The Unfinished Agenda
19 Sep, 2011
In this episode, hosts John Corker and Lakshman Swamy consider the many challenges facing primary care physicians today with regards to children’s vaccinations and the declining public perception of the utility of preventive medicine. As experienced U.S. physicians attempt to convince misinformed parents of the importance of preventive medicine, Latin America faces many of these same struggles. One in three children in Latin America have not received the vaccinations they so desperately need!
Featured Guest: Dr. Jon Andrus, Deputy Director of the Pan-American Health Organization, a division of the World Health Organization. Dr. Andrus is credited for his work in eradicating Polio in the Americas and Southeast Asia. He received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award of the United States Public Health Service for this work.
Dr. Andrus’ current work in PAHO focuses on “finishing the unfinished agenda.” This includes bringing immunizations and preventive medicine to those who need it in many underdeveloped countries across our globe. Dr. Andrus discusses his concerns with the proposed budget cuts to the CDC’s immunization programs in the United States. In the medical world, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If we eliminate the funding for this “ounce,” then the healthcare industry will face an inevitable “tsunami” of disease. Already, in California, there has been a recurrence of the infectious disease Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough. With federal cuts, diseases like Pertussis that have been forgotten for so long will not just be in our history books. They will be on our doorsteps.