Q&A: A conversation with Hilton Foundation CEO, Dhaka-awardee on health solutions

Friday, August 25, 2017

Cholera has long been a common part of life in Bangladesh. The international health research institute icddr,b annually treats about 40,000 cholera patients at their free-of-charge hospital, and sees more than 220,000 people each year, says John Clemens, executive director of the organization. Yet while the highly contagious, bacterial disease has caused public health crises in Haiti, Yemen and other countries, Clemens sees cholera, like many other illnesses, as manageable. In one of its latest innovations, icddr,b developed the first oral cholera vaccine that the World Health Organization now stockpiles.

“It is easily, easily treatable if you know how to treat it,” said Clemens, a medical doctor with a background in infectious diseases. “The problem is that in many places where cholera occurs, the local health care providers and physicians don’t have the experience.”

The pioneering public health organization, which also developed oral rehydration solutions, just received a $2 million boost. They are this year’s recipient of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s humanitarian prize, the organization announced today.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases, public health