PROTECTING GLOBAL HEATH FROM PANDEMICS AND THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS: AN ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT IS NECESSARY
Prof. Roberto De Vogli
This talk is divided in four parts. First, I examine the main public health strategies in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there are numerous factors capable of explaining national differences in COVID-19 mortality that are not attributable to merits or demerits of governments, I have identified five lethal errors (lack of preparation, misinformation, medicalization, “laissez-faire the virus” approach and social inequity) and three vital actions (prevent, immunize and support) that best distinguish successes or failures in tackling the pandemic. In the second part, I analyze major risk factors for emerging zoonotic diseases to be addressed to prevent future pandemics including increased consumption and exploitation of animal wildlife, deforestation, agricultural intensification, urbanization and climate change. Then, I discuss the interrelationships between the COVID-19 pandemic and the ecological crisis in the context of what I define as “the neoliberal variant of capitalism.” Both the pandemic and ecological crises are largely determined by anthropogenic risk factors influenced by a model of economic development that prioritizes infinite economic growth, economic efficiency and a global self-regulating market over any other values of society, including human survival. An alternative economic approach, capable of creating a new balance between the health of humans, animals and the environment (by modifying their structural drivers) is the most important antidote against new zoonotic spillovers and climate change. It is the humanitarian immune response we need to protect global health from future pandemics and ecological collapse.
MENTAL HEALTH IN THE XXI.TH CENTURY – LESSONS TO BE LEARN FROM THE PANDEMIC
Dr. Melinda Medgyaszai
Our understanding of mental health became more complex in the 21th century, as more evidences have been found about the interconnectivity of the human body and mind, as well as its social and environmental determinants. The first part of presentation will concentrate on interfaces of the different natural sciences, with emphasis on the immune system: the possible link between our bodily functions and mental state. Examples from animal experiments and human studies will be presented. Challenges, risks, harmful and protective ways and means will be discussed. In the second part we will broad our horizon. Human beings are part of the nature as well as the surrounding society. The “One Health” concept recognizes the importance of interactions between people, animals, plants, environment and climate. Results from the pandemy’s boost of scientific research in social dimensions are impressive and approve that “no man is an island”.
Associate Professor in Global Health and Psychology of Power and Vice-Director of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Padova. Contract Professor in Social Epidemiology at the School of Medicine, University of Bologna. He worked as an Associate Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Michigan and Department of Public Health, University of California Davis. He also worked as Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. His education includes a PhD and a Master in (Global) Public Health (minor in Public Policy) at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA.). He worked internationally and consulted for UN agencies such as the World Health Organization and the World Bank as well as international non-governmental organizations in Guatemala, Mexico, Russia, Tanzania and Vietnam.
Author of numerous publications in the fields of socioeconomic determinants of health, globalization, and health and ecological economics. He has published in major peer-reviewed journals including Nature, The Lancet, British Medical Journal and Annals of Internal Medicine.
He is now working on a new book that will be published by Routledge entitled “All will go well: how to manage a pandemic and avoid the next one” a topic covered in a Ted Talk delivered in 2021.
Medical doctor with two specialties: microbiology and psychotherapy. During the pandemy as a „woman of two trades” she could help patients, colleagues, and the general public to understand the biological characteristics of viruses, especially the new coronavirus and the human immunological system fighting against them.
She is especially interested in psychoimmunology: the role of the brain in the body’s reactions in times of danger: under attack by pathogens, cancers and stressors in general. She's a self-employed private cognitive-behavioral therapist and a consultant of the National Korányi Institute for Pulmonology in COVID-19 related issues.