Vincenzo Lorusso

 Global Health Research Coordinator (2019-2020)

It is very timely for the Human Development Research Initiative (HDRI) to dedicate a full stream of its research to Global Health. An inevitable as much as a necessary decision, in these changing times when health-related issues are so inextricably intertwined with all the other development stances such as inequality, education, climate vulnerability and migration.

Global Health is defined as “an area for study, research and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. It emphasises transnational health issues, determinants and solutions; involving many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration (…)” (Koplan and colleagues, 2009).

Accordingly, the HDRI Global Health Research Team will endeavour to be as consistent as possible with this ‘broad’ and ‘comprehensive’ definition, aiming to tackle all our research topics from a ‘holistic’ perspective, encompassing passionately both biological and social sciences.

When dealing with infectious diseases in particular, we will embrace the concept of “One World, One Health”, fostered by the WHO, FAO and OIE, in all awareness of the fact that 60% of known human infectious diseases originate from animals, as do 75% of emerging human diseases and 80% of the pathogens that could be potentially used in bioterrorism.

Let us get ready for this journey then! We aim to bring your attention everywhere we believe there is still an urgent need for it.

To all areas of the world where water sanitation and infant immunisation cannot be taken as for granted yet, from Latin America to South Asia. Among migrants on the shores and the harbours of Lampedusa, in the camps of Lesbos and Calais, in the prisons of Lybia, on the rescue ships and the makeshift boats daring the waves of the Mediterranean.

To the slums of Soweto, Kano and Nairobi, in sensitisation campaigns on the use of condoms, to remind the youths that antiretroviral drugs alone are not enough to make HIV disappear. To rural villages of Mali and the Horn of Africa where female genital mutilation is still a present, sad reality for many young girls. Across the provinces of China and Hong Kong to learn on and from the history of traditional medicine.

Through the post-natal wards of hospitals in the so-called ‘developed countries’, where post-partum depression is still too often overlooked, thus, misdiagnosed. To the underprivileged suburbs of the USA and Asian metropoles, where access to primary health care is still a mirage for many. Across urban centres of western Europe, where increasingly torrid summers are favouring the emergence of ‘exotic’ tropical diseases such as Dengue fever and Chikugunya, among others.  Among textile workers in the outskirts of Karachi and Dhaka, to understand the health implications of the textile industry. To the nursing homes of Japan and Italy, countries currently hosting the largest aging population in the world.

Through the forested areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, where parasitic diseases such as malaria, river blindness, sleeping sickness, schistosomiasis and filariasis are still majorly impairing the lives of thousands.

Anywhere needed, across the planet.
Global Health, indeed.

Publications

Factors of Vaccine Availability: An Examination of the Global Vaccine Market

Vaccines are one of the best tools to enhance Global Health security, and their worldwide availability is often a result of international cooperation. This begs the question on how vaccines are distributed among nations. The examination of the vaccine market reveals the issues that are inherent in the existing system and also identifies three major factors that determine vaccine availability in case of a particular epidemiological episode.

By: Gergely Varga

Published on January 4, 2020

Factors of Vaccine Availability: An Examination of the Global Vaccine Market

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Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Case in Favor of Community-Based Interventions

Nowadays, approximately 200 million girls and women undergo the practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) across African countries and, to a lesser extent, in Asia and the Middle East. Since the 1990s, the international community has raised awareness on the risks associated with this custom and therefore expressed interest for its eradication. Subsequently, pressure has been exerted by the international community on African governments in order to push for the criminalization of the practice, while some experts from the medical field have proposed its medicalization.

By: Giada Carola Castellini

Pulished on: January 9, 2020

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Case in Favor of Community-Based Interventions

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Water, Sanitation and Health in Informal Settlements:
Ill-Health and Community-Based Approaches to Tackle
Tuberculosis Among Lima’s Urban Poor

Urbanization worldwide has led to an increasing number of urban poor, often resulting in a surge of informal settlements. Poor living conditions and the lack of water and sanitation services (WSS) have a direct impact on the health of the residents of these settlements. In Lima, major challenges are still faced to improve the health conditions of urban poor, despite some efforts made by Peru’s government to increase WSS in the peripheral areas. NGOs are trying to fill this gap, by implementing community-based approaches to tackle ill-health in Lima’s informal settlements.

By: Nathalie Dubler

Published on: February 9, 2020

Water, Sanitation and Health in Informal Settlements:Ill-Health and Community-Based Approaches to Tackle Tuberculosis Among Lima’s Urban Poor

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Addressing Health Needs of Immigrants in France: A Critical Review of the Recommendations for the First Medical Visit Through the Lens of Medical Anthropology

In view of the specific needs of migrants and their often precarious health status, this article examines the recommendations of the French High Council for Public Health (HCSP) for the first medical visit of incoming migrants (primo-arrivants). Being their first point of contact with the French healthcare system, the medical visit that incoming migrants receive not only is essential in restoring their broken link with the health system, fragilized along the migration paths, but also in determining their future medical behavior.

By: Imane Zidi and Louise Escudier

Published on: February 29,2020

Addressing Health Needs of Immigrants in France: A Critical Review of the Recommendations for the First Medical Visit Through the Lens of Medical Anthropology

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The Bangladeshi Textile Sector: And its Not-So-Fashionable Health Implications

In the growing world of fast fashion and its ever-decreasing prices, the average consumer is too often unaware of the ‘shadow world’ of the global textile industry. Each t-shirt and each pair of jeans hanging in our local shops may indeed have a dire story to tell; potentially entailing child labor and environmental exploitation and degradation. This paper sheds light upon the health-related consequences of such an unscrupulous industry, with specific reference to Bangladesh, the second-largest exporter of textiles in the world. It provides a contextual overview of the industry, highlighting its relationship to a wide scope of health outcomes linked to multiple stages of garments’ processing.

By: Ruwa Mahdi and Manucheher Shafee

Published on: March 13, 2020

The Bangladeshi Textile Sector: And its Not-So-Fashionable Health Implications