BU Today

In the World + Science & Tech

The global challenge of getting medicine to children

Free sneak preview and panel discussion Thursday

Diseases eradicated years ago in some countries still threaten the daily existence of millions of people in other countries. To bring attention to this problem, the School of Public Health and its Global Health Initiative, in collaboration with Boston public television station WGBH, has scheduled a panel discussion and partial screening of Rx for Survival — A Global Health Challenge, a six-part documentary on emerging global health issues, on Thursday, October 20, at CGS’s Jacob Sleeper Auditorium, 871 Commonwealth Ave., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The film and discussion are free and open to the public.

The episode being screened, titled “Delivering the Goods,” looks at the paradox in global health — that today we can prevent, treat, or cure most deadly diseases, yet every year millions all over the world die from these diseases. The documentary and companion campaign Rx for Child Survival demonstrate that the quest for better health worldwide is well within our capabilities and is in fact everyone’s responsibility.

The panel includes distinguished global health experts from the Boston area, led by Gerald Keusch, MED Campus assistant provost for global health, SPH associate dean, and director of the Global Health Initiative; Claire Pierre, clinical director of informatics and executive director of the Center for International Health Partnerships at the Cambridge Health Alliance; moderator Helen Palmer, Boston bureau chief and senior health desk correspondent for Marketplace, the PBS radio program on economics; and Philip Hilts, a COM lecturer in journalism, former New York Times correspondent, and author of the companion book Rx for Survival: Why We Must Rise to the Global Health Challenge.

Keusch notes that “global health challenges are indeed global because they do not respect national borders, and require collaborative solutions and implementation of what we know and what we know will work. What, why, and how are the topics of this campaign — we already know when, and that is now.”

The Rx for Child Survival campaign raises awareness of child survival concerns, provides opportunities to get involved, and encourages people to donate money to help those in need around the world. Funds from this campaign will be used to deliver much-needed interventions in countries such as Sierra Leone, Vietnam, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Mali, Nepal, and Afghanistan.

The documentary, produced by the WGBH/NOVA Science Unit and Vulcan Productions, Inc., and funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Merck Company Foundation, is part of a global health campaign that brings light to issues abroad that affect everyone.