I am pleased to introduce you to the seventh volume of The Prognosis, the 2017-2018 edition of McGill’s student journal of global health. The journal was founded in 2011 by a group of McGill undergraduate students passionate about showcasing the highest caliber of global health research conducted across our university. This year, The Prognosis is the fruit of the labour and commitment of Anna, Carly, Kayla, Samantha, Sarah, and Srikanth, who worked hard to solicit, select, and edit the volume. It has been a pleasure working with them this year, and I wish them all the best in their future endeavours. I would also like to thank Kristin Hendricks of the Global Health Programs for her unwavering support to the editorial team in producing this journal.
The seven papers featured in this volume reflect a diverse set of challenges in global health, demonstrating the interdisciplinary nature of global health education at our university. The opening and closing articles of the journal are personal essays written by McGill medical students, drawing on their invaluable experience as passionate advocates of global and public health within the university and the larger Montreal and Quebec communities. As well, we have a piece assessing the importance of nationwide HPV vaccination in Canada, followed by three papers on maternal health—the first tackling the timely challenge of Donald Trump’s global gag rule, the second investigating Ethiopia’s innovative Healthcare Extension Program in ameliorating mothers’ livelihood in the country, and the third paper analyzing the potentials of a heat-stable and life-saving drug for women with pregnancy complications. Finally, we have a thoughtful discussion of Canada’s Ebola vaccine and the international neglect during the 2014 Ebola crisis.
I would like to ask readers to situate these articles within the current political climate that, as many scientists and pundits argue, is characterized by potentially detrimental ‘attacks on science.’ Over the last two years, of course, there have been tremendous examples of this phenomenon south of the border. These developments, however, are painfully reminiscent of the Harper era in Canada, where we saw, among others, the closure of the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, the elimination of the position of National Science Advisor, and the literal destruction of libraries associated with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Scientists also reported being subjected to exceptionally restrictive communication protocols by the government, hindering them from freely relaying information to the media, the public, or to each other. Today, as students of and professionals in global health, we ought to be ever more vigilant about the value, purpose, and precarity of our work. The Prognosis, in a way, is a resistance to the powerful forces that want us to regress back, instead of move forward.
Editor-in-Chief (Spring 2018)
Full Journal: Prognosis Spring 2018
Community outreach as a priority: a global health new year’s resolution (Article 1)
Sabrina Bartolucci, Lilia Brahimi, Allison Hecht, Jasmine Li-Brubacher, Natasha Leblanc, Geneviève Mailhot, Janna Shapiro, and Chelsey Weir
Trump’s global gag rule and its impact on maternal health worldwide (Article 3)
Saina Beitari, Emily Heer, Chloé Laamme, Megha Patel, Debanjali Purkayastha, and Michelle Rugamba
Ethiopia’s Health Extension Workers and maternal healthcare improvements (Article 4)
Zahra Kamal, Xueyang (Grace) Ren, Paulami Sen, Giorgia Sulis, Avery White, and Edlyn Zhang
Beating the heat: the development and implementation of heat-stable carbetocin to prevent postpartum hemorrhage in low- income countries (Article 5)
Lina Fievet, Shannon Hewgill, Wenni Li, Elizabeth Ourumis, Amanda Paleologou, and Ryan Pecore
The case of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine: tragic lessons from a delayed solution to the 2014 Ebola Outbreak (Article 6)