Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Creating effective solutions to global health problems depends on a wide range of partners. One of these is the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). In 2006 WCS and USAID partnered to create the GAINS program (Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance) to track and monitor avian flu. Since then, the group has started to investigate other zoolonotic diseases that it believes pose a threat to international stability and trade.
“Emerging infectious diseases are a major threat to the health and economic stability of the world,” said Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT3), a champion for the GAINS Program. “What we’ve learned from WCS and the GAINS Program is that monitoring wildlife populations for potential health threats is essential in our preparedness and prevention strategy and expanding monitoring beyond bird flu to other deadly diseases must be our immediate next step.”Last week, the WCS presented findings of a new report called, The Deadly Dozen: Wildlife Diseases in the Age of Climate Change. The report lists 12 zoonotic diseases that are predicted to spread into new regions of the world as a result of global climate change. The following diseases made the list:
- Avian influenza
- Intestinal and external parasites
- Lyme disease
- "Red tides"
- Rift Valley Fever
- Sleeping sickness
- Yellow fever
Monday, October 6, 2008
Many of us in Public Health feel particularly fortunate to be able to combine our passion with our career goals. We are artists and musicians, writers and researchers, athletes and counselors, and we each try and find our own way to blend these talents with the health interventions we develop, hoping to make the healthy choice the easy, and fun, choice. The Village Bicycle Project (VBP) is a a small organization that ships used bikes to different countries in which the average person cannot afford a car. It is a great example of blending a passion, in this case, for bicycles, with a greater public health mission, here, providing the poor with a means to travel long distances, increase their income, and better support their families.
I invite you to check out the website (http://www.pcei.org/vbp/), and use the VBP structure to develop your own intervention that uses your strengths in an effort to combat society's weakness. In Ann Arbor, there are certainly many passionate people. There are also many bikes. I invite you to consider participating in the Village Bicycle Project, and to consider using your passion for global public health to create a VBP branch at the University of Michigan.