Penn Medicine News Blog

October 21, 2016 // By Johanna Harvey // Comments

Non-Communicable Diseases: The Next Great Global Health Challenge

Cancer // Cardiology // Community Health // Diabetes // Global Medicine

Kids on the Cancer Ward at Butaro (2)

“We all have the same health problems, but we don’t all have the same access to health care.” 

That was the message Ernest Madu, MD, chairman and CEO of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean, shared with Perelman School of Medicine students and faculty during the Penn Center for Global Health’s inaugural Global Health Champion Award ceremony last month. Madu was honored with this award because of his pioneering efforts to improve access to health care in underserved communities in Africa and the Caribbean. 

Madu, a cardiologist by training, has worked for decades to develop novel methods to provide technologies that might be taken for granted in wealthier nations, such as the United States, to resource-limited settings. Seeing such huge disparities in access to what others might consider basic health care, such as EKG machines, inspired Madu to found the Heart Institute of Caribbean (HIC), in Kingston, Jamaica. 

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