Watch Dr. Philip LaRussa Discuss the Global Health Initiative in Ethiopia
The Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Columbia University has been involved in the Pediatric HIV research and treatment effort in the United States since 1987. However, although the situation in the U.S. has improved dramatically as a result of active antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected children and adolescents and the implementation of highly effective preventative regimens the same improvements have not yet been seen in many parts of Africa and Asia. Led by Dr. Philip LaRussa our international training efforts started with teaching seminars at the Medical School of the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, Zimbabwe in 2001. Subsequently, he has established research collaborations and treatment programs for HIV-infected children not only in Zimbabwe, but at the King Edward Hospital in Durban, South Africa. Drs. LaRussa and Natalie Neu have also collaborated with Dr. Joseph Haddad, Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Columbia University to set up routine HIV testing for children in Tegucigalpa, Honduras who are candidates for plastic surgical repair of cleft lip and palate defects.
In collaboration with the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, Drs. LaRussa, Foca, Neu and Ms. Jurgrau, a clinical nurse practitioner conduct training seminars and mentor clinicians in Ethiopia and South Vietnam. We also provide day-to-day support for these clinicians by e-mail and Skype communications.
In collaboration with the Children of China Pediatric Foundation, Dr. LaRussa has participated in annual Medical Missions in China that provide surgical and medical care to orphaned and indigent Chinese children and training to Chinese physicians in Xi'am and Chengdu.