The dome of the US Capitol visible through pink and white cherry blossom branches against a blue sky in Washington, DC, on March 27, 2023.

CUGH 2023: In-Person and In DC

Global health researchers, practitioners, and students from all over the world descended on Washington, DC, on April 14 for the first in-person conference of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health in 4 years.

A few highlights from a busy 3+ days of data, ideas, and insights:

Fauci’s Riveting Talk: Anthony Fauci took a star turn during a Friday panel. He shared a slide he created for his first Congressional testimony in 1984 that highlighted the emerging threat of HIV. He then showed his final version of the slide—it swarms with lines and dots marking more than 50 diseases—from Akhmeta virus to Zika virus (and of course, COVID-19).

“Emerging infections are perpetual challenge,” Fauci said as he closed a riveting 24-minute talk.
“And the only way you address a perpetual challenge is by perpetual pandemic responsiveness and preparation.”

Farm Workers’ Plight: Agricultural workers in the US have a 35X greater risk of heat-related death than the general workforce, yet few protections and interventions designed to help them.

Piece work is a major risk factor, said Lori Modly, an Emory University assistant clinical professor. Since workers make more money by harvesting more fruits or vegetables, they often are reluctant to drink more fluids because that means more restroom breaks that would cut into their pay.

“If we could change the compensation system, it would be better for workers,” added Roxana Chicas, an Emory assistant professor.

Other solutions that are being investigated include hydration backpacks, a $5 cooling bandana, and electrolyte solutions.

Deadly US Exports:  Mexico has seen its homicide numbers explode from 10,450 in 2000 to approximately 36,000 last year—fueled in large part by US guns, said Arturo Cervantes, a professor at Anahuac University. 90% of the  crime guns are US made and trafficked, he said.

“Guns do not expire. Guns have been flooding my country for decades,” said Cervantes, who called for a moratorium on gun exports to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.



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The US Capitol seen through cherry blossoms in Washington, DC, on March 27, 2023. Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty