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Vision for a vaccinated world Alumnus Brian Taliesin unites people, technology and data to save lives in Africa quick glance at the passport of Brian Taliesin ’13 ms hi reveals a welltraveled life. Entry stamps from Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia and Zambia fill the pages. In the past three years alone, Taliesin has visited Tanzania more than a dozen times. While he enjoys these trips, their purpose goes far beyond international jet-setting. Taliesin is a senior program officer and systems analyst for Seattle-based global health organization PATH.

As such, his frequent flights to Africa are to transform lives for the better. Currently, Taliesin’s work focuses on enhancing vaccine availability and accessibility in sub-Saharan Africa, where approximately 25 percent of children are underimmunized. Even though vaccines protecting against illnesses such as polio, tuberculosis, measles, rubella, diphtheria and tetanus have been around for years, these preventable diseases are still killers in many developing countries. In fact, according to the World Health

Organization, more than half of the deaths of children under age 5 are attributable to preventable or treatable diseases, and children in sub-Saharan Africa are 15 times more likely to die before the age of 5 than children in developed regions. These statistics inform Taliesin’s role on the Better Immunization Data (BID) Initiative team. Led by PATH and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the BID Initiative forms partnerships with countries to develop improved systems for collecting and WINTER 2016



AHS Magazine - Winter 2016  

The publication for alumni and friends of the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago

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