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Tatum Anderson

Journalist, writer and editor

Location icon United Kingdom

I write. I love fiction, journalism and science writing.

Fiction: My first novel, Bad Material, completed during an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London, has been highly commended at the BPA First Novel Award 2020. Mengo Baby is my second novel. It has been highly commended at the Peggy Chapman First Novel Award, part of the Bridport Prize 2020. I am doing a PhD at Birkbeck on fiction in a post-truth era.

Journalism: I have worked as a journalist for over 20 years.My stories have been published in the WHO Bulletin and The Lancet to the Guardian, IP-Watch, Health Policy Watch, The Economist, SciDev.net, BMJ, BBC News and Nature. I write about access to medicines and healthcare – whether it's on affordable insulin and the opioid crisis, fake news on vaccines, pandemics and treating cancer in resource-poor settings. I've covered Ebola to cholera, TB to Zika and COVID-19. I write about scientists, policy makers, patients and health workers from Africa to Asia.

My articles encompass science, technology, international development and business. I edit too; magazines, reports, and news service copy.

I work on freelance commissions, primarily writing features and in-depth profiles. I have contributed articles to a wide range of conference newspapers, including the daily newspaper for the Congress of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology International meeting.

You can reach me at tatumnanderson at gmail.com

Below is a small selection of my work.

Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Mental health in the pandemic

The psychological repercussions of COVID-19 have engendered multiple ad hoc initiatives and raised awareness of the need for investment in mental health services. Tatum Anderson reports.

Bulletin of the World Health Organization
COVID 19 and the oxygen bottleneck

The COVID 19 pandemic is exposing an important weakness in health systems: medical oxygen production and delivery. Tatum Anderson reports.

Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Providing mothers with fetal heart monitors

When Rebecca Molubah (not her real name) entered the busy government hospital in Gbarnga, Liberia, to give birth to her second child, she was anxious about her prospects. Having been through the experience eight years earlier, the 32-year-old knew what it was like to give birth without any sort of pain relief.

Novel Shortlist 2020

The shortlisted novels for the Peggy Chapman-Andrews first novel award are: Mengo Baby The Cocklers Dog Helen and the Fires The Silence Project Congratulations to all the writers, who must remain anonymous whilst the judging process continues…

Story Radio @ The Waterloo Festival
The Invisibles by Tatum Anderson

Tatum Anderson is a journalist and writer from London and The Invisibles tells of her time as an inpatient at St Thomas's Hospital.

Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Intensifying vaccine production

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused attention on the need for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, at least 43 of which are currently in development. After the necessary trials in humans, the hope is that one or more of these candidate vaccines will emerge as a safe and cost-effective response to the pandemic - possibly in the next twelve months.

Blue Pencil Agency: Novel Editorial Services, Retreats, Workshops
2020 First Novel Award Shortlist - Blue Pencil Agency

We are thrilled to announce the First Novel Award 2020 shortlist. This year's judges, literary agents Caroline Wood and Carrie Plitt from Felicity Bryan Agency and best-selling author Anna Hope (Expectation, The Ballroom, Wake), found it difficult to choose six titles from an impressive longlist.

International Hospitals and Healthcare Review
Urgent care facilities in the healthcare market

Feeling ill, but not an emergency case? Increasingly, in big cities at least, there is likely to be an urgent care clinic that can provide rapid access to healthcare for patients who are very unwell, but who are not deemed medical emergencies.

Assistance and Repatriation Review
End-of-life repatriations

A patient being treated at a Kenyan hospital was nearing the end of her life. Her next of kin requested that she be taken home to the US to die. The insurance company and the medical evacuation company agreed to comply with their wishes, but during the routine wing-to-wing transfer arranged to take her home via Iceland, things began to go wrong.

International Hospitals and Healthcare Review
Virtual healthcare, virtually perfect?

Patients in Dubai, India, Singapore and, soon, Thailand, can access a primary care physician via a smartphone app. In addition to online consultations and prescribing, the app can manage a blood test or a scan. It can send a phlebotomist to take bloods, a car to take a patient for, say an X-ray, and perhaps in future, provide home diagnostic kits.

BBC News
'We should own our own livelihood and our own dream'

Tanusree Chaudhuri, 38, was pregnant with her first child when her supervisor told her she would have to give up her dreams. She was doing a doctorate in computational biology and aspired to improve people's health. "He told me 'you are married now, why do you need a PhD?

International Hospitals and Healthcare Review
Destination spotlight: India

Tatum Anderson explores healthcare and health insurance in India, where a growing need for high-quality medical care has prompted the growth of private enterprises

the Guardian
Bad medicine: the toxic fakes at the heart of an international criminal racket

Sometimes the vials are filled with dirty water. Occasionally they contain saline and a tiny amount of antibiotic, so as not to infect the site of the vaccination and draw attention to its true ingredients. But however good or bad the disguise, the fact is that these "vaccines" will actually have no effect at all.

