fogarty Director Roger I. Glass, M.D. By developing health care delivery strategies that achieve effective and sustained coverage in diverse cultural and economic settings, we can move closer to bridging this equity gap in global health.

Two previous global theme issues have been organized by the editors of JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association). In January 1996, more than 200 articles on emerging and reemerging global microbial threats were published by 36 journals from 21 countries. In 1997, 97 journals in 31 countries published on the theme of aging.

"It is gratifying that the number of journals participating in the 2007 Global Health theme issue is more than double the number involved in a similar effort a decade ago, said Betsy Humphreys, MLS, NLM deputy director. This reflects progress in scientific journal publishing in the developing world, as well as increased recognition that global health disparities affect the well-being of all of us."

The scientific papers being presented are being moderated by Catherine DeAngelis, M.D., Editor-in-chief, JAMA and Fiona Godlee, M.D., Editor-in-chief, BMJ (British Medical Journal).

Presentations in order of delivery:

  • Food insufficiency is associated with high-risk sexual behavior among women in Botswana and Swaziland, published by PloS Medicine and presented by Dr. Sheri Weiser, University of California San Francisco

  • Reduced in-hospital mortality after improved management of children less than five years of age hospitalized with malaria A randomized trial, published by BMJ and presented by Dr. Sidu Biai and Dr. Amabelia de Jesus Pereira Rodrigues, Bandim Health Project (Guinea Bissau, West Africa)

  • Human resources for treating HIV/AIDS: Needs, capacities, and gaps, published by AIDS Patient Care and STDs and presented by Dr. Salal Humair, Lahore University of Management & Sciences (Lahore, Pakistan) and Dr. Till Barnighausen, University of Kwa Zulu-Natal (South Africa)

  • Too Poor to Leave, Too Rich to Stay" Developmental and global health correlates of physician migration to the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, published by American Journal of Public Health and presented by Dr. Onyebuchi Arah and Dr. Uzor Ogbu, University of Amsterdam Medical Center (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Improving child survival through environmental and nutritional interventions: The importance of targeting interventions towards the poor, published by JAMA and presented by Dr. Majid Ezzati, Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, Mass.)

  • Cellular and humoral responses to in influenza in Gabonese children living in rural and semi-urban areas, published by Journal of Infectious Diseases and presented by Dr. Maria Yazdanbakhsh, Leiden University Medical Center (Leiden, The Netherlands)

  • Chlorhexidine vaginal and neonatal wipes in home births in Pakistan: A randomized controlled trial, published by Obstetrics & Gynecology and presented by Dr. Sarah Saleem, Aga Khan University (Karachi, Pakistan)


Contact: Ann Puderbaugh
NIH/Fogarty International Center

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