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COVID-19: time for paradigm shift in the nexus between local, national and global health
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  • Published on:
    COVID-19 restrictions and fathers of infants in neonatal care
    • Minesh Khashu, Neonatologist Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

    We fully agree with the authors in terms of need for a paradigm shift. We have called it a 'pandemic' but response has been largely country centric and not at all global.

    We would also like to highlight a typical reactionary response globally leading to exclusion of fathers from maternity and neonatal units.

    The Covid-19 pandemic is dividing families all over the world, especially at a time when togetherness is particularly important, such as at the time of birth, death and illness. Many families are experiencing situations that are prone to leave life-long scars.
    While the protection of the health of staff and mothers is of paramount importance, social distancing, curbs to travel and additional restrictions to presence of parents instituted by maternity and neonatal units across the world have created obvious difficulties for families. Having a sick baby in a neonatal unit during this pandemic is a particularly intense hardship for families. We are well aware of negative impacts of separation on children and families and the pandemic related restrictions have made this worse for the whole family, perhaps more so for parents of preterm and sick newborns.
    We have previously highlighted, along with many others, the importance of optimising fathers’ experiences in the neonatal unit (Ref 1-8) and suggested a focus on a co-parenting paradigm with a clear set of recommendations for neonatal and maternity services (Ref 1).
    Even though we...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Health and Disease - Just Two States of the Same System

    Paul et al [1] argue for a systemic approach to global health policy. This shift is long overdue, and as they pointed out systems thinking has long been suppressed by the all-powerful reductionist research industry.

    Part of the problem is understanding of health and disease as distinctly dichotomous. However, the experience of health and dis-ease are dynamic as much in the presence as absence of identifiable disease [2]. In addition, health, illness dis-ease and disease occur on a continuum in the same person over time. It entails a continuous change in the physiological dynamics within the person that ultimately leads to changes that we recognise as one or the other disease. The process can lead to multiple expressions of disease, nevertheless, they are nothing more than the result of the overall physiological dysfunction within the same person [3].

    As is well known health and disease disparities follow the socioeconomic gradient [4]. The question arises – how? There is increasing evidence from psychoneuroimmunology research that shows the longterm effects of psychosocial stress on the physiological stress response pathways resulting in chronic inflammatory dysregulation and its link to disease burden [5, 6].

    Taken together, these findings provide a complex adaptive system explanation of the nature of health and disease arising through the network interaction between our environmental, socio-cultural and economic-political contexts and our biological...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.