Money Power Health with Nason Maani podcast

Episode 5: Going upstream in health data and decisions with Salma Abdalla

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Hi everyone, and welcome back to money power health, a podcast on how our health is influenced by wealth and power. As we discussed in our introductory episode with Sandro Galea, one of the main things that determines our health is the distribution of resources and opportunity, yet, when we think of data on health that might better inform decisions, we tend to focus on healthcare related data, on patients, disease prevalence, and risk factor epidemiology.

This week I want to speak with someone who is trying to help decision-makers think more broadly, and more upstream, when it comes to data on health.

As you will see my guest this week has already been at the heart of some very interesting work on inequalities and health, on who we think of, and whose voices we might include. Her own personal story is a testament to her tenacity, intelligence, and commitment to studying the causes and practical solutions to within and between country inequalities.

This week I am speaking to Dr Salma Abdalla about going upstream, when it comes to data and decision-making.

She is a Sudanese medical doctor, is an Assistant Professor in Global Health and Epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health. She studies how data on the social, economic, and commercial determinants can be used to inform decision-making on health and health equity in different contexts. She also studies the effects of trauma on global population mental health. She has published over 50 scientific journal articles, co-authored 8 reports and policy briefs, and co-authored 9 book chapters. She was the Director of the 3-D Commission on Determinants, Data science and Decision making. She also served as a secretariat member for the WHO Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Abdalla was also engaged in advocacy efforts to incorporate the voices of young people in setting the global public health agenda for several years. She was elected the Secretary General of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations for the term 2013-2014. She was also named an emerging voice in global health in 2018 and a Moremi fellow for young women leadership in Africa in 2012.

You can find out more about the 3D commission here:

The paper on global health scholarship we discussed is here:

The paper on CVD prevalence by wealth is here:

The paper that makes reference to "prisoners of the proximate" which I couldn't remember (!) is by AJ McMichael and is here:

Thanks for listening as always.

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