With IGHS celebrating its 20th anniversary, I’ve been reflecting on just how far we’ve come. We were among the pioneers in introducing the notion of global health to academic medicine, and we have continued to be important leaders in the field to reduce the burden of disease in the world’s most vulnerable populations. In our twenty years, childhood mortality has been cut by half. And a recently published Lancet Commission on malaria eradication, co-led by Richard Feachem, shows that with the right tools, strategies and sufficient funding, we can eradicate one of the deadliest diseases in human history by 2050.
IGHS is increasingly addressing the urgent need for a regional strategy to confront the humanitarian health crisis along the US-Mexico border. Last month, I visited detention centers and shelters near Mexico’s northern (Tijuana) and southern (Tapachula) borders. Many people are facing inhumane conditions, and academic centers are morally obligated to take action. To date, there has been no collaborative effort among humanitarian health leaders in Central America, Mexico, and the United States. Supported by a grant from the California Health Care Foundation, IGHS will convene a group of high-level stakeholders early next year to chart a response to the migrant health crisis.The future will continue to present difficult global health challenges, but with our 20-year track record of advances, I am confident that we will continue to meet challenges head-on and lead the field by example. Thank you all for your vital work and support.Warmly, Jaime