Dr. Stanley Foster on the Relationship Between Science and International Health Policy

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Will Foster
Senior Research Associate
Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP)
Sam Nunn School of International Affairs
Georgia Institute of Technology

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On Oct. 24, 2012, Dr. Stanley Foster from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University spoke about the relationship between science and international health policy to the Sam Nunn Security Program (SNSP) Fellows as well as participants in Policy@Tech as part of the Policy@Tech Speaker Series.  This event was co-sponsored by Policy@Tech and the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy (CISTP).

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On Oct. 24, 2012, Dr. Stanley Foster from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University spoke about the relationship between science and international health policy to the Sam Nunn Security Program (SNSP) Fellows as well as participants in Policy@Tech as part of the Policy@Tech Speaker Series.  This event was co-sponsored by Policy@Tech and the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy (CISTP).

Dr. Foster who, as an epidemiologist for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ran the Smallpox Eradication Programs in West Africa and then later in Bangladesh told many vivid stories about when his team had succeed or failed to get science based public health policies adopted.  

To demonstrate that these challenges were not just confined to the developing world, Dr. Foster played a lecture about the challenges of getting the FDA to approve the use of niacin as a supplement to prevent the child deformity spinda bifida.

After the talk, Dr. Foster talked to the SNSP Fellows about the realities of working in the developing world.   He pointed out that even if you think your technology can change the world, you are not going to get anywhere unless you are able to convince the health decision-makers in the country.  Dr. Foster gave an example of his inability to get the support of a Minister of Health until he learned that the Minister only listened to new advice on Sunday mornings at his home. 

Dr. Stanley Foster:  In 1966, Dr. Foster was invited to join the CDCs new Smallpox Eradication Program. His family spent 4 years in Nigeria (1966-1970) and 4 years in Bangladesh (1972-1976) working with national health workers to eradicate smallpox. In 1977, he spent three months living with nomads in Somalia (the last smallpox epidemic country in the world.) In 1975 Dr. Foster confirmed and treated Rahima Banu, who was the last natural occurring case of severe smallpox (Variola Major) in the world.

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Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP)

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Keywords
CISTP, Dr. Stanley Foster, Policy@Tech speaker series, public health, Sam Nunn Security Fellows, SNSP
Status
  • Created By: Debbie Mobley
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Nov 9, 2012 - 9:26am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:13pm