Sven Jungmann (MPP student, 2013-2014) has written a prize-winning essay that charts the contemporary history of disease eradication ventures (DEVs) and considers their impact on driving innovation and galvanising change in global health systems.

Entitled, “Disease Eradication Ventures as Drivers of Health Systems Innovation,” Sven's essay recently won the Green Templeton Dame Ida Mann Essay Prize, which recognizes excellence in writing on a topic relating to (in alternate years) Ophthalmology or History of Medicine (2014).

The essay illustrates how DEVs have played – and continue to play – a key role in shaping contemporary history, especially through a track record of sparking innovations to tackle new challenges. As a specific type of healthcare initiative, Sven argues, DEVs can trigger more activist engagement, generate more philanthropy and improve the coordination of research. He describes how DEVs have already sparked remarkable improvements in our capacity to deliver healthcare across the globe, including through surveillance, hygiene, public education and the development of vaccines (which helped to eradicate smallpox by 1980).

Sven concludes, “We have yet to realize the full potential of DEVs. As more diseases are becoming eradicable, new challenges and opportunities to learn will present themselves. They will require even more lateral thinking, innovation, bridge building and above all: strong leadership and commitment.”

Read Sven's prize-winning essay on Disease Eradication Ventures.

Link to announcement on Green Templeton College website (external website).