Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 27 Nov to 3 Dec 2019

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 05 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6788


WHO urges countries to suspend boys’ vaccination

The World Health Organization advised countries that are vaccinating boys against human papillomavirus (HPV) to suspend these programmes until all girls who need the vaccine can get it. The recommendation, from WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunisation, came just months after the UK began immunising boys aged 12-13 against the virus. The group said that it was “deeply concerned that the current HPV vaccine shortage could result in failure to introduce or sustain programmes in some countries, particularly those with a high burden of cervical cancer.” (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.l6765)

Public health

Doctors call for action on poverty to boost life expectancy

Public health doctors called for “sustained action” by the government to tackle stalled life expectancy in Scotland. Experts have identified widespread low incomes as the leading cause of the trend. At the Faculty of Public Health’s annual conference held in Dunblane on 28-29 November, its president, Maggie Rae, said, “Many people are trying to survive on low incomes and in precarious employment. Social security has been reduced, and it’s difficult for people to get—and retain—the financial support they need. We also know that funding pressures on local government and the NHS are having an effect.” (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.l6760)

Scottish minister vows to tackle drug death “emergency”

The number of people dying from drug use in Scotland is a “public …

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