Health and population

Soil-transmitted helminth infection is the most common parasitic human disease, affecting an estimated 1·45 billion individuals worldwide. School-age children are at especially high risk of morbidity from infection and as a result, deworming campaigns are often targeted to this age group. This study is the first to synthesise existing research reporting the effect of either targeted or mass distribution of deworming programmes, and suggests that expanding campaigns community-wide in endemic areas could reduce the incidence of these infections in school-age children.
Kidney diseases (KDs), both acute and chronic, are recognized as major public health issues worldwide and important contributors to the rising burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). More than half of patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) do not receive any treatment, especially in the low and low middle income countries (LMICs). Similarly, acute kidney injury (AKI) contributes to about 1.7 million preventable deaths every year worldwide. There is a critical requirement for the development of an implementation framework tailored to the local needs of health systems and to optimize the quality of care for patients at risk for developing KD in limited-resource settings. SDG 3.4 specifically addresses reduction of premature mortality from NCDs.
The transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has shifted the policy debate from growth to ‘quality of growth’ (QG). We explore a new dataset on QG by the IMF and classify 93 developing countries for the period 1990–2011 in terms of Hopefuls, Contenders and Best Performers. The aims are as follows: (i) to depict the contradiction between high-growth and poor social welfare and (ii) to assess the influence of education and health spending on the QG. The findings have implications on education and health policy, and support SDGs 3 and 4.
Polluted air was responsible in 2015 for 6·4 million deaths worldwide. Can walking or cycling in polluted cities negate the health benefits of exercise by increasing exposure to airborne pollutants? This systematic review in The Lancet Public Health by Magda Cepeda and colleagues provides a clear answer to this question: it compares exposure to carbon monoxide, black carbon, nitrogen dioxide, and fine and coarse particles between commuters using active and motorised transport. The study provides important insights to support target SDG 3.9 to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air.

Futures, Available online 19 October 2016

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is vital for advancing the SDGs. This paper looks at transformative learning that prepares students for societal change. The discussion is grounded both in theories about hope from disparate scientific disciplines and in empirical research about young people’s hope concerning global climate change. These insights particularly inform SDG 4.7 to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, as well as SDGs 3, 11 and 13.
Mental ill health is the third biggest cause of absence in the workplace. The mental health equivalent of a physical first-aid course provides participants with the skills and confidence to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and effectively guide a person towards the right support. By adpating this course, more efforts can be made to meet SDG 3.4 by utilising preventive methods and treatment to promote mental health and well-being.
This case study looks at the impact of stress on a part-time worker with celebral palsy, and its effect on their well-being. The study shows how using a proactive approach, including the use of HSE stress management standards, can help to avoid negative outcomes for the employee. Stress management in the workplace contributes to the advancement of SDG 3.4 to prevent and treat mental health issues and promote well-being.
PTSD Resolution has launched a training programme for managers with employees who are suffering from PTSD. The programme was initially set up in response to demand from employers of former soldiers. Programmes to tackle PTS contribute to advancing SDG 3.4 to prevent and treat mental health issues and promote well-being
This commentary shows how the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 provides a detailed snapshot of the state of global health and an analytic approach to tracking this dynamic picture. It says that as the international community embarks on the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), GBD 2015 is a critical part of the toolkit for measuring progress and—critically—holding governments to account.
MSF Doctors conduct a Phase III rotavirus vaccine trial at Epicentre’s Niger Research Center at the Maradi Hospital. (Photo © KRISHAN Cheyenne/MSF)
"The Elsevier Foundation is partnering with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and their training and research partner, Epicentre, to support the Niger Research Center. By building the Center's capacity and supporting African-driven research this project directly supports SDG 3, with a focus on target 3B. At the heart of this project is the development of a new vaccine to fight rotavirus."