Preventing Malaria Infection

An antibody drug called CIS43LS prevents malaria infection by interrupting the lifecycle of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. The antibody binds to and neutralizes sporozoites, the stage of the parasite transmitted from mosquitos to humans. NIH

“One dose of an antibody drug safely protected healthy, non-pregnant adults from malaria infection during an intense six-month malaria season in Mali, Africa, a National Institutes of Health clinical trial has found. The antibody was up to 88.2% effective at preventing infection over a 24-week period, demonstrating for the first time that a monoclonal antibody can prevent malaria infection in an endemic region. These findings were published today in The New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene 2022 Annual Meeting in Seattle.

‘We need to expand the arsenal of available interventions to prevent malaria infection and accelerate efforts to eliminate the disease,’ said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH. ‘These study results suggest that a monoclonal antibody could potentially complement other measures to protect travelers and vulnerable groups such as infants, children, and pregnant women from seasonal malaria and help eliminate malaria from defined geographical areas.'”

More on Monoclonal antibody prevents malaria infection in African adults Antibody protected NIH clinical trial participants during six-month malaria season via NIH.

You also might be interested in mosquitoes that can’t spread malaria engineered by scientists via Science Daily.

Hack the Hospital 2

“The room of the future from the patients’ eyes” – Hack the Hospital 2

Open roundtable with representatives and families from the Sant Joan de Déu, Sick Kids and GOSH around pediatric patients and hospital rooms

November 8, 2022
6 PM CET (Barcelona) / 5 PM GMT (London) / 12 PM EDT (Toronto)
Free event – Zoom

Join our one hour special roundtable conversation starring 3 pediatric patients and their families who have experienced long-term stays at the leading pediatric hospitals of Sant Joan de Déu (Barcelona), Great Ormond Street (London), and SickKids (Toronto)!

This will be a conversation between 3 families and 3 professional representatives (one from each hospital) to discuss what is it to experience a long-stay in a hospital room? And how important are user experience, psychology, innovation and the spatial considerations when designing in a pediatric healthcare environment.

We’d like the roundtable participants to think about:
How did a long stay the hospital room make them feel?
How could hospital rooms be improved to make the children and family stay a much better experience?

This roundtable sets the context of HACK THE HOSPITAL 2, a hackathon designed to enable discussion and development of ideas to improve the experience of children, young people and families who need to stay in-hospital.

This year’s edition sets out to explore the design of the hospital room of the future and welcomes participants specialized in the areas of #healthcare, #tech, #business and #creativity.

Join us – open call.
More info:

The Power of Negative Thinking

Artist: Freehand X

“Positive thinking, we’re told endlessly, is absolutely essential at every minute if we hope to lead happy, successful lives: only through positive thinking will we achieve our ambitions and be winners instead of losers. Cartloads of self-help books, well-paid motivational speakers and lifestyle gurus all emphatically promote this drive to focus always on positive thinking. ‘It’s necessary to get losers out of your life if you ever want to live your dream,’ says self-help guru Les Brown, presumably eschewing all losers and living his.’ Positive thinking, we’re told endlessly, is absolutely essential at every minute if we hope to lead happy, successful lives: only through positive thinking will we achieve our ambitions and be winners instead of losers. Cartloads of self-help books, well-paid motivational speakers and lifestyle gurus all emphatically promote this drive to focus always on positive thinking. ‘It’s necessary to get losers out of your life if you ever want to live your dream,’ says self-help guru Les Brown, presumably eschewing all losers and living his.

We’re likewise endlessly told that negative thinking, is a definite no-no, only for wet blanket losers. But is this true? Is it true that positive thinking is always the best approach, or could it be, in fact, that some good old negative thinking might actually enable us to live our lives more effectively, efficiently and happily than optimism will? Well, apparently, it does! It turns out this full-tilt drive for constant positivity is being somewhat mis-sold us. So cheer up, wet blanket negative thinkers, if you dare! You may actually have got it right!

Negativity, this radio series explains, is a better spur to suitable action than unwarranted, blind hope, and can prove enormously constructive. Instinctive emotions like fear, anxiety and self-doubt serve an important, positive purpose, just as long as self-doubt is tempered by self-compassion. Self-doubt brings greater flexibility and consideration to plans and actions with a willingness to change tack instead of a moving in a headlong, inflexible rush, while pessimism can actually spell success. The very best, most successful lawyers and surgeons are, the presenter tells us, pessimists – those who examine a job from every possible angle, suspicious that any little thing could go wrong at any moment and get ready for it.”

Read more here via Mature Times.

Listen to the podcast here: THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING A Radio 4 Broadcast and Podcast

Pancreatic Cancer: Early Detection

“Internationally acclaimed violinist Geoff Nuttall, a founding member of Canadian premier chamber ensemble the St. Lawrence String Quartet, passed away this week of cancer at the age of 56. Mr. Nuttall was deeply connected to The Royal Conservatory of Music, as a musician, teacher, and artist.”

“Currently, no screening tests exist that can catch pancreatic cancer early, before symptoms develop. NCI is now funding several large research projects that are working to develop such an early-detection tool. 

