Public Health, Politics, and War

March 16, 2015

I am probably not your typical WOTR reader. My background is in the world of health sciences and specifically emerging infectious diseases, microbiology and public health. I am a true novice when it comes to politics, history and current events. However, I have always been a big fan of history and an avid follower of the news. I generally steer clear of mainstream stuff and the internet has created a lot of opportunities to broaden the scope of my interest. If you dig deep enough, you can find really well informed information and opinion on the nuances of the world around us on the web. WOTR provides this and does so in an approachable medium. I never feel lost in the articles or podcasts, nor do I ever feel intimidated about commenting or asking questions. As someone who teaches (I am an evil adjunct at UMD) as well as practices my particular field of study, I truly appreciate the way that WOTR can bridge that gap of knowledge and approachability.

Although my field may not directly relate to most of the subject matter that is presented in WOTR, the relationship is much deeper than it may seem on the surface. Conflict leads to quite a lot of public health issues. Whether discussing food insecurity as a result of civil unrest in North Africa, vaccination rates plummeting (and preventable infectious disease re-emergence) in war-torn Syria, killing of healthcare workers in conflict zones, or the re-integration of child soldiers at the end of conflicts in places like Rwanda, public health and global conflict go hand in hand. Food insecurity, infectious disease and reintegration of those impacted by war are only three obvious places where this relationship exists. It goes much deeper. I tend to take a broad view of public health and that means understanding what is going on in international relations and politics. WOTR provides a high-level look at this and insight from well-regarded and intellectual contributors.

I certainly think that the Indiegogo crowdfunding project was a great idea as I know that what you do must take a lot of time and effort. I am hoping that an influx of capital and support may help broaden the subject area into some of the more indirect topics related to global conflict and strategy, including public health. I also am looking forward to more podcasts (DC commutes are the worst) and interactive opportunities. You guys put out high quality content, and you deserve the financial support that you seek (and more) and I hope that you reach (and eclipse) your goal. I look forward to seeing what is next for WOTR.

In layman’s terms. I love your stuff. It is informative and enjoyable to read. As a fellow academic and writer, I appreciate how hard that is to do. Keep it up. You guys are great.

— Michael C. Bazaco Ph.D., M.S., Infectious Disease Epidemiologist




Photo credit: CDC Global Health