Global Health Immersion: Part 3

by Ryan Ross It’s 11 AM; the melodic roar of birdsong and jungle creatures is so overwhelming it distracts me from the blinding equatorial sun beating down on my unprotected skin. Thick mahogany trees and draping vines form a dense forest resembling the kinds of images Joseph Conrad or H. Rider Haggard conjured up when…

Global Health Immersion: Part 2

by Ryan Ross It’s not often that your expectations are exceeded so completely, but Africa has done nothing but surprise me.  Whether through the adventures, the hospitality, the accommodations, or the work, never would I have imagined so many things to go so right this summer. Since my last blog post, I was given the chance…

Operation Smile: #HandOverYourSmile Reflection

By Emily Zolfaghari A smile is contagious. If you don’t believe me, smile to a stranger and take notice of their reaction. But, for some people, this facial expression is near impossible to complete. Cleft palate and cleft lip syndrome effects people of all races and occurs globally; however, it was only after I was…

Global Health Immersion: Part 1

by Ryan Ross It is a great honor to be awarded this year’s JSI Fellowship, a grant that supports student driven public health and international immersion.  USC has partnered with Twezimbe Development Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks the socio-economic transformation of rural communities in Uganda.  As part of my fellowship, I will work with…

Zilinga?…How Much (Are Your Experiences Worth)?

Last week happened in a rush of greens and blues – mostly because I spent so much time in cars, going from one town to another. The highway here is a single paved road that connects each district in a long strip of land hugging Lake Malawi. It is more of an ocean, about three-fifths…

What We Can Take Away From the WHA

By Danielle Pappas These past two weeks encompassed a whirlwind of emotions ranging from excitement, inspiration, and passion to doubt, frustration, and anger. For some of us, the WHA was a shocking revelation of the frustratingly slow and political nature of public health on a global scale, where bureaucracy can trump progress and minimize idealistic…

Reflections

By Nina Kharazmi Reflecting upon these past weeks in Geneva, I can genuinely say that this experience has been enlightening. My eyes have been opened to both the political structure and bureaucracy of the World Health Assembly. I have learned that decision making from an international standpoint is a slow and tedious process. Diplomacy is…

Usipa and Musawa

By Whitney Camarena In one word, the market is: loud. Bartering happens in mere seconds, every second. The vendors chant and whistle tantalizing offers for dresses, magazines, chickens. We weave our way through the shanties and some how ended up surrounded by the fish sector on all sides. There was no making it out of…

Muli Bwangi?

By Whitney Camarena It has been almost a full day since I first stepped foot on the beautiful soil of Mzuzu and my feet have never looked better than they do tinged with the red dust of Malawi. It is everywhere and I am thankful for the artillery of Claritin that my aunt sent me…

Paving the way to strengthening health systems

An important message from this year’s World Health Assembly has been the value of clear goals.  The progress that non-governmental organizations like GAVI Alliance and The Global Fund have made may be attributed to their focus and clear ambition towards immunization and vaccination.  Being able to identify a problem and give evidence to effective intervention…

Hashtags and Press Boxes at the WHA

By Jessica It has been an incredible and immensely valuable experience for me to be able to attend the 68th World Health Assembly and visit the international organizations throughout Geneva! From the wealth of knowledge being dispersed in the committees to the discussions at WHA side events to the brilliant and driven people we have…

The Palace of Nations: A Place of Importance and Improvements

By Evan Prye The World Health Assembly in Geneva is impressive in just about every way. It is hosted by a stunning and ancient city, housed by a palace constructed for the League of Nations in the 1930’s (Palais des Nations), and filled with important representatives from 184 member states. We have eaten lunch with…