Decline in Maternal, Infant Mortality a Major Global Health Achievement
The most significant triumph in global health in the past decade has been the steep decline in maternal and infant mortality, said Jennifer Leaning of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in a Q&A in Now@NEJM, a blog for physicians on the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) website. Learn more.
HIV researchers gather at Harvard School of Public Health to investigate and discuss ways to maintain scientific validity. Scientists are grappling with an ethical conundrum on the horizon even as they design and launch studies to test whether “treatment as prevention” can dramatically slash HIV transmission rates in the general population. Watch Part 1 and Part 2 from the event on March 7, 2014.
HHI Releases Year-end Report on Accomplishments
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and its affiliate, the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard released a joint report on the past year’s accomplishments in research and education. The report outlines HHI’s efforts to advance humanitarian data and evaluation science and to better understand the needs and priorities of those most vulnerable to disasters and mass violence, and the Academy’s programs for training the next generation of humanitarian responders. Read the report.
Multivitamin-selenium combo may delay ill health, mortality from AIDS
A new study co-authored by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health suggests that a special multivitamin preparation that includes selenium can significantly slow the progression to ill health or death in people with HIV infection. Learn more.
Healthcare: A Democratic Dividend?
Studies have linked democracy to improved social indicators, but debate rages about the causal mechanisms at play. Learn more.
Ten Years of Failure to Provide Medicine
Ten years ago this week, on Nov. 6, 2003, Canada introduced legislation making it the first country to use new World Trade Organization flexibilities for exporting cheaper generic versions of patented medicines to developing countries. Learn more.
Dr. Theresa Betancourt is Associate Professor of Child Health and Human Rights in the Department of Global Health and Population at HSPH. She studies the health conditions of children who live in countries with high levels of conflict and violence. Learn more about Dr. Betancourt’s work in Sierra Leone: The Road to Resilience.
US-China Health Summit
Public health leaders from China and the U.S. gathered on October 31, 2013, for a day-long event highlighting the two countries’ health challenges. With the theme “Preventive Medicine and Public Health,” the third U.S.-China Health Summit, co-sponsored by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Peking Union Medical College, covered topics including the importance of primary care, addressing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and expanding access to health care. Learn more.
Takemi Program Celebrates 30 Years
Nearly 80 former and current Takemi Fellows convened at Loeb House in Cambridge for the Takemi Program in International Health, 30th Anniversary Symposium, on the theme of “Governing Health Systems: Community, National, and Global Challenges.” Takemi Program participants attended the celebration with academic, social, and celebratory events and sessions taking place over the course of the two-day Symposium. A Summary Report on the Symposium with Program Brochure includes a brief description of the events, lists of all Takemi Fellows and other participants, brief bios on speakers at the Symposium, a list of papers presented, and the full program brochure with agenda and history of the Takemi Program. Learn More.
Painting a Picture of Older Africans
A large new study led by the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (the Pop Center) aims to shed light on how people in Sub-Saharan Africa are faring as they age, given that both infectious and non-infectious diseases are becoming increasingly chronic, with people surviving longer but having to cope with long-lasting ailments. The study will paint a broad picture of aging, health, productivity, and well-being among thousands of people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more.
Nurturing Resilience in Vulnerable Children
Resilience — “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change” — is the quality that allows some people to survive the worst situations imaginable, writes Amy Spies, a member of the Harvard School of Public Health Leadership Council, in an October 8, 2013 blog on the Huffington Post. HSPH’s Theresa Betancourt, she writes, has devoted her career to understanding resilience and how to nurture it in the world’s most vulnerable children. Learn more.
HSPH Forum | Step by Step: The Path to Ending Child Mortality
Jacqueline Bhabha, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights and Richard Cash, Senior Lecturer on Global Health join this panel discussion to examine the painstaking but crucial steps that can be taken to save generations of these most vulnerable children. Watch now.
Predicting Countries’ Likelihood of Achieving Universal Health Care
Countries that are wealthy, have less income inequality, and whose citizens have the highest educational levels are the most likely to develop universal health care systems, according to new research from Harvard School of Public Health. The study also found that countries run by dictators or those with high levels of ethnic fractionalization are less likely than others to implement universal health care. Learn more.
