Global Health Chronicles

Elias Durry - Session 1

David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Global Health Chronicles
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2:36 - Early Life and Education

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Partial Transcript: To begin, would you introduce yourself by name, state where and when you were born and talk a bit about your early life?

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses his childhood, education, and early career.

Keywords: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Amharic; Arabic; Arabs; Budapest, Hungary; cohorts; college; communist; community; Corpa, Spain; customs; demonstrating; deported; dialysis unit; Dire Dawa, Ethiopia; distribute; E. Durry; East European; ECFMG; Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates; Embassy; environment; equal; Ethiopian; ethnic issues; etiquette; farmers; field; fighting; food; Greeks; H. Selassie; Harar Region, Ethiopia; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; hierarchy; high school; Hungarian Embassy; identity; individual care; internal medicine; internship; interview; Italians; killed; Los Angeles, California; mass impact; Master of Public Health; MD; medical degree; medical school; military government; monarchy; neighborhood; NGOs; nongovernmental organizations; opposition; Oromo; patients; persecution; politically; refugee; representative; research; residency; resistance; revolution; scholarship; school leaving certificate; social life; socialist; societies; Somali; starvation; student movement; Swedish; system; technician; travel; tribe; trust; UCLA; UN; United Nations; university; University of California, Los Angeles; volunteer; WHO

Subjects: Africa; brother; California; challenge; childhood; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; education; Ethiopia; Europe; exam; family; famine; government; Greece; Hungary; Italy; languages; organizing; Pennsylvania; public health; Russia; Somalia; Spain; Sweden; U.S.; United States; uprising; Yemen

36:02 - Medical School

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Partial Transcript: If things come back later, we can include them.

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses his time in medical school.

Keywords: American Embassy; anatomy; biochemistry; biology; Budapest, Hungary; case; chemistry; English; Ethiopian; government; Hungarian; internship; interviews; Latin; London, United Kingdom; Los Angeles, California; memorization; Moscow, Russia; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; physiology; preparatory school; professor; Semmelweis University of Medicine; smallpox; Somali; UNHCR; university; written exam

Subjects: California; career; diplomas; education; Ethiopia; exam; Germany; Hungary; language; medical school; refugee; Russia; Somalia; training; United Kingdom

44:43 - Refugee Process in United States

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Partial Transcript: The last few years of school there was not really very—it was not a good experience.

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses the process of getting refugee status in the United States.

Keywords: criticizing; economic; history; Hungarians; school; stipend; Western

Subjects: Ethiopia; expectations; Germany; government; opposition; refugee; Soviet Union; Sweden; United States

48:36 - Moving into Public Health

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Partial Transcript: So what happened next?

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses his career path moving into public health from medicine.

Keywords: admission; chief resident; communication; community; data; devastation; development; dialysis; disaster; education; Ethiopian; exam; fellowship; funding; fungal diseases; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; infectious disease; internal medicine; LA, California; logistic; master’s; Ministry of Health; money; National Immunization Program; nephrologist; NIH; oncology; opportunistic infections; outpatient clinic; patients; polio; Polio Eradication Activity; protocol; R. Chen; R. Keegan; recommendation; research-based; residency; S. Cochi; school; scientists; specialist; supervision; surveillance systems; training; UCLA; United States National Institutes of Health; unity hospital; vaccine; Vaccine Safety and Development Activity; vaccine-adverse events; Wydecamp

Subjects: acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Africa; AIDS; California; CDC; EIS; Epidemic Intelligence Service; Ethiopia; HIV; HIV/AIDS; human immunodeficiency virus; medicine; mindset; Pennsylvania; public health

60:16 - Starting Work in Yemen

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Partial Transcript: You became a medical officer for the Polio Eradication Activity.

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses starting immunization work in Yemen.

Keywords: Alexandria, Egypt; CDC; consultancies; democratic; developed; EPI; Expanded Programme on Immunization; field; M. Wahdan; medical officer; motivated; polio; Polio Eradication Activity; R. Keegan; society; traditional; trust; UNICEF; United Nations Children’s Fund; vaccine-adverse event; WHO

Subjects: challenges; culture; Egypt; Ethiopia; public health; relationship; routine immunization; Yemen

67:53 - Implementing Immunization in Yemen

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Partial Transcript: You were just discussing the perceptions of other people of Yemen.

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses implementing immunization in Yemen, as well as some of the unique challenges and assets there.

Keywords: data; drops; EPI; eradicate; funding; goal; khat; M. Said; microplanning; Ministry of Health; operationalize; plan; social; society; team; vaccinators; WHO region; work ethics; Yemeni

Subjects: Asia; assets; challenge; convincing; culture; Ethiopia; health; immunization; polio; Yemen

79:06 - Effects of Khat

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Partial Transcript: So just to state it explicitly and concretely, could you talk more about khat and what it is and its effects.

