Sharing information, seeking common solutions, and working collaboratively are all hallmarks of global health. These same elements are also critical in global trade. Global health and global trade came together on Monday during the Gulf Coast Trade Alliance’s annual meeting, held this year in New Orleans around the theme of “Doing Business with Brazil.” The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine was the host and a participant of a session focused on addressing Zika.
The meeting was attended by Tulane researchers including Dr. Dawn Wesson, associate professor of tropical medicine, and Dr. Carl Kendall, professor of global community health and behavioral sciences; researchers from the Louisiana State University; members of the Zika IT Task Force Pilot Project for the State of Pernambuco; a Brazilian health delegation; health services staff from the Louisiana Public Health Institute; and representatives of U.S. technology companies.
Dean Pierre Buekens opened the meeting. “When something like Zika happens,” he said, “we want to be part of the action.” He pointed to the school’s long history, close ties to Latin America, cutting-edge lab facilities, and global connections as the useful resources brought to the table by the Tulane School of Public Health.
Wesson and Kendall both provided insight their ongoing projects related to Zika virus, as well as current projects across the university. The LSU researchers and the technology companies working with the State of Permanbuco also shared their efforts in the fight against Zika. The two-hour meeting ended with a lively discussion about ways to identify areas of potential cooperation and how to leverage complementary resources toward regional solutions.
The Gulf Coast Trade Alliance is part of the U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.