Field Notes, Update

Feeding the future, reopening fistula programs, and decreasing bias in research

The info hub for the hub of global health

Leaving the herd

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is working to debunk the myth that herd immunity is a viable solution to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies show that upward of 65% or more of the population would have to get either the virus or a vaccine in order for the virus to stop spreading. That’s a long way from where we are now. Instead of following the herd, we need to stick to what works—wearing facemasks, washing our hands, and social distancing to help prevent the COVID-19 winter surge.

Treating the herd

Infectious animal diseases are a big threat not only for livestock and production but also for food security and human health. Washington State University’s Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health has ambitious plans to take on these challenges by developing a regional Feed the Future Animal Health Innovation Lab and research program in Nairobi, Kenya.

In the new lab, WSU researchers will improve livestock vaccines and track their impact on animal and human health, and they will also train the next generation of animal health scientists in East Africa.

Namaste, Angi

Meet Angi Ramos—our new communications manager! Angi has a decade of experience in professional communications firms working with Fortune 500 companies and consumer tech startups.

Angi is a native Seattleite (yes, they still exist) and is passionate about lifting diverse voices and perspectives. She’s also a trained yoga instructor and volunteers with Yoga Behind Bars in her free time.

Grand reopenings

As some African governments lift COVID-19 restrictions, the Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) and its partners have the green light to resume fistula surgeries, patient support groups, and medical training programs while following COVID-19 safety guidelines. Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Kenya are among the first to get programs up and running, as WFF continues to support Uganda and Niger in starting to reopen fistula centers. Hopefully soon, women with childbirth injuries will be off the waitlist and into recovery.

Notifications on

How many times have you wondered if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 when you’re in public?

The Seattle Times shared that the University of Washington and the state Department of Health are working on an app to answer that burning question. This is part of the Western States Pact, where states are working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A handful of states and a few countries have already launched similar apps with varying success.

The Exposure Notifications System for iPhones and Androids uses Bluetooth to detect proximity to other phones. If someone who uses the app tests positive, an alert can be sent anonymously to people who have been within 6 feet of them. Now that’s a notification setting we’d turn on.

Increase diversity, decrease bias

You’re invited

On October 28, join us from the comfort of your home (or anywhere you have a connection!) for the first-ever virtual Pioneers of Global Health Awards & Fundraiser—2020: The Journey without a Road Map. We’ll celebrate the Pioneers awardees and reflect on our collective trip through 2020 and how we’re re-inventing the global health road map as we go.

Choose between three levels of virtual engagement, including a free ticket, a signature cocktail kit from Ben Paris, or a gourmet dinner with wine from Swine Dining Catering. We’ll see you online!

People on the move

  • Bryan Murphy-Eustis is the new vice president of programs at The Max Foundation.
  • Jennifer Cho is the new director of partnerships at Panorama.
  • John Berman is the new executive director of Pilgrim Africa.
  • Nicole Travis is the new HR generalist at Panorama.
  • Pilar Montoya is the new executive director of Resource Media.
  • Riley Glandon is the new program officer of scalable solutions at Panorama.
  • Sierra Fox-Woods is the new senior project manager for the Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health at Panorama.

Around town

Anytime: Check out the US government’s newly released report that highlights the whole-of-government approach to advance health security at home and abroad.

“The essence of global health equity is the idea that something so precious as health might be viewed as a right.”

Paul Farmer, MD, PhD

Do you have a tip for Field Notes? Send it to Jayanna Thompson, jayanna.thompson@wghalliance.org

Copyright © 2019 Washington Global Health Alliance, All rights reserved.