Leader of the World Health Organization Praises Columbia’s New Public Health Program

Excerpt from original story written by the Earth Institute’s Sarah Fecht. 

When your child has a fever, you probably visit the doctor, pick up a prescription, and in no time, your kid is back to normal. When a population is suffering a disease outbreak, experiencing a food shortage, or reeling from a natural disaster, the remedies are not so simple.

That’s why Columbia University is setting up a new program called Global Health Security and Diplomacy (GHSD). GHSD aims to “educate and train the next generation of leaders to understand the complexities of dealing with global health security and diplomacy in an increasingly interconnected world.” These leaders will be trained to prevent, detect, and respond to pandemics, food crises, natural hazards, forced migration, and chemical, biological, cyber, and climate-related threats.

Tackling public health problems requires working across governments and disciplines, which is why the program will draw on expertise from the Columbia University Medical Center, the School of International and Public Affairs, and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

President Lee Bollinger announced the new program on Tuesday evening at the World Leaders Forum, before welcoming Tedros Adhanom to the stage. Adhanom is the director general of the World Health Organization, who greeted the program as ‘a gift’ to the organization and a partner in the fight against infectious disease.

Former South African politician Wilmot James, who is now a visiting professor at Columbia University, will be the programs executive director. IRI’s Madeleine Thomson will be its co-director.

Read the full story on the State of the Planet blog.