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About the Global Health Program

About Global Health

The Global Health program examines the determinants and impact of health throughout the world, with a focus on neglected tropical diseases and the economics of health care policy in low-income settings. Areas of study include health and technology policy, maternal and child health, and the socioeconomic determinants of health in developing countries as well as wealthy countries such as the G-20 nations, where extreme poverty exists but is often overlooked.

In partnership with The National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, the Global Health program aims to raise awareness of neglected diseases of poverty at home and abroad while promoting initiatives and policies designed to alleviate the needless suffering they cause. Neglected tropical diseases, or NTDs, disproportionately affect those who live in extreme poverty. An estimated 1.4 billion people suffer from one or more NTDs globally, including as many as 12 million people in the U.S. NTDs promote a cycle of poverty by reducing economic capacity, increasing maternal mortality, and impairing physical and intellectual development in children.

The Global Health program is collaborating with bioengineers at the Rice 360º Institute for Global Health to evaluate the impact, sustainability and cost-effectiveness of 17 low-cost technologies for essential newborn care. This major initiative, called the “Nursery of the Future,” aims to reduce the preventable deaths of millions of neonates in Sub-Saharan Africa and developing countries.

More broadly, the program conducts and disseminates rigorous research on the health impact of major economic interventions and social policies. This work includes the study of the effect of economic regulations such as minimum wage laws on income, employment, the use of health services, and the nutrition of mothers and children in low-income settings. The program also has a particular interest in identifying neglected but important structural determinants of health, such as war and religion, and the role of health care policy in light of such realities.