A Shot in the Arm Podcast with Ben Plumley

A Shot in the Arm Podcast with Ben Plumley

A podcast about exploring innovation and equity in global health

Sisters are Creating Content for Themselves

Southern African women are leading the digital media revolution for social change across the continent - from a celebrity, to an activist and a non profit leader. Stef Ndolvu (host of the Ndolvus Uncut), Yvette Raphael (podcast regular and Executive Director of Advocacy for Prevention of HIV and AIDS (APHA)) and Wame Jallow, the new head of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, share their stories with Ben, and how advances in digital and social media can reach communities other media can’t! #trust #digital #social #media #socialchange #health #wellness #youth #sexualreproductivehealth #HIV #familyplanning #mentalhealth 
November 2, 2023

“Make We Talk” – Hopes and Dreams for Nigeria’s Young Women

In a feature-length episode, Y-Isha Raphael meets three young women from Lagos, Nigeria who reflect on their hopes and dreams - and how society’s social norms help - and hinder - them in achieving their goals. They explore everything from HIV to family planning, careers - and whether, when they have teenage kids of their own, they will be allowed to have cell phones and use social media! Joining Y-Isha are Adeola Ajetunmobi, Secretary of Association of Positive Duties Nigeria Hassana Ireti Adams, Lagos State Coordinator for NAMFTA Latin Abiodun Adams, Peer Educator This episode is produced by Emmanuel Uduma, Erik Espera and Ben Plumley in association with The Global Listening Project, The MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Frontline AIDS. #societalpreparedness #publichealth #HIV #COVID-19 #humanrights #familyplanning #socialmedia #gendernorms 
October 25, 2023

Learnings from NYC’s COVID Experience

New Yorkers experienced one of the earliest & most deadly urban outbreaks of COVID-19. How did the city cope and what learnings can we take to help societies prepare for future crises? Ben explores these, the Mpox outbreak and other questions with Professor Heidi Larson, Co-founder of the Global Listening Project, and Dr Ashwin Vasan, Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Health. Video version on Youtube: #COVID-19 #mpox #HIV #preparedness #publichealth #ppr #societalpreparedness
October 17, 2023

Sharing the Mic: What’s the Future of the AIDS Response Without Affected Communities?

Recently-appointed new Executive Director of Frontline AIDS, Robin Gorna, and Cindy Kelemi, Executive Director of Bonela (Botswana Network on Ethics, Law & HIV/AIDS) meet up with Ben in New York to discuss the future of the global AIDS response, and the pressure on community based organizations to do more on the frontlines - with less resources. #HIV #AIDS #communitybasedorganizations #CBOs #endingAIDS #humanrights #accesstohealthcare
October 2, 2023

Sharing the Mic: Is the UN Excluding Communities?

Ben got together recently at the UN with the representatives of Frontline AIDS’ community-based organization partners from Cambodia, Ukraine and Namibia to get a grip on why civil society groups are increasingly being excluded from international negotiations and high- level meetings, what we all need to do to rectify this situation - and how Frontline AIDS partners continue to be at the sharp end of innovation and care for people affected by HIV. Ben’s guests are Choub Sok Chamreun Executive Director KHANA, Cambodia Zahed Islam, Director Supply Management Alliance for Public Health, Ukraine Ntobmi Muchuchuti, Executive Director, ARASA, Namibia #UNGA #Communitybasedorganisations #CBOs #civilsociety #highlevelsessions #pandemicspreparedness #tuberculosis #universalhealthcoverage #cambodia #ukraine #namibia
October 2, 2023

The New Season of Triple Threats

Have you had your seasonal flu vaccine? What about your updated COVID vaccine, or the new RSV vaccine? Ben chats with James Mansi from Moderna and Podcast regular, Yvette Raphael about the opportunities - and challenges - of protecting people with seasonal vaccines and building trust in the science behind those vaccines. Guests: James Mansi, Vice President, Medical Affairs USA, Moderna Yvette Raphael, Executive Director, Advocates for the Prevention of HIV in Africa (APHA) For more information: Watch Yvette’s South African PSA on COVID vaccinations #tripledemic2023 #influenza #COVID #RSV #seasonalvaccine #trust #protection #mRNA #science #communities 
September 24, 2023

