Topic: disasters and conflict

Can doing good be done better?

[ Spring/Summer 2012 ] Better-trained aid workers, closer coordination among relief agencies, and a bigger dose of humility while working in unfamiliar cultures would help ensure that the billions of dollars spent each year on humanitarian assistance are not wasted. Harvard Public…

Teaching leadership to leaders

[ Fall 2011 ] The National Preparedness Leadership Initiative teaches seasoned professionals how to handle unprecedented disasters. At  the World Trade Center on 9/11, the New York Fire Department set up a command center at the bottom of World Trade Center One.…

Saving lives in the heat of battle

[ Fall 2011 ] Christian Benjamin, MD, MPH ’96 and Michael McCarten, DO, MPH ’99  are delivering evidence-based military medicine in Afghanistan Medics roll a badly wounded U.S. soldier into the military hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He has lost both legs to…

Poverty, disasters & health against all odds

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] The most powerful influences on population health are not the medical interventions that diagnose and treat disease. Rather, they are the broad social forces—war or peace, poverty or financial security, political oppression or fundamental human rights—that shape all…

A tale of two countries: Q and A with Professor Jennifer Leaning

[ Fall 2008 ] On May 2, Cyclone Nargis hit the coast of Myanmar, devastating the low-lying Irrawaddy delta with 120 miles-per-hour winds and a 12-foot tidal surge. Ten days later, an earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale struck China's mountainous Sichuan Province.…

Life after death: Helping former child soldiers become whole again

[ Fall 2011 ] Today, among the 87 war-torn countries in which data have been gathered, 300,000–500,000 children are involved with fighting forces as child soldiers. Some, as young as seven, commit unspeakable atrocities: killing parents and siblings, assaulting neighbors, torching the…

Off the cuff: The best possible response

[ Winter 2014 ] Paul Biddinger, director, Emergency Preparedness and Response Exercise Program, Harvard School of Public Health The world seems increasingly under the siege of public health emergencies: deadly new infections, catastrophic weather events, terrorism, industrial accidents. Do successful public health responses in…