“If you look at the rates of new cases that are being diagnosed, we’re on an exponential curve,” NIH Director Francis Collins told Peter Wehner for an article in The Atlantic.

What does this mean, “we’re on an exponential curve”, and why does it matter?

First, what it means is that the best function to describe the rate at which the number of cases is changing day-by-day is an exponential function with the form:

y = a∙b^x


  • y is the number of cases

  • a and b are both just some constant, like 7 or 0.2983, and these are found...

December 3, 2018

“Madame Claire, use all your strength” is what I think the women laughingly tell me as I attempt to pound yams into the Beninese specialty of foutou. I’m embarrassed as I gesture that I am using all my strength. One of the women feels my forearms, shakes her head, and says something to the other ladies in Fongbe. While she’s not unkind, it’s pretty clear she’s remarking to them that I’m weak. I want to tell her that my forearms might not be physically strong but they are major conduits for my mental powers (e.g. writing, using comp...

“What does it mean to be a refugee?” is a question I often ask myself with the hope of engendering more compassion in my work and life. While I cannot answer from personal experience, over 65 million people can. That many are displaced globally, and numbers continue to rise.

By definition, every refugee is forced to leave their country because of war, persecution, or violence. However, each person’s experience is a unique quilt of history, family, and culture stitched with hope and stretched at its ends by geopolitical powers. The c...

We are greeted in the narthex of Santísimo Sacramento parish each morning with a chorus of horns as motorcycle taxis, cars, and pedestrians mingle at the stop light in front of the church. This parish is teeming with life and activity; the expansive entryway that looks out onto the street is scattered with parents bringing their kids to school or moto taxi drivers waiting to chauffer their next passenger. With this in the background, our group of nursing students along with whichever group is staying at the parish on this given wee...

For typical Americans, especially those who did not live through the onset of HIV in the mid-80’s, HIV is an unfamiliar and often unspoken topic given that less than 0.25% of the U.S. population are HIV positive. It was not until I traveled to Zambia through my pharmacy clinical rotation that I became immersed in a culture where HIV is not only a common discussion topic, but one that must be understood in order to provide care. Approximately one in 17 people in Zambia are living with HIV/AIDS, with most new infections resulting in...

January 23, 2018

“The family is roasting coffee on their carpeted floor; we need to address food safety,” a volunteer told me.  She visits refugee families in their homes, troubleshooting problems and creating community.

I am one of the Nurse Practitioners at Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic (AWPCC) in Milwaukee.  We provide primary care to people from around the world, refugees from Asia and Africa and immigrants from Latin America.  For 25 years, AWPCC has mostly served Spanish speaking clients, but refugees now add to the diversity at AWPCC...

“The treatment for starvation is food.” These words from Dr. Jack Geiger reveal much about the universally-recognized human right to sustenance, and the responsibility of the global community to respond to hunger crises. Let’s talk about food aid, what we as a country are doing, and how we in Milwaukee can contribute.

Since World War II, the United States has been a leader in providing food to hungry regions of the world, contributing more to combating global hunger than any other nation. In 2013, $1.3 billion in food aid was distri...

November 17, 2017

As are some people in global health, I confess sometimes I am a little inured about travel.   Plane travel has gone from thrilling adventure to physical gauntlet.  And yes, I understand how much of a first-world problem and humble-brag that is, too.  “Poor me, having to travel the world!” 

That certainly wasn’t always the case.  The prospect of traveling, especially to a new place, used to be more exhilarating and reminded me how lucky I was, how grateful I was for the opportunities that lay ahead.  So, I became...

September 27, 2017

“Our true mentor in life is science.”

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938)

Founder of Republic of Turkey

The founder and the greatest leader of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, emphasized that “science should be our guide in life.”  If you want to make developments in your job, in your life, in your country, science is your true mentor. The science should be my mentor in my job, in my life and in my nursing profession. Nursing science has its own knowledge. Moreover, everyday, it is improving with new interventions, new kno...

August 10, 2017

MGHC was thrilled to receive a nursing education project as its first grant as the “Milwaukee Global Health Consortium.”  In terms of impact, this project had “sustainability” written all over it.  With the ultimate goal of improving clinical skills education for students of two schools of nursing in Mwanza, Tanzania, the project partnered nursing educators in the United States with those in Mwanza to identify key areas of improvement and conduct training.  Instead of simply traveling and teaching skills themselves, US nursing educ...

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Food, Water, People

-a global health blog-

Food, Water, People focuses on connections – connections between people, societies, disciplines, and countries.  These connections frame our understanding of global health problems and how we approach solutions.  With particular emphasis on the environment, social determinants of health, and policy, this blog bridges theory and practice to explore how global health issues are relevant to all of us.

Contributors to Food, Water, People include faculty, staff, students, practitioners, and researchers from our consortium members.


Milwaukee Global Health Consortium

1020 N. 12th St., 4th Floor

Milwaukee, WI  53233

Phone:  +1-414-219-5488

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