Global health

Humanosphere
11:22 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Seattle's PATH gets sexy to save lives in Kenya

Screen shot from the trailer for "Shuga: Love, Sex, Money."

The Seattle-based global health organization has recently launched a steamy six-part television series in Nairobi, Kenya, called Shuga: Love, Sex, Money aimed at preventing the spread of HIV, the AIDS virus.

“This is pretty racy for Kenya,” said Rikka Trangsgrud, PATH’s long-time country programs director for Kenya. “There are some fairly explicit scenes and themes … We are really pushing the envelope here but the idea is to prompt important discussions.”

Read more and watch the trailer on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
10:32 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Video campaign against African warlord Kony could do more harm than good

Invisible Children's film crew poses with Ugandan soldiers
Glenna Gordon

Over the last few days, a video posted on YouTube that aims to raise the profile — and potential for arrest — of the infamous African warlord Joseph Kony has been hugely popular and, in the eyes of many, so simplistic and inaccurate it is likely to do much more harm than good.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
1:57 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Seattle global health experts put talents to use in south King County

A physician examines child, south King County
Crosscut

By Collin Tong at Crosscut

A coalition of local and global health groups have banded together to bring the lessons they’ve learned in developing countries to south King County, where the health index is as bad as Nairobi.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
3:32 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Global goal for safe drinking water acheived, agency reports

Borehole water supply, Nigeria
Mike Urban mikeurbanart.com

Amid all the dire reports that seem to indicate the world is going to heck in a handbasket, here’s some good news:

The United Nations children’s agency, otherwise known as UNICEF, reports that 89 percent of the world’s population now has access to safe drinking water.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
5:14 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Gates Foundation calls for 'wacky' new ways to say that aid works

Gates et al. are looking for new ways to communicate.
JSmith Flickr

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation officially calls it the Grand Challenges Exploration program and it was initially launched to fund unorthodox — some might even say "wacky" — scientific research projects aimed at solving problems in global health and development.

This week, the philanthropy is asking for a new round of proposals from all you creative types. In addition to the standard calls to optimize crop yields and improve vaccines, this round adds a new not-so-technologically geeky category into the mix: Advocacy and storytelling.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
3:21 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Seattle scientists to test world’s first vaccine against ‘black fever’

Wikimedia Commons

There are many neglected diseases out there but not many as prevalent or as ravaging as visceral leishmaniasis, also known as black fever or kala azar — the ‘parasitic version of AIDS.’

Scientists at Seattle’s Infectious Disease Research Institute will soon begin testing an experimental vaccine they have designed to work against the most deadly form of this common parasitic disease spread by the bite of sand flies.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Experiments in journalism
1:21 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Student journalists explore the trouble with water in coverage of symposium

Jan Adams, from the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum, talk to seminar attendees about the consequences of plastic.
PLU

With the quality of water worldwide declining and the increasing scarcity of it in many places becoming more prominent, student journalists at Pacific Lutheran University took up a challenge by KPLU to cover a local symposium on water.

"Our Thirsty Planet" centers on the exploitation and need for clean water around the world and is put on by Pacific Lutheran University’s Wang Center for Global Education. The symposium is under way and the students have begun publishing their efforts on "Water For Thought," a Website created for this experiment in student-sourced journalism.

You can check out their work on that site and follow them on Twitter at @waterforthought.

Read more
Research News
9:10 am
Sat February 11, 2012

Deconstructing Dengue: How Old Is That Mosquito?

Mosquitoes like this one can carry the virus that causes dengue fever.
James Gathany CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Sat February 11, 2012 8:46 am

Scientists can spend years working on problems that at first may seem esoteric and rather pointless. For example, there's a scientist in Arizona who's trying to find a way to measure the age of wild mosquitoes.

As weird as that sounds, the work is important for what it will tell scientists about the natural history of mosquitoes. It also could have major implications for human health.

Read more
Global Health
1:59 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

'Three Cups of Tea' and 'deceit' has international aid in hot spotlight

Attorneys who accuse Greg Mortenson of defrauding readers in his best-selling "Three Cups of Tea" say his case is no different from that of James Frey, who admitted on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" that he lied in his memoir "A Million Little Pieces."

That lawsuit ended in a settlement that offered refunds to buyers of the book.

The high profile fight over Mortenson’s book and questions about his work has aid agencies worried, said KPLU’s global health and development writer Tom Paulson.

Read more
Humanosphere
4:51 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Study raising malaria death toll 'radically changes the picture'

In this 2003 file photo, patients wait to hear the results of their tests for Malaria, at a hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Malaria may be killing about twice as many people as experts previously thought, new research suggests.
The Associated Press

A new global estimate of malaria deaths by researchers in Seattle has revealed the death toll is much greater than most experts had thought — and is not, as had been universally assumed, mostly a killer of children.

The study found more than 1.2 million people died from malaria in 2010, nearly twice the official estimate put out by the World Health Organization, and more than a third of the deaths were in adults.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
1:18 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Jimmy Carter - serpent slayer and global health pioneer - hits Seattle

President Jimmy Carter speaks at World Affairs Council 60th Anniversary event in Seattle on Tuesday.
Tom Paulson KPLU

Former President Jimmy Carter is in Seattle, having spoken last night at the World Affairs Council’s 60th anniversary celebration and speaking today at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about Guinea worm.

Guinea worm is a human parasite that eats its way through the human body and emerges a year later, incapacitating people with the pain of completing its life cycle. It’s horrible.

Jimmy Carter and his team at the Carter Center are close now to completely ridding the world of this horrific disease. It’s a great story, and perhaps of much broader significance to global health than many might realize.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
9:28 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Jimmy Carter helps Seattle celebrate World Affairs Council

Former President Jimmy Carter at The University of Washington in 2006.
The Associated Press

There’s a lot of talk in recent years about Seattle being a global city. That vision goes back a long ways. Seattle’s World Affairs Council is celebrating its 60th birthday this week. 

Former President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter helped mark the milestone, in front of a sold-out Paramount Theater last night. 

Read more
Global Health
2:32 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

More than a million condoms recalled in South Africa

Condoms like this one were given out during the African National Congress party's centenary celebrations in early Now a South African health official says that 1.35 million of them are being recalled amid charges some broke during sex.
Denis Farrell The Associated Press

The party may be over, but the trouble may just be starting in South Africa.

The health department in Free State province is recalling 1.35 million condoms that may not be up to snuff.

The affected condoms — a government brand called Choice — were distributed early this month as part of the festivities marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the African National Congress.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
2:54 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Gates initiative on 'neglected diseases' advances cause

“These are not neglected diseases but diseases of neglected people.”

For the London Declaration on Neglected Diseases, the Gates Foundation pledged $363 million to support research into new treatments.

Drug makers pledged to step up research as well as to expand donation programs of medications to poor countries. And others such as the World Bank, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and U.K. have brought the total estimated commitment to $785 million.

But we and others are wondering, What is a neglected disease? Some say cancer and mental illness are two of the largest neglected diseases that don’t normally get lumped in the ill-defined category.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
4:40 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Gates calls for more money for ag research

Joseph Dzindwa checks his hybrid maize crop in Catandica, Mozambique, earlier this year.
The Associated Press

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Bill Gates says high tech approaches to agriculture are an important tool for fighting hunger.

Gates released his fourth annual letter Tuesday, detailing the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest charitable foundation.

Read more

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