Category Archives: Global Coverage

We travel the world to tell stories about global health and development. From conferences to working in the field we cover everything from infectious diseases to maternal health and family planning.

Day 3 Dispatch: In Nepal With Coca-Cola

I was in Nepal with Coca-Cola for a very short period of time earlier this month, but we did and saw a lot in the days we were there including:

  • (Day 1) How the local Coca-Cola bottling company is working with a Nepalese NGO that is rebuilding a community from scratch after the earthquake
  • (Day 2) How Coca-Cola is empowering businesswomen in their supply chain

On Day 3 we visited a PET (plastic) bottle recycling center run by the Himalayan Climate Initiative where we sat down with women waste workers who sort the bottles to be recycled. It was heartening to learn about the innovative ways HCI is providing benefits and dignity to the women waste workers who will remain in Nepal’s lowest caste for the rest of their lives.

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Can Creative Innovators Drive Global Health and Humanitarian Change?

I am currently in a very small North Carolina town known for a few things: its infamous ballroom that was converted into a world class event space from an old, historic cotton mill, its Gastropub, its craft beer as well as its pristine location on the Haw River about twenty minutes from Chapel Hill.

Haw River

I’m here for the SwitchPoint conference that fuses a combination of music, art, microlabs and 15-minute talks on a wide variety of issues ranging from using drones in humanitarian crises to being implored to add more Africa into our timelines and not excepting the narrow narrative arc of the continent.

SwitchPoint is presented by IntraHealth International, the 35-year-old global NGO that works in innovative ways with health workers in 100 countries. SwithPoint is IntraHealth International’s flagship conference where experts, and storytellers, and doers on the ground (wherever in the world that is) convene for two days for a conversation about ways to partner, collaborate, and innovate on ideas.

After the first day at SwitchPoint I walked away knowing there are new ways to reach online and offline communities with messages that moms want to hear and share – issues that not only affect women and children here in the United States, but globally as well.

We heard from extremely talented innovators, social entrepreneurs and others who are indeed innovating on ideas that are shaping the world really as we know it. The day started with Patrick Meier, who founded the Digital Humanitarian Network. He talked about the worldwide use of drones in places like Namibia for conservation efforts and in Haiti where after Hurricane Sandy drones were used to find standing water and flooding across the island country.

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New This Week: Global Health Best Buys Panel

Every penny that governments, civil society, family foundations, and INGOs spend to help save lives must be taken into account. We’re not talking about a little bit of money here, we’re talking about hundreds of millions of collective dollars that keep people alive who live in low-and middle-income countries. To be fair, in the grand scheme of things, this money is far, far less than governments spend on their military budgets, for instance. The United States spends less than 1 percent of its fiscal budget on foreign aid, so while saving lives through better global health requires a substantial amount money it undoutedly remains a relatively stellar and rather inexpensive investment in our global community’s health, well-being and future. That said, the money that is spent must be used wisely and that’s where it gets tricky.

On Wednesday, March 19th I will be attending the Global Health Best Buys panels in Washington, DC at the Center for Global Development as a guest of PSI to cover not only what makes a global health investment successful, but where global health investments should be made in 2014.  These two panels are designed to ease the trickiness that arises when it comes to investments in global health. The lineup is stellar from Karl Hofmann, President and CEO of PSI to Nicole Klingen, Acting Director, Health, Nutrition and Population for the World Bank and Amie Batson, Chief Strategy Officer at PATH.

Visit www.psi.org/global-health-best-buys for more information and to see the full list of panelists. I will be covering the event live and will provide a recap post later in the week.