School of public health

Investing in early childhood development improves countries’ health

Low- and moderate-income countries should invest in early childhood development, if their aim is to grow their economies and raise the prospects of their citizenry, YSPH professor Rafael Pérez-Escamilla told a UNICEF Conference on Refugee Children in April at Yale. For every dollar invested in the first 1,000 days of life, a country receives about $8 in returns, said Pérez-Escamilla, who coauthored two articles for the 2016 Lancet series on early childhood development. “The social cost of inaction is enormous. Kindergarten is too late to start addressing crippling development deficits created by poverty, violence, and poor nutrition,” Pérez-Escamilla said. 

Averting new HIV/AIDS infections

Using a novel mathematical model, a YSPH team has predicted that vaccines used with other interventions have the potential to avert several million HIV/AIDS cases in coming years. The team examined data from 127 countries to determine how goals for diagnosing and treating HIV, as well as vaccination, would impact the number of future cases. The mathematical model found that maintaining the status quo of treatment and diagnosis would lead to an estimated 49 million new cases of HIV/AIDS globally between 2015 and 2035. Factoring in an HIV vaccine, 17 million of those cases would be averted. 

High school students compete for a social entrepreneurship prize

InnovateHealth Yale at the School of Public Health hosted a competition for New Haven high school students to win the $500 Heller Prize for Community Innovation. Twenty-one students from Career High School drew on principles of entrepreneurship and innovation to develop solutions to pressing community health challenges. Instructors taught the skills needed to launch a social enterprise, including business development, design thinking methodologies, and customer discovery. The students competed for the most promising student-led social impact venture, addressing such problems as homelessness, health and nutrition, neighborhood crime, and cultural competency.     

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