Segment Synopsis: Durry describes the effects of khat and its use in Yemen.

Keywords: learned culture; malnourished; money; parliament; societies

Subjects: culture; effects; khat; Yemen

81:31 - Immunization Strategies in Yemen

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Partial Transcript: Coming back, when we did the planning, in the meantime, once I got some support from Bob [Keegan or Scott?] and Rotarians to move forward, one thing I did was I established what we call “inter-ministerial body,” where all ministers were sitting and they come together only for polio.

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses different strategies for implementing the polio immunization campaign in Yemen.

Keywords: A. Hadi; advertisement; Bob Keegan or Scott?; budget; candidates; communication; community; data; election; eliminated; field; finance; fixed-post campaign; funding; health centers; healthcare; immunized; manifesto; military; ministers; Ministry of Health; motivated; national; neighborhood; operation; parliament; paying; president; prime minister; religious; Rotarians; round; schools; television; training; tribal system; TV; volunteers; welfare

Subjects: asset; inter-ministerial body; leadership; microplan; planning; polio; polio eradication; routine immunization; vaccine; Yemen

94:08 - Obtaining Vaccine in Yemen

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Partial Transcript: Would you talk about where the vaccine was coming from and who you worked with at UNICEF to get vaccine?

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses obtaining the polio vaccine in Yemen.

Keywords: Bob; budgeting; C. Tinstman; CDC; communicated; consultant; Copenhagen, Denmark; E. Durry; EPI; eradicators; government; immunize; R. Keegan; Rotarians; special emergency donation; starvation; WHO; WHO regional office

Subjects: Denmark; money; polio; polio eradication; Rotary International; South Sudan; UNICEF; vaccine; Yemen

99:13 - Funding Disbursement in Yemen

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Partial Transcript: Then there was another big problem, because when I arrive there, there was not a single surveillance system that is functioning.

Segment Synopsis: Durry explains how the lack of surveillance systems in Yemen complicated disbursement of funds.

Keywords: acute flaccid paralysis surveillance; AFP; cases; emergency; fund; global community; government; hire; immunization; insurance; microplanning; money; R. Keegan; regional office; reports; Rotary; training; UNICEF; vaccine; WHO

Subjects: benefits; budget; disbursement; motivation; polio; salary; surveillance system

103:56 - Home-Based Planning in Yemen

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Partial Transcript: The microplanning: was that done in your house?

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses the role of the home in doing planning in Yemen, and the impact of khat chewing.

Keywords: ceremony; chewing; Dire Dawa, Ethiopia; discussion; finance; funding; hierarchy; malaria; minister; operations; polygamy; society; technical; two-family house; Yemenis

Subjects: environment; Ethiopia; home; immunization; microplanning; planning; polio; Yemen

108:33 - Cultural Issues in Yemen

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Partial Transcript: But I’ll tell you one story: Carl Tinstman, the one who I said was the UNICEF rep, we also became family friends, and he used to come in at night sometimes.

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses the need to be aware of cultural issues in doing polio work in Yemen.

Keywords: advisor; balance; buying; C. Tinstman; confiscated; data manager; Geneva, Switzerland; global immunization; government; insider; Japanese; ministry; NGOs; serve; society; understanding; UNICEF; WHO; WHO Headquarters

Subjects: community; culture; England; Ethiopia; Japan; Switzerland; trust; vehicles; Yemen

115:49 - Moving on From Yemen

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Partial Transcript: That’s really the reason for being able to do it, and probably one has to be careful of not crossing that line.

Segment Synopsis: Durry discusses leaving immunization work in Yemen.

Keywords: assets; boundary; payday; positions; vehicles; virus

Subjects: favoritism; Horn of Africa; leave; Somalia

117:46 - Summary of Yemen Work

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Partial Transcript: Before talking about the Horn of Africa, we are at time, which is fine, because we’ll talk more, but to finish today up, I wanted to see if you could summarize from November, when you arrived in Yemen, through the end of your time in Yemen, where the benchmarks were.

Segment Synopsis: Durry summarizes his work in Yemen.

Keywords: bureaucratic; case; commitment; communications; community; conflict; epidemiological procedure; fights; hostage; investigate; kill; logistical; medevac’d; mobilized; momentum; mountainous; relationship; respect; security; society; Somalians; stool sample; STOP Number One; Stop Transmission of Polio Program; teachers; technical; traditional; training; villages; vision; WHO

Subjects: Africa; Asia; benchmarks; challenges; clans; epidemiologists; Horn of Africa; immunize; impediment; polio eradication; progress; Somalia; South Sudan; Sudan; summarize; surveillance; Yemen