Making an impact in Africa and beyond

Baylor leaders recently traveled to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, for the Health Care in Africa 2014 Summit, where they participated in presentations and panel discussions on the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing healthcare in Africa.

Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy, professor and director of Baylor Global Initiatives, and Wayne Keathley, president of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, both presented at the summit hosted by The Economist, a weekly international news and business publication that offers insight and opinion on world events and issues.

Anandasabapathy was part of the summit’s Technology Showcase – Innovations to Deliver Better Health Care. She discussed her NCI-funded research at the Baylor Global Innovation Center, part of Baylor Global Initiatives, as an example of the type of technology that has the real potential to improve patient care in low-resource settings.

Her research includes technology that allows for cost-effective detection and treatment of esophageal and upper digestive tract cancers in resource-poor settings.

“Africa is an important region for Baylor Global Initiatives as much of our research at the Baylor Global Innovation Center is focused on the development and validation of novel diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for use specifically in low-resource settings such as rural Africa, Asia, or Central and South America,” Anandasabapathy said.


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Keathley was part of a panel discussion on Reimagining Africa’s Health Care Systems. He focused on lessons learned so far from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the U.S., an important topic as many African nations are trying to develop and implement universal healthcare systems.

In addition to participating in the summit, Anandasabapathy and Keathley, along with Philip Randall, administrator of Baylor Global Initiatives, met with the dean and several faculty at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar Es Salaam. They discussed potential research collaborations between Baylor and Muhimbili faculty, as well as student exchanges between the two institutions. The Baylor trio toured the campus and the university (public) hospital.

Baylor faculty and staff will have the opportunity to learn about other global health projects at the College at the Baylor Global Health Symposium, set for Jan. 22 in Cullen Auditorium and Rayzor Lounge.

The event will include poster presentations in Rayzor Lounge from 9 to 11 a.m. by Baylor students, residents and fellows who received funding through the Baylor Global Innovation Center. Faculty recipients of global health pilot awards will present their projects from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. in Cullen Auditorium. In addition, Dr. Michael Merson, founding director of the Global Health Institute at Duke University, will be the distinguished speaker. Anandasabapathy, Dr. Paul Klotman and Dr. Alicia Monroe also will give remarks at the symposium.

For more about this event and other global health information, visit the Baylor Global Initiatives website.