Tag Archives: Belinda O’Donnell

The Future of Nigeria’s Response to HIV: Q&A with Dr. Oluwatobi Victor Popoola

Young women in Abuja, Nigeria.

By Belinda O’Donnell

From June to August, I was a peer collaborator for the Mandela Washington Fellows, based at Howard University in Washington D.C. There I met the remarkable Dr. Victor Popoola, an HIV clinician and 2016 Fellow.

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A Field Guide to Drones for Global Health: The Good, the Bad, the Unknown

By Belinda O’Donnell

I saw my first drone in action this January. I was walking on the sidewalk and there it was, 50 feet above me, a small black dot in the sky. The sound was somewhere between a couple of bees and a motorbike.

Drones are everywhere, it seems, including the conversation about healthcare delivery. UNICEF and the Government of Malawi have teamed up with Silicon Valley start-up Matternet to see if using small quadcopter UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) can cut transportation times between clinics and centralized labs. The goal is to speed up HIV testing for infants in remote parts of the country.

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HIV and the TPP

Trans-Pacific Partnership map

By Belinda O’Donnell

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may seem peripheral to the ongoing fight against HIV at first glance. Yet many activists and analysts are saying the free trade agreement between the United States and eleven other Pacific Rim countries (New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam) is worth a second look. If the agreement is successfully adopted, the TPP will shape the new rules of commercial engagement for over 800 million people, spanning 36% of the global economy. The scale and scope of the pending TPP make this a significant agreement on which crucial gains in global health will either be made or reversed. Continue reading

Bridges to Build: Engaging the U.S. Military in the Context of Global Health

by Belinda O’Donnell

The U.S. military will never be viewed primarily as a global health actor, yet it is a deeply significant one. Never has this been more apparent then when AFRICOM, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) unit responsible for all operations, exercises, and security cooperation in Africa, was asked to leverage its strength to coordinate the logistics of the U.S. response to the Ebola epidemic. Operation United Assistance was the “largest U.S. military operation [to ever be launched] in support of infectious disease control”. In December 2014, Liberia had 21 Ebola treatment units; 10 of them were built by the U.S. military.

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