Why Is An Ancient Disease Still Killing Millions?
This seminar explores the global health priorities and disease burden, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases and respiratory infections in children. We will look at global disparities, and the influence of poverty and socioeconomic status. Additionally, environmental factors, climate change and urbanization will be explored as a source of new challenges and opportunities for changes in the global public’s health. As a case study, we will look specifically at tuberculosis (TB), an ancient disease and the number one infectious killer globally. Despite scientific and social advances, a high burden of tuberculosis persists worldwide. We will review diagnosis, treatment and prevention of TB, drug resistance, the lack of drug options and difficulties to access drugs and efficient health care systems in low and middle income countries. We will discuss the need for new drugs, including bedaquiline, the first new tuberculosis drug developed in the past 40 years. To deepen our understanding, we will consider the challenges of developing new medications, the ethics of testing new drugs, and the important contributions needed to control the global tuberculosis pandemic. For firsthand impressions of active global health research at Rutgers School of Public Health, students will visit the NIH-funded research laboratory of the course director with onsite learning during the seminar series.