Claire Panosian Dunavan,
MD, FIDSA, DTM&H (London)
UCLA School of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
10833 Le Conte Ave, CHS 37-121
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1688

Division office: 310-825-7225
Voicemail: 310-794-6053
Facsimile: 310-825-3632

Jambo, Jahi

Jama, March 2005

Two years ago, I met 30-year-old Jahi at a holiday lodge down a rutted road in Arusha, Tanzania. When my husband and I first arrived in Arusha, Jahi was our official greeter and hotel guide. A childlike man in a burlap smock, he couldn’t wait to show us the lodge’s open-air restaurant, its private flock of egrets, its individual bungalows …

Tackling Malaria

Scientific America, December 2005

Long ago in the Gambia, West Africa, a two-year-old boy named Ebrahim almost died of malaria. Decades later Dr. Ebrahim Samba is still reminded of the fact when he looks in a mirror. That is because his mother—who had already buried several children by the time he got sick—scored his face in a last-ditch effort to save his life. The …

The New Medical “Missionaries” – Grooming the Next Generation of Global Health Workers

New England Journal Of Medicine, April 2006

Noelle Benzekri is a first-year medical student with a mission. Even before the 27-year-old New York native spent a year as a clinic assistant and polio vaccinateur in Senegal, she knew that global health was her calling. “It’s the reason I decided to go to medical school,” the former philosophy major acknowledged at a recent meeting of our journal club …

The Lead Files

The Pharos, Fall 2007

Some years ago, at a teaching conference in Long Beach, California, Dr. Mellinkoff discussed the case of a middle-aged Cambodian man who presented to the emergency room with severe episodic abdominal pain. Anyone could tell he was in agony from his facial expression and constant shifting motion. However, his physical examination showed no evidence of peritoneal irritation or bowel obstruction, …

Awakening To Global Health

Health Affairs, July 2007

Not long ago, the personal assistant to an actress left me a voicemail message. In the past, I had provided travel care—vaccines and malaria pills, treatments for pesky rashes and other overseas ills—to the actress, her husband, and members of their entourage. Two or three years had passed since our last visit, but, of course, I remembered the glamorous crew. …

Claire Panosian Dunavan, MD, DTM&H (London), 2008 President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, received her education at Stanford University, Northwestern Medical School, Tufts-New England Medical Center, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. First as Chief of Infectious Diseases at LA County-Olive View Medical Center, then as Director of Travel and Tropical Medicine at UCLA, she has been a UCLA professor, clinician, and teacher since 1984. She has also worked overseas in Haiti, Taiwan, the Philippines, Pakistan, Vietnam, Albania, Armenia, and Tanzania, among other countries.

Dunavan’s second career as a print and broadcast journalist includes 6 years as a medical editor, reporter, and co-anchor for Lifetime Television. In 1997, her interview with a dying physician won an international “Freddie” Award. In 2000, with her husband Patrick Dunavan—an 8-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker —she produced a television program on hepatitis B which has reached 300 million international viewers. In recent years, she has written regularly for national newspapers and magazines. She currently writes a weekly column called “The Infection Files” which runs in California newspapers. Her journalism spans issues in infectious diseases and public health affecting everyone on the planet to global health policy and economics.

© 2010 Claire Panosian Dunavan