Health rights advocates gather to learn, network
It is not just that there is a need for improved access to both health and justice systems, Harvard School of Public Health Lecturer Alicia Ely Yamin told a group of students gathered for a week long intensive course on health rights litigation, many people around the world — particularly women — don’t see themselves as having a right to health. This is evident in many hospitals in the developing world where the maternity wards have a “distinctly veterinary quality,” she said. “Imagine how different the picture would be if these women saw themselves as being able to claim health rights and complain when they don’t get them.” Learn more.
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Watch: Transforming Humanitarian Relief Efforts. Humanitarian crises include conflicts and natural disasters that threaten civilian populations. Meeting the essential needs of these populations requires understanding crisis, and the best methods and tools for preparing and responding to crisis. Director Michael VanRooyen describes HHI’s mission: to relieve human suffering in war and disaster by advancing the science and practice of humanitarian response worldwide.
Popular South African street drug may contain HIV medication
A new study led by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) calls attention to a new street drug being used in South Africa. Known as whoonga, the drug cocktail may combine HIV antiretroviral (ARV) medication with illicit drugs. Believed to be extremely addictive, whoonga appears to have a devastating impact on those who use it—including children—and has the potential to complicate efforts to combat the HIV epidemic. Learn more.
Value of Vaccination
Prof. David Bloom, Prof. Till Bärnighausen, Elizabeth T. Cafiero, and Jennifer O’Brien present a conceptual framework for valuing the benefits of dengue vaccination and explore these potential benefits in the context of dengue vaccination in Brazil in a special issue of Seminars in Immunology.
Full citation: Bärnighausen T, Bloom DE, Cafiero ET, O’Brien JC. (2013). “Valuing the broader benefits of dengue vaccination, with a preliminary application to Brazil.” Seminars in Immunology. 25(2): 104-113.
HSPH-GHP Alumna Named HIV/AIDS Envoy to UN Secretary-General
Speciosa Wandira-Kasibwe, who studied global health and population at HSPH, has worked on HIV/AIDS issues as a member of the group Champions for an HIV-Free Generation, according to an August 1, 2013 article from the UN News Centre.
Daily Iron Supplement During Pregnancy
HSPH researchers review evidence on the associations of maternal anaemia and prenatal iron use with maternal haematological and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Researchers include Wafaie Fawzi, GHP Department Chair and Majid Ezzati, Adjunct Professor in International Health. Learn more.
GHP visiting graduate student, Johanne Helene Iversen, co-authors a paper in a new online journal focusing on Health Diplomacy
Kiddell-Monroe, R., Iversen, J. H., and Gopinathan, U. (2013). Medical R&D Convention Derailed: Implications for the Global Health System. Journal of Health Diplomacy. Published online June 12, 2013
Teaching Citation: Theresa Betancourt and Joshua Salomon
Mentoring: Paul Gregg Greenough
Uwe Brinkmann Memorial Travel Award: Panji Hadisoemarto
Albert Schweitzer Award: Mary Mwanyika Sando
SM2 Thesis Award: Elina Pradhan
HSPH and South Africa Partnership
The Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Programme in Health (ASELPH), a partnership between Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and South African academic and governmental institutions, aims to strengthen health policy and health care service in South Africa. Watch video from the launch event.
Aspen Institute New Voices Program Fellowship
Mary Mwanyika Sando, MD, a 2013 MPH candidate in the Department of Global Health and Population, will be joining the inaugural class of The New Voices Fellowship. The New Voices Fellowship at the Aspen Institute is a groundbreaking initiative designed to bring more expert voices from the developing world into the global development discussion. The Fellowship, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, offers development experts from Africa and other parts of the developing world a year-long program of media support, training, research and writing under the guidance of experienced mentors and trainers. As a New Voices Program Fellow, Dr. Sando will focus on maternal and child health with a spotlight on Tanzania. Learn more.
Harvard-led research to quantify economic costs of stunted child cognitive development in resource-poor countries
The Saving Brains Project brings together a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians, economists, epidemiologists, nutritional scientists, psychologists, disease and risk factor modelers, and statisticians who will use comprehensive data sources to develop comparable national, regional, and global estimates of the effects of major risk factors on childhood development, educational attainment, and the economic impact of those effects. Learn more.
