What Happens When Water Is Cleaner?

Posted: October 26, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: October 27, 2009 at 8:06 am

Kathryn Jacobsen. Creative Services photo

Kathryn Jacobsen. Creative Services photo

Increasing access to clean drinking water is one of the most important ways to reduce child mortality and to promote population health, but it is not as easy as simply drilling new wells, says Kathryn H. Jacobsen, assistant professor of global and community health.

In a Visions Series lecture on Monday, Nov. 9, Jacobsen, an epidemiologist, will explain why clean water alone does not necessarily improve child health unless it is accompanied by other interventions.

Jacobsen’s talk, “What Happens When Water Is Cleaner? Tracking Transitions in Global Health,” will be presented at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on the Fairfax Campus.

Over time, clean water opens up a new set of health concerns as immunity to waterborne infections drops and the risk of outbreaks rises. Using waterborne disease as an example, Jacobsen will describe the shifting mix of threats to community health that occur with development and globalization. She will raise important questions about planning now for appropriate responses to anticipated health transitions.

Jacobsen, a professor in the College of Health and Human Services, researches and teaches about infectious disease epidemiology and the ethics of international health research. She is the author of the textbook “Introduction to Global Health,” which gives an overview of major global health concerns ranging from nutrition and infectious disease to reproductive health and occupational injuries.

Jacobsen earned an MPH in international health and a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Michigan.

This lecture is free, but tickets are required. See the Center for the Arts web site for more information.

Write to mediarel at gazette@gmu.edu