Is it possible to change the world? Can we make the world a better place for all? The answer is YES. Claudia Romo Edelman and Edie Lush share the inspiring stories of people working to create a more sustainable world while sharing simple ways for you to start taking action today.
The Great Covid Disconnect
In New York they are shooting off fireworks to celebrate reopening. But in other parts of the world the coronavirus is continuing to spread, with lethal results. Public health workers are angry and frustrated. A senior official of the World Health Organization, Maria Van Kerkhove, says the world needs to pull together to use all available tools to curb the virus. “Right now the narrative is vaccines, vaccines, vaccines,” she said, “and while vaccines, vaccinations are an incredibly powerful tool, we've completely forgotten about everything else that works. And I feel that frustration.”
In this episode, Public health experts in Botswana and Chile describe the continuing rampage of Covid-19 in their countries and Dr. David Nabarro, special Covid-19 Envoy of the WHO, criticizes leaders of the world’s most developed countries, the G7, for offering vaccines but not much else to the rest of the world at their just concluded summit. “It was a pretty bad outcome,” Dr.Nabarro said. “It was a lot of banging chests -- “we’re good” -- but not enough responsibility.”
Co-host Edie Lush noted that a very similar criticism of the G7 could be made around their tepid response to climate change. Co-host Claudia Romo Edelman says she understands the desire to get back to living, but that this must happen in a globally conscious way.
Fact and Actions in this episode are presented by Regina Larko, founder and co-hot of the podcast, Hashtag Impact.
Get Covid Ready
Covid-19 is moving from a pandemic to an endemic disease. The virus will be with us for a long time to come, maybe forever. Dr. David Nabarro, special envoy of the World Health Organization, says we need to prepare for this with strong leadership - both local and global.
Global GoalsCast attends Dr. Nabarro’s latest briefing where he introduces us to health workers who have made a real difference controlling the virus and supporting those struck down by it in their local community. These include a nurse-run campaign to isolate and vaccinate in Nepal to a program in the United Kingdom to assist long-Covid sufferers.
“The sort of leadership that's needed is leadership that connects,” John Atkinson, a specialist in systems change, tells Dr. Nabarro. “Leadership that doesn't seek credit for itself. Leadership that knows there's no limit to what you can achieve if you don't give a damn who takes the credit.” Invisible leadership, Dr. Nabarro calls this.
Globally, Nabarro calls for a new approach from rich countries. “it’s ok to lead for the world,” he tells the leaders of the G7 countries, explaining that protecting just their own constituents won’t work. He argues that rich countries should stop holding vaccines for booster doses when poor countries still need first doses. Protecting the vulnerable everywhere is the only sensible strategy while vaccine is scare. “You are actually serving your constituents better if you lead for the world.”
Global GoalsCast is co-hosted by Edie Lush and Claudia Romo Edelman. Other guests on this episode include:
Durga Sapkota, a nurse in Katmandu who continues to organize a community public health response to combat Covid-19 in Nepal. She is an ambassador for Women Deliver, a Global GoalsCast partner.
Clare Rayner, a specialist occupational health physician and honorary lecturer at the University of Manchester Medical School
Iman Ahmed, a Global Public Health expert currently working vaccinating the Sudanese diaspora in Canada.
Nazeem, a singer-songwriter from The Gambia.
This episode is brought to you by our listeners. Thanks also to CBS News Digital and Universal Production Music.
Equity Saves Lives
The world’s fight against Covid-19 is at a crossroads. Four out of five doses of vaccine have gone to a few rich countries.
“What are we all working for,’ asks Dr. David Nabarro, a special envoy of the World Health Organization. “Are we working for a small number of groups of people in well endowed countries to be able to be protected? People like me? Is this all about us being able to be okay?” Or, Dr. Nabarro adds, will the rich world take up the responsibility for manufacturing and distributing enough vaccine to protect everyone?
Inventing the vaccine was a triumph for science, says the Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. But inequitable distribution is a “failure for humanity.”
In this episode, Global GoalsCast attends a high level briefing lead by Dr. Nabarro, with updates on the spread of Covid-19 in India (Dr. NK Sethi), Nepal (Dr. Rojan Dahal), Chile (Rebecca Kanter) and Argentina. Co-host Edie Lush also speaks with her old boss, Ivan Weissman, a journalist in Argentina, about a creative approach to lockdowns in one of that countries poorest communities.
The Pandemic Surges
Global GoalsCast is invited to an exclusive briefing on Covid-19 for global health leaders. The Covid-19 situation is more sobering today than at any time in the pandemic, Dr. David Nabarro, special envoy of the World Health Organization, informs the group. India is the challenge now, he reports. But where will the problem be tomorrow? “I don’t know,” he warns.