Report on Sudan Conflict Reveals Scope of Destruction
HSPH Students Study Electronic Health Records in China
In January 2013, 12 HSPH students traveled to the Minhang District in Shanghai, China to study how electronic health records were implemented. The WinterSession trip was sponsored by the HSPH China Initiative. Click here to watch the video.
Setting Health Priorities: Strategy Versus Tactics
David E. Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography, Elizabeth T. Cafiero, Research Analyst, and Michael Chu, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and Managing Director and co-founder of the IGNIA Fund, contribute to special feature in Population Services International’s Impact magazine. Read the article here.
Progress, Puzzles in Halting Malaria
GHP faculty Marcia Castro, Jessica Cohen, and Günther Fink featured in recent series, “Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe,” the first event in a series examining public health problems whose solutions will require large-scale, multidisciplinary efforts. Learn more.
Study Documents the Changing Health Needs of African Women
Allan Hill, Andelot Professor of Demography, studies the the health needs of a growing population of African women. In large African cities such as Accra, Ghana, where Professor Hill and his Ghanaian counterparts have led a pioneering women’s health study for the past decade, women are having fewer children, living longer, and getting heavier. That presents new health challenges the current Ghanaian health system is not equipped to address, such as rising incidence of heart disease and other chronic diseases more characteristic of the Western world. Learn more.
Maternal Health Advocates Push for New Global Goals
GHP Professor of the Practice, Ana Langer, helps lead successful Global Maternal Health Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, which was co-sponsored by Harvard School of Public Health’s Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and Management and Development for Health (MDH), a Tanzanian non-profit. The conference included 750 audience members, who represented 59 countries and work in more than 110 countries, to continue working for the health of the 200 million women who become pregnant each year. Learn more.
Scale-up of HIV Treatment in Rural South Africa Increases Adult-Life Expectancy
Global Health and Population Associate Professor Till Bärnighausen leads two studies published in Science online. According to new research, large antiretroviral treatment (ART) scale-up in a rural community in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has led to a rapid and dramatic increase in population adult life expectancy—a gain of 11.3 years over eight calendar years (2004-2011)—and the benefit of providing ART far outweighs the cost. Learn more.
Tropical Disease Expert Adetokunbo Lucas Wins Humanitarian Award
Appointed as Professor of International Health at HSPH in 1990 and, since 1995, an Adjunct Professor of Population and International Health, Adetokunbo Lucas has worked over the years as a clinician, medical educator, researcher, administrator, policy specialist, and public health leader. Learn more.
Breast Cancer in China: HSPH to Partner in New Awareness Initiative
Yuanli Liu, Founding Director of the China Initiative, describes how the new effort will build upon HSPH’s 30-plus years ofcollaborations. Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among women in China, with 1.1 million new cases annually. China’s breast cancer mortality has doubled over the past 30 years. Learn more.
Study Finds Years Living With Disease, Injury Increasing Globally
Joshua Salomon, Professor of Global Health, co-leads two out of seven different studies published in a triple issue of The Lancet. The first is a major innovation in measuring how health conditions are perceived by the public at large and accounting for these views in evaluating the public health impact of disease and injury. These assessments of the severity of different health outcomes are known as disability weights. The second piece of work co-led by Salomon was the country-by-country analysis of health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE), also known as healthy life expectancy, which gives an overall summary measure of health in a population, accounting both for how many years people survive, and how healthy they are during these years. Learn more.
Studying the Effects of Global Adversity, Two Generations at a Time
Theresa Betancourt, GHP Associate Professor of Child Health and Human Rights, studies children in adversity and actively works alongside nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Betancourt wants to help NGOs see that combining short-term survival efforts with attention to children’s developmental needs only magnifies the long-range benefits for individuals and societies. Learn more.
The Value of Vaccination: An Application to HPV
Co-authors Till Bärnighausen and David Bloom, publish article on the value of HPV vaccination in a special issue of the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection. In this article, a conceptual framework for capturing the benefits of vaccination is presented and several categories of potentially important gains to consider when valuing HPV vaccination are discussed. Read the article.
