Public Health

Latest KFF Health News Stories

Epidemic: The Scars of Smallpox


The series finale of “Epidemic: Eradicating Smallpox” is a visit to the home of Rahima Banu, the last person with a documented case of naturally occurring variola major smallpox. When the virus was declared eradicated, she became a symbol of one of the greatest victories in global public health. What happened to Rahima Banu afterward?

Epidemic: What Good Is a Vaccine When There Is No Rice?


What good is a vaccine when there is no rice? Episode 7 of “Eradicating Smallpox” explores the barriers public health workers face in communities where people’s basic needs aren’t being met.

Epidemic: Bodies Remember What Was Done to Them


Trust is hard to build and easy to break. In Episode 6 of the “Eradicating Smallpox” podcast, meet Chandrakant Pandav, a health worker who used laughter and song to try to rebuild trust with communities harmed by India’s sometimes violent and coercive family planning campaign.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': An Encore: 3 HHS Secretaries Reveal What the Job Is Really Like


In this special encore episode, KFF Health News’ “What the Health?” asks three people who have served as the nation’s top health official: What does a day in the life of the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services look like? And how much of their agenda is set by the White House? Taped in June before a live audience at Aspen Ideas: Health, part of the Aspen Ideas Festival, in Aspen, Colorado, host and chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner leads a rare conversation with the current and two former HHS secretaries. Secretary Xavier Becerra and former secretaries Kathleen Sebelius and Alex Azar talk candidly about what it takes to run a department with more than 80,000 employees and a budget larger than those of many countries.