Unmasking the Powerhouse: A PBS Documentary Exposes the Importance of Public Health in Modern Life

Exploring the Unseen Contributions of Public Health in New Documentary

In a new PBS documentary titled “The Invisible Shield,” Mary Bassett, director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, sheds light on the critical role of public health in modern life. The four-part series explores the hidden infrastructure that enables our daily lives and showcases the collaborative efforts of various professionals, including physicians, nurses, scientists, activists, and government officials.

The documentary traces the progress made in health outcomes from historical diseases like cholera and smallpox to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its critical role in protecting people’s lives, the public health system often remains unnoticed by the general population when it functions effectively. However, the documentary also highlights longstanding issues of chronic underfunding that plague the public health sector.

Produced with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, “The Invisible Shield” features insights from experts such as Kelly Henning from Bloomberg Philanthropies, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Josh Sharfstein from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Abigail Echo-Hawk from the Urban Indian Health Institute.

Viewers can learn more about this crucial but often overlooked field by watching “The Invisible Shield” or reading about it in a Forbes article titled “‘The Invisible Shield’ Makes Public Health More Visible.”

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