Special Journal Issues Spotlight What Works in Global Health

By Laura Kurtzman

The Ebola epidemic has focused attention on global health like nothing since the height of the AIDS epidemic.

The mass deaths, which are increasing exponentially, raise tough questions about the unprecedented health investments the international community has made over the last 15 years. How well are they working? What does the worst outbreak in history tell us about how far we have yet to go in creating true health equity around the world?

Read the Special Issues

Cover of the special issue of Science and Science Translational Medicine

Some of the answers may be found in two special global health issues of Science and Science Translational Medicine, which were published online on Sept. 12. UCSF Global Health Sciences and its director, Jaime Sepulveda, MD, DSc, MPH, were a key partner in developing the idea of the special issues and in cultivating the articles.

The special issues come as UCSF is holding a major global health symposium on Thursday, Oct. 2, titled “The Science of Global Health: What’s Next.” The daylong event will feature Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, of Harvard University and Partners in Health; and Dean Jamison, PhD, the influential health economist and global health researcher who is now a professor at UCSF Global Health Sciences.

Science takes a look at what is working in global health, while noting just how little evidence there is on how well AIDS, malaria and other programs are doing in countries with weak health systems.

Science Translational Medicine looks at new technologies to confront emerging viral diseases, vaccine challenges and how cell phones and mobile technologies can be used for diagnostic imaging.

With commentaries from Peter Piot, MD, PhD, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Margaret Chan, MD, director general of the World Health Organization, these special issues are as timely and pragmatic as they are scholarly.