Sunday, May 11, 2003

World health

Friday night I caught Bill Moyers' interview with Bill Gates on Now about the world health issues the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is tackling. (Transcript of the interview available.)

I was impressed with Gates's insight and dedication to working toward eliminating deadly diseases in poor countries. Having grown up around many of the diseases discussed in the interview and having heard, too many times, the wail of women as they came to the morgue to mourn yet another child who had died of malaria, I was reminded of how important the Gates Foundation work is.

My mother used to teach a Medicine and Surgery course at a nurses' training school in Zambia in which she lectured about various tropical and infectious diseases, their transmission, the different stages of the diseases, and what treatments, if any, could be provided. I remember sitting in the back of the classroom drawing pictures while she taught the student nurses. When I was older, I read her notes and learned all about malaria, the stages of sleeping sickness, how bilharzia is transmitted, etc. That was before AIDS had been identified.

As the editor over at Path to Freedom wrote in today's post, when we have it so good here in our comfortable lives in So Cal, it is easy to forget those who struggle—even those amongst whom we once lived.

P.S. The CS Monitor ran an interesting article about the PBS program "Now With Bill Moyers": "'Mr. Rogers' of news gets edgy," by Janet Saidi:
What may set "Now" apart from previous Moyers programming is a tone of urgency that offers not only hard-driven, alternative news, but decidedly cutting-edge content....

That may sound a little, well, radical for a man in a Mr. Rogers sweater. In fact, while Moyers still comes across as empathetic and engaged in interviews, his on-air style is more probing and direct: "I've become impatient with the superfluous," Moyers admits.

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