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Current Issues in Global Health

January 15, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

David Wilson will discuss some contemporary issues in global health including new health threats, financing health, responding to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), building 21st century health delivery systems and how best to improve health outcomes. The session will participatory, with issues framed for open discussion.

About the speaker

David Wilson is the World Bank’s first Global Lead for Decision and Delivery Science and also Global HIV/AIDS Program Director. He was previously the Bank’s Lead Health Specialist focusing on AIDS and the Bank’s first Senior Evaluation Specialist working on AIDS. Before joining the Bank, David worked as an academic, development practitioner and global health advisor in Zimbabwe for 20 years. David has over published over 100 scientific papers and delivered over 1,000 scientific addresses. He has worked in approximately 50 countries on all continents, including 28 countries in Africa and many fragile and conflict situations in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and the Pacific.

Over 800 children have fall ill with measles in the last two months, it is a major epidemic. In the developed world measles is a minor inconvenience, in a country like Guinea it is often fatal. 
Measles is preventable, a well functioning routine vaccination programme should prevent epidemics breaking out, and should an epidemic occur an emergency response should prevent it becoming generalised. However Guinea has been going economic and political turmoil since 2006 that has weakened the health services. As a result the routine vaccination is no longer fully effective, hence the current epidemic.
The government, UNICEF, WHO and other actors got together to conduct a country wide campaign from November 20 to 26th to vaccinate against measles combined with the distribution of bed nets against malaria and vitamin a and deworming tablets to minimise malnutrition. 
I spent the day visiting a hospitals, health centres and vaccination points to better understand what needs to be done. The condition of the children in the hospital was critical. There is a local practice of treating fever with palm wine and ice water baths, partially this is because people believe it works and partly because they want to delay having to pay for medicine or treatment. This has the unfortunate result that many children who are referred to the hospital arrive at a very and dangerous state in the development of the disease, also the ice burns the skin of the children aggravating their condition. 
I spoke with the parents and children; they were confused and worried by what was happening to their children. 
The parents agreed to my taking photographs. Looking at the images I find them shocking; I do not know what is right to do. To not show them is to hide a reality about measles that people need to know about, to mobilise support. But it is not possible to be   dignified when you have measles.
One of the children that we saw died that night, it should have been avoided.


January 15, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


In Person
Balsillie School of International Affairs, 67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2 Canada
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(226) 772-3001
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