Lessons from the Space Race Will Help Fight Neglected Diseases

Fifty-five years ago, President John F. Kennedy announced on a sunlit day at Rice University that “we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Seven years later, America fulfilled this mission. By the time Apollo 11 traversed the […]

Jeff Bezos, Here’s How to Focus on Both Today and Tomorrow

The following is an open letter to Jeff Bezos in response to his request on Twitter last week for ideas on how to shape his philanthropy. Originally published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, June 20, 2017. Dear Mr. Bezos, It’s terrific that you are thinking about getting into philanthropy. The world today faces a huge […]

Turning Hardship to Strength – the Promise of Planetary Health

I have to be honest, working in global health and development can be depressing. Thinking of the magnitude of the global problems we face, combined with Western world shifts towards nationalism and populism, I can barely see a light at the end of the tunnel. When these moments of doubt hit, I remind myself that […]

One Health and the Evolving Discipline of Planetary Health

Human health and the state of our environment are inter-connected: the relationship is set out in the concepts of One Health and Planetary Health. WHO helps health professionals tackle such complex issues. In these notes I reflect on links between people’s health and the planet. I describe two different kinds of threat to health. First: […]

Shuttle Diplomacy to Outsmart Epidemics

Airplanes are what first introduced me to the global reach and danger of epidemic diseases. So it seems only appropriate that airplanes also helped me do something to address this growing threat. Frequent work travel between the United States and Asia at the height of the 2003 SARS epidemic exposed me to the serious problem […]

Donors and Drug Makers Offer $500 Million to Control Global Epidemics

Stung by the lack of vaccines to fight the West African Ebola epidemic, a group of prominent donors announced Wednesday that they had raised almost $500 million for a new partnership to stop epidemics before they spiral out of control. The partnership, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, will initially develop and stockpile vaccines against […]

Solving the Climate Crisis, One Hospital at a Time

With early optimism surrounding the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change now fading into anxiety over potential changes to U.S. environmental policy under a Trump administration, many are looking for new leaders in the fight against global warming. Hospitals should step into the breach. Doing so could both slow climate change and improve healthcare systems […]

CEPI—A New Global R&D Organisation for Epidemic Preparedness and Response

The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in west Africa in 2013–16 showed that the world is not sufficiently prepared to detect and respond to epidemic threats. It exposed a systemic need for stronger operational and strategic capabilities in infectious disease response, and for the development of more effective tools and technologies to manage, treat, and […]

$460m pledged for vaccine initiative aimed at preventing global epidemics

Lassa, Mers and Nipah will be first diseases targeted by programme announced at Davos by coalition of governments, philanthropists and business. A coalition of governments, philanthropists and business is pledging to put money and effort into making vaccines to stop the spread of diseases that could threaten mankind – and to prevent another outbreak as […]

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