One known risk factor for developing pancreatic cancer is a new diagnosis of diabetes, sometimes called new-onset diabetes. About 1 in 100 people with new onset diabetes are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within 3 years after learning they have diabetes. And 1 in 4 people who get pancreatic cancer had already been diagnosed with diabetes.

The NCI-funded New Onset Diabetes (NOD) Study, which is scheduled to run through 2025, is currently enrolling 10,000 people with new-onset diabetes or hyperglycemia (also known as prediabetes). The NOD researchers hope to develop a blood test that can identify the few individuals with a new diabetes diagnosis who may need further testing for pancreatic cancer.

Other NCI-funded teams, coordinated through the Pancreatic Cancer Detection Consortium (PCDC), are trying to create a blood test that could pick up early pancreatic cancer in the general population. PCDC researchers are also working to improve imaging of the pancreas, by developing methods that may be able to pick up tiny deposits of tumor cells.”

Learn more here.

Resident-Led Movember Fundraiser!

“Since 2004, the Movember Foundation charity has run Movember events to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and depression, in Australia and New Zealand. In 2007, events were launched in Ireland, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan and the United States. As of 2011, Canadians were the largest contributors to the Movember charities of any nation.

How to get involved: Sign up using the link below, and invite your preceptors to do the same. Then, throughout the month of November, commit to moving (“Move”mber) by walking or running 60km over the month. As another option, you can commit to growing a moustache for the 30 days of November. The idea behind the increase in physical activity and/or the moustache is that they provide opportunities to engage in important conversations about men’s health with those around you, and thus help you raise funds!”

Abbotsford-Mission Movember team page here.

Thank you for your time,

Dr. Justin Dhinsa
Abbotsford-Mission Family Practice Residency Program

Architect of Your Future Self

“‘You are constantly becoming a new person,’ says journalist Shankar Vendantam. In a talk full of beautiful storytelling, he explains the profound impact of something he calls the ‘illusion of continuity’ — the belief that our future selves will share the same views, perspectives and hopes as our current selves — and shows how we can more proactively craft the people we are to become.” via TED

Jazz & the ‘Art’ of Medicine

Doreen Ketchens plays “When The Saints Go Marching In”.

“Improvisation is an important aspect of patient-physician communication. It is also a defining feature of jazz music performance. This essay uses examples from jazz to illustrate principles of improvisation that relate to an individual communication act (ie, building space into one’s communication), a physician’s communicative style (i.e., developing one’s voice), and the communicative process of the medical encounter (i.e., achieving ensemble). At all 3 levels, the traditions of jazz improvisation can inform efforts to research and teach medical interviewing by fostering a contextualized view of patient-physician communication.”

Jazz and the ‘Art’ of Medicine: Improvisation in the Medical Encounter via Annals of Family Medicine.

September 30, 2022: Orange Shirt Day | National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Every child matters. On September 30th, people across Canada wear orange and participate in Orange Shirt Day events to recognize and raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada.

The Canadian government designated September 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, beginning in 2021. This responds to Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 80, which states that the federal government will work with Indigenous people to establish a statutory day to “honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process”. 

Orange Shirt Day originates from the story of Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. In 1973, on her first day at St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake, BC, Phyllis’s shiny new orange shirt was stripped from her, never to be seen again. 

40 years later, on September 30th, 2013, Phyllis spoke publicly for the first time about her experience, and thus began the Orange Shirt Day movement.

Artwork by Musqueam artist Darryl Blyth

Learn more here.

Health Care and Medical Education to Promote Women’s Health in Iran

Cut It Out 2022 Artist: Marco Melgrati @Melgratillustr

Background: The aim of this paper is to present a synthesis of solutions for post-graduate medical education (PGME) and the health-care system in addressing challenges in relation to women’s health.

Methods: A critical review was conducted within three themes: women’s health status, women’s preferences for female physicians, and women in surgery. The study was conducted in two phases that consisted of an analysis of the trends of Iranian women’s health and women’s participation in PGME since 1979 followed by a thematic analysis to assess the current challenges and their implications on medical education.

Results: Our analysis revealed important trends and challenges. Since 1979, life expectancy has increased by 29% in Iranian women, while female adult mortality rate has decreased by 78%, and maternal mortality rate has decreased by 80%. The number of female medical specialists has increased by 933% , while the number of female subspecialists has increased by 1700%. According to our review, ten major challenges regarding women’s health were identified: 1) Increase in chronic disease; 2) Increase in cancer cases; 3) Preference for same-gender physicians in sensitive procedures; 4) Delayed care-seeking due to lack of female surgeons; 5) Lack of gender-concordance in clinical settings; 6) Underestimating female surgeons’ capabilities; 7) Female physicians’ work-family conflicts; 8) Male-dominancy in surgical departments; 9) Women’s under-representation in higher rank positions; and 10) Lack of women in academic leadership.

Conclusion: We identified different solutions to bridge these gaps. Community-based education, Gender- concordant considerations, and empowering women in surgical departments could help medical education policy makers to address the challenges.

Learn more: Health Care and Medical Education to Promote Women’s Health in Iran; Four Decades Efforts, Challenges and Recommendations via Arch Iran Med.