Monday, 26 January 2009

Don't forget the milk!

The Calgary Herald recently published our letter to editor, entitled "It wouldn't be Kraft Dinner without the milk," in which we underscore the seriousness of food insecurity as a public health problem.

I was especially gratified to see the Herald print this submission because despite the Herald did not pick up on our efforts to publicize the food insecurity situation back in August 2007.

The $20K donation from Telus reported in the original story will go towards public education, according to sources at the Calgary Food Bank.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Today, I received official notification that Social Science & Medicine will publish a paper entitled, "Animal-human connections, 'one health,' and the syndemic approach to prevention."

In this paper, my co-authors (Bonnie Buntain, Jennifer Hatfield, and Benedikt Hallgrímsson) and I expand on the conceptualization of syndemics to take into account interactions between health problems in animal and human populations.

We suggest the following definition:
two or more afflictions that interact synergistically within the context of specific physical and social environments, especially as a result of inequality within and between human populations, to produce excess disease burdens in a human population, an animal population, or multiple such populations.

One example is HIV/AIDS in conjunction with so-called bovine tuberculosis, which afflicts people and many other warm-blooded animals besides cows. Another is domestic or interpersonal violence, which often implicates a victim's pet.

And we argue for changes to educational and research funding policies...