GHP Alum Awarded First Prize in Young Investigator Competition
Jennifer Manne was awarded first prize for her research on, “Barriers to Treatment Access for Chagas disease in Mexico,” in the Young Investigator Competition at the 2012 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s Annual Meeting on Nov 11, 2012. Under the direction of Professor Michael Reich her research has included interviewing those responsible for drug treatment policy in Mexico, and an analysis of the global supply chain based on research at the World Health Organization. View the announcement: http://www.astmh.org/Young_Investigator_Award.htm
New Test for Tuberculosis Could Improve Treatment, Prevent Deaths in Southern Africa
Professor Joshua Salomon and colleagues conduct a modeling study to investigate the potential health and economic consequences of implementing the new Xpert test in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. Prof. Salomon and his colleagues found that replacing the current diagnostic approach (which relies on identifying TB in patient’s sputum using a microscope) with one based on the Xpert test would prevent an estimated 132,000 TB cases and 182,000 TB deaths in southern Africa over 10 years, reducing by 28% the proportion of the population with active TB. Learn more.
Theresa Betancourt, Associate Professor of Child Health and Human Rights, studies the world’s most neglected and traumatized youths. Her work in India was featured in the November-December issue of Harvard Magazine. Read the feature story.
Examining the Impact of United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals
Alicia Ely Yamin, Lecturer on Global Health, co-leads research project examining the impact of the United Nations’ health-reform goals known as the MDGs. Yamin and Saikiko Fukuda-Parr, professor in the international affairs program at the New School in New York, are leading a group of 17 researchers in the international development and human rights communities in examining the consequences of the MDGs. Learn more.
Symposium Focuses on Health Reform in Brazil
The Harvard-Brazil Symposium featured discussions of the eight Millennium Development Goals and of Brazil’s progress in meeting them. These goals set targets to attain international development objectives, including reducing extreme poverty and hunger; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; achieving universal primary education; increasing equality for women; fighting AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and fostering global partnerships for development. The symposium was sponsored by the Department of Global Health and Population as well as the Harvard Global Health Institute and Fundação Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal. Learn more.
Creating a New Measure of Child Development
Günther Fink, Assistant Professor of International Health Economics in the Department of Global Health and Population and an affiliated faculty member of the Center on the Developing Child, has been studying a major, ongoing anti-malaria initiative in Zambia. Learn more.
Congratulations 2012 award winners!
GHP Doctoral Candidate Awarded HGHI Research Grant
Jennifer Manne has recently been awarded a Harvard Global Health Institute Doctoral Research grant for her research proposal: “Chagas disease: expanding access to treatment for a long neglected disease.”
GHP Student Selected as a Boston Schweitzer Fellow
SM Candidate (2013) Stephanie Loo has been selected as a 2012-2013 Boston Schweitzer Fellow. The Boston Schweitzer Fellows Program is a one-year interdisciplinary, mentored fellowship program focused on health-related community service and leadership development.
GHP and CPDS Dillon Family Fellowship Awards
The Department of Global Health and Population and the Center for Population and Development Studies are pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2012 Dillon Family Fellowship awards. These fellowships provide key support for doctoral research, and encourage and promote student involvement in seminars and networking activities.
GHP Dillon Family Fellows:
- Huan-Ying Kristy Lin, SD Candidate: “Does Democracy Matter for Health? Evidence from Developing Countries”
- Plamen Nikolov, SD Candidate: “Economic Response to Nutrition Interventions”
- Zubin Shroff, SD Candidate: “The Political Economy of Publicly-funded Health Insurance in India”
Pop Center Dillon Family Fellows:
- Jacob Bor, SD Candidate: “Public Policy and HIV/AIDS in South Africa”
- Corrina Moucheraud, SD Candidate: “Resource Allocation to Prevent Maternal Mortality: The Role of Health Systems”
Dr. Michael VanRooyen and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) look for new ways to improve disaster response
In a January 2012 Boston Magazine article titled “The Saving Game,” Michael VanRooyen talked about how relief workers — if their efforts aren’t properly coordinated — can sometimes do more harm than good. Learn more.
SM2 Candidate Co-edits Environmental Migration Study
While interning with IDDRI (Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales), SM2 candidate Joshua Glasser had the opportunity to co-edit an environmental migration study, The State of Environmental Migration (SEM) 2010 (co-published by IDDRI and OIM). This volume is intended to be the first of an annual series, which will aim to provide the reader with regularly-updated qualitative assessments on the changing nature and dynamics of environmental migration throughout the world.
