Utah Valley Global Health Group

A blog about global health for those living in Utah Valley and their friends.

Archive for the ‘Utah Valley Global Health Group’ Category

Global Health Research: Experiences and Lessons Learned

Posted by chads on October 26, 2008

The Utah Valley Global Health Group will be getting together on November 13 at 7pm for an informal discussion and desserts.  The topic will be “Global Health Research: Experiences and Lessons Learned.” Ben Crookston, Josh West, and myself will be sharing our experiences, and we hope others will share theirs as well. Bring a dessert to share. For directions (it will be in Provo), and to RSVP, email unacceptable global health at gmail dot com (no spaces). If you have any general questions, please include them in a comment below so that all can have access to the answer. Hope to see you there!

Posted in Announcements, Utah Valley Global Health Group | 1 Comment »

Run for Global Health

Posted by chads on August 25, 2008

I will (once again!) be running jogging Monday mornings from 6-6:30am, starting outside the Richards Building on the BYU campus. I thought it might be a good idea to get some exercise and talk about global health. I’ll be there on 9/1, 9/8, 9/15, and 9/29. I hope you’ll join me (though I am very slow). If you are planning on being there, let us know in the comments below. Spread the word around!

Posted in Announcements, Utah Valley Global Health Group | 2 Comments »

Community-based Approaches with Joao Bueno

Posted by chads on April 21, 2008

Sorry about the late notice, but Joao Bueno, a friend I met in Mozambique, will be in town, and has accepted an invitation for dinner this Wednesday, April 23. Please join us from 7:30-8:30pm for desserts and discussion about community-based interventions. Joao has spent the last 2 years (I think) in Mozambique as the program director for the Family Preservation Program, a community-based development program. (See here and here for details). RSVP here: unacceptableglobalhealth (at) gmail (dot) com

Posted in Announcements, Utah Valley Global Health Group | 3 Comments »

Reminder: BYU’s Mother, Newborn, and Child Health Conference

Posted by chads on April 2, 2008

Only 2 days until BYU’s Mother, Newborn, and Child Health Conference. Save money by registering early. Looks like it will be a great conference; hope to see you there!

Posted in Announcements, Utah Valley Global Health Group | Leave a Comment »

Millions of Children Die Needlessly

Posted by chads on March 31, 2008

The following was published as an editorial in today’s Daily Herald Newspaper.

Nearly 10 million children die each year before reaching their fifth birthday, and the saddest part is that most of those deaths are quite predictable, easily preventable, and utterly treatable. While it is true that some children worldwide die of incurable cancers, tragic accidents, or unpredictable natural disasters, most do not. Nor do they die of diseases like AIDS, avian flu, and SARS, conditions which get most of the media attention. Most children die, year after year after year, of diseases that we in developed countries either don’t see anymore because they are systematically prevented, or aren’t even consider life-threatening. Pneumonia, diarrhea and complications during childbirth are currently responsible for nearly three-quarters of all of these deaths. Measles, tetanus, and malaria are also significant contributors to child mortality. Of course, millions more children live with these diseases and suffer needlessly.

Recent scientific studies show that 60 percent of those children’s lives could be saved by inexpensive, proven interventions. For example, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a major donor in the Measles Initiative, a vaccine campaign that has decreased the number of deaths due to measles by 500,000 in just six years! Other simple interventions — such as a simple salt solution for dehydration, sleeping under insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria, and breast feeding infants — are also highly effective at saving children’s lives.

What can an ordinary citizen do? Usually the reaction after reading these overwhelming numbers is to think that one cannot make a difference, but it is quite easy to help to save the lives of children. We at the Utah Valley Global Health Group are ordinary citizens who have taken it upon ourselves to learn and to act in small but meaningful ways. It does not take much time and one can make a significant difference with little or no money.

There are a number of ways to get involved in global child survival right here in Utah Valley, including BYU’s first “Mother, Newborn, and Child Health Conference” on Friday. This year the conference will focus on family-based solutions to health challenges.

Also, the Utah Valley Global Health Group is sponsoring an informal dinner and discussion about child survival on May 28. RESULTS, a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization committed to ending poverty, has a local chapter that meets regularly. In addition, versions of the U.S. Commitment to Global Child Survival Act of 2007 are currently being considered in the House and the Senate. Writing your senator or congressman can help.

We know what kills children, and we also know what works to save many of those lives. UNICEF’s 2008 “State of the World’s Children” declares, “The means are at hand. It is now a question of will and of action — for there is no enterprise more noble, or reward more precious than saving the life of a child.” We agree, and we hope you’ll join us. Details about all of the activities mentioned above can be found at https://globalhealth.wordpress.com. You can make a difference.

Posted in Announcements, Child Survival, Utah Valley Global Health Group | 7 Comments »

3rd Informal Global Health Dinner: Child Survival

Posted by chads on March 18, 2008

Mark your calendars: May 28 from 5:30-7:30pm, the Utah Valley Global Health Group will sponsor the third informal global health dinner. The topic of discussion is:

 Child Survival:  Why do nearly 10 million children die each year, and what can we do about it?

