The Task Force for Global Health enjoys a long history of bringing people together across divides of ideology and perspective to explore common ground and commit to collaborating to solve complex, real-world problems. FACE brings this experience to bear on major ethical issues in global health. The following examples illustrate some of our work. Contact us to explore how we might convene for your organization.
Compassion and love have been scientifically investigated by physiology, biology, neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines. See, for example, the recently published Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science. The tools of epidemiology, however, have not yet been applied to understanding and promoting compassion and love, despite practical, urgent, and programmatic implications.
To further explore the linkage between compassion and global health, FACE – in collaboration with the Global Learning Laboratory (GLL) at the WHO – launched the Global Health Compassion Rounds series.
The Global Health Compassion Rounds series provides a safe space and aims to unite a global community in order to share experiences, spark innovations and challenge ideas around compassion in health service delivery. The rounds are thematic and provide an opportunity for participants to listen and learn from experts speaking on compassion. Each round will offer time for participants to ask questions and share their reflections or experiences on compassion in their setting.
In parts of central Africa, progress towards elimination of river blindness, a parasitic disease spread by black flies, has been stalled. People living in the same area who are infected with a related parasite, Loa loa, are at risk of coma and even death if they participate in mass treatment with ivermectin, the drug given to eliminate river blindness. The global health community has been divided over how to weigh the benefits of eliminating river blindness for entire populations against the risk to some individuals associated with Loa loa, particularly in areas where the risk of river blindness is low. FACE worked closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to plan, convene, and chair a meeting in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, which brought together stakeholders to review data, explore recently-developed technologies, and break through this impasse. A report of the meeting is forthcoming.
In collaboration with Agnes Scott College and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, FACE convened a workshop on ethical challenges in global health fieldwork. The workshop focused both on the moral values of global health as well as the asymmetries and paradoxes embedded in global health practice. It offered an opportunity to explore themes that are important in the lived experience of global health practitioners but rarely described in the professional literature or discourse. The workshop resulted in publication of a Special Section on Global Health Fieldwork Ethics and Human Rights in the June 2019 issue of the Health and Human Rights Journal.