Farmer, Fauci, Snakebites and Virtual Reality: A TropMed Pick 6 with Dan Bausch

Posted 5 November 2017

Kicking Off TropMed 2017 with a Rock Star of Global Health: Kicking off this year’s ASTMH Annual Meeting is a keynote address Sunday at 5:30 p.m. from Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, a physician and medical anthropologist who is Co-founder and Chief Strategist for Partners in Health (PIH). Farmer‘s expertise in the science, policy, advocacy and ground-level logistics of fighting major threats to global health has helped elevate and energize efforts to address health disparities in the world’s poorest countries. Farmer will speak at the Opening Plenary Session about “Reconsidering the West African Ebola Epidemic: A Physician-Anthropologist’s View.” 
 
Winding Down the Meeting with a Bold Challenge to End the HIV/AIDS Pandemic: Stick around Thursday morning at 10:15 when Anthony Fauci, MD, lays out a vision for moving beyond jousting with HIV/AIDS to putting an end to it altogether. In addition to the HIV/AIDS fight, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has been at the forefront of every major infectious disease battle of the last few decades. So when he declares that ending HIV/AIDS is a “feasible goal,” we should all be listening.
 
Virtual Reality Arrives at TropMed: Why should gamers have all the fun? The same virtual reality, or VR technology, that is lighting up the video game industry will be on display at TropMed17 to help highlight major challenges in global health. Under the Net, from the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, offers an immersive experience in a young girl’s daily struggle to survive encounters with malaria-carrying mosquitoes.  Meanwhile, three VR films from the Huffington Post’s Project Zero series offer a 360 degree view from the frontlines of the fight against elephantiasis, river blindness and sleeping sickness. Check them out in the Convention Center Pratt Street Lobby
 
The Unfortunate Resurgence of Cholera: With alarming cholera outbreaks in Yemen and the Horn of Africa intensifying and Haiti still facing risks following the 2010 earthquake, cholera is back as one of the biggest infectious disease threats currently challenging the global health community. A session Tuesday afternoon from 4 to 5:45 PM in Room 321 of the Convention Center will explore strategies in cholera control and elimination. It includes a focus on vaccination and reflections on the fight against cholera in Asia and Haiti.
 
Snakebite Movie “Minutes to Die”: Forget Snakes on a Plane. The real deal is scary enough. The World Health Organization estimates that 5.4 million people are bitten by snakes every year and up to 136,000 die, while many more suffer permanent disability and limb amputation. Tuesday evening will feature a new documentary, Minutes to Die, that takes viewers to homes, hospital beds, and labs as it explores the running battle against this neglected public health problem. It’s screening at 7:15 p.m. in Convention Center Ballroom 1. Stick around afterwards for a panel discussion with the film’s director and many of the experts featured in the film.
 
Taking a Jab for Team TropMed: What better place to combine actual vaccinations with a public health immunization campaign than the world’s biggest gathering of global health experts? Walgreen’s Get a Shot. Give a Shot® campaign enables all attendees to get their annual flu shot while providing support for the UN Shot@Life campaign, which provides lifesaving vaccines to families in developing countries. Check it out in the Convention Center Pratt Street Lobby.