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complications, international perspectives on malpractice,medicolegal systems, anaesthesia, transfusion, mass screening,nerve lesions, patients’ complaints, endoscopy, and brain death.ISPIC plans to hold its next international conference in England

(probably in Oxford) in June/July, 1992. Prof Bernard Knight(Cardiff), the programme chairman, would be pleased to receivesuggestions for topics and speakers. Those wishing to join ISPIC(annual subscription US$100) should write to the secretary-general, Dr Ole Winding, Institute of Hygiene, University ofCopenhagen, 21 Blegdamsvej, DK2100, Denmark. From 1991subscriptions will include receipt of I SPIC’s new quarterly journal,latrogenics, which is to be published by Blackwell and MunksgaardInternational. Papers should be submitted to the editor, Prof L.Levin, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College Street, POBox 3333, New Haven, Connecticut, 06510-8034 USA. Fax (203)777-7641.

Training in drug abuse

The UK Government is keen to tackle drug abuse, and recentpublicity about the perils of crack and similar cocaine derivatives hasgiven more than usual urgency to this hardy perennial of HomeOffice philosophy. But such policies will be hard to implementwithout adequate numbers of properly trained staff and adequatecoordination between the various local and national agencies thatmight be involved with the identification and care of drug abusers.Staff numbers are still low, but their training has now beenaddressed in a report1 from the Advisory Council on the Misuse ofDrugs. The council suggests that more and better drugs trainingshould be made available both in the community and withinprobation and prison services, and during medical, paramedical,and social work training. The council concludes that if the UK is tobe seen to take seriously its response to problem drug use it will haveto find the will and the resources to enhance the extent and quality oftraining.

1. Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Problem drug use: a review of training.London: HM Stationery Office, 1990. Pp 87. £5.50. ISBN 0-113409761.

A penny a dayIf a jumbo jet carrying 250 passengers (99% of them women)crashed every four hours with no survivors there would be a publicoutcry. But no less horrific is the death every 60 seconds somewherein the world of a woman from pregnancy, childbirth, or inducedabortion. What can be done to reduce such needless death? The

answer, according to Family Health International,! is a greatercommitment of resources from industrialised nations ("aninvestment of one cent per day per taxpayer") to family planningtoday so that the world population will stabilise in the twenty-firstcentury. Family Health International reminds us that familyplanning services have an immediate and powerful impact onmaternal and child health, and that with effective services, a nation’spopulation growth can decrease steadily and rapidly, leading tolong-term and short-term effects on all other aspects ofsocioeconomic development. Moreover, in many developingcountries women want to limit or space future births. Increased

contraceptive use is already happening (eg, in Thailand from 15 %in 1970 to nearly 70% in 1988) and there is a need to maintain thistrend. Currently, all family planning efforts in the Third World costabout US$3 billion per year; only 1-3% of total overseas

development aid from industrialised nations is targeted to familyplanning. Although there was a 30% increase from 1980 to 1985 inmoney for population assistance to less developed countries, in 1986and 1987 the amount fell and has remained stagnant. "If we cannot

spend a penny a day on family planning, the world our children willinherit will be unnecessarily crowded, economically strained andenvironmentally devastated."

1. A penny a day. Family Health International, PO Box 13950, Research Tnangle Park,NC 27709, USA.

European Society for the Study and Preventionof Infant Death

This society has been formed to facilitate the exchange ofinformation relating to unexpected and other child deaths

throughout Europe, and to develop joint research and care projectsthroughout Europe. A working party has already been appointed toset up centres in various countries in Europe to conductstandardised and detailed investigations into unexpected childdeaths. A founding congress is planned for March, 1991, in Rouen(France), at which the charter of the society will be presented. Thesecretary of the Society is Prof Andre Kahn, University Hospital forChildren Queen Fabiola, Avenue J. J. Crocq 15, 1020 Brussels,Belgium.

Gastro guideAn increase in the number of self-help groups for people withdigestive diseases and liver disorders has prompted the publicationof The Gastro Guide,’ a list of support organisations in English-speaking countries, including contact groups, set up so that patientsor relatives with rare conditions can exchange views by letter ortelephone. The guide also lists organisations for people with eatingdisorders, alcohol addiction, and AIDS. Each entry has details ofthe type of support available, whether a membership fee is charged,and whether counselling is available in other languages.

1. The Gastro Guide. By John F. Mayberry. Lancashire: Link Publishing, 1990.Available from Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd, Grove, Wantage, Oxon OX12 0DQ.

Cystic fibrosis booklet

Prof David Brock, professor of human genetics at EdinburghUniversity, has written a simple introduction to the genetics ofcystic fibrosis for the Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust. Genetics,Carrier Tests & Tests During Pregnancy can be obtained from thetrust at Alexandra House, 5 Blyth Road, Bromley, Kent BR1 3RS.A donation towards postage would be welcome.

At St Thomas’ Hospital on June 28, Dr Munther Khamashta was presentedwith the SmithKline Beecham/European League Against RheumatismScholarship, worth$6000, in recognition of his work in the Lupus ResearchUnit, St Thomas’ Hospital.

In England Now

"Morning Trevor." "Morning Don." "What now Trevor, youlook really crippled." "It’s this down below trouble again. No cure.I’ve had the operation." "Maybe I can help you, Trevor."

I had found through good fortune, a lot of hard thinking, and alittle monetary outlay that I had really and truly conquered thescourge and problems of piles. For I too had had the operation andmy discomfort had returned. So what cured me? Simply thereplacement of my bath with a shower and a bidet. The bidet wasthe important factor and, with good old fashioned HO to follow allevacuations, medical comfort was immediate. Complete comfortcame with the anointment of Johnson’s Baby Cream-the pre 1985product, not Johnson’s Baby Moisturising Cream, which, sadly, Ifind is astringent. Johnson’s have been informed of myobservations. ,

Back to Trevor though. "A bidet costing around ;E250 alltold-the price of a holiday-with baby cream to follow everyevacuation." "I’ll tell our Doreen." A week later Trevor was still

limping pitifully, though perhaps less badly than before. "I told ourDoreen. She said I could use our Annie’s bidet-they’ve had one foryears, ever since she went to France on a school exchange holiday."Well, daughter Annie lives 200 yards down the lane from Trevorand Doreen. "But Trevor, the whole idea of a bidet is to use itimmediately after evacuation-not to go marching up the lane withyour braces dangling!"

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