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New PBS Series on Global Health

PBS has a new special on global health airing November 1-3, 2005. It is called Rx for Survival and is narrated by Brad Pitt. Here is a description from the website.

During the twentieth century, the world lived through a golden era in public health: vaccines were discovered, diseases were cured, and the average life expectancy rose by many years. In recent decades, however, this stunning progress has declined dramatically. Although life expectancy remains high in developed nations, in many countries of the developing world it has actually fallen.
The march to better world health has been slowed by the emergence of new and devastating diseases such as AIDS, SARS and West Nile virus, by microbial resistance to many modern drugs and by a global travel network that can turn a local disease into an international outbreak in a matter of hours.

Recognizing the impact of both the slow down in medical advances and the speeding up of new and stronger diseases, the award-winning documentary team of WGBH’s NOVA Science Unit and Vulcan Productions, Inc., is co-producing a groundbreaking multimedia project to address what makes us sick, what keeps us healthy and what it would take to give good health the upper hand.

Anchored by a compelling six-hour PBS television series premiering November 1-3, 2005, Rx for Survival — A Global Health Challenge will encompass a wealth of companion elements from major media and educational partners, including TIME Magazine, NPR, Penguin Press, and Johns Hopkins University. Together these will combine to make this project the most comprehensive global health media education project ever mounted. Heightened awareness, however, is not the only goal of Rx for Survival. The ultimate objective of the project is to translate awareness into action. Because global health is such a large and complex issue, we are shining a spotlight on a single set of problems which is both critical and surprisingly easy to affect. Across the world, children from birth to age 5 need five basic health interventions (antibiotics, protection from disease-carrying mosquitoes, oral rehydration, vaccines, and vitamin A and micronutrients) to have even a chance to survive. Rx for Child Survival encourages each of us to get involved to ensure that these basic needs are delivered to children locally and globally by speaking out, volunteering time and energy, and donating to programs that are already making a difference. Many organizations are providing aid around the world. Rx for Child Survival has partnered with CARE and Save the Children to create a special fund that will help make sure that those five simple, inexpensive health interventions are delivered to some of the neediest children in the world.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Merck Company Foundation, Rx for Survival and Rx for Child Survival have been developed in partnership with the Global Health Council and with the advice of other leading global health experts and organizations.

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One Response to “New PBS Series on Global Health”

  1. I think the phrase Global Health is extremely important in this context. We as a country (and world) need to realize that the health of the free world is incredibly complex. We cannot aim our sights on one problem but need to strive at increasing the health of other countries less fortunate than us at every turn. Excellent article.