Global health experts answer your questions about vaccines, international aid, and the near certainty of another flu pandemic.
In November 2005, the Rx for Survival team held a series of panel discussions and posed a sample of questions submitted by site visitors to leading global health experts.
The Vaccination Question
Many diseases are vaccine-preventable. Because of aggressive and successful vaccination efforts, diseases such as polio, diphtheria, and measles rarely affect American children today. Should American parents continue to have their children vaccinated routinely? Why is the vaccination of children around the world a matter of concern to Americans?
International Health Aid
Should global health become a priority for Americans? Does international aid for health do any good? Critics argue that much well-intentioned foreign aid is being wasted, with debilitating health problems persisting in countries around the world. Should Americans support increases in aid for international health? If so, why?
The Next Pandemic?
Global pandemics are not new. An influenza pandemic in the early 20th century caused an estimated 50 million deaths worldwide. Although health care has improved in the last decades, a pandemic today could result in a significant number of deaths, both in developing countries with already strained health care resources and in developed countries like the United States. With avian flu spreading beyond its stronghold in Asia, should we now be preparing for the next pandemic? If so, how?