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U of M Voices: Exploring the nuances and complexities of global health

I had only one certainty when I decided to sign-up for the University of Minnesota’s Global Health Case Competition, and that was knowing I would be tackling a global health issue.

Little did I realize that a proposed strategy for how China should invest in sanitation, would lead to a national competition and the challenge of restructuring the World Health Organization (WHO). Even though I put in countless hours debating strategy and presentation late into the night with my team, I can definitively say I have gotten far more out of the experience than I put in.

As you may have already assumed, I did not become a global health expert over the course of two case competitions, but I did gain a stronger appreciation for the nuances and complexity of global health.

When solving global health challenges there are many factors to consider, but during the course of the competitions I found the following to be key: identify and consider all the stakeholders involved and the perspectives they bring to the situation; scalability and feasibility are vital – great ideas cannot become actionable without these; and maybe most importantly, the fact that there is no right solution, only the best one right now. The latter point is the reason it is vital for students at the University of Minnesota to pursue global health today and into the future.

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In the fight against cryptococcal meningitis, U of M researcher recommends a shorter, more cost-effective therapy regimen

The most cost-effective course of treatment for cryptococcal meningitis is different than current World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations according to University of Minnesota researchers, and as a result, current policies need to be reviewed.

David Boulware, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Director of Global Health Programs in Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases & International Medicine, Department of Medicine, recommends a shorter, more cost-effective therapy regimen option for cryptococcal meningitis.

Cryptococcal meningitis is a serious fungal infection of the brain, usually occurring in people with immune system deficiencies such as organ transplantation or HIV/AIDS. Cryptococcal meningitis affects approximately 1 million people per year worldwide and is currently the most common cause of meningitis in Africa.

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