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Beyond the Data

Beyond the Data brings you “take home” messages for you to use in your practice, in your classroom and in your home.

January 2015

Beyond the Data -- Understanding the Causes of Major Birth Defects: Steps to Prevention

Dr. John Iskander and Dr. Allen Mitchell discuss some of the public health advances in preventing birth defects. Birth defects are common, occurring in 1 in 33 pregnancies and affecting 120,000 babies born each year. While the vast majority of their causes remain unknown, there is much that public health workers and individuals can do to reduce the risk of birth defects.

Public health workers must continue to:

  • Identify genetic and environmental causes of birth defects,
  • Monitor medications that may increase or decrease risk to pregnant women and
  • Implement simple interventions that may help to reduce risk.

Individuals must:

  • Manage pre-pregnancy obesity,
  • Control blood sugar and diabetes and
  • Avoid smoking.

February 2015

Beyond the Data -- Global Polio Eradication: Reaching Every Last Child

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Elias Durry discuss the challenges in eradicating polio worldwide. Reaching every last child and making the world polio free is possible, but everyone has to do their part.

  • Public health agencies must continue to strengthen surveillance systems and immunization programs,
  • Governments must support the efforts of vaccinators by ensuring safe environments to work and
  • Community leaders must partner with vaccinators to educate their communities.

March 2015

Beyond the Data - Addressing Preparedness Challenges for Children in Public Health Emergencies

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Georgina Peacock discuss ways in which we can better provide for the needs of children during public health disasters. We have made great strides over the years but there is always more work to do.

Public health systems must:

  • Ensure medications and equipment for children are readily available
  • Continue to provide recommendations to help everyone prepare for disasters

Families need to:

  • Have extra medication and supplies on hand in case of evacuation
  • Identify alternative power options for medical equipment in the event there is a power outage

Health professionals can

  • Participate in disaster drills to identify ways in which they can provide assistance
  • Use available resources to educate families on planning for emergencies

 

April 2015

Beyond the Data - Prevention and Control of Skin Cancer

Dr. John Iskander and Admiral Boris Lushniak discuss the dangers of skin cancer and the actions that individuals, clinicians, policy makers and public health professionals can take to help people protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors.

Individuals should:

  • Avoid natural and artificial tanning
  • Seek shade, especially during peak sun
  • Put on sunscreen and protective clothing

Clinicians should:

  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of skin cancer
  • Be knowledgeable about proper diagnosis             

Policy makers should:

  • Introduce shade policies in outdoor recreation areas
  • Consider restrictions on the use of artificial tanning facilities

Public Health must:

  • Improve surveillance efforts
  • Identify prevention strategies that work
  • Strengthen communication about the risks

 

May 2015

Beyond the Data -- Dengue and Chikungunya in Our Backyard: Preventing Aedes Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Marc Fischer discuss the diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitos and some practical ways individuals can protect themselves.

Individuals should limit exposure to mosquitos by

  • Using repellants when outdoors
  • Emptying standing water sources around their homes
  • Wearing long pants and long-sleeves and
  • Ensuring that window and door screens are intact

Providers should

  • Take advantage of CDC’s clinical case management training
  • Be aware of signs and symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases
  • Page last reviewed: January 22, 2015
  • Page last updated: January 22, 2015
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