4/F Main Library

Jun 14 2013

Best of the Scout Report for 2013

  • Better Data, Better Health
  • There has been extended discussion about the ways in which better data can improve public health problems such as obesity, rising health care costs, and other areas of concern. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is intimately concerned with the possible applications of “big data”, and this site offers some fine commentary and reporting on this situation. A good place to start is the Q&A with RWJF Chief Technology and Information Officer Steve Downs. “Better Data = Better Health: Stories from the Field” looks at the applications of mobile health applications, GPS sensors in the service of tracking asthma symptoms, and much more. The footer of the site includes sections analyzing how data is transforming the overall health of communities. There are data sets, reports, rankings and access to publicly available reports that include information on the quality of care delivery, patient outcomes, and patient feedback on physicians, hospitals, and cost.

  • Frontline: Digital Nation
  • How is technology changing our lives? It’s a very difficult question to answer, but this engaging program from Frontline takes first steps into this brave new digital world. This website covers various topics such as Family/Children, Foreign Affairs/Defense, Government/Elections/Politics, Race/Multicultural and so on. On a note that appears on the site’s homepage, Rachel Dretzin (the producer) remarks that “Digital Nation is an effort to define this new space and to put some walls around it.” On the homepage, visitors can watch the entire 90-minute program and also view special segments such as Living Faster, Relationships, Waging War, and Virtual Worlds. The Virtual Worlds area is particularly compelling, as it looks at how virtual reality is being used to treat the post-traumatic stress disorder experienced by soldiers.

    [Source: Scout Report]


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May 23 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

Bureau of Labor Statistics: The Editor’s Desk

The Editor’s Desk (familiarly shortened TED) at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, brings out daily “fresh information from all over the Bureau,” coupled with intriguing data and links of note. On the site’s homepage, visitors will find sections like Topics, Archive by Year, Archive by Program, and About TED. The Topics area includes a panoply of subjects, such as Benefits, Projections, and Technology. The Recent Articles area contains links to pieces on job openings, payroll employment, and large technology firms. Additionally, the site contains an On Interest area which features statistical overviews of major trends in employment, health care, and collective bargaining.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 20, May 17, 2013]


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May 13 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

Urban Institute: CHA Families and the Plan for Transformation

The Urban Institute provides high-quality research on economic and social policy, addressing topics such as education, employment, crime, and governance. This clutch of documents looks at the transformation of the Chicago Housing Authority and the provision of public housing in the city. The five briefs “describe key successes and challenges faced by CHA and its residents.” Titles address topics like “How Chicago’s Public Housing Transformation Can Inform Federal Policy?” and “Chronic Violence: Beyond the Developments.” Along with these insightful documents, you can also look over the Previous Briefs area. Here you will find “The Health Crisis for CHA Families,” “CHA After Wells-Where are the Residents Now?” and a dozen other briefs.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 17, April 26, 2013]

OECD Working Papers Series
The mantra of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is “Better Policies for Better Lives.” OECD’s work spans the world and features a team of economists, sociologists, and others working on problems as diverse as higher education, access to clean water, and energy policy. The OECD Working Papers Series spans 19 crucial areas, including agriculture, development, environment, finance, and health care. You should definitely check out the Tourism papers, as they include the compelling work “Green Innovation in Tourism Services.” The Local Economic and Employment (LEED) papers are quite good as well, covering timely topics like urban governance and regional policy decision making. You can sign up to receive updates about new papers as they are released to the site.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 18, May 3, 2013]


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Apr 25 2012

Latest resources from Urban Institute

  2. Tax expenditures are getting increased scrutiny from budget hawks and tax reformers. New Treasury estimates, released as part of President Obama’s recent budget, indicate that these tax preferences will reduce individual and corporate income tax revenues by almost $1.1 trillion in 2012. Those provisions will also increase spending on refundable tax credits by $91 billion and will reduce payroll and excise tax receipts by $113 billion. Together, tax expenditures will total almost $1.3 trillion this year.
  3.  Institute’s Health Policy Center is tracking implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 10 states: Alabama, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Each case study chronicles successes and hurdles, with a special look at exchange establishment, private-market reforms, and preparations for Medicaid expansion.
  4. At a conference cosponsored by the Urban Institute, the Pension Rights Center, and Covington & Burling, Institute fellow Eugene Steuerle presented options for allowing workers to purchase annuities within Social Security, as well as granting partial benefits to accommodate phased retirement. While such options technically exist today, they are buried deep within the maze of Social Security’s complex provisions. Simplifying and clarifying these options would enable workers to provide themselves with a greater degree of inflation-protected longevity insurance in retirement.
  6.  “On health care, what’s ‘proper’?” – By Stan Dorn
    The most worrisome part of the Supreme Court’s three-day hearing on the Affordable Care Act completely escaped mention in all the oceans of real and virtual ink that were spilled to cover the case. Stan Dorn explains in his “proper” commentary for the McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
  8. Watch a spirited debate on such pressing issues as whether there should be a “Buffett Rule” to ensure that high-income taxpayers pay a minimum tax rate.
  10. Unemployment Statistics on Older Americans: Updated April 6, 2012” – By Richard Johnson and Janice Park
    Retirement Account Balances (Updated 4/12)” – By Barbara Butrica and Philip Issa


