This annual International Health Lecture is organised by the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Lancet. It is a platform for leaders in global health to discuss topics of international significance, promoting debate, discussion and the exchange of ideas on current research. It attracts a diverse international audience. The 2020 lecture took place on 2 November and can be accessed online; it is just under two hours long. There was an excellent introduction by Professor Richard Horton, Executive Editor of the Lancet, and three main speakers…

COVID-19 – The fallacy of “herd immunity” and the John Snow Memorandum

In correspondence published in The Lancet, a group of researchers warned that the so-called herd immunity approach to managing Covid-19, that is, allowing people in low-risk populations to become infected for immunity to develop, while protecting the most vulnerable, is “a dangerous fallacy unsupported by the scientific evidence”. Faced with a second wave of Covid-19, and more than a million recorded deaths worldwide as of 12 October, the authors present their view of the evidence-based consensus on Covid-19.

INDONESIA – Online abortion drug sales in Indonesia: a quality of care assessment

This study sought to understand the experience of buying misoprostol online for pregnancy termination in Indonesia. We conducted a mystery client study August through October 2019. Interactions were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively, along with the contents of the packages. One hundred ten sellers were contacted, from whom mystery clients made 76 purchases and received 64 drug packages. Almost all sellers sold “packets” containing multiple drugs; 73 percent of packets contained misoprostol, and 47 percent contained at least 800 mcg of misoprostol.