Surprising clinical case published in EID this week: on the Mozambique-Malawi border, a young boy comes into the hospital with persistent fever, skin lesions, swelling of the hands and feet, and malnutrition. He is referred to a large hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, where the physicians and microbiology lab are able to diagnose an unusual bacterial infection, melioidosis. It was the first time this infection had ever been diagnosed in Malawi, and he was treated and cured.
One reason this case is important is because it demonstrates that improved health systems can mean life or death for many children around the world.
An interesting study in JAMA was just published on how music therapy might improve the intensive care unit (ICU) experience for critically ill patients. The results make intuitive sense– being in an ICU is clearly a terrifying experience for many patients.
I also like this study, because as a child, I played the violin in my grandmother’s nursing home. And during college, I founded an organization called Musicians in Hospitals. Student musicians played their instruments on general medicine and oncology floors in a hospital in Rhode Island. Patients and families responded with friendly conversation, contemplative silence, and occasional singing themselves.
Want to improve your Spanish while learning about information technology and communication? A new MOOC is starting tomorrow on Coursera.org, taught by Larisa Enríquez. Buena Suerte!
How to improve maternal and child health outcomes in poor rural populations in Africa? Women’s groups and health education by peer counsellors are one interesting option.
Machamba (farm) in rural Mozambique. How will increased concentrations of greenhouse gasses affect agriculture in the developing world?
An important free course has started, on climate change and health. Please sign up! Watch the videos, participate in the online discussions.
BILL MOYERS: How do you handle the grim news of inequality, corruption, poverty, dysfunction and buffoonery that washes over us every day? Well, you can tune out and ignore it; pretend it will go away until it’s too late or you can look around, find kindred spirits and throw your energies into the fight for justice.