What COVID Vaccines Reveal: Myth and Reality of Post-Colonial Global Health
April 8, 2021
According to the World Health Organization, as of mid-March, 2021 approximately 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccination have been given in Africa. Cumulatively, over 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been received in 38 African countries, 30 of which have started vaccination campaigns. However, much more remains to be done to ensure that Africans, many of whom have been subjects in vaccine trials, are in line to benefit. At the current rate, these countries won’t reach 60% vaccine coverage until 2023 or beyond.
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Holly Hagan, PhD, Professor, School of Global Public Health; Director, NIDA P30 Center for Drug Use and HIV|HCV Research, New York University
Dr. Holly Hagan is a Professor in the Departments of Social Behavioral Sciences and Epidemiology at the School of Global Public Health. Trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist, Dr. Hagan’s work has sought to understand the causes and consequences of substance use disorders. Her research has examined blood-borne and sexually-transmitted infections among people who use drugs. She is an internationally-recognized expert in the etiology, epidemiology, natural history, prevention and treatment of hepatitis C virus infection among PWUD, and in 2014 her work was recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services with the President’s Award for Leadership in the Control of Viral Hepatitis in the United States. Dr. Hagan served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis in the United States, and she has been an advisor to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC, and the Canadian Institutes of Health on national programs to detect, diagnose and treat HCV infections. She was recently appointed to the National Academy of Medicine Committee on the Examination of the Integration of Opioid and Infectious Disease Prevention Efforts in Select Programs.
Dr. Hagan is the Director of the NIDA P30 Center for Drug Use and HIV|HCV Research at Global Public Health, which provides research support to investigators throughout NYU and in two other NYC institutions. In 2017, she was selected by NIDA to chair the Executive Steering Committee for the Rural Opioid Initiative funded by NIH, CDC, SAMHSA and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Her research has shifted to examining the impact of the opioid crisis more broadly, to include studying the epidemiology of fatal and non-fatal overdose among PWUD. She was chosen by the American Foundation for AIDS Research to be the Principal Investigator for the New York State Opioid Prevention Center pilot study, which will examine the safety and effectiveness of the Supervised Consumption Sites to be implemented in New York City and in upstate NY.
Matthew M. Kavanagh, PhD, Director, Georgetown University Global Health Policy & Politics Initiative | O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health
Matthew M. Kavanagh, PhD works at the intersection of global health, politics, and law at Georgetown University. A political scientist by training, with a long history of work in global health policy and politics, his research and writing focuses on the political economy of health policy in low- and middle-income countries and the political impact of human and constitutional rights on population health. He is Assistant Professor of Global Health, Visiting Professor of Law, and directs the Global Health Policy & Politics Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. He has done research and policy work in in South Africa, Malawi, Haiti, Lesotho, India, and Thailand and was a visiting researcher at the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights, and International Law in Johannesburg. Grants for this work have come from the National Science Foundation, U.S. State Department, World Health Organization, amfAR: foundation for AIDS research, and others.
Dr. Kavanagh is as a member of the UNAIDS Scientific & Technical Advisory Committee and the council of the American Political Science Association Health Politics and Policy Section. Prior to his academic positions, he led transnational policy efforts at NGOs in the U.S. and Southern Africa focused on HIV and tuberculosis treatment, international trade, and water rights. He has presented his research and analysis before the U.N. Special Rapporteur for the Right to Health, members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and the U.S. Trade Representative.
His work has appeared in The Lancet, JAMA, Foreign Policy, Journal of International Affairs, Studies in Comparative International Development, Health & Human Rights and other leading journals and he have been interviewed in outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, and Science on the politics of global health.
He completed a PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, certificate in health law from Penn’s law school, Masters in communities and policy from Harvard University and BA from Vassar College.
S. Matthew Liao, Arthur Zitrin Professor of Bioethics Director, Center for Bioethics, New York University School of Global Public Health
Dr. Matthew Liao uses the tools of philosophy to study and examine the ramifications of novel biomedical innovations.
A speaker at TEDxCERN, Dr. Liao discussed whether it is ethical for someone to erase certain aspects of their memories and how doing so might affect that individual's identity. He has also given a TED talk in New York and been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and other numerous media outlets.
