Health for All

The link between human health, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development is inextricable. Initiatives throughout the Earth Institute tackle the public health discipline’s most pressing issues.

Toward the improvement of maternal health, the MacArthur Foundation and the Earth Institute are working together to scale up a project that will demonstrate the feasibility, accessibility, and acceptability of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) interventions in rural Africa. Building on a successful pilot project in the Millennium Village of Bonsaaso, Ghana, the Earth Institute is now making available PPH interventions to women in the northern and western districts of Ghana. Project deliverables will include PPH intervention training and tools for community health workers. This timely project is part of a larger effort between the Earth Institute and the MacArthur Foundation to improve sexual, reproductive, and maternal health across sub-Saharan Africa.

Madeleine Thomson, a senior research scientist from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), is working on a number of projects aimed at incorporating climate information into health planning, including creating a “health and climate” disciplinary interface and a “climate smart” public health community through the Climate Information for Public Health Action (CIPHA) initiative. Since 2002 Thomson has been working on projects studying air-, water-, and vector-borne infections as well as broader health challenges associated with nutrition and disasters.

Patrick Kinney, Earth Institute expert and professor at the Mailman School of Public Health, has focused much of his work on the human health effects of air pollution and climate change. Kinney’s initiatives are focused both in New York City and internationally. In New York, Kinney designed and led the New York Climate and Health Project, developing an integrated modeling system for assessing future human health implications of heat waves and fluctuating  air quality due to climate and land use changes. He is currently leading research on climate, air pollution, and health in France, Ghana, and China.

Josh Ruxin, Earth Institute expert and assistant clinical professor at the Mailman School of Public Health, leads the Access Project in Rwanda, a program that strengthens the health system in 96 facilities serving nearly 2 million people there. In partnership with the government of Rwanda, the Access team provides management interventions to ensure the financial sustainability of all efforts. This year, Access received major grants from the GE Foundation and worked in partnership with Health Builders, an organization focused on building  new infrastructure.

The Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development (CGSD) works on the policy end of initiatives that include human health, providing policy support to address the challenges of sustainable development in a global society. This year CGSD launched the Community Health Workers (CHW) campaign, mobilizing support for the integration of professionally trained community health workers into national health workforces in sub-Saharan Africa. Ten countries have requested support from the campaign to engage in developing national CHW plans, and thanks to a generous gift from GSK, CHW will be able to deliver.