Global Health Checkup
Global Health Checkup is a podcast from Project HOPE focusing on news, issues, events and trends in international development and disaster relief operations. The podcast features experts, thought leaders, and people on the frontlines who are building the health capacity of nations struggling against the burdens of disease, outbreaks and humanitarian disasters. We discuss international efforts to respond to health emergencies and innovative approaches in global health.
“If you can fly halfway around the world to care about us, we can certainly care about ourselves within this village.” These words were spoken to a Project HOPE volunteer by a patient in India whose health improved thanks to our efforts. In this podcast episode, you will hear similar stories that encapsulate both the significant human impact that our volunteers’ work across the globe can forge, and the lasting impact they leave behind. We hear from Andrea Dunne-Sosa, an emergency response expert and Director of Project HOPE’s Global Volunteer Program and the Americas region. We also hear from volunteers who have navigated devastating humanitarian crises and crossed cultural barriers to save lives, build the skills of local health care workers and NGO pros while empowering communities along the way.
One of the biggest challenges facing the global health community is not a new pandemic, a natural disaster or the aftermath of a vicious civil war – it’s a shortage of health care workers that makes dealing with all of these unrelenting situations much harder. In many countries, a lack of doctors, nurses, community health workers, and support staff is hampering the sustainability and development of health systems. Even though the world economy is expected to create 40 million new health sector jobs in the next 13 years, it won’t be enough to ensure we reach a UN-established target of ensuring that everyone, wherever they live in the world, has access to health care by 2030. Project HOPE CEO Dr. Tom Kenyon joins the Global Health Checkup podcast to discuss how to overcome the shortfall.
A massive humanitarian crisis is building in Yemen, where a civil war is raging that is exacerbating already grave challenges to a health care system compromised by years of political turmoil.
More than a million suspected cases of cholera, a generational diphtheria outbreak among children and an elevated level of maternal mortality are just the early warning signs of a public health emergency that is likely to get far worse. Project HOPE’s President Rabih Torbay has just returned from Yemen and reports on the dire and worsening conditions in a country where many doctors and health workers are putting in 20 hour shifts in desperate conditions. He offers a plan for how the international community, NGOs and concerned donors can help and calls for an international conference to address war-torn Yemen’s urgent humanitarian and long term health care infrastructure needs.
The world is entering a new phase in the AIDS epidemic. And Ethiopia is at the center of groundbreaking new approaches to tackling the disease, especially in urban areas of the country where it is at its most potent. A new $40 million program funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, in which Project HOPE is the leading partner, is targeting significant cuts in transmission rates, as Dr. Tom Kenyon, the CEO of Project HOPE reveals in the latest episode of Global Health Checkup.
Each of the monster hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria that barreled across the Caribbean and hit American citizens in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico over the last month posed unique challenges, whether in the form of torrential rains, storm surges or devastating wind damage. Project HOPE was on the ground quickly following each of these disasters to provide emergency and ongoing medical care. In this edition, Chris Skopec, HOPE’s Executive Vice President of Global Health and Emergency Response Programs, talks about the challenges of assessing needs and quickly deploying to a disaster zone in the wake of a natural disaster.
Relief and development expert and President of Project HOPE, Rabih Torbay, has worked in some of the most dangerous conflict zones of the last two decades and navigated one humanitarian crisis after another. In this mini-episode, Rabih shares his unique personal story and tells us how he gave up a successful business for a lifetime in humanitarian and development work. Rabih explains how one moment, one story can change everything and take us down a completely different track.
The world is facing a new dimension to one of its perennial challenges — the plight of refugees. Exoduses of displaced people, from the Middle East, Africa and beyond, are straining the capacity of the international community to cope. The new challenge is that increasingly, refugees don’t end up in vast tent city camps. They live in urban areas where the host community is often almost as poor as the refugees themselves. This leaves governments and aid agencies with hard choices about who to help first. In this episode, Project HOPE President Rabih Torbay discusses the deepening refugee problem and the strain that urban refugees pose for the infrastructure of these places — especially health care systems. Rabih is uniquely qualified to discuss these issues. He has designed relief and development programs in some of the world’s most difficult environments and managed emergency response teams to help mitigate refugee crises in Iraq, Darfur, Libya, Sierra Leone and elsewhere in West Africa as well as in Haiti.
Good communication and information sharing is vital during a major health crisis. Alarming and inaccurate news coverage can spark widespread public panic and hamper efforts of authorities and NGOs to respond to an emergency. Our influential panel of experts from the media, public relations, global health, disaster relief and legal sectors discuss how best to frame disease outbreaks, strategies for maximizing the impact of accurate news coverage, and offer examples of effective communications tactics in a time of crisis.
Recent Ebola and Zika epidemics have tested and in some cases exposed the strategies that governments, global health NGOs and international organizations have in place to tackle major global health crises. In this episode, we look at the lessons learned from these health emergencies and ask whether the world is ready for when the next widespread pandemic hits. An influential panel of experts from the public sector, NGOs, foundations, academia and the private sector considers how the many different organizations and governments that are vital to preventing outbreaks, and limiting their toll when they occur, can best forge a unified response.
Health experts Jenny Xu and Lily Hsu discuss innovative efforts underway to address the dramatic increase in respiratory diseases caused by dangerous levels of air pollution in China – the downside of the massive economic growth of this rising superpower in recent decades.
Dr. Tom Kenyon discusses the potential impact of sweeping U.S. budget cuts to foreign aid that will risk degrading local health systems vital to fighting the next major outbreak of contagious diseases. He also makes the case for foreign aid as an incalculable fund of goodwill towards the United States.
Dr. Tom Kenyon, the CEO of Project HOPE and Dr. Alex Trusov, the Senior Director of Project HOPE's TB portfolio, consider how the world can up its game in the fight to end TB by 2035.
Our first podcast episode features Dr. Tom Kenyon, the CEO of Project Health and former Director of the CDC’s Center for Global Health. Dr. Kenyon tackles the issue of global health security and efforts to find, stop and prevent health threats worldwide. He addresses the lessons learned from Ebola and Zika and shares his concerns over bioterrorism and future epidemics.