July 19, 2012

Global health exhibit at Seattle Center is family-friendly, free and open to all

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Seattle is showcasing the work of more than 30 area organizations at an exhibit at Seattle Center through Aug. 19.

Global Health Exhibit at Seattle Center
Dates: Now – Aug. 19, 2012
Time: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Seattle Center, Next Fifty Plaza

World Vision donated a mock village that has been turned into the Global Health Experience Exhibit in the Next 50 Plaza at Seattle Center. The exhibit introduces global health challenges and success to the public through four personal stories from around the globe, and focuses on malaria; maternal and newborn health; cancer; diabetes; and water and sanitation. Visitors can experience and respond to the life of a person affected by these challenges and learn about global health innovations created in Washington state.

The exhibit culminates in the Pathways to Global Health Activity Tent sponsored by the UW. The tent houses a board game on polio eradication and several monitors for people to explore 90-second student stories and learn how the students found their pathway to global health.

The videos from the UW include:

  • Global health students consulting with The Gates Foundation as part of the Strategic Analysis and Research Training Program.
  • Bioengineering students developing a diaphragm-like prophylactic to prevent both HIV infection and unintended pregnancy.
  • A pharmacy student working on medicine safety in Afghanistan.
  • An industrial engineering student working to improve the healthcare system in Sofala Province in Mozambique.
  • A law student examining the legal determinants of global health in India.
  • An anthropology student exploring the ethics of medical tours in Nepal.
  • A digital media student who did research on the use of digital technologies and HIV/AIDS.
  • A landscape architecture student involved in the the award-winning green space for a slum in Peru.
  • An undergraduate student interested in international affairs.
  • A medical student who did work on TB in Peru.
  • A public health student who is working on stigma with HIV/AIDS patients in Ethiopia.

Many mentors are featured with advice for prospective students.

UW Environmental Health student Tolu Okitika of Nigeria and UW master's of public health graduate and CNN Hero Peter Kithene of Kenya at the Pathways to Global Health exhibit

Bobbi Nodell

UW Environmental Health student Tolu Okitika of Nigeria and UW master’s of public health graduate and CNN Hero Peter Kithene of Kenya at the Pathways to Global Health exhibit

Meanwhile, the polio eradicating board game recreates in a highly abstract form some examples  of the challenges that global health professionals faced in the distribution of polio vaccine. The game can be played in less than five minutes with little or no instruction.

Department of Global Health Vice Chair Judith Wasserheit brought together professional gamers, Harebrained Schemes LLC in Redmond, and staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rotary Club to make this game a reality. Students are staffing the game.

One of the student organizers, Tolu Okitika, a UW student from Nigeria, said people ask her a lot of questions about seeing polio firsthand  — something that is pretty common among beggars outside of mosques and in rural areas. She also has a friend with polio who is a doctor.

Students said that kids love playing the game. One family from Scotland played it for an hour.

When people ask, “Why should we care about polio in Pakistan?” Students have a great reply: Viruses don’t know borders.

While these exhibits are permanent, the UW Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents and Children will be temporarily staffing a “Better Birthing Game.” Two players at a time see what happens if they are about to give birth, depending on whether they are living in a country with few resources or one with many  resources. Will they be heading to the hospital in an SUV or on a mule?

Activities will rotate throughout the summer.

Watch the Seattle Channel video.

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