Archive for the ‘Global health’ Category

Debate over climate change and health

Posted by on December 5th, 2007 |

Filed in Global health, News | No Comments »

Today the Boston Globe reports on a debate between scientists over whether climate change is associated with the spread of infectious disease. The debate took place during a workshop on global climate change at the Institute of Medicine, the health-related branch of the National Academy of Sciences.

The skeptical voice, according to the Globe, was Donald S. Burke, Dean of the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. Burke argued that there remains a lot we don’t know about the effects of climate change on health. He expressed caution about limits to existing data and argued that we can’t yet establish a causal relationship between climate change and increasing rates of infectious diseases like dengue fever, influenza, and West Nile virus.

Paul R. Epstein, from the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard, disagreed. He argued that climate change was involved in changing disease ecologies related to the spread of infectious disease.

The Globe article points out that the scientific debate parallels debate between the Bush administration and several states, and that it relates to policy deliberations on Capitol Hill and around the world. What are some of the different ways that medical anthropologists might approach this debate?

Paul Farmer on video

Posted by on November 1st, 2007 |

Filed in Global health, Health inequalities | 3 Comments »

Earlier this month, Paul Farmer delivered a keynote address at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. The Heller School has posted a video of Farmer’s speech online, so you can see it too.

The talk focuses on the policy implications of global inequities in health. You will recognize the core arguments from our discussion of Infections and Inequalities, but the examples and evidence come largely from Farmer’s work since that book was published. (Those of you who attended Tracy Kidder’s talk two weeks ago will also recognize some of the photos.)

The best part, if you ask me, is the question and answer period — so hang in there through the end. What aspects of the talk do you find most compelling? In what ways does Farmer draw on his training in anthropology, not just in medicine?

Paul Farmer keynote address at the Heller School