Decolonialize your Career in Global Health

Ben has a fascinating conversation with Dr. Kirk Scirto, author of the modestly titled “Doing Global Health Work” published by Hesperian on his lessons learned from a career of over 20 years sharing medical skills in service of local health services in 11 countries across 4 continents. Its a cracking read - and essential for those interested in meaningful careers in global health, checking our northern privilege to serve communities who have as much to teach us as well as benefiting from the skills and tools we may have to offer.  You can find “Doing Global Health Work” from all good book shops, and directly from Hesperian at #globalhealth #suitcasemedicine #evidencebased #rightsbased #healthjustice #empowerment #globallistening
September 5, 2023

Jirair Ratevosian: A Global Health Leader Runs for Congress

Jirair Ratevosian, a respected & well known figure in the field of global health, is running to succeed the Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff in California’s District 30. We explore his decision, the issues facing this Los Angeles community where Jirair grew up, the importance of his Armenian roots - and his thoughts on the funding cliff facing the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. If you want to know more about Jirair’s campaign and how you can help, visit #jirairforca #jirair #ratevosian #CAdistrict30 #PEPFAR #armenianamericans #LGBTQI #healthcare #globalhealth #healthequity
August 29, 2023
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A Shot in the Arm Podcast with Ben Plumley

Advances in healthcare for the many, not the few? How to rebuild trust between clinical science and the general public? Global Health strategist Ben Plumley meets experts from around the world to explore the pressing issues in global health innovation and equity, from biotechnology, to access to medicines, communications, and the decolonization of public health.


Ben Plumley

Ben Plumley

Ben is an internationally recognized global health strategist and advocate, with over 25 years’ experience in the UN, private and non-profit sectors. Now based in California, Ben’s unique strength is in mobilizing stakeholders to create impactful public private partnerships in global health.

Ben is Head of Engagement, Partnerships and Impact at Ikana Health Action Lab, and a Senior Fellow at the Global Health Reporting Center.

Ben is an internationally respected podcaster, and host of A Shot In The Arm Podcast, a cutting-edge video podcast about innovation and equity in global health – particularly in the age of pandemics. Guests have included Dr Anthony Fauci, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Professor Heidi Larson. Ben’s other podcasts include Business Fights AIDS, a behind the scenes look at his collaboration with the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to mobilize the business response to AIDS, and Vax Up – a video podcast designed for vaccine implementers on how social technologies can be used to promote vaccine confidence.

Between 2010 and 2018, he was the CEO of the Global Health Technical Assistance and Policy Think Tank, the Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation. As well as non-profits, he has extensive public and private sector experience, having been Vice President of Access at Johnson & Johnson, Chief of Staff to Dr Peter Piot, the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS, and a public consultation policy adviser at the UK Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority.

Ben is Chair of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, producer of the award-winning MTV Shuga terrestrial and digital soap operas, promoting young people’s sexual and reproductive health across Southern Africa and India.

He is also the incoming Chair of the San Francisco Community Health Center, a national center of excellence which provides ground-breaking comprehensive health and wellness services for hard-to-reach homeless, trans and drug-using communities in San Francisco’s tenderloin district. Ben was educated at Churchill College, Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Ben's other interests include the literature (and particularly the essays) of Aldous Huxley (perhaps the greatest essayist of the 20th century), as well as the genre of speculative fiction - particularly Margaret Atwood (definitely the best English-language writer of our era). And, to the alarm of many of his friends, he is passionate about British, German and Japanese electronic pop music, particularly the Pet Shop Boys, Rosenstolz and Kirinji.

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