Related Blogs

Creative Collaboration to Tackle a Neglected Children's Health Issue

In his book Organizing Genius, Warren Bennis notes that the world's greatest problems can be solved only by creative collaboration and that "the most urgent collaborations require the coordinated contributions of many talented people." In my experience, public-private partnerships that bring together the best talents, expertise, and resources from the government, nonprofit and business sectors have proven essential for tackling the most complex challenges in global health and international development.

Polio Outbreak in the Horn of Africa: The Red Crescent/Red Cross Key to Vaccinating Kids

Six years after Somalia's last case of polio, the country has become the epicenter of a fresh outbreak in the Horn of Africa. A total of 128 cases have been reported in Somalia, 13 in Kenya and one in Ethiopia. Yet because of careful planning and an aggressive, dedicated response by international organisations, national governments and local health workers and volunteers - the real heroes - we are on track to contain this outbreak and protect the outstanding progress we've made.

Response to Polio Outbreaks Shows Global Eradication Plan Is Working

Just as we were seeing record-low cases of polio worldwide and coming closer than ever to eradication, 105 new cases of wild polio have been identified in Kenya and Somalia, raising new concerns about low coverage and inaccessible populations in that area. While the outbreaks are undoubtedly a setback, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) had anticipated that sporadic cases would occur in vulnerable settings during the final push for polio eradication, and it's noteworthy that the situation has been met with one of the quickest and most effective emergency responses to date.

Restoring Sight as a Step Toward Ending Extreme Poverty

A recent cover of The Economist featured a compelling story about how nearly 1 billion people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty in the past 20 years, and also called on the world to make an even greater effort to lift another 1 billion people out of extreme poverty by 2030.

Giving Childhood Diarrhea a Name

Over the course of my career I’ve spent more than 30 years working in various developing countries trying to better understand and fight infectious diseases. One of the things that alarmed me most was that in many places, parents and caretakers didn’t even have a word for diarrhea. Sadly, this wasn’t because diarrhea was rare. On the contrary, diarrhea was so common that it was seen as a normal part of early childhood, and thus didn’t need a name.  

From WHA54.19 to WHA66.12: Helping Children Survive and Thrive

I dare say that WHA54.19 or WHA66.12 may not mean anything to many. They could be acronyms and numbers that could easily refer to a version of software. However, being the Director at Johnson & Johnson responsible for managing the donation program that brings deworming medicines to millions of children around the world, these shorthand references to World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions are part of my vocabulary.

At last – Recognizing the Link Between WASH and STH

The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) recently released a report on soil transmitted helminthes (STH) infection in the Americas and Caribbean, indicating that approximately 46 million children in that region alone are infected or at risk of infection by intestinal worms. That is close to a quarter of all the children living in that region.

For Syrian Refugees, the War Behind, the Recovery Ahead

Aicha gazes out the window, her crystal blue eyes taking in the gray sky outside a hospital near the Syrian border in Jordan, where she has been recovering for a month now. She was badly injured after her house in Dara’a, Syria was destroyed in a mortar attack.

A Peace Corps Volunteer's Scary Brush with Malaria

I arrived home one afternoon to find my best friend in my village, Gifty, closing up her shop and preparing to go to the hospital. She told me that her two and a half-year-old son, Justice, was brought there by her husband Jackson and she was going to join them.

Harnessing the Power of Vaccines to End Polio

Having dedicated my career to public health, I've learned that keeping people healthy is a complex job. Medicine, sanitation, nutrition, education – all are necessary and interrelated components of preventing and curing sickness. But there is one tool that stands out as the most effective way to protect fight disease: vaccines. Every child – no matter where he or she is born – has a fundamental right to vaccines.

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