Barbara Glickstein's, (Public health nurse and Cofounder and Director of the Center for Health Media and Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York) interview with NPA's President Deborah Z Altschuler. The Barbara Glickstein podcast segments are part of an educational outreach project produced by Dan Gingold and Zach Kuperstein with LaShawn McGhee as editor.Podcast of Barbara Glickstein Interview (part 1) - (114MB)Podcast of Barbara Glickstein Interview (part 2) - (58MB)Download the 25th Anniversary Podcast! - Choose Podcast MP3 or Podcast iTunes …
By Deborah Z. Altschuler
"With the exception of an occasional accolade for all the hard work that goes into being an activist, I generally find myself resenting the term."
To paraphrase an old proverb, Citizen Activists will never disappoint you if you observe two rules: 1. Find out what they are; 2. Expect them to be just that. Many of us come naturally to advocacy in our role as parents. The activist in public health, however, can face a peculiar set of problems.
Regarding Pediculosis, the consensus among contemporary physicians is that head lice are essentially a nuisance, leaving treatment protocols to the pharmaceutical manufacturers who market pediculicides for direct application to human skin. Although it can be a positive force, the pharmaceutical industry is not a proper guardian of children's health.
This is where the activist evolves into educator, support system and collector of personal accounts - sometimes appalling - of families and individuals who have suffered from unnecessary, unsuccessful or excessive chemical treatments. The activist must do what disinterested experts will not do: investigate the origin, …
By Deborah Z. Altschuler
“They use combing to validate an active infestation, quantify lice and nits by counting what the comb removes from their test subjects, as well as confirm and compare therapeutic efficacy.”
The March 11, 2010 New England Journal of Medicine published a study comparing the use of a pesticide called malathion to the use of an oral antibiotic called ivermectin to determine the efficacy of each in treating children with head lice (pediculosis). http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/362/10/896
According to this report, head lice are universal human parasites affecting over 100 million people worldwide each year. The study was conducted on children who had already been treated with topical insecticides yet continued to have live lice. “Infestation was confirmed and monitored by means of fine-toothed combing.” Adverse events for the participants included gastroenteritis, nausea, vomiting, impetigo and convulsions.
The ivermectin (antibiotic) comparison study was performed on children as young as …