Nabarro notes that some wealthy countries are trying to vaccinate their way out of the pandemic, even planning for the vaccination of children. But there is not yet enough vaccine to protect the world. So the right thing to do is use vaccine to protect the most vulnerable first, wherever they are and rely on non-pharmaceutical tools, like distancing, masks and washing, to curb the spread.
Also featured in this episode is Dr. Jonathan Fitzsimon, a family physician in Ontario, Canada and the inspiring music of Nazeem, whose ballad, Respect, honors frontline workers and encourages everyone to abide by public health measures. You can support Nazeem’s music at GoFundMe.com, One World Covid Ready Response.
Dr. David Nabarro is a Special Envoy of the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General on COVID-19 and Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London. As Strategic Director of 4SD, a social enterprise based in Geneva, Switzerland, he and his team have been offering Open Online Briefings since the beginning of the pandemic. More at: https://www.4sd.info/covid-19-open-online-briefings/ and https://covid19.who.int/.
This episode of Global GoalsCast was made possible by listeners like you, who care about the future. We survive on your support, so like us, subscribe and give us all the stars you can.
The New Vaccine Divide
The fight to curb Covid-19 has created a new divide between those who have had the vaccine and those who have not. The United States, The United Kingdom and other well off countries are on their way to immunizing their entire adult population. Yet dozens of less wealthy countries have yet to receive their first dose.
This inequity is both a moral challenge and a public health crisis. “You have coverage of a hundred percent in one rich country and then, in the following day, you have importation of new variants so all your efforts become useless,” warned Eduardo Samo Gudo, Scientific Director at Mozambique’s National Institute of Health.
“From where we are in Africa,” said Emma Ingaiza who manages a clinic in the legendary Mathare slums of Nairobi, “we would want the world out there to understand that we are equally important. That our lives also matter. We're just on the front line as much as everyone else is.”
Co-host Claudia Romo Edelman, who worked on the challenge of supply of treatment and vaccine for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said the world saw this crisis coming. But the solution created by the World Health Organization and other groups, called COVAX, has been slow to raise the money from high income countries and then buy the vaccine supply it is committed to delivering to low income countries.
Roz Scourse of Doctors Without Borders says COVAX has failed and that the solution is plan offered by South Africa, India and many countries in the global south to waive Intellectual Property rights on the new vaccines so poor and middle countries can make their own. Others, however, worry this might undermine manufacturing quality while doing nothing to solve the problem that high income countries have bought most of the current supply.
Kristina Kloberdanz, Chief Sustainability Officer for Mastercard, sponsor of Global GoalsCast, discusses Mastercard’s work on global gender equity – for example by conducting annual salary reviews, closing the gender pay gap, instituted gender neutral parental leave and establishing mentorship for leadership growth.
The crisis of the Global Goals Part II: Actions we need now
Putting the world back on track after the pandemic will require a level of cooperation and partnership unlike anything we have seen. That is the conclusion of experts convened by Global GoalsCast to assess the crisis of the Sustainable Development Goals and the road forward.
The world before the pandemic proved dangerously vulnerable because of the very challenges the SDGs are designed to address.“And really this is our opportunity right now to focus in on who is being left behind, who is not getting the access and be able to find those supercharged solutions,” said Annemarie Hou, head of partnerships at the United Nations. “The SDGs are our way out of this, if we work together,” added Rajesh Mirchandani of the UN Foundation.
Recorded live at the end of Global Goals week, this is part two of our special on the setbacks and solutions if the world is to build back better. Also featured in this episode are Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever; David Nabarro of the World Health Organization; Gillian Tett of the Financial Times and Kate Garvey of Project Everyone, who noted her organization's proposal to rebrand the SDGs as the Sustainable Development Solutions.
Rose Beaumont, from our sponsor, Mastercard, shares more on Mastercard’s index on Women Entrepreneurs.
Loved it so much it inspired my thesis!
I was absolutely inspired by this podcast, so much so that I’ve decided to write my thesis on the advantages and disadvantages of providing technology to ultra-rural populations. I’m actually excited to work on this project and don’t dread the long hours of research, study and writing that are ahead of me!
Listen to this! Very diverse topics and the guests have genuinely great insight. The host is killin’ it!
Into the Ice
Talk about setting the visuals right off the bat. The sound and atmosphere mesh well with strong narration. It takes quite an effort to capture the dangers and risks and emotion of arctic waters, but Global GoalsCast does an amazing job of pulling you off the comfort of your couch and into the real and changing world