    [Source: Urban Institute]


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Apr 17 2012

Latest reports from IssueLab

  1. Affording Health Care and Education on the Minimum Wage
  2. Better Outcomes, Lower Costs: How Community-Based Funders Can Transform U.S. Health Care
  3. Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work
  4. The Devolution Initiative Evaluation: Innovation and Learning at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation
  5. Growth in World Contraceptive Use Stalling; 215 Million Women?s Needs Still Unmet
  6. The Impact on Inequality of Raising the Social Security Retirement Age
  7. Looking For Shadows: Evaluating Community Change in the Annie E. Casey Foundation Plain Talk Initiative
  8. Low-wage Workers Are Older and Better Educated than Ever
  9. Massachusetts Immigrants by the Numbers, Second Edition
  10. Looking Out for the Future: An Orientation for Twenty-First Century Philanthropists
  11. The Minimum Wage Is Too Damn Low
[Source: IssueLab]

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Aug 22 2011

Impact Factors for Routledge Public Health & Social Care Journals

The following shows 2010 Impact Factors for selected journals from the Routledge Public Health & Social Care Portfolio:


            HKUL users can access the journal via http://library.hku.hk/record=b2512991


            HKUL users can access the journal via http://library.hku.hk/record=b2516430


            HKUL users can access the journal via http://library.hku.hk/record=b1972613


            HKUL users can access the journal via http://library.hku.hk/record=b2081920


            HKUL users can access the journal via http://library.hku.hk/record=b2518153


            HKUL users can access the journal via http://library.hku.hk/record=b3816852



            HKUL users can access the journal via http://library.hku.hk/record=b1982327


            HKUL users can access the journal via http://library.hku.hk/record=b1983156


            HKUL users can access the journal via http://library.hku.hk/record=b2074418


            HKUL users can access the journal via  http://library.hku.hk/record=b2626274



(*All figures © 2011 Thomson Reuters, 2010 Journal Citation Reports®)


Routledge announced that Global Public Health has been accepted into the Thomson Reuters Social Sciences Citation Index® and will receive its first Impact Factor in 2012. HKUL users can access this journal via  http://library.hku.hk/record=b4323728


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Jun 30 2010

WHO Launches Global Network of Age-friendly Cities

News Release WHO/16


29 JUNE 2010 | GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO) today launches the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities as part of a broader response to the rapid ageing of populations. Populations in almost every corner of the world are growing older. The greatest changes are occurring in less-developed countries. By 2050, it is estimated that 80% of the expected 2 billion people aged 60 years or over will live in low or middle income countries. The Network aims to help cities create urban environments that allow older people to remain active and healthy participants in society.


While the response to population ageing has often focussed on the implications for governments of increasing demand for pensions and health care, WHO tries to place more emphasis on the positive contributions older people make to society. “Older people are a vital, and often overlooked, resource for families and for society.” said Dr John Beard. Director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course at WHO ” Their contribution will only be fully realised if they maintain their health and if the barriers that prevent them engaging in family and community life are broken down”.


The WHO Age-friendly Cities initiative began in 2006 by identifying the key elements of the urban environment that support active and healthy ageing. Research from 33 cities, confirmed the importance for older people of access to public transport, outdoor spaces and buildings, as well as the need for appropriate housing, community support and health services. But it also highlighted the need to foster the connections that allow older people to be active participants in society, to overcome ageism and to provide greater opportunities for civic participation and employment.


The Global Network builds on these principles but takes them a significant step further by requiring participating cities to commence an ongoing process of assessment and implementation. Network members are committed to taking active steps to creating a better environment for their older residents.


Since invitations to join the Network were sent out last December, WHO has been swamped by responses. Many individual cities, both large and small have formally applied to join the Network. WHO has also established formal agreements with the French government, the Irish Ageing Well Network and the Slovenian Network of Age-friendly Cities to develop affiliated national programmes. The China National Committee on Ageing has also indicated interest in developing a national programme, and 5 Canadian Provinces are running complementary initiatives.


New York City is the first city to join the network. Today, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg with be presented with the first certificate of membership.


For more information, please contact:


WHO Communications office: +41 22 791 2222; E-mail: mediainquiries@who.int


Dr John Beard, Director, Department of Ageing and Life Course, WHO, Geneva,
Telephone: +41 22 791 3404; Mobile: +41 79 517 3672; E-mail: beardj@who.int


More information on ageing could be found at: http://www.who.int/topics/ageing/en/


All WHO information can be found at: www.who.int


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Nov 17 2008

Medical logistics effort to DRC intensifies, but clearer picture of on-the-ground situation needed

Published by under Medicine
Tags: , ,

14 NOVEMBER 2008 | GOMA/KAMPALA/DUBAI/BRINDISI – A massive logistics effort is under way to ensure continuous supply of life-saving medicines to hundreds of thousands in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As part of that effort, starting tomorrow, Saturday, 15 November, 22 tons of medical supplies, including anti-diarrhoeal disease medicines, will leave Kampala for Goma on an arduous three to four day truck journey. While the difficulties in transporting these supplies are immense, the biggest challenges are to identify exactly where these medicines are needed most and for which health conditions.

