Highlights from the Triangle

By 2100, Nigeria’s population is expected to reach 794 million.

In a startling keynote address at yesterday’s Triangle Global Health Conference in Durham, North Carolina, Dennis Carroll invited the audience to ponder six megatrends for the future of global health. 

Changes to the global population—especially in sub-Saharan Africa—over the next 8 decades will be staggering, said the former head of USAID’s emerging threats division. Coming changes in urbanization (imagine Lagos, Nigeria with a population of 88 million), demographics, climate, land use, and information technology will all dramatically shape the future of human health. 

“The world is defying our ability to keep up. Why? Because we’re not paying attention,” Carroll said.

His take on the future was just one of many standout moments from a full day of speakers, workshops, and side discussions built around the One Health theme: 

  • Linda Birnbaum, who recently retired as director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, spelled out the critical role of environment quality in the One Health framework.  
  • Write punchy, Duke Professor Gavin Yamey advised his fellow academics in a panel called “Reach the People: Communicating Global Health Issues and Solutions.” Read the text from his rousing talk here.
  • With an estimated population of 25,000 and more than 275,000 tourists visiting annually, the Galápagos Islands is an emerging hotspot of antibiotic resistance due to untreated wastewater, according to a panel led by Peggy Bentley, associate dean for Global Health at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.
  • “We need to level the playing field,” said Pape Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth at an afternoon plenary. He said it’s time to stop the top-down model—with people sitting in Western cities designing programs for low- and middle-income countries—and build a new model that emphasizes localization to achieve sustainable development. Gaye received the Consortium’s 2019 Global Health Champion Award.
  • Felicia Browne, winner of the Ward Cates Emerging Leader Award, spoke eloquently of her career addressing inequities—a core pillar of global health.

More than 330 faculty, students, researchers, consultants, and others who work in North Carolina’s Research Triangle (the area bounded by Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill and three major research universities: North Carolina State University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,) thronged the conference. 


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