to Examine Global Poverty, Health
Friday, March 2, Weinstein
Auditorium, Wright Hall
Saturday, March 3, Weinstein
Auditorium, Wright Hall
Weinstein Auditorium, Wright
Were it not for global poverty, contend members of the student
organization G.A.A.P.E. (Global Action Against Poverty Everywhere),
occurrences of deadly infectious diseases such as malaria,
hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS could be substantially
Access to clean
water for all the world’s people could
itself eradicate many plaguing maladies, insists Heather
Stone, G.A.A.P.E. founder and president. Malnutrition and
starvation are wholly unnecessary, she avers.
To explore the
ramifications of the lack of access to healthy resources
in developing countries, G.A.A.P.E. is coordinating a two-day
conference, “Disparities: Global Health and
Clean Water,” on Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3.
“One out of six people in the world are living in
extreme poverty,” notes Stone. “That’s
1.2 billion people living on less than $1 a day. That extreme
poverty leads directly to the spread of infectious diseases.
Global poverty is a complicated issue, and it takes a lot
to understand it.”
To help focus this broad topic, the global health conference
will feature talks by seven experts on disease, healthcare,
clean water, medicine and economics.
The conference will
begin at 3 p.m. March 2 in Weinstein Auditorium with an address
on emergency and refugee health by Anne McCarthy, a physician
with particular interest in infectious disease and tropical
Drew Lewis, a pharmaceutical practitioner and infectious
disease specialist; Judy Stone, a specialist in infectious
disease; Sten Vermund, chair of the Institute for Global
Health at Vanderbilt University; Eileen Stillwaggon, associate
professor of economics at Gettysburg College and acclaimed
author of AIDS and the Ecology of Poverty;
and Mary Applegate, a physician and interim dean of public
health at the University of Albany School of Public Health.
Stone says the global health conference will focus on the
Millennium Development goals ratified at the 2000 United
Nations summit. The UN identified eight goals at the summit,
including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, reducing
child mortality, improving maternal health and combating
disease, to be reached by 2015.
Stone added that the conference is continuing the conversation
begun on campus with the visit of Dr. Paul Farmer, the renowned
medical anthropologist who co-founded Partners in Health,
an international charitable organization that provides health
services to the sick and needy in Haiti and other countries.
Farmer, whose book Mountains Beyond Mountains was
last summer’s assigned reading, spoke at Smith in September.
Stone, who is
the daughter of speaker Judy Stone, has been involved in
issues around global poverty since high school, and began
her high school’s
chapter of NetAid, a national organization that rallies
young people in fighting poverty.
“I was always interested in global health,” she
says. “I knew I wanted to be a doctor for a long time.”
conference will aim to move attendees to act and will provide
information and resources for doing so, Stone says. “We want people to learn and to be
inspired, to be poised to take further action following the
conference. These are issues that deal with people, and I
think it’s very important to convey people’s
stories. But with a problem that is so massive, young people
wonder, what can I do?”