A Good Week

It’s been a good week. I traveled to Geneva with United Methodist, Lutheran and United Nations Foundation colleagues to meet with staff of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. United Methodists and Lutherans are partnering with the United Nations Foundation and the Global Fund to raise funds to eliminate malaria. The conversation was stimulating and exciting. I have more hope that the world can conquer malaria than I’ve ever had. The goal is 2015, a date called by UN General Sec. Ban Ki Moon. It’s great to leave a meeting feeling more excitement and hope than when you began.

Sen. Bill Frist and Larry Hollon A day after this, Sen. Bill Frist and a colleague came to our offices. Along with two of my staff colleagues, we had a very hopeful conversation about common concerns in global health. Since leaving the Senate he’s devoted his time to global health and poverty. We discovered several places where our interests intersect. And I learned that he played a key role in creating the Global Fund. Along with him, I believe the Global Fund is one of the greatest hopes the world has for significantly reducing the human toll of these three major diseases.

We also discovered we share relationships with people and organizations working on health and communications. The role of communications is often overlooked in addressing poverty and disease. But the challenge of getting life saving information to people, especially in underserved remote, rural regions where poverty is endemic is a function that deserves our careful consideration. I’m glad we were able to talk about it.

All in all, at week’s end I looked back and reflected; it was a good week.

6 Responses to “A Good Week”

  1. Poonam July 27, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    What do you think are the major stumbling blocks to accomplish this goal?

  2. Larry July 28, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    I think it will happen. The biggest challenge is getting complete coverage so that the parasite does not have the opportunity to strengthen, develop resistance and come back stronger. We’ve seen the value of scale–the distribution of bednets on a national scale and adequate stocks of medications, residual indoor spraying and water management. Faith based groups offer a significant capacity in many regions to reach remote, rural populations where this problem of coverage is most risky. That’s why it will take a comprehensive global partnership and sustained, long-term commitment to keep the disease under control.

    Thanks for your note.

  3. Carolyn August 5, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    Do you have any words about the chemical that goes onto/into the net in its manufactoring process? What research has been done to avoid it being the greater, or even lesser of evils?
    At this point in distribution of the nets, we all are excited in the distribution, in the receiving, and all are focusing on prevention. So, I am not here to rain on the parade, but to question the chemicals involved.
    Having been there in the land of both withs and withouts I have not read any documentation yet on this new style.
    Keep up your good work. Blessings,

  4. Carolyn August 5, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America

    is one of the more readable, more on target, more broad-spectrum of recent readings. I found out about it through UMW readings and was absolutely awed by the writier’s level of presentation for a greater percentage of the population to read it and get some type of mental grip on what is really happening in our global community. Thanks,

  5. Larry August 11, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    I have talked of the chemicals involved but your question causes me to go back to my notes and to seek more information. The chemicals do become less effective over time and the impregnated nets become less effective as insecticide.
    I will come back to this. Thanks for your note.

  6. Larry August 11, 2009 at 9:49 pm #

    RE: Freidman, Hot, Flat, Crowded: I find the book accessible and it opened new ideas for me to consider. I especially find the smart technology discussion for housing to be very interesting. There are some who criticize Freidman’s commitment to commercial, corporate-run energy creation. The issue it seems to me is providing incentive for experimenters to risk new solutions and assisting them to find a market to sustain them. In my neighborhood it would difficult to get new technologyies installed–solar panels, for example, due to zoning and development restrictions. Public policy has to change as well. Legislation allowing homeowners to collect rainwater from their own roofs in Colorado recently brought this problem to attention in an interesting way.
    Thanks for the comment.

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