International Hospitals & Healthcare Review
Destination Spotlight: Spain's healthcare system

Eric Barthélémy-Maviel, Head of Operations and International Networks at Europ Assistance in Spain, noted that with such a well-established tourism industry, Spain is a destination that has attracted international patients for more than 50 years. He said that, today, there is a high demand from international visitors for eye surgery, organ transplants, fertility procedures, and plastic and cosmetic surgery.

Health Policy Watch
Access To Generic Reproductive Health Supplies Decades Behind Medicines?

Despite a massive worldwide push to improve access to contraceptives, generic manufacturers say they're not yet getting a good share of the pie. The use of family-planning products has rocketed in recent years, as more women around the world - especially in low and middle-income countries - choose to have smaller families.

Health Policy Watch
Hepatitis C Buyers' Clubs Grow Worldwide As A Way To Obtain Affordable Treatment

Hepatitis C Buyers' Clubs Grow Worldwide As A Way To Obtain Affordable Treatment Hidden amongst the thousands of Facebook pages given over to holiday snaps and gossip are groups of patients who have hepatitis C, a disease that affects more than 70 million worldwide and kills around 400,000 people a year.

Health Policy Watch
Analysis: As Biosimilar Of Key Cancer Drug Spreads, Where Is The Price Reduction?

The first biosimilar of the blockbuster breast cancer drug trastuzumab is being prepared for launch in United States, following a decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve it earlier this month. The product, Ogivri, has been created by a joint venture between US Mylan and Indian company Biocon.

Health Policy Watch
Innovative Financing: New Health Bonds Tested For Impact

Innovative Financing: New Health Bonds Tested For Impact Hospitals in the Indian state of Rajasthan will be assessed next month to gauge whether upgrades, paid for with a new international innovative financing model, have brought them up to the new government quality standards.

Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Communicating science-based messages on vaccines

The public health response to false information about vaccines can sometimes backfire. A series of workshops aims to help public health officials in Europe meet the challenge. Tatum Anderson reports

Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Rolling out Rwanda's national palliative care programme

Courtesy of Christian Ntizimira Christian Ntizimira is a Masters Candidate at Harvard Medical School, department of Global Health and Social Medicine and the executive secretary of the Rwanda Palliative Care and Hospice Organisation. This year he became World Cancer Congress Regional Lead, Africa, for the Union for International Cancer Control.

How can child and maternal mortality be cut?

With only five years to go, the millennium development goals to reduce maternal and child mortality remain a long way off target. Tatum Anderson looks at the problems A decade ago world leaders identified deaths of women in childbirth and of children under the age of 5 years as two of eight key problems that must be tackled in order to lift millions out of extreme poverty by 2015.

Health Policy Watch
Tackling Pain Seen As Vital To Debate On Noncommunicable Diseases And Care

Access to powerful painkillers, usually based on opioid substances, is a crucial part of progress towards tackling NCDs, according to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a UN quasi-judicial body that is concerned with enforcing three global drug control conventions.

The Lancet
Can open-source drug development deliver?

Open-source drug development involves open data sharing, collaboration, and results sharing. The aim is to produce new drugs for neglected diseases. But can it work? Tatum Anderson reports.

Cancer doctors pledge to widen access to pain relief in developing countries

Cancer advocates plan to broker deals with drug companies to get cheaper, more plentiful supplies of pain relief drugs to patients in developing countries using models pioneered in the field of HIV/AIDS. The plans form part of the Global Access to Pain Relief Initiative (GAPRI), a strategy launched at the World Cancer Congress, in China on 19 August.

the Guardian
From palm leaf to database

Thousands of medical treatments contained in these texts are used extensively in India, particularly in rural areas. The texts are trusted by patients because they were written by doctors with extensive clinical practice thousands of years ago and have been tested by centuries of use, says Dr Sonika Verma, an Ayuverdic doctor at CSIR. Reporting from India

The Economist
Growing wiser

MODERN, Western medicine tends to pooh-pooh its herbal cousin. It is true that synthetic pharmaceuticals are purer, more reliable and often more effective than herbs. But many of them have herbal origins, and the sight of pharmacists botanising (collecting herbs from the countryside for sale as medicine) was common in Europe within living memory.

Turning plants into pills in Kenya

In the shadow of Mount Kenya, traditional healer Jack Githae enters what he describes as his 'natural pharmacy'. It's a dense area of bush where elephants occasionally wander packed with a range of plants and trees from the African olive to the prickly euphorbia.

the Guardian
Battles with Big Pharma

Major pharmaceutical companies are often happy to donate their medicines for free to the developing world, but that might mean they are getting off cheaply in meeting their social obligations, while still charging high prices for patented drugs, Tatum Anderson reports

The politics of pain

Pain relief is often taken for granted in the Western world, but in about 150 countries the use of morphine is severely restricted. Tatum Anderson investigates how this has come about, and what steps are being taken to stop patients living and dying in extreme pain.