“We know that communicable diseases and lack of health care will be the major killers, but what we don’t know in enough detail is how big the problems are in each specific location,” said Dr Alessandro Loretti, Director of Emergency Operations for the World Health Organization’s Health Action in Crises Cluster.

“We are working in a vast insecure area, where health systems are under extreme stress, communities are scattered, isolated and moving and roads are poorly maintained,” Dr Matthieu Kamwa, WHO Representative to the Democratic Republic of the Congo added. “People’s health needs stem from lack of security, food, water, sanitation and health care. Our challenge is to define how many people are at risk exactly where in North and South Kivu.”

It is this clarity that is being sought now by WHO and other health agencies. These groups are working together as part of the Health Cluster that coordinates the delivery of health services to those affected.

Almost 60 tons of emergency health supplies, which have been donated by the Italian and Norwegian governments and flown from Oslo, Brindisi and Dubai into Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

From Kampala, the supplies will continue into numerous points in eastern and northern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kampala was chosen as a safe location to store the materials amid fears that they could have been damaged or stolen if stored in the conflict area. It is likely that more supplies will be needed if the crisis ends or not.

The World Food Programme is providing WHO with critical support to deliver by air and land, as well as to safely store, these supplies. What is available now can treat and protect up to 300 000 people for one month for conditions ranging from cholera, measles, malaria and violence-related wounds.

At least 20 local health facilities were functioning in North Kivu before the recent escalation of violence. But today, WHO is aware of only one of these facilities operating in Goma and one in Rutshuru. Separately, multiple temporary health facilities have been established by NGOs. Health facilities have been looted and damaged, while national health workers have also been forced to leave their posts and flee with their families. This void is being filled by NGO health staff.

Irrespective of violence, most people die from unnecessary, easily avoidable causes due to banal situations. In such complex emergencies, pregnant women and their infants could die if deliveries occur without medical assistance. Also, untreated pneumonia, measles, malaria and even common diarrhoea will kill children in such situations.

For more information please contact:
Paul Garwood
Communications Officer
Health Action in Crises
WHO, Geneva
Telephone: +41 22 791 3462
Mobile: +41 794 755546
E-mail: garwoodp@who.int


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Nov 03 2008


Published by under Medicine
Tags: , ,

31 OCTOBER 2008 | GOMA/GENEVA – The World Health Organization and Italy will be sending 10 tonnes of medical supplies to help the tens of thousands of people affected by the ongoing insecurity in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Intensive efforts are needed to prevent the spread of communicable diseases among the fleeing population and to treat the physical trauma caused by the violence.  

The World Health Organization is coordinating the health response to the emergency, and today convened an urgent meeting of partners including UN agencies, international and national nongovernmental organization and government health providers. The meeting was held to identify the urgent health needs confronting those in the affected areas.

The Government of Italy and WHO are sending a shipment of essential medicines that can assist 60 000 people for one month, along with drugs and supplies to treat diarrhoeal diseases, malaria and trauma injuries. WHO has already provided emergency medical supplies from its stocks to NGOs operating in Goma, the main city in eastern DRC.  

WHO has also helped re-establish activities of the blood bank at Goma’s main hospital, where staffing shortages and insecurity had hampered its operations. Staffing and financial support have been provided by WHO to ensure the bank’s operations. 

Major health concerns in the region include:

  • The widespread threat of violence that translates into deadly wounds, sexual violence, and mental and psychosocial traumas;
  • Limited or no access to food that can result in acute malnutrition;
  • Limited access to water and appropriate sanitation, which can cause outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases;
  • A lack of shelter and consequent acute respiratory infections;                 
  • Low vaccine-coverage, combined with mass displacement, will contribute to the spread of measles, a highly fatal illness in such emergency situations;
  • Loss of access to reproductive health services contributes to high numbers of maternal and neonatal deaths;
  • Limited essential drugs contributes and restricted access the health facilities contributes to increased illness and death;
  • The breakdown of the disease surveillance system in the face of the growing risk of outbreaks.

For further information and interviews, contact:

Paul Garwood, Communications Officer, WHO, Health Action in Crises, Geneva
Telephone: +41 22 791 3462, Mobile: +41 794 755546, E-mail: garwoodp@who.int

Eug鋝e Kabambi, Information officer, WHO DRC, Emergency Humanitarian Action

Telephone: + 472 41 39 025, Mobile: +243 (0) 81 715 16 97

Email: kabambie@cd.afro.who.int

 All WHO information, fact sheet and news releases are available at www.who.int.


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