Investing in Global Health Systems: Sustaining Gains, Transforming Lives

2/20/2015 12:00 AM

Health and life expectancy in poor countries have improved rapidly over a short time, contributing to a more prosperous, stable, and productive world. The United States has been a part of this success and therefore has an interest in protecting the health gains of the past few decades. In addition, the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has drawn attention to the consequences of neglecting health systems development, as a strong health system allows for prompt response to pandemic threats and draws on the same skills and infrastructure that support routine health care. Vulnerabilities in this system pose financial, political, and health risks to developing countries and, in a larger sense, to the world.

An IOM study looked at how health systems improvements can lead to better health, reduce poverty, and make donor investment in health sustainable. The resulting report stresses the importance of the health system in making transformative investments that support health in developing countries, and outlines a broad donor strategy that can make effective use of the United States’ comparative advantage in science and technology to improve health for the world’s most vulnerable people. For more information, click here.

Response to Global HIV and HCV Epidemics

11/13/2014 12:00 AM

PH 290.11 Session 12 caps the course's lecture content by recruiting three global health giants to discuss the role and responsibilities of public and private organizations in the response to the global HIV and HCV epidemics. From policy advances to facilitate access to life saving antiretrovirals for millions of patients, to challenges in regulatory infrastructure, to the rocky path for point-of-care diagnostics and treatment monitoring technologies, to the recognition that treatment is prevention and key to any containment strategy -- the lessons provided by the expansion and entrenchment of the HIV epidemic, and successes and failures in the public health response are unparalleled in the global health arena. The hesitant but nascent recognition that the HCV epidemic offers equally imperative opportunities and deserves just as strong a response is a chance to reflect on these lessons and find ways to move forward without stumbling on many of the issues already encountered in HIV. The perspectives and reflections of these three global health leaders on these topics provide an exclusive and unique window on global health and will be of great interest to the wider Berkeley, UCSF and Bay Area community.

Grounded in the work of the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research, PH 290.11 introduces Berkeley and UCSF students, visiting scholars and post-docs to the basics of drug development and regulatory policies emphasizing the role and benefit of multi-stakeholder engagement. Students and VSPA affiliates have learned how the US Food and Drug Administration responded to the public health challenge presented by the HIV and HCV epidemics by adapting regulatory policies to expedite and accelerate drug approval so that more patients could access life-prolonging and life-saving drugs. The course includes guest lecturers from the Forum's academic and biotech partners in the Bay Area. The course, taught by instructors Veronica Miller and Jur Strobos, is designed for students and postdocs interested in careers in biotech, regulatory science or federal health policy. 2014 PH 290.11 Syllabus.

Session 12 (expanded attendance) and video-taping sponsored by the Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases (CEND), Forum for Collaborative HIV Research, Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research, School of Public Health and Visiting Scholars Post-Doctoral Affairs (VSPA).

Treating and Preventing Diarrhoea in Bangladesh

9/26/2014 12:00 AM

Approximately 20,000 people suffering with diarrhoea are admitted to the main hospital in Matlab in rural Bangladesh every year. Most of them are from poor backgrounds who do not have proper toilets and washing facilities. The hospital treats patients, including those suffering from cholera, by replacing lost fluids and also educates them about how to prevent diarrhoea in the future. More

Hypertension in China

8/15/2014 12:00 AM

In the last 10 years the proportion of people with high blood pressure in China has almost doubled - from 10 to over 18% of the population. A key contributing factor is unhealthy lifestyles, so the government has gone on the offensive by organising community education campaigns on healthy living. Banks are also taking part by making it possible for people to check their blood pressure at the same time as checking their bank balance. More

Malnourished Children in Haiti

8/10/2014 12:00 AM

One in five children in Haiti is malnourished. US organisation Meds & Food for Kids (MFK) is treating 8,000 children with a high energy, nutritious peanut paste. Taken over six weeks, the course helps children to gain 4 grammes per kilogramme of weight per day. MFK employees grow, roast and grind the peanuts locally and is hoping to grow enough peanuts in the future to be able to export them to other countries in need. More

Identifying Bacteria on a Video Link

7/18/2014 12:00 AM

 Tackling bacterial diseases requires rapid, accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment with antibiotics. But many countries lack the skills and experience needed. The Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam has developed a special camera which takes high resolution photos of bacteria samples. Doctors at the Vietnamese Hospital for Tropical Diseases are now able to send photos and discuss the cases with Dutch experts over a video link. More

Zoonotic Diseases in Cambodia

7/3/2014 12:00 AM

At least sixty percent of all emerging infectious diseases start their life in animals. These zoonotic diseases, as they are known, are a particular problem in Asia. Two French organisations are monitoring illnesses in animals, such as bird flu, in Cambodia to avoid outbreaks in humans. More

Global Health Equity and the Future of Public Health

6/6/2014 12:00 AM

Paul Farmer, a world-renowned infectious disease specialist who has been called a public health Robin Hood, discusses global health equity and the future of public health. Farmer is co-founder of Partners in Health, an international organization that brings the benefits of modern medical science to some of the most impoverished areas of the world. In Haiti, where he spends much of his time, Farmer implemented one of the first HIV/AIDS treatment programs in the developing world. Thanks to the efforts of a tuberculosis (TB) center in Haiti, founded by Farmer, the success rate for multidrug-resistant TB rivals that of hospitals in the United States. He expanded the treatment of multidrug-resistant TB to Peru and Russia, where he has achieved similar success. More

Mobile Contraception in Guatemala

5/29/2014 12:00 AM

A mobile family planning clinic is offering a variety of contraceptive methods to hundreds of  women in Guatemala, where more than half do not use any form of birth control. Half of the country’s women have a child before the age of 19.

Hans Rosling: New Insights on Poverty

5/29/2014 12:00 AM

Researcher Hans Rosling uses his cool data tools to show how countries are pulling themselves out of poverty. He demos Dollar Street, comparing households of varying income levels worldwide. Then he does something really amazing.

For more TED Talks, click here.