The author and editor of four books, Dr. Liao provides the academic community with a collection of human rights essays. In The Right to be Loved, he explores the philosophical foundations underpinning children's right to be loved, and proposes that we reconceptualize our policies concerning adoptions so that individuals who are not romantically linked can co-adopt a child together.
Dr. Liao provides students with an education grounded in a broad conception of bioethics encompassing both medical and environmental ethics. He offers students the opportunity to explore the intersection of human rights practice with central domains of public health and regularly teaches normative theory and neuroethics. His courses address how the rightness or wrongness of an act is determined and ethical issues arising out of new medical technologies such as embryonic stem cell research, cloning, artificial reproduction, and genetic engineering; ethical issues raised by the development and use of neuroscientific technologies such as the ethics of erasing traumatic memories; the ethics of mood and cognitive enhancements; and moral and legal implications of "mind-reading" technologies for brain privacy.
Kodjo Senah, PhD, Associate Professor with the Department of Sociology at the University of Ghana; Clinical Professor, NYU Accra
Dr. Kodho Amedjorteh Senah holds a BA (Honors) from the University of Ghana, an M.Phil from the University of Ghana, and PhD from the University of Amsterdam. He is currently an Associate Professor with the Department of Sociology at the University of Ghana, and an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Central University College, Ghana, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. From 2005 to 2009 he served as the Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Ghana. His areas of academic and research interests are Medical Sociology/Anthropology, Criminology/Penology, Rural Sociology/Rural Development, and Urban Sociology. He recently completed a 5-year research project as the Team Leader of a 5-year research project about Sustainable Sanitation Solutions involving the University of Ghana, Health Research Centre, Ministry of Health, Dodowa and Copenhagen, School of Global Health, and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. At NYU Accra, he teaches Health and Society in a Global Context.
Frankie Edozien (Moderator), Clinical Associate Professor, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute; Director, NYU Accra
Chiké Frankie Edozien, Clinical Associate Professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, and Site Director at NYU Accra. Since joining NYU’s faculty in 2008, Professor Edozien has directed the Journalism Institute’s Accra-based ‘Reporting Africa’ program, a unique summer intensive and immersion program.
Professor Edozien is a journalist who honed his skills writing about government, health and cultural issues for a variety of publications. He was an award-winning New York Post reporter for 15 years, and its City Hall Reporter from 1999-2008 where he was the lead writer on legislative affairs. He covered crime, courts, labor issues, human services, public health and politics, reporting from around the country and abroad. He is the author of the 2017 book Lives of Great Men, a Lambda Literary Award winner. His “Shea Prince” was shortlisted for the 2018 Gerald Kraak Human Rights Award and his “Forgetting Lamido” was anthologized in Safe House. His work has appeared in The Times (UK), Vibe magazine, Time Magazine, Transitions Magazine, Out Traveler, Blackaids.org, The Advocate, Quartz, New York Times, Jalada and more. In 2001, he co-founded the AFRican Magazine and served as the editor-in-chief. He has traveled around the world reporting on the impact of HIV/AIDS particularly among Africans and is a 2008 Kaiser Foundation fellow for Global Health Reporting. He has appeared on MSNBC and other outlets giving context on issues affecting African countries.
Edozien holds a B.A. from NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and was awarded NYU’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award in 2017 for excellence in teaching, community building, social justice advocacy and leadership.
Currently located in Labone, NYU Accra (NYUA) is an integral part of the fabric of Accra, ideally situated to foster scholarly collaborations amongst a wide range of local institutions. The curriculum at NYUA focuses on topics and issues relevant to Africa and developing world cities. NYUA is supported by partnerships and affiliations with 19 schools and departments. Deep local engagement is a hallmark of the student experience at NYUA; the site also enjoys a strong multicultural exchange with scholars at University of Ghana. Several NYU faculty members pursue their research in Ghana and lead short-term courses at NYUA. In addition, the site is connected to NYU Africa House, and the NYU Development Research Institute. Professor Edozien will be working with these various partners and building the next chapter of NYUA’s development.