Poo IQ champ reflects on lessons learned and prizes earned

Jun 29, 2011


Moment of truth: staff at PATH's booth draw the names of the lucky contest winners.

For years, I used to say that I never win anything in random drawings, so why should I even try to participate?  With persistence and optimistic encouragement of my colleague and a good friend, I decided to take part in an interactive scavenger hunt, titled “What's Your Poo IQ?” that took place at this year's Global Health Council conference in Washington, DC. Boy, was I glad I did!

I flew to the conference from San Francisco, CA, on behalf of a nonprofit research and development organization OneWorld Health (OWH).  Our mission is to provide innovative solutions to neglected diseases afflicting the world's most vulnerable populations, with diarrheal disease program being our flagship initiative. It seemed appropriate that I test my knowledge with the Poo Quiz.

The scavenger hunt structure of the quiz was engaging and the content was sharp and pertinent.  With some questions, I learned new information, like how health workers can promote access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) in developing countries, or how WaSH can improve the quality of life for people living with HIV.  With others, I tested my knowledge, like the fact that pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria are the top three killers of children under the age of five.  Whether I knew the answer or not, the quiz gave me a chance to think about these critical global health issues and meet colleagues at PSI, PATH and JSI. 

I was especially glad to see that the quiz organizers chose to spotlight WaSH and the link to child survival, undernutrition, and efficacy of HIV/AIDS treatment, and ensure that these critical health issues have a voice at this global health conference.  I was thankful that through this quiz, conference attendees turned their attention to the fact that 1.5 million children die from diarrhea diseases every year, and that each one of these deaths is preventable.

I commend WASH Advocacy Initiative, UNC Water Institute, WaterAid, PSI, WSSCC, PATH, and JSI for putting together this advocacy initiative.  What a way to engage conference participants in a conversation about some of the most pressing global health issues today! 

I am grateful for this incredible iPad 2, and I will be sure to put it to good use. 

-- Elena Pantjushenko, OneWorld Health


For more information:

-- We snagged a few minutes with Ben Picillo, winner of the Kodak Camcorder, at the GHC Conference. Find out how he plans to use his prize!

-- Even if you missed the conference, you can still improve your poo IQ. Read our introduction to the issue, Understanding the Crisis, and you'll be a poo guru in no time!

-- Learn about worldwide efforts to defeat diarrhea through safe water and sanitation programs.


Photo credit: Hope Randall/PATH