Public Health in Tel Aviv

Global Health, International, Public Health
By Jessica Hoffen As a GlobeMed member, I had sat through presentation after presentation on the many study abroad opportunities available, anxiously awaiting my chance to board an airplane and, briefly, wave goodbye to America.  My turn finally came in the spring of 2015 when I landed in Tel Aviv as part of the Public Health and Society in Israel program run by Northwestern and Tel Aviv University.  As a student interested in the impact of culture and conflict on health equity, I hoped that through experiencing this region I would be able to better understand what has worked and failed in implementing health initiatives across ethnic lines. While public health was the focus of my studies in the region I found that what Palestinians and Israelis were most passionate…
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A History Of Failure: Why Global Health’s Past Is Important For Its Future

A History Of Failure: Why Global Health’s Past Is Important For Its Future

Global Health, Social Justice, Uncategorized
By Nida Bajwa Anyone who has studied global health knows that the field is wrought by many many failures, and very few successes. It is easy to get discouraged from the field when analyzing the immense amount of failure and repetition of those failures in the field. However, in analyzing these failed histories perhaps we can arrive at a greater future. As students, what is our role? What do we want to achieve from our global health education? How can we take a history of failures and turn it into success? The relationship between politics and global health is immense, and can be traced back to colonialism. The commonality that exists today is that healthcare to poor, developing countries is delivered by westerners who come in and impose their set…
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Guinea Worm Eradication in Nigeria, A Lesson To Learn From

Guinea Worm Eradication in Nigeria, A Lesson To Learn From

Global Health, Policy, Uncategorized
By Gordon Younkin You may have seen in the news a little over a year ago that the WHO declared Nigeria free of guinea-worm disease. While this may be considered old news, it is still worth examining the campaign that successfully stopped its transmission. Guinea-worm disease, also known as dracunculiasis, infects people via contaminated waterways, especially in slow-moving streams or stagnant pools. After entering the human body, it stays matures in its host without causing any symptoms for about a year before painfully emerging from the skin of the infected individual. It then releases thousands of larvae, and its life-cycle repeats. There is no vaccine or treatment for the disease—it is most effectively stopped through preventative measures such as water purification and behavioral change. In 1988, the Nigeria Guinea Worm…
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Putting Emotion Front and Center Once Again

Global Health, Public Health, Social Justice, Uncategorized
By Nicholas Wang We are inching closer to Article 25’s Day of Action on October 25. If all goes according to plan, it will be a monumental day for this brand new organization, which was founded within the past year by university students who had a simple idea for a grassroots global health advocacy organization. From that idea came the long, grueling process of formulating a tangible vision and plan for what this organization would look like and could accomplish. Long meetings both in person and over Google Hangout, hours upon hours of research and organization, aggressive network-building, and coordinated social media blitzes have all led up to a single day: October 25. There are events planned all over the world in more than 40 different countries with thousands of…
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Health Briefing: Uganda

Health Briefing: Uganda

Global Health
By Michael Zingman Key Statistics and Health Indicators: Sources: WHO Uganda Statistics Summary, UNICEF Uganda Statistics, and MIT Global Health Uganda Country Briefing - Health Total Population - ~36,346,000 Median Age - 15.7 years Population Living in Urban Areas - 16% (Global average - 53%) Healthy Life Expectancy at Birth - 49 years (Global average - 62 years) Probability of Dying Between 15-60 Years (per 1000 people) - 389 male, 360 female Population Over 60 - 3.7% Per Capita Government Expenditure on Health (US $) - 10.4 Per Capita Total Expenditure on Health (US $) - 43.6 Total Expenditure on Health (% of GDP) - 8% Prevalence of HIV (Adults 15-49) - 7.2% Maternal Mortality (per 100,000 live births) - 435 (worst in Africa) Degree of Infectious Diseases Risk: Very High…
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Vaccines, Herd Immunity, and Disease Re-Emergence – What’s the Deal?

Vaccines, Herd Immunity, and Disease Re-Emergence – What’s the Deal?

Domestic, Global Health, GlobeMed, International, Policy, Public Health
By Michael Zingman We hear about immunizations in the news. We are encouraged to get vaccinated. We hear friends and family talking about how they just “never got vaccinated” for something. We then hear about outbreaks and re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases. So what is causing this re-emergence exactly? Vaccines are one of the most crucial global health resources and are significant tools that can be utilized to protect large populations in both developed and developing nations from disease. Many diseases are vaccine-preventable, meaning if hypothetically everyone were to be vaccinated, the disease would become eradicated. One of such eradicable diseases is measles. Measles was once “eliminated” from the United States; however, recently, there has been extensive media coverage over a measles outbreak within the country. Measles was eliminated but not eradicated because of a slight minority of people…
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World AIDS Day

Domestic, Foreign Relations, Global Health, International, Public Health, Social Justice
To celebrate World AIDS Day, take a listen to the following inspirational StoryCorps presentation: http://www.npr.org/2012/11/30/166162027/a-lifes-ministry-springs-from-a-dilemma-over-aids For more coverage of the day's events, news, stories, and to get involved, visit http://www.worldaidsday.org/ In the spirit of giving, please consider donating to GlobeMed at Northwestern: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/increase-public-health-and-sanitation-in-uganda/
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Global Warming and Global Health

Global Health
It's October now, but think back to this past summer; in most parts of the country it was blisteringly hot.  Over the whole United States, more than 80 people died because of the heat (http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/09/12642682-americans-get-relief-from-heat-but-severe-storms-loom?lite).  From January to June 2012 more record highs were achieved than all of 2011 combined (http://www.wltx.com/weather/article/197773/347/More-2012-Record-Highs-than-All-of-Last-Year).  While it is important to remember that a single year of high temperatures and hot summer weather alone does not prove the existence of global warming or climate change, it does make you wonder why Americans continue to think that global warming is not a real phenomenon. But perhaps a way to get more people aware of the issues surrounding climate change is to introduce the problem not as an environmental issue but rather as a public health issue.  A…
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Public Health and Organic Food

Global Health, Nutrition, Public Health
Many of you may have heard that a recent study from Stanford researchers indicates that the health benefits of eating organic food are not as readily apparent as once thought, at least over a course of a few years (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1355685).  Utilizing over 200 peer-reviewed studies that examined both the differences between organic and non-organic food and the health of people who eat organic and non-organic food, researchers concluded that: "The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods."  Reaction was widespread, but to make a gross generalization, many consumers were upset and felt duped or misled by companies advocating the benefits of organic food, which is often more expensive than comparable non-organic products.  After all, it only makes logical sense that putting more chemicals and…
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Malaria Vaccine Breakthrough: Implications for Global Health?

Global Health, International, Public Health
Malaria, transmitted by infected Anopheles mosquitoes, causes more than 780,000 deaths each year. The deaths occur disproportionately in Africa, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa. Conventional malaria prevention methods include insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS). Earlier this week, the results of a Phase III study in 7 African nations showed that RST,S/AS01 (vaccine against P. Falciparum - deadliest of the four malaria types) reduces the risk of severe malaria in children by 47 per cent. The drug is developed by GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and funded by the Gates Foundation. It has taken 24 years since the drug development process started to get to this point. What seems to be the world's first malaria vaccine is well under way, with final results expected in…
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