The info hub for the hub of global health
With US cities opening public places, many people are not following health guidelines, which is contributing to a rise in COVID-19 cases. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts that if 95% of Americans wore face masks, it could prevent 45,000 deaths by November 1 from COVID-19. Check out the visualization of masks vs. no masks on the COVID-19 projection model.
Here in Washington, masks are now required indoors in public spaces and outdoors when you can’t stay six feet apart. Check out Public Health—Seattle & King County for the lowdown about face coverings, and let’s #MaskUpWA.
DEI in cancer research
Cancer doesn’t discriminate, but the research may. Current cancer prevention tools—like risk calculators—are based primarily on the genetic data of white participants who make up the majority of the studies. Without inclusive data, risk factors may be missed, and medicines may not be as effective for diverse populations. Fred Hutch is aiming to change that with its five-year study to include multiethnic populations and bring diversity and equity into cancer prevention. One step toward health equity.
Cheers to 15 years
Malaria No More, PATH, and other partners celebrated the 15-year anniversary of one of the most effective investments in global health—the US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). It has contributed to saving more than 7 million lives and prevented more than 1 billion cases, and today, protects more than 570 million people at risk of malaria.
PMI’s work to strengthen health infrastructures in 24 countries, such as training health workers and improving lab and surveillance capacities, is paying off during the COVID-19 pandemic, too.
Text me all about it
Keshet Ronen, at the University of Washington Department of Global Health, is developing natural language processing tools for SMS text messaging interventions. Her goal is to use texts to monitor and support maternal mental health in Kenya.
The tools Ronen develops will be used to improve the efficiency and adaptability of text messaging programs that connect new moms to health care workers and helpful resources in real time. No one will get ghosted with these texts.
Mexico currently ranks seventh globally for COVID-19 deaths, so WGHA members are working quickly to reach residents in rural areas.
- Partners In Health (PIH) supports a hospital and 10 rural clinics in Chiapas. The PIH team educates the public about handwashing and COVID-19 symptoms, and they train health workers on using personal protective equipment and treating patients with COVID-19.
- World Vision uses flyers, posters, and radio programs to share important COVID-19 information with rural farm workers.
Focus on the fundamentals
War, food and water shortages, a cholera outbreak, and now COVID-19—Yemen is facing multiple crises at once. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has been on the ground in Yemen since 2012 and is working tirelessly to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the 3.3 million displaced residents. The IRC is providing protective gear, clean water and sanitation services, and critical information about symptoms to help refugees prevent COVID-19.
Testing…1, 2, 3
Testing is a crucial part of slowing the spread of COVID-19, and Medical Teams International has been busy supporting testing clinics in the PNW since March. Its mobile testing vans have supported screening for some of the most vulnerable populations and high-risk areas, including inside CHOP and Mary’s Place centers.
In King County, Medical Teams has screened more than 2,500 people so far. And in Yakima County—one of the current hot spots—it increased testing capacity by 50% in one day.
- July 14: Learn about the political, economic, and social challenges facing countries in Latin America with the World Affairs Council.
- July 15: Attend Malaria’s Rising Toll in the COVID Shadow with Rotarian Malaria Partners.
- July 16: Join the WGHA Communicators Roundtable to learn and share tips for messaging during the pandemic. For WGHA members.
- July 16–17: Participate in 2020 Life Science Innovation Northwest with Life Science Washington.
- July 23: Register for this forum hosted by yours truly to learn how global health is local too. For WGHA members.
- July 30: Learn how to foster equity and inclusion in the STEM society with the Institute for Systems Biology and Town Hall Seattle.
- August 6: Tell your teacher friends to sign up for the virtual STEM Global Educator Workshop to earn 3 STEM clock hours.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen with COVID-19. The idea of doing one’s part, though, should be so simple: Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands. That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your town,
your society as a whole.”
—Tom Hanks, in an interview with TODAY
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