Articles

Three Global Health Threats

SAN FRANCISCO – The tragic Ebola outbreak in West Africa has underscored the imperative of strengthening health systems at both the national and global level. But, though Ebola has focused the world’s attention on systemic shortcomings, the goal must be to combat the abiding epidemics that are quietly inflicting suffering and death on populations worldwide.

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Emergency Education Now

DAVOS – In an ideal world, whenever children needed help, they would get it. When girls and boys were forced from their homes or classrooms because of war, natural disaster, or other crises, the international community would, within days, formulate a plan to ensure their immediate wellbeing. And such plans would include not only life-saving interventions, but also havens of psychological support and learning that protect opportunity and hope. Such places exist. They are called schools.

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Building a Caring Economy

DAVOS – Today’s mainstream economic models are based on two fundamental assumptions: first, humans are essentially selfish actors who act rationally to advance their own utility – so-called homo economicus; but, second, as Adam Smith’s metaphor of an “invisible hand” was intended to suggest, self-regarding behavior can inadvertently advance the common good. Both assumptions are patently false.

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The New Health-Care Continuum

DAVOS – The health-care industry has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Research and development have given us astonishing new treatments, powerful diagnostics, and a rapidly growing wealth of knowledge. Medical specializations and providers have proliferated. Governments and insurers have become powerful players. And the patient has become a vocal and proactive consumer, ready to search for better options, even if that means going abroad.

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A Wildlife Awakening

NAIROBI – The World Wildlife Fund’s recently published Living Planet Report 2014 brings some alarming news: wildlife numbers have halved over the last four decades. In response to the growing number of species threatened by habitat destruction, poaching, pollution, and climate change, representatives of governments from around the world are convening in Quito, Ecuador, to determine the fate of nearly three dozen species, and to negotiate new measures to safeguard many more.

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