Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge



In this Issue

  1. TIME Global Health Summit
  2. Rx for Survival ™ in the News
  3. Project News and Updates
  4. Web Site News and Updates
  5. Rx for Child Survival ™ Campaign News and Updates
  6. Global Health Headlines
  7. Global Health Champions
  8. About Rx for Survival

Dear concerned global citizen,

Thank you for subscribing to the Global Health Update from Rx for Survival — A Global Health Challenge ™. We hope you were one of the millions of Americans who tuned in last week to watch the series premiere on PBS.

Since our last issue, we have been busy raising awareness of global health issues. In Washington, D.C we screened excerpts of the documentary for members of Congress. In New York City, in association with TIME Magazine, we were a part of a Global Health Summit with more than 400 leaders including Bill Clinton. And in Los Angeles, we gathered at PBS affiliate KCET for a screening and panel discussion featuring local experts. Here's an update of what's been happening nationwide:

TIME Global Health Summit

TIME Magazine Convened Leaders to Develop Solutions to Global Health Challenges

On Monday, October 31, a TIME Magazine cover issue on global health hit newsstands, reaching more than 27 million readers worldwide. On Nov. 1-3 TIME, in association with Rx for Survival — A Global Health Challenge, convened an extraordinary three-day Global Health Summit in New York City. The Global Health Summit invited more than 400 people from all walks of life — policymakers; religious, civic and business leaders; thinkers and doers; scientists; entertainers; journalists; and public-health officials — to help devise practical solutions to the health crisis in the developing world. The conference was organized around 10 "big questions" such as "How do we prepare for the next plague?", and included among its speakers Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Rick Warren and Madeleine Albright.

Learn more about the summit and watch guest speakers Kofi Annan, Secretary-General United Nations and Bono from U2 — as well as more than a dozen other sessions from the Summit — at www.time.com/time/2005/globalhealth/

Rx for Survival in the News

Television critics from coast to coast have reviewed Rx for Survival — A Global Health Challenge and the praise is quite flattering. The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, TV Guide, E! News, CNN, and the Associated Press are among the many newspapers and broadcast outlets featuring coverage of Rx for Survival. Here are some of our favorite press quotes:

"The six-hour program is a rousing blend of hardheaded practicality and dazzling vision that closes the gap between 'What if' and 'Here's how.' The series also is a pleasure...to watch."
   — Seattle Times

"Mesmerizing....It's as thought-provoking as television gets."
   — Salt Lake Tribune

   — Los Angeles Daily News

"...an ambitious six-hour examination of public health "warriors" ..."
   — TV Guide

"Rx's great strength is that it enables viewers to meet the people...who are fighting those diseases and epidemics every step of the way."
   — Chicago Tribune

   — Wall Street Journal

"Splendid work."
   — Hollywood Reporter

   — Tampa Tribune

NPR's longstanding commitment to in-depth exploration of global health issues joined Rx for Survival during premiere week with a multi-part NPR series highlighting the unprecedented action underway to battle the major diseases affecting humankind.

From AIDS to malaria, the global health community is looking for new ways to fight the world's major infectious diseases. The unprecedented effort has laid bare the fundamental problems of health in the developing world. NPR reports on some of the most urgent emerging health issues.

Listen online at:

In addition to print and radio coverage, Rx for Survival was the subject of lively discussion online, including scheduled chats with experts from the series on Boston.com and WashingtonPost.com. Selected highlights are below:

On November 1st, Philip J. Hilts, accomplished health and science reporter and author of Rx for Survival: Why We Must Rise to the Global Health Challenge, was asked: "What can I do to help spread the news of the problems in Africa? It seems like the media doesn't pay enough attention to this issue."

Philip_Hilts: I agree. American newspapers and broadcasters cover international issues very poorly, especially health issues. Some of us are making efforts to convince editors to devote more staff to these issues, and that may happen if we have something like avian flu for real. Read the complete transcript: www.boston.com/yourlife/chats/rxforsurvival/

Barry Coleman, one of the Joint Chief Executives of Riders for Health (featured in episode 3, Delivering the Goods) was online November 3rd. He was asked "What do you think this series will teach people overall?"

Barry Coleman: I hope it will teach people that given a bit of will and a bit of good, clear thinking, most of the threats presented by disease can be overcome. We really do know what to do in most cases but we are a bit slow and a bit stupid about actually doing it. All the people in the series really are setting about their problems in a very encouraging manner.

Read the complete transcript: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2005/ 10/28/DI2005102801240.html

The conversation continues! Visit the Rx for Survival discussion board at discussions.pbs.org/viewtopic.pbs?t=40388 to share your thoughts and hear from others on this vital topic.

