In a feature for Now@NEJM, we ask the authors of the new Global Health review article series — all with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives — the same set of questions.
Answers from Donald R. Hopkins, M.D., M.P.H., of the Carter Center, Atlanta.
Dr. Hopkins is author of the January 3 article, “Disease Eradication.”
What do you regard as the most significant success in global health within the past decade?
Dramatically increased distribution of bed nets to prevent malaria and lymphatic filariasis in Africa, and increased availability of treatment for HIV/AIDS infections.
In the coming decade, which arena of global health do you feel warrants increased attention and awareness?
More attention to education and mobilization of local communities to participate actively in measures to improve their health and well-being.
How can we best harness the revolution in IT to improve health outcomes in the developing world?
Work with local officials, communities and citizens to discover useful IT applications.
When American physicians think of global health, many are dissuaded from a global health career because they cannot spend a majority of their time abroad. What are other ways for physicians to contribute to this discipline?
Work with U.S.-based organizations that allow them to spend lesser time abroad physically, conduct relevant research, help teach relevant skills, and/or help support others who do work abroad.