3 Minutes to read
Arush Lal, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for Women in Global Health
Learning Inspiration 🌈 #64
Arush Lal serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Women in Global Health. Arush pushes there for gender equity and intersectionality in global health leadership. He is an International Consultant at PAHO/WHO, supporting member states to improve access to essential medicines and public health supplies and facilitating COVID-19 response by preventing stockouts and mitigating downstream health impacts. Arush shares in this interview what primarily motivates and inspires him.
What is your biggest inspiration?
It sounds broad, but empathetic people who stand by their values inspire me.
Working in Healthcare gives you a sense of justice. In 2021, it’s unbearable to know that people are still dying when there are cures available. There is high inequality when it comes to access to cures. We can see it with the COVID-19 vaccines. It frustrates me to see that, especially when I know that there are far better solutions. My inspiration is to contribute to bringing justice to Public Health. What motivates me to wake up in the morning is to contribute to building an affordable Health system that allows people to live a healthy and prosperous life. That cause really inspires me.
How do you continue to learn on a daily basis?
I’m a PHD student so I learn a lot from my day-to-day work.
I read newsletters and articles published in my Field. I also remain pretty active on twitter to stay up-to-date on new developments and what people are saying.
In a way, social media helps us have a better perspective on who and what we are. Discussions with my colleagues help me a lot as well in gaining perspective.
Beyond my studies, I stay informed with medical journals. I try to read 2 or 3 articles every day and keep up with my PHD studies. It’s also important to stay grounded by engaging in current political conversations with colleagues and to know more about their feelings on the issues.
It’s important to stay connected to policy making and to understand the shifts.
The process of learning is a motivation in itself. I mean, what is more satisfying intellectually than learning new things?
What are your favorite books 📚?
I would love to read more, but I’m really short on time. For my research, I need to focus on current debates and theories.
That being said, there are 2 books that I love:
Factfulness by Hans Roseling, a swedish statistician, doctor and public speaker.
He helped a lot to improve medicine in emerging countries this last decade.
Better off by Eric Brende. This book explains how sometimes our leaps in technology don’t bring about what was expected. There has been a lot of progress, but the entire world isn’t benefiting from it.
What is your favorite podcast 🎧?
The new humanitarian talks about all the issues in the humanitarian field, from reform to fundraising.
MSNBC is more political. It’s really useful to understand decision and policy making. To avoid biases in my research, I need to know the context.
What would you say to 18-year-old Arush?
Keep it up and don’t stress.
Things will be ok.
Follow your passion.
To work in Global Health, you need to be optimistic and enjoy all the small victories.
You always have to keep pushing and when you see an impact is being made, it means you are moving in the right direction.
What are the main challenges that you are facing?
It’s frustrating that the best solutions are not the most appealing. In Global Health, we know that prevention is one of the most efficient things, but since you pour money into it and don’t see immediate results, organizations tend to avoid it.
International organizations took 263 days to respond to the Zika virus, 6 years after Ebola. We are taking too long to start investing in prevention.
Over $16 trillion were invested in Global Health worldwide, but this investment should be distributed more equally. We should invest more proactively and not just when a catastrophe occurs.
I also think Engineering schools should offer more courses on Global Health. There are so many health challenges that Tech could tackle.
If you were left alone on an island and could only bring one item, what would it be?
I would say a phone, if possible. A fire starting kit would be great as well. I would also bring books that I don’t have time to read.
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