Postcards from New York: ‘Health heroes’ descend on the UN
Greetings from an unusually hot New York on the eve of the MDG Review Summit. The AFGH team have all made it, barring Dr Samuel Kargbo whose visa hasn’t come through yet. We are currently praying to the gods of U.S. immigration that all goes to plan tomorrow and that he can be with us as soon as possible.
Given that the Summit proper hasn’t even started I’ve managed to fill my day with a surprising amount of interesting and (at times) surreal events.
First up was brunch at the Waldorf. You probably couldn’t think of a more unlikely place to be discussing the issues faced by women and children in developing countries than this famously luxurious hotel on New York City’s Park Avenue. But that’s exactly where we were, listening to luminaries like Graca Machel, the guest speaker at the Women Deliver’s brunch on accelerating progress on women’s and children’s health. (Interesting fact about the Waldorf: it used to be a fistula hospital).
Martha Kwataine, who we introduced a couple of weeks ago, is also here and gave her views at the Women Deliver meeting this morning. Martha is always interesting and impressive but seemed all the more so given given how jet lagged she must have been after her epic journey from Malawi (which began Friday morning and ended Saturday afternoon).
There were no signs of jetlag as our duo of Health Heroes (otherwise known as Sabine and Louise from the Plan EU office) valiantly raced around the Lincoln Center plaza this afternoon. We were there for a GCAP MDG educational event and Sabine and Louise were obviously finding it tough, as they forced themselves to pose with children, New York security guards and random passers by. Don’t be fooled by the smiles – a few hours of wearing flame coloured spandex can turn anyone’s brain to mush.
It’s a hard job being a Health Hero. But someone has to do it.
Rebecka Rosenquist is an Action for Global Health advocacy officer based at Interact Worldwide in London, UK