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The On Being Project

Dr. Abdallah Daar on the Ethics and Strategies of Global Health Inequities (video)

“Innovation is the exit strategy for aid.”
—Dr. Abdallah Daar

“Inspire. Commit. Act.” This was the theme of Krista Tippett’s week-long series of interviews at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Fresh off a plane from Istanbul, our host hopped on a flight to New York last week and interviewed six people over five days. The first conversation to kick of the series: Dr. Abdallah Daar.

Born and raised as a Sunni Muslim in Tanzania, the professor of public health sciences and of surgery at the University of Toronto is a leading expert in the field of global health, with a focus on righting inequities by studying how medical research and vaccines can be taken more quickly from “lab to village.”

“I call them inequities, and not inequalities or disparities, because inequity is an ethical term which means that it is something that is both unfair and unjust and that you can do something about.”

As he tells Ms. Tippett in this interview, his passion for improving global public health was inspired in part by losing his sister to malaria, a preventable and treatable condition. “The thought that in this day and age, 1997, someone could die of a preventable and treatable condition was just shattering to me, and for a family member to depart in that situation was really shocking,” Dr. Daar said.

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