Committed speakers, and tentative topics for discussion include:

 Chad Swanson: ER physician, MPH student:  “Overview of Child Survival:  2003 Lancet series, and progress toward the Millennium Development Goals.”

Jini Robi:  Lawyer, BYU Social Work Professor, and Child Advocate:  “Health of Orphans Globally”

Rob Clark, MD, MPH, Physician:  “Neonatal Resuscitation:  An Overview of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Program”

Ben Crookston, MPH, PhD student in global public health at the University of Utah:  “Child Survival:  Experiences from the field”

More details to follow; we hope you’ll join us!  RSVP here:  unacceptableglobalhealth at gmail.com

Posted in Announcements, Utah Valley Global Health Group | 1 Comment »

Utah Global Health Alliance?

Posted by chads on January 15, 2008

I’ve been thinking periodically about a Utah (or LDS? or something else?) Global Health Alliance for a few years now, so I thought I’d write about it. I envision an umbrella organization that provides a place for:

-NGOs to receive technical assistance.

-Students and others to come to learn about work, volunteer, and research opportunities.

-Academics to collaborate.

-Donors to find a recipient that share their vision.

Posted in Global Health and Mormonism, Utah Valley Global Health Group | 5 Comments »

2nd Informal Global Health Dinner: Leprosy

Posted by chads on October 25, 2007

The Utah Valley Global Health Group hosted their second informal pot-luck dinner on October 19. The theme was leprosy. A quick summary of the “take-home points” from my global-burden talk is below. Sylvia Finlayson then shared her experienced with Rising Star Outreach. About 15 people came, and delicious food ranging from spring rolls to garbanzo beans was served.


  • Leprosy is a chronic disease caused by bacterium, Mycobacterium leprae;
  • It multiplies very slowly; symptoms can take as long as 20 years to appear.
  • Leprosy is not highly infectious. It is transmitted via droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close and frequent contacts with untreated cases.


  • Leprosy causes rashes, numbness, and enlarged tender nerves.
  • It mostly causes morbidity (suffering, disability), not mortality (death).


  • Leprosy is a curable disease and treatment provided in the early stages averts disability;
  • With minimal training, leprosy can be easily diagnosed on clinical signs alone;
  • The WHO recommended multidrug therapy (MDT) in 1981. MDT consists of three drugs: dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine. This drug combination kills the pathogen and cures the patient if taken for the course of 6mo-1 year.
  • Since 1995, WHO provides free MDT for all patients in the world.


  • In 1991 World Health Assembly passed a resolution to eliminate leprosy as a public health problem by the year 2000. The target was achieved on time.
  • A dramatic decrease in the global disease burden: from 5.2 million in 1985 to 805 000 in 1995 to 753 000 at the end of 1999 to 286 000 cases at the end of 2004.
  • Intensive efforts are still needed to reach the leprosy elimination target in five countries: Brazil, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Nepal.
  • Ensuring accessible and uninterrupted MDT services available to all patients through flexible and patient-friendly drug delivery systems will lead to elimination.

Modified from the WHO Leprosy Fact Sheet, available at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs101/en/

Posted in Leprosy, Utah Valley Global Health Group | Leave a Comment »

Utah Valley Global Health Group

Posted by chads on October 25, 2007

A few months ago some friends and I started the Utah Valley Global Health Group.  The idea is quite simple:  we were just looking for a place (physical and/or cyber) where people who think that the current global health situation cannot be can get together.  This past meeting, we introduced a four-prong mission:

1.  Encourage collaboration between individuals, institutions, universities, NGOs, and others involved in global health.

2.  Encourage the implementation of evidence-based global health interventions through education.

3. Increase the public’s knowledge of and interest in global health issues through political advocacy, newspaper editorials, activities, etc.

4.  Provide a venue for people recently interested in global health to network, learn of opportunities, get a mentor, etc.

If you have any additions or changes to this “mission statement,” chime in below.

Posted in Announcements, Evidence-based Global Health, Utah Valley Global Health Group | 1 Comment »

2nd Global Health Pot-Luck Dinner

Posted by chads on October 7, 2007

The Utah Valley Global Health Group

Invites you to the 2nd



Theme: “Leprosy”

When? October 19, 2007, 6pm

Where? Chad and Shannon Swanson’s home

Why? Too many suffer needlessly


“Leprosy: A Brief Overview of the Global Burden” by Chad Swanson, ER Physician and MPH student

“Experiences in Leprosy Colonies in India” by Sylvia Finlayson, the Director of Program Development for Rising Star Outreach


We hope you’ll join us!


The Utah Valley Global Health Group is committed to decreasing global health disparities by creating community, fostering collaboration, and announcing events and opportunities.

Posted in Announcements, Utah Valley Global Health Group | 4 Comments »