SDGH is pleased to present Global Health Voices, a podcast that features a collection of untold stories in global health from leaders, experts and trailblazers making an impact around the world. Learn from guests from a variety of disciplines and industries in global health as they share pivotal moments and insights from their personal experiences, and delve into key issues of our time. The podcast is hosted by Ms Amina Mahmood Islam, SDGHI's Deputy Director of Programme Development and Business Administration.
Tune in every alternate week to catch a new voice with new stories. Follow our channel here, or sign up here to receive email notifications whenever a new episode is released.
Episode 12: Planet doctor
Guest: Dr Renzo Guinto
Associate Professor for the Practice of Global Public Health, Inaugural Director of the Planetary and Global Health Program, St Luke's Medical Center College of Medicine, Philippines
An energetic and enlightening conversationalist, Dr Renzo Guinto doesn’t shy away from the big issues when it comes to the most pressing challenges to planetary health and its spillover on human health outcomes. Dr Guinto highlights three key areas: food systems transformation, the impact of urbanisation and, most importantly, the need to redesign our global economy. He points to how the trend of endless consumption is destroying our planet while at the same time widening inequalities between and within countries. On the topic of decolonising global health, he is pragmatic and emphasises capacity building as the central tenet for the decolonising movement.
Episode 11: Human rights crusader
Guest: Dr Mukesh Kapila
Senior Advisor to the Parliamentary Assembly for the Mediterranean, Professor Emeritus of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs, University of Manchester
Dr Kapila’s many years of experience in tough and, at times, disheartening situations have not diminished his passion for ‘doing the right thing’. He stands by his principles and urges us to re-evaluate the corporatisation of humanitarian and health discourses. He points out how globalisation has created interconnected dependencies that undermine agency of people, weaken communities and hollow out countries – which in turn erode multi-lateral systems.
Episode 10: Global activist
Guest: Dr Leena Menghaney
South-Asia Head for Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) Access Campaign
Dr Menghaney’s commitment to articulating and advocating for marginalised groups rings through every conversation with her. In this podcast, she links the role of the Indian pharmaceutical industry to the global movement on enabling access to HIV/AIDS drugs. She explains how the proposed waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 related products seeks to correct for monopoly generated pricing and facilitate access to essential vaccines and therapeutics for all populations. In closing, she points to the power of collaborative action.
Episode 9: Passion personified
Guest: Dr Ann-Marie Chacko
Head of the Duke-NUS Laboratory for Translational and Molecular Imaging (LTMI), Assistant Professor in the Duke-NUS Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Programme, Duke-NUS Medical School
The conversation with Dr Chacko is always dynamic, always engaging. Her work is evidence of the power of multi-disciplinary efforts. In this episode, she emphasises the importance of translating scientific breakthroughs to practical, and even commercial, applications. She also reflects on the challenges of being a woman in a male dominated sphere and advises young women to “find their voice”.
Episode 8: Breaking down barriers
Guest: Dr JetsumonSattabongkot Prachumsri
Director of the Mahidol Vivax Research Unit at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand
Dr Prachumsri outlines the very complex pathway to developing a vaccine to protect against the Plasmodium Vivax malaria parasite. This conversation takes on greater poignancy in the context of the discussions around COVID-19 vaccines.In response to the question on promoting Asian perspectives in research, she talks about the importance of advocating for oneself as well as the role institutions can play in enabling a culture of diverse representation.
Dr Prachumsri outlines the very complex pathway to developing a vaccine to protect against the Plasmodium Vivax malaria parasite. This conversation takes on greater poignancy in the context of the discussions around COVID-19 vaccines.
In response to the question on promoting Asian perspectives in research, she talks about the importance of advocating for oneself as well as the role institutions can play in enabling a culture of diverse representation.
Episode 7: Systems thinker
Guest: Professor Martin Bloem
Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
In this wide ranging conversation, Professor Martin Bloem pulls together different themes and disciplines to reflect on how we can respond to and examine underlying factors contributing to both acute crises and long term conditions. This viewpoint is grounded in his deep expertise as a medically trained nutritionist and public health practitioner. His central message is that we live in a complex world for which linear solutions are inadequate. The need to apply holistic, systems perspectives is essential, as is the imperative to work effectively together.
Episode 6: The power of storytelling
Guest: Dr Nandini Oomman
Founding curator and CEO of the Women’s Storytelling Salon, fellow of the inaugural cohort of the WomenLift Health program at Stanford University
The passion for prompting women’s voices and creating opportunities for dialogue is evident throughout the conversation with Dr Oomman. She emphasises the need for greater integration of gender and intersectional perspectives into global health discourse and interventions. She cites compassion and competency as two essential characteristics for effective leadership. Importantly, she urges women to be bold and ambitious.
Episode 5: Pandemic learnings from the 'Batman'
Guest: Professor Linfa Wang
Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School
Drawing from his many years of experience tracking down bat viruses, Prof Wang identifies some of the factors that led to the current global pandemic. He stresses that the exit strategy should be science based, while acknowledging political considerations must be taken into account. He cautions that no exit strategy can be risk free and we must learn to adjust and adapt. Finally, he emphasises the importance of using a One Health approach to better recognise and prevent the next pandemic.
Episode 4: A remarkable partnership
Guests: Dr Sabina Faiz Rashid
Dean of Brac James P Grant School of Public Health
Dr Malabika Sarker
Associate Dean and Director of Research at Brac James P Grant School of Public Health
Dr Malabika Sarker and Dr Sabina Faiz Rashid trace the evolution of their public health careers to their current leadership positions with the BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health. They engage in a lively discussion about the need to have local, practical solutions developed in partnership with communities – who are not the recipients of global health interventions but really are the leaders of global health change.
Guest: Dr Najla Al-Sonboli
Head of the Paediatric Department of the Al-Sabeen Maternity and Child Hospital in Yemen, and Associate Professor in Paediatrics in the Paediatric Department at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sana'a University
Dr Najla brings to light the harsh realities of working in one of the toughest settings – in the midst of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The questions and concerns she raises highlights the importance of global health and the compelling need for global solidarity. She paints a bleak picture of the dire state of children's health in Yemen, with unacceptably high malnutrition rates and death from common treatable diseases like diarrhoea and measles, yet she embodies the tenacity and strength of the human spirit to withstand the most difficult conditions.
Guest: Dr Joanne Liu
Paediatric Emergency physician, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Montreal, Professor of Clinical Medicine at McGill University, former International President of Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF)
In this episode, Dr Joanne Liu shares her thoughts about the centrality of each person contributing to tackling global health issues from their own perspective and grounding. She points to how crises generate a continuum of difficult choices – and how lucid leadership means picking imperfect solutions, while not losing the imperative to continuously strive for improvement.
Episode 1: Lessons from the past
Guest: Professor Michael Merson
Wolfgang Joklik Professor of Global Health, Duke University, and founding director of SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute (SDGHI)
Prof Merson reflects on his years with the World Health Organization's Global Program on AIDS—he draws lessons that are still pertinent today, in particular the need for political leadership, global solidarity and community mobilisation.
The views expressed by guests on the show are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of SDGHI.