College creates Global Health Initiative

by Elliot Mattingly | 1/5/06 6:00am

The College formally introduced a Global Health Initiative with partner school Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences in Tanzania on Nov. 28, 2005.

The GHI will serve as an umbrella organization for a variety of programs, including a global health program in Tanzania, an initiative to raise awareness of global health issues among Dartmouth students and an initiative to develop new global health courses available to undergraduate students.

"I see the Global Health Initiative as a model for the future," Ambassador Kenneth Yalowitz said in a Dartmouth College press release. Yalowitz is the Norman E. McCulloch Jr. director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding.

Yalowitz emphasized the interdisciplinary nature of the GHI as integral to its success.

"So many 21st century problems are interdisciplinary in nature," Yalowitz said, "By bringing all of Dartmouth's strengths to bear on this project, I believe we are establishing a model of broad-based cooperation that can and will be successfully replicated."

The GHI comes as a combined effort from the Dickey Center, Dr. Stephen Spielberg, Dean of Dartmouth Medical School, and additional faculty from the College, Medical School, the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration and the Thayer School of Engineering.

Medical students will work on the College's health initiatives, while Tuck and Thayer students plan on trying to determine the feasibility of a pharmaceutical industry for East Africa and Tanzania.

Dr. Spielberg was enthusiastic about the College's partnership with a Tanzanian university.

"Tanzania offers our students and faculty an opportunity to learn in a setting that is a microcosm for the challenges faced currently in global health. There are many diseases there, including AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria that take a high human toll.

By working with this population we hope to work across disciplines to create novel, innovative approaches to addressing critical international health needs," Spielberg said.

The GHI should serve as a supplement to the College's current health project with Tanzanian University of Dar es Salaam. Dartmouth and Dar es Salaam started a trial of a tuberculosis vaccine, a childen's HIV/AIDS clinic and a five-year Fogarty Foundation training grant program for researchers in Tanzania.

The Dartmouth curriculum could also receive additional changes as a result of the partnership with the University in Dar es Salaam.

"There is also a desire to have an African language taught on campus," said Yalowitz. "We are working with the University in Dar es Salaam to have an instructor come here and provide Kiswahili language instruction."