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Tia Webster, 404-727-5692,
Kathi Ovnic, 404-727-9371,
Janet Christenbury, 404-727-8599,
March 26, 2002


Traveling Exhibit at Emory Highlights International Campaign to Increase Awareness of Drug Shortages in Developing Countries

Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health will host Doctors Without Borders' Access to Essential Medicines EXPO on the Emory campus April 1-3. This traveling exhibit, scheduled to visit over 22 American cities, was created by the Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian organization (also known in French as Medecins Sans Frontieres) as part of an international campaign to increase awareness of the lack of access to life-saving drugs in developing countries.

The Access to Essential Medicines EXPO is open to the general public 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, April 1-3. Located on the parking area between the Rollins School of Public Health and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff Nursing School on Clifton Road, the EXPO should be hard to miss. The 48-foot long trailer will be surrounded by flytraps - a real tool used for the prevention of sleeping sickness. Parking is available in the Michael Street parking deck behind the schools off Houston Mill Road.

On entering the exhibit, each visitor spins a wheel to be assigned one of five specific diseases that continue to kill millions of people in the developing world: AIDS; kala azur, an almost invariably fatal parasitic disease; sleeping sickness; malaria; and tuberculosis. As visitors move through the exhibit, they read personal histories of people who share "their" and other diseases, then learn about barriers to access for the world's poor. The last room of the exhibit is a "pharmacy" where Doctors without Borders volunteers offer visitors the treatment option available for their disease. Whichever of the five diseases, treatment is severely limited, either because the cost of treatment is too high (as for AIDS in developing nations) or because research and development for new treatments for the other largely neglected diseases has come to a standstill. Doctors Without Borders doctors, nurses, and other field staff are available to answer questions.

The tour of the exhibit can be comfortably done in from 15 minutes to an hour, says Dean Surbey, Associate Dean for Administrative and Finance in the Rollins School of Public Health, and the coordinator of the visit.

Dr. James Curran, Dean of the Rollins School of Public Health, notes that one third of the world's population lacks access to the most basic and essential medicines, with this figure rising to over half the population in the most impoverished parts of Africa and Asia. He says "The Rollins School of Public Health shares the concern of world health experts on this problem - which has a much greater effect on the developed world than most people realize - and we are very pleased to have Doctors Without Borders on our campus."

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