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UPMC Media Relations

Going Global: University Of Pittsburgh To Host Conference Highlighting Effective Health And Human Rights Interventions

Two-day conference aimed at accelerating access to promising approaches

PITTSBURGH, August 31, 2006 — An estimated one billion people worldwide lack access to basic health care, and about 11 million children under the age of 5 die each year from malnutrition and preventable diseases. Many effective interventions for alleviating such human suffering are currently available, but their delivery is often hampered by environmental, economic and social barriers, including war, poverty, discrimination, persecution and illiteracy to name just a few.

Overcoming such barriers in order to make effective health and human rights interventions more accessible to people here and abroad will be the focus of the 3rd Annual Global Problems, Global Solutions conference being held Oct. 6 and 7 at David L. Lawrence Hall on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. This year’s conference is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) in conjunction with LaRoche College in Pittsburgh, which hosted the first two meetings in 2004 and 2005. Members of the media are invited to attend.

Global Problems, Global Solutions: Health, Dignity and Human Rights will highlight programs and approaches that have shown promise for effectively addressing a variety of health and human rights problems in hotspots around the world, including Iraq, Haiti, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Central and South America, and even here in the United States. Among the topics to be discussed in workshops are: human security; women’s health; climate/environmental issues here and abroad; public health and human rights consequences of the war in Iraq; immigration and migration; social inequities in access to health care; and AIDS and infectious diseases. An outcome of the meeting will be a set of proposals and recommendations for fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals ( of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, which all 191 United Nations member states have pledged to meet by the year 2015.

Among those providing keynote addresses at the conference will be Carol Welch, U.S. coordinator of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Campaign; Paul O’Neill, former U.S. Treasury secretary and former chairman and CEO of Alcoa; Sister Candace Introcaso, president of La Roche College; Kollo Basile, minister of International Affairs, Republic of Cameroon; and Donald S. Burke, M.D., Pitt’s new dean of GSPH and associate vice chancellor for global health, University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Dr. Burke, who also is director of Pitt’s new Center for Vaccine Research, is leading research efforts to control global pandemic diseases including AIDS and influenza.

Although the conference is free, registration is limited to approximately 600 participants.

In addition to GSPH and LaRoche, other hosts of the conference include Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the department of Africana Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences. Several Pittsburgh-based non-governmental humanitarian assistance organizations, including Brother’s Brother Foundation and Global Solutions Pittsburgh, also are co-sponsoring the meeting.

Founded in 1948 and fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, GSPH is world-renowned for contributions that have influenced public health practices and medical care for millions of people. One of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States, GSPH was the first fully accredited school of public health in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with alumni who are among the leaders in their fields of public health. A member of the Association of Schools of Public Health, GSPH currently ranks third among schools of public health in National Institutes of Health funding received. The only school of public health in the nation with a chair in minority health, GSPH is a leader in research related to women’s health, HIV/AIDS and human genetics, among others. For more information about GSPH, visit the GSPH Web site at

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