A World of Information in New NLM Exhibition on Global Health

Public health problems caused by Hurricane Katrina as well as the Barefoot Doctors Program, which trained over one million people to treat the common ailments of residents of rural China, are both part of a new NLM exhibit opened in April showcasing public health problems and global health.

Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health also profiles a campaign for oral rehydration in Bangladesh, and shows how the Pholela Health Center in South Africa inspired the community health center movement in the US. The exhibit focuses on how individuals and communities, in collaboration with scientists, advocates, governments and international organizations, are making a difference in the health of people around the globe.

The interactive exhibit opened with a special program Wednesday, April 16 in Lister Hill Auditorium on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The exhibition opened to the public April 17.

“The National Library of Medicine has long been more of an international library than a national one,” observed NLM Director Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD. “‘Against the Odds’ captures many of the successes in world health policy, such as the eradication of smallpox, and cautions us about potential pitfalls, like the kind of discrimination that can take place when people don’t understand the facts about the transmission of HIV/AIDS,” Lindberg commented.

The opening program featured persons whose stories appear in the exhibition, including Victoria Cargill, MD, director of clinical studies and director of minority research of the NIH Office of AIDS Research, Jack Geiger, MD, New York City, a founding member and past president of Physicians for Human Rights, and the architect of the community health center network in the United States; and Jeanne White Ginder, Leesburg, Florida, mother of the late Ryan White, and an advocate for people living with HIV and AIDS.

The session also featured a panel of young activists concerned with world health, and CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen who moderated a discussion on world health.
The program, with captioning, is available as a videocast.