‘Global Health Matters’ Podcast Prepares to Kick Off Season 3

TDR and Dr Garry Aslanyan are preparing to launch a third season of his Global Health Matters podcast with a new list of guests to help tackle core issues in the global health community.

Aslanyan is the executive producer and host of the podcast.

“We have learned a lot in terms of how we can produce episodes and how best to engage our audience,” said Aslanyan, a public health professional with TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases co-sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

He said, “We know that the podcast has struck a chord with many audiences and has received continuous feedback from listeners. In addition, we receive emails and voice messages from people who write reflections on some of the episodes.”

“I believe it is always important to convene people and spread new ideas, and Global Health Matters is doing that,” said Tom Wien, the founder of The Dignity Project, a campaign for more respectful international development.

The podcast’s purpose is three-fold; on the one hand, Aslanyan hopes to reduce some of the silos in the global health discourse. In addition, the goal is to offer a more in-depth reflection on core issues and to bring them to light in new and different ways. Finally, there is a focus on inspiring listeners.

“Through listening to the podcast, those already engaged in global health but maybe not in a specific area can learn from the guests – what they have accomplished, their unique approaches – and bring some of the lessons into their work,” Aslanyan said.

“From my perspective, this podcast can give visibility to scientists in fields and regions of the world who normally wouldn’t have such visibility,” said Prof Aída Mencía-Ripley. “It is a wonderfully diverse platform.”

This year, as the world moves beyond COVID-19, Aslanyan said the podcast would play an additional role: Making sure the health community remains focused on pandemic preparedness and does not “go back to business as usual” without putting steps in place to improve public health.

In his first year, Aslanyan hosted guests from across the public health community and worldwide, such as Rose Leke, founder of HIGHER Women Consortium Cameroon, who spoke about her work to research and fight malaria. He talked with Natalia Pasternak, founder of Instituto Questão de Ciência in Brazil, who advised how scientists can set up science communication institutes in their countries.

And there were many more.

“Surprisingly and to my delight, several senior global health leaders in countries, at WHO and other agencies wrote me and said they listen to the podcast,” Aslanyan said.

As TDR prepares for season three, Aslanyan said he would keep what works and expand based on what he has learned. For example, he said there will be more sharing of personal experiences. In addition, aside from the regular 10 episodes, there will be four in-depth, reflective episodes with one-on-one interviews with global health thinkers and leaders who have foresight into future challenges.

Most recently, Aslanyan hosted a live Twitter Space conversation and said he plans to integrate more of those into the mix.

“The podcast will not be the same because I am not the same person as I was two-and-a-half years ago,” Aslanyan noted. “I have many responsibilities in my job, and I never thought any of them would be a podcaster.”

Read all about the podcast here.

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