HealthBridge works with partners world-wide to improve health and health equity through research, policy and action.


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Reflections of an Optimist

A blog by Debra Efroymson
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A blog by Peter Berti
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Recent Blog Entries:

Joy in darkness

December 7, 2011 By Debra Efroymson Children Post a comment!

The photo accompanying this blog, by the way, is at a sort of orphanage in a small city in Bangladesh. I sat in a room with the kids, who greatly enjoyed the company of a foreigner. It was pitch black; there were, for some reason, no lights. Some of the children actually have families, but were not safe at home and so were sent by their parents to this…

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What is abnormal about our cities…

December 7, 2011 By Debra Efroymson Cycling, Dhaka, Livable Cities, Urban Planning, Walking Post a comment!

Today the opposition party has called a hartal (political strike). There will be demonstrations in parts of the city, probably accompanied by violence, but otherwise the city is quiet and peaceful. There are very few motorized vehicles of any sort and virtually no cars on the streets. I ask a colleague to go with me on a bike ride; we ride to and around Dhaka University, stop for fresh…

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Introduction to my blog

December 4, 2011 By Debra Efroymson Public Spaces, Public Transit, Urban Planning Post a comment!

A big part of my job is to work with people in different Asian countries to advocate for the kinds of policies that make it easier for people to lead healthy lives. The issues I address include tobacco control, urban transport, urban planning, and gender issues.

The hardest part of the work is the various obstacles one faces: objections from people that what we are campaigning for…

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November 16, 2011 By Peter Berti Post a comment!

I spent the past couple days at the Global Health Confernce in Montreal. It was bigger and better than its predecessor, CCIH, with some of the bigger guns in Global Health presenting. But for me the most interesting part was a presentation by a PhD student…

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October 31, 2011 By Peter Berti Post a comment!

HealthBridge has a team in Togo now carrying out the first of three surveys on bednet useage for malaria control. It will be a challenging series of surveys for many technical and logistical reasons. How to properly draw a random sample from an uncensused population and how to get survey teams to remote villages over poor roads are two of the problems we wrestle with for hours. But…

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September 30, 2011 By Peter Berti Post a comment!

We have impact in our work not only through impact on the health of communities where we work, but also through the capacity building and career opportunities that have been provided to the individuals who have worked with HealthBridge. When I joined HealthBridge in 1998 (then called PATH Canada) Sian FitzGerald and Debra Efroymson were already here in their current positions, but all other staff from 1998 have moved on and…

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August 4, 2011 By Peter Berti Post a comment!

There was a powerful commentary in the April/May 2011 issue of the Canadian Journal of Public Health by some of Canada's leading global health researchers which is deserving of wider attention. The authors critique the Canadian Grand Challenges(CGC) program, a new and…

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July 26, 2011 By Peter Berti Post a comment!

I recently re-read Steven Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man, a fascinating history and critique of attempts to quantify human intelligence, starting with craniometry in the 18th and 19th century, through the development of IQ tests in the 20th century. He provides evidence…

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June 25, 2011 By Peter Berti Post a comment!

     In the previous posting, I wrote with some pleasure about the frequency with which some of HealthBridge's papers have been cited.  But then shortly after that posting, I came across a reference to our 2004 paper in Public Health Nutrition that completely misrepresented the article!  So I reviewed all 51 citations that Google Scholar…

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May 21, 2011 By Peter Berti Post a comment!

I work in global health - I want to have an impact on global health.  And I would like to know what the impact of my work has been.  But I often work far removed from the vulnerable populations we work to help, as I provide technical backstopping, conduct training, lead evaluations and conduct research.  Other HealthBridge colleagues are in a similar situation. While I am…

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