For as much attention as AIDS gets as a killer in Africa, malaria kills nearly 1 million people here each year, most of them children. Out today on a project for the CDC Foundation, I got a chance to see some of CDC’s bed net projects aimed at curbing the malaria infection rate in Western Kenya. As is often the case, simple solutions for best. For the Asman family I visited today, it has been four years since any of the kids have contracted malaria. That’s the difference a $5 bed net can make. - David Snyder
Asman Sawo and his wife Miriam sit in the small front room of their home, bathed in mid-morning light from the open front door. While the breeze eases the gathering heat, Sawo knows open doors in the Nyanza Province of Kenya can literally be killers. In Africa, where a child dies from malaria every 45 seconds, a bed net can mean the difference between life and death.
Eric Mintz, M.D., lead for CDC′s global water, sanitation and hygiene epidemiology team, has traveled the world to help bring safe water to families in developing countries. A renowned safe water expert, he remembers fighting a cholera epidemic in a small fishing village in Peru shortly after joining CDC in 1989. Within months, the outbreak took hold across Peru and into neighboring countries.
After several days in CDC labs meeting with scientists who know more about public health than I could ever hope to learn, today we drove up to the small town of McMinnville, Tennessee, to take photos of something a bit easier to get my head around – kids playing on a playground. Not just any playground, but a playground that Hickory Creek Elementary School funded in part through a CDC Foundation partnership with Cargill.
With childhood obesity rates on the rise, playtime is serious business at Hickory Creek Elementary School in McMinnville, TN. The school playground, funded in part through a CDC Foundation partnership with Cargill, is a welcome addition to the school’s commitment to student health.
Schools are the ideal setting for children to exercise and eat healthy food, given the significant amount of time they spend there every day. One corporation decided to act to help schools tackle the growing problem of childhood obesity. Partnering with the CDC Foundation and CDC, Cargill provided $300,000 in grant money to help 47 elementary schools with one simple goal: to improve children’s health.
Dr. MarkAlain Déry spent more than a decade as a flight physician and was on the ground responding to patients in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Today, as an instructor of clinical medicine at Tulane University’s School of Medicine in New Orleans, he is applying his expertise to a passion for HIV prevention and testing in a city that ranks among the nation’s highest in AIDS diagnoses.
David Rubin, assistant vice president of contingency planning for Whitney National Bank, leads the bank’s disaster preparedness and response efforts in New Orleans. A native of Louisiana, Rubin’s job was created after Hurricane Katrina proved how critical it was for businesses to ensure employees’ safety and security while keeping their doors open for business.
Joseph Kimbrell, chief executive officer of the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), can see the Louisiana Superdome from his New Orleans office. It is a commanding view today – and a stark reminder of the chaos in the days following Hurricane Katrina when thousands of evacuees crammed the Superdome and the surrounding streets. Kimbrell and his staff were among those fleeing the city to escape the flooding.
Kay Wilkins, CEO, American Red Cross, Southeast Louisiana Chapter, is a resilient, optimistic leader. But she recalls that her leadership was put to the test during the dark days following Hurricane Katrina.
Spent the last few days in New Orleans with the CDC Foundation. They were hosting a Meta-Leadership Summit there – the 20th of 36 Summits scheduled before the end of 2011. The irony of hosting the Summit in New Orleans right now is that Louisiana is dealing with the effects of the Gulf oil spill.
Past 60 now, his skin weathered by a life in the Gulf Coast sun, Darryl Eymard is hard to impress. He speaks as slowly as an outgoing tide, weighs his words with the care of a thinker and offers pearls of country wisdom across the console of his 18-foot johnboat.
If you watch her eyes as she drives slowly through the Lower 9th Ward, you can almost see the events of Hurricane Katrina unfolding again for Avis Gray. As the regional administrator for the Louisiana Office of Public Health in New Orleans, Gray was at ground zero when the levees surrounding the city broke and cannot forget what she saw in the weeks that followed.
Trudging through the oil-stained sand of a small Gulf Coast island during stifling heat is all in a day’s work for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) staff who are part of CDC’s response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Charles Stokes, CDC Foundation president and CEO, in a ceremony last evening received the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2013 Health-Care Hero Lifetime Achievement Award for his work helping the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advance its life-saving 24/7 work through public-private partnerships.
May is Hepatitis Awareness Month. In recognition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new Vital Signs report to raise awareness about the importance of testing baby boomers for hepatitis C.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend the 2013 Milken Institute Global Conference, attended by 3,700 global leaders from across the health, education, philanthropy, government, media, finance, business and energy sectors, including 18 members of Congress.