Global Health

Global Health is the area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving health, reducing disparities, and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. No one should be denied health education and treatment because of race, class, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status—yet many are.

Everything Matters: The Power of Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

By Michelle Lugalia-Hollon, Global Health Contributing Editor

Imagine after years of unexplained and unmanageable heart disease sitting down with your doctor who explains that your heart condition may be a manifestation of unaddressed trauma that you experienced as a child. What would you do?

In 1985, Dr. Vincent Felitti, the Chief of Kaiser Permanente’s renown Department of Preventive Medicine, was struggling to understand why 50% of patients attending the center’s obesity clinic were dropping out of the program despite their success in reaching their weight loss goals. To get to the bottom of this problem, Felitti researched the program dropouts’ medical records and noticed several themes: 1. All were of average weight at birth; 2. They did not gain weight slowly over their lifetime as he had assumed but gained weight over a short period of time; and 3. When they lost weight, they would quickly regain all or more of it.

Intrigued by this data, Felitti decided to interview several hundreds of those patients but learned nothing from his initial survey until he jumbled his routine questions and accidentally asked a patient, “How much did you weigh when you were first sexually active?” The patient revealed that she weighed forty pounds and was only four years old when her father abused her. As he continued his interviews, he and his colleagues discovered that most of their overweight patients had been sexually assaulted as children and some more recently as adults. It was then that he realized his patients were eating to soothe their trauma. For some patients, being obese was a protective solution and losing weight often led to an increase in anxiety, depression, or fear. After making this connection, Felitti attempted to share the information with his peers to lukewarm reception. (more…)

Cancer Cases Rising At An Alarming Rate Worldwide

Repost from NPR . “As countries modernize around the world, they’re increasingly being hit with one of the curses of wealth: cancer.There are about 14 million new cancer cases globally each year, the World Health Organization reported Monday. And the … Continue reading

Attacks on Medical Care in Syria

Repost the Lancet . “Attacks on Syria’s medical community and infrastructure have devastated the health-care system. Government forces – and sometimes opposition groups – have deliberately targeted medical professionals, hospitals, ambulances, and supplies, preventing untold numbers of people from getting … Continue reading

Designing Medical Devices for Predictably Unpredictable Environments

Repost from the Lancet. “Many remote hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa lack basic medical devices, like infant incubators, radiant warmers, and anaesthesia machines. Recognizing this, well-meaning individuals and organizations from high-income countries donate medical equipment – sometimes new, but mostly used … Continue reading