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Analysis and Comment (16)

Most of the world continues with a criminal justice approach to drug use despite ample evidence of its harmfulness. Most of the world continues with a criminal justice approach to drug use despite ample evidence of its harmfulness. Jason Verwey/Flickr

What works best in the war on drugs

In 1967, the Beatles took out a full-page advertisement in The Times describing Britain’s marijuana laws as “immoral in principle and unworkable in practice”. Almost half a century later, both past and…
Polio is still not adequately controlled in Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan. Polio is still not adequately controlled in Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan. Wen-Yan King/Flickr

Explainer: ridding the world of polio

Polio (poliomyelitis) is a viral disease that can lead to incurable paralysis. The World Health Organisation is coordinating a programme to eradicate this disease from the face of the earth, and we are…
Second-hand news. Second-hand news. Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA

WHO Ebola ethics panel excluded those most affected

The World Health Organisation has been in a rush to deal with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Last week it declared it an international health emergency, and after two infected US doctors were given…
We’re consuming more salt than just what we add to food during cooking. We’re consuming more salt than just what we add to food during cooking. Rachel/Flickr (resized)

There’s more hidden salt in your diet than you think

Most of the salt consumed in Australia is already hidden in processed foods and meals, but there are some simple steps you can take to avoid eating too much of this palatable seasoning. High salt intake…
Dental disease is a growing problem in global health. Dental disease is a growing problem in global health. Brain Kelley/Flickr

The bitter truth about what sugar is doing to your teeth

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been consulting on draft sugar intake guidelines that propose revising the recommended daily intake downwards to address obesity and dental disease. The body says…
One mouthful and you’re closer to exceeding your daily sugar allowance. One mouthful and you’re closer to exceeding your daily sugar allowance. jenny downing/Flickr

How ‘hidden’ sugars are pushing up your daily dose

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released draft revised guidelines on daily sugar intake for adults and children. But if people are to follow the WHO’s advice, they need to start thinking about…
Clinical depression is distinguished severity, duration, persistence, and recurrence. Clinical depression is distinguished severity, duration, persistence, and recurrence. darcyadelaide/flickr

Feeling down: when does a mood become a disorder?

We’ve all felt sad, anxious or down at one time or another, but where does the normal experience of emotion end and the clinical picture of a mood or anxiety disorder begin? Psychiatry has two widely used…
What we know from other disasters is that infectious disease outbreaks aren’t inevitable. What we know from other disasters is that infectious disease outbreaks aren’t inevitable. AAP/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

How best to help the Philippines recover from Typhoon Haiyan

Once again, a cataclysmic disaster has hit an Asian nation. But a well co-ordinated aid response mindful of lessons from other disasters could mean a faster recovery. Last Friday, Typhoon Haiyan (known…
The DSM-5 is not the only system of classification of mental illness. The DSM-5 is not the only system of classification of mental illness. Image from shutterstock.com

Two visions for understanding illness: DSM and the International Classification of Diseases

The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) is the latest instalment in the long-running saga over the classification, nature and dimensions of mental illness. But it’s not the only system of classification…
Health problems due to poor eating habits are becoming the leading cause of death and disability in the world. Health problems due to poor eating habits are becoming the leading cause of death and disability in the world. stu_spivack/Flickr

No place for industry in the fight against lifestyle diseases

The biggest causes of ill health in all but the very least developed countries are now non-communicable or chronic diseases. Lung cancer from smoking, obesity from an unhealthy diet and liver problems…
We need to research the health of the health system for the sake of sustainability. We need to research the health of the health system for the sake of sustainability. Greg Boege

McKeon review should consider the well-being of health system

The consultation paper by the panel of the McKeon Review is available and open for public comment now, so it’s worth examining whether this review (the latest of many into health and medical research…
Many people with chronic hepatitis B in Australia were born in nearby countries where vaccination is still not provided to many children. Many people with chronic hepatitis B in Australia were born in nearby countries where vaccination is still not provided to many children. Andrew W. McGalliard

Why Australia needs to support its neighbours to stop hep B

Of the more than 175,000 people living with chronic hepatitis B infection in this country, the majority were born overseas in high prevalence countries. Most have come from Asia and the Pacific, a region…
Chronic diseases act as a driver for disadvantage in the developing world, leading to cycles of poverty. Chronic diseases act as a driver for disadvantage in the developing world, leading to cycles of poverty. Secom Bahia/Flickr

Five myths about the global epidemic of chronic diseases

The eyes and ears of the global health world were firmly fixed on Geneva last week for the 2012 World Health Assembly, the annual meeting of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) member states. One of…
A Greens/EFA MEPs protest against ACTA at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The protestors urged their fellow members to join them in standing up for democracy and a free internet. A Greens/EFA MEPs protest against ACTA at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The protestors urged their fellow members to join them in standing up for democracy and a free internet. ©Photo European Union

Opening Pandora’s box: secret treaty threatens human rights

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) 2011 - Twitter hashtag #ACTA - is a controversial trade agreement designed to provide for stronger enforcement of intellectual property rights. There’s been…
WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan called for assistance in reforming the WHO at the 64th World Health Assembly. WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan called for assistance in reforming the WHO at the 64th World Health Assembly. WHO

Australia’s role in reforming the World Health Organisation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) remains the most important player in global health despite growing problems with its structure and funding. Australia is in an excellent position to help modernise the…
The World Health Organisation is the undoubted leader in global health but faces a crisis of leadership. The World Health Organisation is the undoubted leader in global health but faces a crisis of leadership. US Mission Geneva

Truth to power: reforming the World Health Organization

The World Health Organisation has a vital role to play in global health but 65 years after it came into being, it’s plagued by ossified structures that prevent it from exercising the flexibility it needs…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (2)