International Hospitals & Healthcare Review
Chinese Market

Countries are beginning to notice an increase in Chinese citizens looking for healthcare services abroad, as Tatum Anderson reports Around 483,000 people travelled from China for medical tourism in 2015, spending US$6.3 billion on treatment and US$3.4 billion on related travel and accommodation, according to ChinaMediworld.com.

International Hospitals & Medical Travel
Journeying for the wonder drug

HepC medical tourism. What you do get when you cross a millionaire Argentinian football star, Egyptian pyramids, a government department and a pharmaceutical company? The launch of a medical tourism campaign, of course. At least that's what happened earlier this year when international soccer superstar Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and the Argentinian national football team visited Egypt to promote the launch of Tour n' Cure, a medical tourism initiative.

Trip into the unknown

News: Business A plant in Uganda hopes to sell cut-price drugs by taking advantage of exemptions from rules that protect patents. But its operators face major obstacles, as Tatum Anderson reports. President Yoweri Museveni gives a thumbs up to Uganda's latest drug venture.

BBC News
Firms target nutrition for the poor

Rip the top off a small sachet, the size of a hand, and inside is a delicious, creamy peanut goo that you suck from the packet. It is messy and delicious. And it has already saved the lives of countless children on the brink of death from starvation around the world. Reporting from Kenya

Turning plants into pills in Kenya

In the shadow of Mount Kenya, traditional healer Jack Githae enters what he describes as his 'natural pharmacy'. It's a dense area of bush where elephants occasionally wander packed with a range of plants and trees from the African olive to the prickly euphorbia.

The Guardian
Bed nets for all?

Reporting from Burkina Faso. Longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Competition

Evening Standard
Vaccine charity weathers downturn by raising £50m through the banks

A charity is to raise £50million for vaccines in undeveloped countries by approaching the financial markets. The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) will be issuing a bond via HSBC to raise the sum. The bond will be redeemed after five years at which point it will also pay out a one-off coupon of 16.2%.

the Guardian
Virtually trained dentists leave some open-mouthed

Those of a nervous disposition may want to look away: dentists are learning how to replace missing teeth by correspondence course. They, like doctors and veterinarians, are among a growing band of "hands-on" professionals around the world obtaining distance-learning qualifications from Britain's universities.

Intellectual Property Watch
Better Data On Fake Drugs Needed To Fight The Scourge - Intellectual Property Watch

by for Intellectual Property Watch The problem of fake medicines is a big one. But precisely how big? The problem is, when reporting numbers, news stories, reports and institutions have historically bundled the different kinds of medicines together, says an expert at the WHO. Available only for IP-Watch Subscribers.

the Guardian
Battles with Big Pharma

Major pharmaceutical companies are often happy to donate their medicines for free to the developing world, but that might mean they are getting off cheaply in meeting their social obligations, while still charging high prices for patented drugs, Tatum Anderson reports

BBC News
Africa hails new meningitis vaccine - BBC News

For the people in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, a new meningitis vaccine offers hope of an escape from one of the world's deadliest, most disabling and infectious diseases. So there is little wonder that the queues were enormous when a pilot project for the MenAfriVac vaccine got underway in the three West African countries in recent weeks.

International Hospitals and Medical Travel
Israel's proposed medical tourism legislation

Tatum Anderson investigates how a new bill from the Ministries of Health and Tourism seeks to improve treatment for Israeli patients It's not just the world-famous therapeutic spas on the Dead Sea, or even the promise of post-treatment trips to biblical sites that have made Israel one of the world's most popular medical tourism destinations.

Intellectual Property Watch
Polypills: Are Miracle Treatments Being Overlooked? - Intellectual Property Watch

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), a group of conditions that can result in heart attacks and strokes, is the world's number one killer, accounting for one-third of deaths throughout the world, according to research released recently (17 May) by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

A question of transparency

13 October 2016 Tatum Anderson looks at global efforts to enhance hospital pricing transparency In March this year, a group of 11 organisations - including one that represents US pensioners - wrote to the US National Institutes of Health, asking why a late-stage prostate cancer drug costs as much as four times more in the US than it does elsewhere.

Life in the Bronze Age

The wooden summerhouse at Ristinge in the south-west was simple and homely, with a maze of small rooms. But no one spent much time inside, apart from to sleep and prepare food. Outside, a garden of evergreens and rosehip bushes led to a beach just a minute's walk away; two hours from Copenhagen, we were lying on white sand.

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