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Distinguished Lecture with Professor Laura Ferguson

October 26, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Last updated 10/13/2023

Global Health Inequalities: Pandemics, Politics and People

Join the RFA for a zoom presentation and discussion with Professor Laura Ferguson.

Date: Thursday October 26th  at 12:00 p.m.

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The world is more unequal than ever before, with clear disparities in health both within and between countries. Despite incredible advances in medical technologies, the benefits these bring are not available to all. We saw this during the HIV epidemic and, more recently during the COVID pandemic during which rhetoric around global solidarity gave way to vaccine hoarding, protection of corporate profits and knee-jerk legal and policy actions. What have we learnt from these pandemics that can improve our response to the next one?

We also see health inequalities being driven by legislation that restricts access to abortion, gender-affirming care and other sexual and reproductive health services. How can we challenge the politicization of health to promote equitable health outcomes?

Dr. Ferguson will explore global health inequalities; and, using examples from her work at USC’s Institute on Inequalities in Global Health, she will highlight why an interdisciplinary response is essential.

Laura Ferguson is an Associate Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine. She is the Director of the Program on Global Health & Human Rights and the Director of Research at the Institute on Inequalities in Global Health. She is also on the faculty of USC Dornsife’s Spatial Sciences Institute. Dr. Ferguson earned her MSc in Population and International Health from the Harvard School of Public Health and her PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her work focuses on understanding and addressing health system and societal factors affecting health, and developing the evidence base of how attention to human rights can improve health outcomes.

Dr. Ferguson has spent extended periods of time in low-income countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, collaborating with local partners to design and manage research and programs to tackle a broad range of issues including HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, and child health. Dr. Ferguson serves on a range of expert advisory groups to the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. She is also an Associate Editor for Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters.