If someone were to ask me what the defining issue of our time was, I would answer the threat of climate change. Climate change undermines the full enjoyment of basic human rights. It is an issue that should have particular resonance for the global health community, given the potential scale of adverse impacts that the human population is facing, and the diffuse and unequal distribution of those impacts.
Zuebeyde Horus is a young woman with an intellectual disability from Turkey, and a Special Olympics athlete. Like most young adults, she leads an active and healthy life. Her family and friends join in cheering her achievements in sport, just as they would any typically developing peer. But, neither she nor her family could possibly have been prepared for the shock of her most recent visit to a Special Olympics event. There, Zuebeyde was invited to the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes venue for a checkup with highly trained physicians and health educators. Away from the sun of the athletic competitions, Zuebeyde Horus was diagnosed with atrioventricular septal defect, a condition that causes holes between the various chambers and valves of the heart: She had no idea that she had lived her entire life with a condition that easily could have killed her.