Archive for the 'by Peter Luckow' Category

Photo for the day

Relatives of a person suffering from Hepatitis-B cry after receiving the news of his death at a hospital in Modasa, in Indias western Gujarat state February17, 2009. The disease has spread in many parts of the states Sabarkantha district and has claimed about 19 lives, the Deputy Director (Epidemic) Commissionerate of health services, Government of Gujarat, Dr. Sudhir Gandhi said on Tuesday. (REUTERS/Amit Dave)

Relatives of a person suffering from Hepatitis-B cry after receiving the news of his death at a hospital in Modasa, in India's western Gujarat state February17, 2009. The disease has spread in many parts of the state's Sabarkantha district and has claimed about 19 lives, the Deputy Director (Epidemic) Commissionerate of health services, Government of Gujarat, Dr. Sudhir Gandhi said on Tuesday. (REUTERS/Amit Dave)

CGI U 2009 – Peter’s potpourri of thoughts

Here are some miscellaneous thoughts from last weekend’s CGI U Conference:

  • I won’t belabor on points that Jon brought up, but it is worth reiterating the disappointment in the lack of any analysis of the root causes of the challenges faced in the world today.  No mention of history, global political challenges, harmful World Bank and IMF policies, etc.  The conversation solely focused on how we as students could implement small, community-based projects to address the major challenges of the world.  Yes, these types of projects are valuable, but our approach has great potential to be lacking or misaligned unless we as students understand the root causes of such inequities.
  • Encouraging to see some university presidents discuss the importance of developing cultures of civic engagement and public service in their institutions.  Bill Powers of University of Texas and Scott Cowen of Tulane both hit this one out of the park.
  • “No matter how you want to create change there is absolutely no substitute for working with those directly effected by the problems you seek to address.” Nathaniel Whittemore on a panel with several university presidents.
  • How can you have a food panel and not address the deep flaws in US food aid?
  • It is upsetting to see a conference that seeks to address energy and climate change use so much damn bottled water.  Laurie Garrett touched on the absurdity of this in a recent Pop!Cast.
  • Had some great conversations with people from FACE AIDS, Global Health Corps, Keep A Child Alive, Physicians for Human Rights and others in the global health twittersphere.

Quote for the day

¡Hoy decimos basta! Today we say enough is enough! To the people of Mexico, Mexican brothers and sisters: We are a product of 500 years of struggle – first against slavery, then during the War of Independence against Spain led by insurgents, then to promulgate our constitution and expel the French empire from our soil, and letter [when] the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz denied us the just application of the Reform laws and the people rebelled and leaders like Villa and Zapata emerged, poor men just like us.  We have been denied the most elemental education so that others can use us as cannon fodder and pillage the wealth of our country.  They don’t care that we have nothing, absolutely nothing, not even a roof over our heads, no land, no work, no health care, no food, and no education.  Nor are we able freely and democratically to elect our political representatives, nor is there independence from foreigners, nor is there peace or justice for ourselves and our children.

– Comandancia General del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, 1993

Video for the day: Stephen Lewis, IAS 2006

Bye bye global gag rule

An important step for global health equity, Obama has repealed the Mexico City Policy (also known as the Global Gag Rule) that had prevented federally funded NGOs from performing and even counseling women on abortions.

Here’s part of Obama’s statement on whitehouse.gov:

For too long, international family planning assistance has been used as a political wedge issue, the subject of a back and forth debate that has served only to divide us.  I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate.

It is time that we end the politicization of this issue.  In the coming weeks, my Administration will initiate a fresh conversation on family planning, working to find areas of common ground to best meet the needs of women and families at home and around the world.

What a ladies’ man.

Photo of the day

A customer of a micro finance institution strings beads into necklaces at a workshop in a slum area in Mumbai February 17, 2007. (REUTERS/Prashanth Vishwanathan)

A customer of a micro finance institution strings beads into necklaces at a workshop in a slum area in Mumbai February 17, 2007. (REUTERS/Prashanth Vishwanathan)

Ch-ch-changes

Received this email from a friend yesterday about Mark Dybul, the US Global AIDS Coordinator, and the head honcho behind PEPFAR:

…we have received confirmation that Ambassador Mark Dybul has been asked to resign, effective immediately. We understand that the office will be run by career staff until a new Coordinator is named.

Rumors are swirling about who will be named by the Obama Administration.  Names that keep coming up seem to be Nils Daulaire, former CEO of the Global Health Council, and Jim Yong Kim, Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, co-founder of Partners In Health, and other fancy titles.

Of the two (and virtually any other candidate as well), my vote is for Jim Kim.  He brings a pragmatic and passionate understanding of current on the ground realities from his time with PIH.  His grasp of global health policy (especially around HIV and TB) is hard to rival.  And, above all, he is strongly rooted in ideas of equity, human rights, and a preferential option for the poor.

While Daulaire has been a strong advocate for global health in DC, he has deep ties with big pharma and has been largely quiet in condemning the profit-driven industry.

Anxious to see where this goes.  As we have seen, the position has a serious amount of clout to influence global HIV/AIDS treatment throughout the world.


Welcome!

Welcome to the Students for Global Health Equity (SGHE) blog. Published by university students, the SGHE blog seeks to explore news and issues related to global health.

Follow us on twitter:

@jonshaffer @peterluckow