Michelle Shah

A reflection on Ebola fears in the U.S.


If one were to flip through news channels or read the newspaper, it is very likely that an article or an opinion piece on the Ebola crisis will appear. A recent Time article written by Josh Sanbum points out that the probability of acquiring Ebola in the U.S. is almost zero. Despite this, parents are pulling children out of middle school in Mississippi, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist is banned from speaking at Syracuse University after working in Liberia, and an office building has closed in Ohio over fears of an exposed employee. Why is Ebola so acutely feared in a country where only three confirmed Ebola-related deaths have occurred, compared to the 4,400 in Africa? According to University of Oregon psychology professor Paul Slovic, it is all related to risk perception. As the media continues with its front-page headlines about a possible epidemic sweeping the nation, we forget about probability and statistics. There is no question that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is dangerous and deadly, and requires a coordinated global approach and international efforts. But in the U.S., the flu will kill tens of thousands of people this year and heart disease remains the foremost cause of death. Technology and media allows stigmatization to occur at a rapid pace, and in the midst of counterproductive and unnecessary reactions it is important to educate oneself about the crisis and be grounded by facts.

Michelle Shah is a senior majoring in Cognitive and Brain Sciences.  She is a member of the Communications team.

Article 25: Rally for the Right to Health

Article 25.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

On October 25th and 26th, people from all around the world will get together to rally for the right to health. Global Day of Action on October 25th is a day to remind ourselves that health inequity is a pervasive and pressing issue, and long-standing commitments are necessary to face these disparities. On October 26th, GlobeMed at Tufts is partnering with other Boston community organizations for a Rally for the Right to Health at Boston Commons in hopes of raising awareness of the global health crisis and making universal health coverage a goal in the 2015 UN agenda. This event and others like it will serve as the launching of local and national campaigns around the world, encouraging countries to make rights-based universal health coverage a main goal in the post-2015 agenda and promoting ways to allow individuals to launch their own campaigns. To get involved with the rally at Boston Commons, email tufts@globemed.org or check out the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/947549945259088/

For more information about Article 25 and Global Day of Action, visit http://join25.org/

Michelle Shah is a senior majoring in Cognitive and Brain Sciences.  She is a member of the Communications team.

Video of Samson Njolomole’s talk at Tufts University

Samson Njolomole began as an HIV+ patient seeking treatment in his home country of Malawi, but soon became involved in service to help other patients like himself. He began as a translator for Partners in Health but has since risen to become a leader in the community as HIV Program Coordinator and subsequently Community Programs Manager for PIH Malawi. His passion and drive have inspired people around the world and mobilized communities in Malawi to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal health issues and much more.

Click on the link below to listen to Samson’s talk as he speaks to the Tufts community.


Snowtop: The Boston Network

snowtopThis past Saturday was a very exciting day for all the GlobeMedders around Boston. Events such as Summit bring all GlobeMed chapters across the nation together, while Hilltop brings together chapters from the same region. Fortunately, Boston is the one city that has the most number of chapters within close vicinity, so why not use this to our advantage? This was what Internal Co-President of Northeastern Maya Stawnychy thought, and as a result she coordinated the first ever “Snowtop”, a mini Hilltop for GlobeMed chapters from the Boston area. Students from BC, Tufts, Brown, MIT, Northeastern, and many other schools were present at this event. The schedule for the day started off with a mini pizza party to socialize and network with others, followed by a viewing of a TED talk video Anonymous Extraordinaries, an inspiring story of Natalie Warne and the effect Invisible Children had on her. Next we divided into E-board positions to discuss the successes and difficulties of each group. Last but most definitely not the least was the panel discussion featuring Millennium Campus Network’s Executive Director and Co-founder, Sam Vaghar, and Jon Shaffer, Community Engagement Coordinator at Partners in Health and former Executive Director of GlobeMed. Many important topics that were brought up during this hour included networking, self-evaluation, sustainability, etc. Sam Vaghar claimed that GlobeMed was one of the best, if not the best model for a sustainable effective student organization. The key point of the panel was to emphasize the fact that we are all one big connected network, and instead of competing against each other it is our duty to work together to create a strong foundation and increase the momentum for sustainable changes. Activism at its greatest is local and personal, and this is what networks are all about. Us GlobeMedders at Tufts are fortunate to have such a great network in the Boston area, and we hope that we can continue to have Snowtops in the future to keep this connection strong.