|13 Nov 2020
Trainee pharmacist and former pupil at Claremont Fan Court School, Karim Saleh is to feature in a new campaign to highlight the growing importance of global health in keeping people safe.
The Health Legends initiative showcases the dedication of individuals from around the world who are passionate about making a difference to health in their communities and beyond.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how we’re all connected and by sharing their personal experiences, they hope more people will be encouraged to get behind the campaign.
During the coronavirus pandemic, recent medical graduate Saleh has been working in a pharmacy in Elmbridge supporting local residents. “People were receptive and understood when we had to change things, like how many people were allowed into the pharmacy at one time. This pandemic has shown us that we are all affected by global health problems. With the threat of new viruses emerging like COVID-19, infectious disease research and the supply of vaccines is more important than ever. My goal is to work in vaccine provision in low- to middle-income countries. These countries end up being the most severely affected due to weaker infrastructure, weaker health literacy, and just short-staffing in general.”
Romilly Greenhill, UK Director of The ONE Campaign, said: “From caring for patients on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic to supporting humanitarian projects around the world, these Health Legends all care deeply about helping their communities but also about the importance of good health and strong health systems on a global scale. Keeping our own local communities safe involves a global effort to stop the spread of viruses and diseases, so working together is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. As this pandemic shows, no one is safe until everyone is safe.”
Dr Morro Torray, Research Fellow at Surrey Health Economics Centre and coordinator for Surrey Global Health Research Network, said: “Campaigns such as Health Legends bring to the forefront of everyone’s minds the importance of global health; understanding what it is and why it matters to us all, no matter where we are in the world. Sharing best practise in research and medicine globally is crucial for knowledge transfer, skills development, capacity building and access to funding opportunities for low-to middle-income and less-resourced countries.”
Saleh is driven by a strong passion to make a big difference in the global health arena, after being inspired how Egypt handled their outbreak of Hepatitis C by employing effective measures to manage the rate of infection. “Egypt had one of the worst rates in the world for Hepatitis C infection. But they managed to devise a very cost-effective way to tackle the problem. Almost everyone in the country received antiviral treatment against Hepatitis C, which cut down the spread of the disease to reach record low diagnosis numbers. It is so exciting to see local interventions that end up having a global impact, and global interventions that work well on a local level too. That’s what I want to be a part of,” finished Saleh.
Health Legends is supported by a group of organisations passionate about global health including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, THET, Students for Global Health, The ONE Campaign, Global Citizen, Restless Development and Malaria No More.
How can you be a Health Legend?
Anyone can be a health legend. To read more about the campaign and how to get involved visit www.healthlegends.com
Purpose is a strategy consultancy, a creative agency and a social movement incubator. We build and supports movements to advance the fight for an open, just, and habitable world. www.purpose.com
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