Skip Navigation

Center for a Livable Future


Edward Dodge Discusses African Experiences and Future in CLF Talk

November 15, 2012



Dr. Edward Dodge, MPH ’67, contrasted his early childhood upbringing and experiences in Africa with visits in recent years to an audience at the Bloomberg School of Public Health today. He talked about his family’s journeys through Angola, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe as a youth as part of his parent’s missionary work in the area.

Dr. Dodge, who learned to speak Portuguese before English, discussed his assignment in the late1960s to Gondar, Ethiopia, for the U.S. Public Health Service and as an Assistant Professor of Public Health, and his studies of malnutrition among Ethiopian infants. “We had not expected to find family income to be a factor in malnutrition,” he said, explaining that basically, by U.S. standards, everyone was poor. He noted the dividing line between those who received proper nourishment and those malnourished was family income of over $40 dollars a month.

In his talk, “Perspectives in Africa: 1937-2007,” Dr. Dodge also touched on the current political, social, and economic climate, and its profound effect on human health in Zimbabwe today. “The average life expectancy in Zimbabwe today is 37, and there are more than one million orphans in the country,” he said.  Zimbabwe’s agricultural production system has been hit hard and the economy—where the Zimbabwe dollar used to equal the U.S. dollar—is in serious trouble. “Today it takes nearly one million dollars to equal one U.S. dollar,” he noted.

Dr. Dodge concluded his talk, by referring to “Ecotopia,” a term defined as a “fusion of smart technology with smart ecology” proposed in a paper, “Alternate Visions for the Future,” by Dr. Robert Costanza of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and the University of Vermont. “How do we arrive at Ecotopia? The Center for a Livable Future is among those organizations working to find answers to these questions. The time to establish sustainable lifestyles is now when we’re emerging from chaos in developing countries.”

Dr. Edward Dodge

Ed Dodge

Moving from his Salamanca, NY, birthplace to the south-central African country of Angola as a baby, Dr. Edward Dodge has a life-long appreciation and deep knowledge of public health issues facing Africa. Having lived and traveled extensively throughout the continent he will share his thoughts on those issues in a talk, “Perspectives of Africa, 1936-2007,” on November 15, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Dodge received his medical degree in 1962 from the Indiana University School of Medicine and, in 1967, an MPH degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He served in the U.S. Public Health Service from 1964-1966 and as assistant professor of public health at Haile Selassie University's Public Health College in Gondar, Ethiopia, from 1967-1969. In 1971, he was named director of the Citrus-Levy County Health Units of the Florida Division of Health before becoming a family physician in Inverness, Florida, in 1975. He retired from private practice in 1996. Since 1994, Dr. Dodge has served as courtesy clinical associate professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, at the University of Florida.