Session 4 of TED2017 kicked off with an interview with perhaps the greatest athlete of all time, Serena Williams, and closed with the potentially world-changing announcement of this year’s TED Prize wish from Raj Panjabi. In between, the session saw a surprise talk directly from the Vatican by His Holiness Pope Francis — the culmination of […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Raj Panjabi was nine years old when civil war broke out in his native country of Liberia. His family fled, eventually resettling in High Point, North Carolina. Raj dreamed of going to medical school and, as a student in 2005, he returned to Liberia. He was shocked to find a health care system in total devastation. Only 50 doctors remained to treat a population of four million.
With a small team of Liberian civil war survivors, American health workers and $6,000 he'd received as a wedding gift, Panjabi co-founded Last Mile Health in 2007. Initially focused on care for HIV patients, Last Mile Health has grown into a robust organization that partners with the government of Liberia to recruit, train, equip and employ community health care workers who provide a wide range of services to their neighbors in Liberia's most remote regions. In 2016, Last Mile Health workers treated 50,000 patients, including nearly 22,000 cases of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea in children. While the organization focuses on integrated primary care, its network can be leveraged in a crisis. In the fight against Ebola, Last Mile Health supported government response by training 1,300 health workers in southeastern Liberia.
Panjabi is a physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital and an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative. He was ranked as one of "The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders" by Fortune in 2015 and named to TIME's list of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2016. As the winner of the 2017 TED Prize, Raj is creating the Community Health Academy, a global platform to train, connect and empower community health workers. The academy will be prototyped in Liberia and a handful of key countries, and will go global from there.
More news and ideas from Raj Panjabi
Raj Panjabi was your typical science- and soccer-loving 4th grader in Monrovia, Liberia. But when a brutal civil war erupted in the country, normal life was upended. On the TED2017 stage, Panjabi recalls his mother knocking on his door, telling him to pack his things. They had to flee. And one image from that day has […]Continue reading
Please enjoy your weekly roundup of TED-related news: Good luck and farewell to the Cassini spacecraft. Launched 20 years ago, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will begin its final mission on April 26. The spacecraft will embark on a series of 22 dives through the space between Saturn and its rings, transmitting data that may help us […]Continue reading