The Human Impact

London sanitation show aims to make “poo” hot topic

Human defecation remains a taboo subject, despite the fact that 2.5 billion people lack toilets, causing a global health crisis that kills more than a million children each year.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) hopes a new exhibition opening on Thursday will make sanitation easier to discuss. The show is part of its efforts to help fight diseases causing diarrhoea, which kill more children than malaria, HIV/AIDS and measles combined.

“People don’t talk about poo enough, and if we don’t talk about poo, how are we going to solve the problem of diarrhoeal diseases?” asked Val Curtis, director of the LSHTM’s Hygiene Centre.

“We want to make shit sexy – make talking about shit possible,” Curtis told AlertNet, adding that proper handwashing with soap could prevent 600,000 deaths a year from diseases like diarrhoea and respiratory infections.

“You’ve got to know your enemy and look your enemy in the face. Some people say it’s not acceptable for academics to go around talking about shit, but it’s not acceptable for 600,000 children to be dying unnecessarily because we don’t talk about shit,” she said.

Potentially dangerous breed of malaria mosquito found in Kenya

Scientists have discovered a new malaria-transmitting breed of mosquito which may pose an unknown threat in Kenya, where malaria is the leading cause of death.

Malaria, a preventable and curable disease, is generally known to be caused by the Plasmodium parasite and transmitted to humans by the bite of the Anopheles mosquito, which rests indoors and feeds on humans at night.

However, the newly-discovered mosquito has different habits.  It is active outdoors and bites humans earlier in the evening, soon after sunset, according to researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

Abuzz over malaria on World Mosquito Day


Handout picture shows tea party held in British doctor Ronald Ross’s honour at the Ross Institute on Aug. 20, 1931. ALERTNET/Handout/LSHTM

Each year on Aug. 20 the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) celebrates Mosquito Day to honour the date in 1897 when British doctor Ronald Ross discovered that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between human beings. Ross was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1902 for his discovery.

http://youtu.be/V8j0vKwJF3E

Picture credit: Handout picture shows tea party held in British doctor Ronald Ross’s honour at the Ross Institute on Aug. 20, 1931. ALERTNET/Handout/LSHTM

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