WHY AND INTEREST IN GLOBAL HEALTH?
There are three main reasons for my interest in global health. First, we are no longer isolated by oceans and borders since air travel has made the world smaller and more accessible. Pragmatically, this has made containment of rapidly spreading contagious diseases difficult. What happens “over there” can quickly happen here. We must take a global perspective on public health to protect ourselves and our communities.
Second, we also can no longer ignore the dominance of the global economy to which our wealth and stability as a nation is inextricably tied. We know that high tide raises all boats. A healthier population means a healthier economy. The World Health Organization has declared that the right to health care is a human right and we, as fellow humans on this beautiful, bountiful Earth, have an obligation to make modern health care advances and techniques available to all, worldwide. Research has showed again and again that in addition to education, access to reliable, consistently available health care raises the standard of living and wealth of any community.
Finally, we need to facilitate opportunities for both health sciences students and professionals to get involved in global health care initiatives. It is essential that those who are entering into any health science profession understand that it is not enough to serve the people in our own neighborhoods, towns and cities, but that they must make some kind of commitment - by direct or indirect action - to improve the lives of people everywhere.
IF HFGH got a $1 million donation, what would you spend it on?
If we received a $1 million grant - I would take part of that money for student scholarships to go on medical/global health trips of their choosing. With the rest, I'd establish funds for our dear Batata in Panama to bring them clean water, concrete floors, and adequate nutrition. I would also fund public health projects to rid them of head lice and scabies which cause such suffering for the people, especially the children.
Paul R. Black, PhD
Member, Board of Education
Albany Unified School District, Albany, CA
Why an interest in global health?
Global health, together with universal education, are the keys to saving the world. Nothing else can happen without those two pieces in place.
IF hfgh got a $1 million donation, what would you spend it on?
I'd like to use the money to endow a scholarship to help as many students as possible--both US and Latin American--to train at HFGH clinics.