PBS Newshour Features Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Honoree

A pioneer in nutrition and public health statistics, Dr. Hans Rosling shares his engaging message.
Hans Rosling and ACF-USA CEO Nan Dale at the Annual Gala. Credit: Steven Norcix
Hans Rosling and ACF-USA CEO Nan Dale at the Annual Gala. Credit: Steven Norcix

Dr. Hans Rosling, recipient of Action Against Hunger’s 2011 Humanitarian Award, was the subject of a fascinating profile on PBS Newshour Monday night. We’re happy to report that PBS did not miss the chance to feature Dr. Rosling’s affiliation with Action Against Hunger! In case you missed it, we’ve embedded the video below.

Watch Rosling Brings Life, Sword-Swallowing to Health Statistics on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Action Against Hunger’s Humanitarian Award is given to individuals who have made extraordinary or notable contributions to the humanitarian field, whether through direct efforts, philanthropic support, or help in raising public awareness.

Dr. Rosling received his Humanitarian Award both for his prowess with statistical visualizations and his pioneering work on the paralytic disease konzo, which is mentioned only briefly in the PBS profile but certainly deserves a show of its own.

Konzo is cyanide poisoning that results from the consumption of certain species of improperly-processed cassava root. Cruelly, the species that are most drought-resistant—and therefore most frequently and abundantly consumed in a food shortage—are those highest in cyanide. Proper preparation can remove the poison, but before this information can have a positive impact on health it must be made widely known. Dr. Rosling has been central to these efforts—and entertaining all the while.

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How else can data be used to motivate people to action? Are there ways to combine data-driven appeals with more emotional ones?