From community development in Eastern Mali to water managment addressing epidemics in Fiji, Professor Joel Negin has devoted his life to ensuring a healthier world for all.
What inspired you to pursue a career in global health?
I was born in South Africa and my parents were born in Zimbabwe and I always had an interest in that part of the world. After high school, I spent a gap year teaching high school in Harare and then took a job in Johannesburg after graduation. Being in the region as the HIV epidemic took hold, it became clear that action on global health was a moral imperative for the global community.
What projects are you working on right now?
My three current projects represent the excitement and diversity of global health practice:
I loved my time in Eastern Mali in Markala District where I was involved in a community development project. The Segou River was used to cultivate rice (on the edge of the Sahara!) while other crops suffered from insufficient water. The health facilities were understaffed, but there was a gleaming foreign-staffed acupuncture clinic!
It represented some of the anachronistic realities of global development – yet the people were committed and we were able to make real progress through partnership. We strengthened the community health facilities and started training a cadre of community health workers who covered about 100 households through outreach services.