science writer, blogger, author
science writer, blogger, author
SAFE GLOBAL ANAESTHESIA
Charitable donation of low-cost, robust alternatives to first world anaesthesia equipment can chip away at the current situation where five billion people globally lack access to safe anaesthesia. I discovered this while researching my article about Lifebox pulse oximetery in Mongolia published in February 2017 by Wellcome Trust Mosaic Science.
During my stay in Mongolia, I accompanied lead anaesthetist, Dr L Ganbold, to meet the UK ambassador in Ulaanbaatar to ask for British aid to pay for 20 DPA02 anaesthesia machines that could provide the basis of nationwide safe surgery throughout this far-flung country. This is already happening elsewhere - see this amazing video about anaesthesia training in Somaliland, made by DPA02 manufacturers, Diamedica.
Back home, I followed up Dr Ganbold's request. So far still waiting to hear from DFID. But the small charity SAWW has agreed to fund a single DPA02 machine, now on its way to Mongolia, and due to be delivered to a rural hospital in Mongolia’s remote western provinces in July. More will follow as further funds are obtained, says SAWW. Watch this space!
Blogging about diet & health
It's a big subject and one that's certainly getting media coverage - without necessarily getting to the facts.
ISeptember 2015, my blog for the website HealthInsightUK asked how long the charity Diabetes UK along with the Department of Health can continue to ignore the evidence on low carb diet and type 2 diabetes - instead advising people with this staggeringly badly-managed chronic disorder of glucose intolerance to eat a 'normal' diet - ie with plenty of daily starchy carbs including bread, rice and pasta. The blog caused a flutter of interest. It was shortlisted for the MJA 2016 awards. Best of all, Michele Simmons, then co-chair of the Guild of Health Writers, asked me to help organise, and chair (see pic below ) a meeting with the challenging title: Can Diet Cur Diabetes? Together we put together a strong panel: Dr David Unwin, a GP and leading 'low carb' researcher, the eminent scientist and diabetes specialist, Prof Roy Taylor of Newcastle University, research dietitian, Dr Trudi Deakin, Anthony Whittington co-director of Fixing Dad, and last but not least, the NHS deputy diabetes tsar, Dr Partha Kar. It was a great evening which speakers welcomed as an opportunity to meet each other as well as Guild members. I reported on the meeting for the BMJ.
What people say:
'A brilliant evening thanks to your chairmanship' - Guild of Health Writers on its meeting, Can Diet Cure Diabetes? Nov 30 2016.
'It's been so exciting to see this story grow, and to hear the surgical patient voices that Jane brought back from Mongolia. It was really moving, as familiar as we are with the global surgery narrative, to hear more patient perspectives' - Sarah Kessler, Lifebox Foundation, 2017.
'Jane has an impressive ability to guide the reader through important and complicated issues by use of well-drawn case studies, detailing the patient’s viewpoint, detailing the theory by clearly outlining relevant research and adding insight from interviews with leading specialists. British Oncological Association
‘Without your patience and thoughtful writing, my story wouldn’t have got out to a mass audience in the first place,’ - Martin Bromiley, founder of Clinical Human Factors Group