Project News and Updates

On October 18 and 19, Rx for Survival was the talk of the town in Washington, D.C. On October 18, nearly 80 people attended a global health conference co-sponsored by the National Press Foundation at the National Press Club where a select group of journalists discussed the opportunities and obstacles of global health reporting. Watch sessions from this event — and other notable global health lectures — at forum.wgbh.org/wgbh/forum.php?lecture_id=0173

More than 500 people attended a Capitol Hill reception and preview screening of Rx for Survival — A Global Health Challenge on October 19. Guests included congressional members, key committee staffers, and officials from HHS, the CDC, the Surgeon's General office, the UN Foundation, the Vaccine Fund, the World Health Organization, the Smithsonian and many other organizations.

Contributing to the great success of the evening, John Porter, Vice Chair of the PBS Board and a former Republican Congressman, hosted the event and the program, followed by remarks by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), as well as Paula Apsell, the Executive in Charge for Rx for Survival, and Executive Producer of Rx for Survival Larry Klein. Also in attendance were Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and Suzie Dicks, wife of Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA).

The event was held the day after the U.S. Senate approved by unanimous vote Resolution 225 designating November 2005 Global Health Month.

If you missed the premiere broadcast, check your local listings for repeat viewings. Or if you want to share Rx for Survival with your friends or students, you can purchase the series DVD/VHS and companion book at
shop.wgbh.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay? catalogId=10051&storeId=11051&categoryId=29154&langId=-1

Web Site News and Updates

The Rx for Survival Web site has added additional features and resources for visitors to learn more about global health and become involved in efforts to improve the health of people around the world. One of the expanded site's most innovative features is an interactive global health atlas.

The Global Health Atlas shows just how unevenly distributed the world's diseases are across the globe. Sub-Saharan African nations, for example, suffer much higher rates of HIV infection than do countries in any other region, and even higher rates of mortality among those infected with the virus. Diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis, cardiovascular disease, and many other conditions show similarly disproportionate distributions.

The causes of such disparities in the health of countries are complex. Some factors become apparent, however, when various socio-economic data from the world's nations are plotted on global maps alongside mortality rates for specific diseases.

This Global Health Atlas enables you to explore such social and economic indicators as life expectancy, wealth, and education. Compare the indicators with the distribution of the world's deadliest diseases, and decide for yourself how and why they might be connected. Be sure to visit this feature at: www.pbs.org/wgbh/rxforsurvival/series/atlas/index.html.

Rx for Child Survival Campaign News and Updates

Wisconsin and Massachusetts Declare Global Health Week/Month
In October, a resolution/proclamation was passed by the three levels of Wisconsin Government declaring the week of October 31 to be Child Survival Week in the state of Wisconsin and city of Madison. The Massachusetts state legislature passed a joint resolution declaring November Global Health Month in the state of Massachusetts.

Surviving to Thriving: FREE Downloadable T-Shirt Transfers
Showcase your support for child survival! Rx for Child Survival now offers a variety of free, colorful, downloadable iron-on t-shirt transfers. Simply print the PDF on transferable paper with your home printer and iron the image onto your t-shirt.

The thriving to surviving iron-on template was created by PBS member station WGVU, Grand Rapids, MI. WGVU is part of the Rx for Child Survival campaign as one of 21 Community Coalitions associated with raising awareness around global health and child survival. Visit: www.pbs.org/wgbh/rxforsurvival/campaign/givetime/ and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Global Health Headlines

To help readers grasp how global health affects each one of us, below are links to global health-related stories currently in the news.

Experts say Biodiversity is a Form of Global Health Insurance

Newborn care lacking in developing world

South African firms expand HIV tests, treatment
today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=healthNews&storyID= 2005-10-28T140153Z_01_RID850076_RTRIDST_0_HEALTH- SAFRICA-HIV-DC.XML&archived=False

Global Health Champions

During production for Rx for Survival, we encountered a great number of individuals making a tremendous difference on the front lines of global health. Some work in remote rural communities; others create national or international public health initiatives. The Global Health Champions feature on the Rx for Survival site profiles thirteen of these global health champions — just a small sample of the many fine people, past and present, who have made public health their life's work. Profiles include video clips from the series. www.pbs.org/wgbh/rxforsurvival/series/champions/index.html

About Rx for Survival

A multi-media project that includes a six-hour PBS television series airing November 1-3, 2005, Rx for Survival — A Global Health Challenge™ is a co-production of the WGBH/NOVA Science Unit and Vulcan Productions, Inc.

Rx for Child Survival — A Global Health Challenge™, a project of the WGBH Educational Foundation and Vulcan Productions, Inc. in collaboration with CARE and Save the Children, and in association with The Global Health Council and UNICEF, urges Americans to get informed and involved in making a difference in the lives of young children around the world.

Major funding for Rx for Survival — A Global Health Challenge is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Merck Company Foundation.

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Visit the Rx for Survival Web site at http://www.pbs.org/rxforsurvival to check out the program descriptions and get more information about the project and partners. We also welcome your questions, comments, and feedback. Submit them at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/rxforsurvival/feedback/index.html


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