HSPH Seminar Features GHP Faculty
Ana Langer, Jennifer Leaning, Wafaie Fawzi and HP&M Professor Atul Gawande, spoke about their efforts to boost the health of mothers and prevent unnecessary maternal deaths at the seminar, “Advancing Maternal Health: Reflections on the Role and Contributions of the Harvard School of Public Health,” on Nov 7, 2011. Also at the seminar, Dean Frenk announced a $2 million gift from Katie Hansen, to help the school advance its work in maternal and child health. Learn more.
Professor Richard Cash Receives the Fries Prize for Improving Health
Dr. Richard Cash, Senior Lecturer on Global Health, will be presented with the 2011 Fries Prize for Improving Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on November 8, 2011. The James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation is honoring Prof. Cash for his leadership in the development and dissemination of Oral Rehydration Therapy, a practical treatment for cholera and other diarrheal diseases that has saved the lives of at least 60 million children worldwide.
China Initiative Hosts Inaugural Harvard America-China Health Summit
HSPH China Initiative, housed in the Department of Global Health and Population, launched the first 2-day Harvard America-China Health Summit on September 21-22, 2011. Public health experts and leaders from the United States and China convened at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, to discuss a wide range of topics relating to progress and major challenges of health care reform in the two countries. Learn more.
Paul Campbell and Pedro Saturno (University of Murcia, Spain) lead training course to improve the conceptual and practical skill of senior officials
Around the world governments are trying to assess and improve the quality of health services. These tasks are of even greater importance in those countries where the responsibility for providing health care is being decentralized and the private sector in taking a steadily larger role. This course has been designed to improve the conceptual and practical skills of senior officials. Learn more: Improving the Quality of Health Services
Professor David Bloom is Lead Author on a New Report
The Global Economic Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases, is the first report to identify the total global costs of NCDs. Read more in the HSPH News Feature.
HSPH Awarded $12 Million to Improve Global Maternal Health
HSPH Women & Health Initiative led by Professor Ana Langer, has been awarded a $12 million grant to help improve maternal health in developing countries. Under the grant, the W&HI will host the Maternal Health Task Force—an initiative bringing together major global and country-level maternal health organizations to improve maternal health in developing countries by leading, coordinating, and promoting innovative and effective knowledge management, technical exchanges and consensus building activities; strengthening countries’ health care capacity through mentoring and training; and supporting strategic research on critical issues >>Learn more
Michael Reich & Marc Roberts Co-author a new Book
This book, published by the World Bank, applies an established analytical framework for health sector reform (Getting Health Reform Right, Oxford, 2004) to the performance problems of the pharmaceutical sector. Review it here: Pharmaceutical Reform: A Guide to Improving Performance and Equity
Live Broadcast of Japan Lancet Series Launch
Professor Michael Reich is currently in Japan participating in the Lancet Special Series on Japan: Restructuring Japan’s Healthcare System? Beyond the March 11 Disaster. There will be a live broadcast beginning at 8:30pm (EST) Thursday, September 1st. If you cannot watch this live, archived footage of the sessions will be available online at a later date if you are interested.
Gareth Green Award for Excellence in Public Health
GHP graduating students, Michael Hadley, Tom McHale, and Dana Thomson, have been selected as the winners of the 2011 Gareth Green Award for Excellence in Public Health Practice. Also pictured: Marcia Castro, Assistant Professor of Demography was awarded the HSPH Mentoring Award.
HSPH Poster & Exhibit Day
Congratulations to Yanfang Su, whose research on New Estimates of Elasticity of Demand for Healthcare in Rural China won first prize at the HSPH 25th annual Poster & Exhibit Day. Congratulations also to Takemi Fellow Joseph Okeibunor (2010-2011), whose poster was selected by judges for Honorable Mention in the Postdoctoral category. Click here to read the full article.
Professor Joshua Salomon selected for Burke Fellowship
Harvard Global Health Institute announces the selection of the second annual Burke Global Health Fellows. Faculty member Joshua Salomon, Ph.D., Associate Professor of International Health in the Department of Global Health and Population,has been awarded a Fellowship to support original research.