By Jay Heavner on July 22nd, 2019

Some people listen to music on their smart phones. I listen to podcasts. Lots of them. Probably too many of them. Because there are so many on so many interesting topics… and they’re a great way to fill that time when you can’t pay attention to a screen or read something… and every year brings even more good ones… and there’s just NOT ENOUGH TIME to listen to them all!

Sometimes the subject matter touches on the work we do in public health and/or supply chain management, and I’ll think, “I should share this on the IAPHL listserv.” And then I forget. So I searched my memory and the internet to provide a few here that I hope you’ll enjoy.

A history of shipping containers (eight-part series)

Many of the USAID-funded health commodities distributed in developing countries arrive by shipping containers from Asia, Europe, and elsewhere. This podcast will open your eyes to the story behind the containers that carry so much of international trade. “Containers is an 8-part audio documentary about how global trade has transformed the economy and ourselves. Host and correspondent Alexis Madrigal leads you through the world of ships and sailors, technology and tugboats, warehouses and cranes.”

Search “Containers Alexis Madrigal” on the web or your favorite podcast app.

The Chinese scientists who developed artemisinin (9 minutes)

Artemisinin-based therapies have saved the lives of millions worldwide, but where did this malaria treatment come from? China, actually. And the history is fascinating. “Chinese scientists used ancient traditional medicine to find a cure for malaria in the 1970s; it’s based on an herbal remedy.”

Click here or search, “China’s breakthrough malaria cure” on the BBC’s Witness History podcast

The design of sound in hospitals (17 minutes)

Most alarms in hospitals sound the same and tell you nothing, all while disturbing the rest and mental health of patients. There are people looking at how to design sounds in hospitals so that they are less intrusive and provide useful information to patients and caregivers. Imagine, for example, an alarm that immediately lets you know it’s time for a patient’s medication. What would that sound like?

Click here or search, “Sound and Health: Hospitals” on 99% Invisible

The graphic designer who designed the first home pregnancy test, in 9 minutes

Package design of public health commodities is essential to their adoption by consumers. As a communications professional, I loved the fact that the design of the first home pregnancy test came from a graphic designer. She had to overcome many obstacles to get her male bosses to buy in.

Click here or search, “The first home pregnancy test” also on BBC’s Witness History podcast

And a bonus: Click here or search, “Repackaging the Pill” on 99% Invisible to learn about the redesign of the contraceptive pill container

Jay Heavner is Senior KMC Strategist – Country Programs for the USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management Project through Panagora Group

IAPHL Blog Article – Medicine for Your Ears: Four Podcasts for IAPHL Members