Global health

Humanosphere
3:19 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Land grabs in Africa adding to chaos and death

Displacement action enforced by soldiers.
IRIN Flickr

Aid organizations are trying to call attention to a little-noticed but massive plague spreading across Africa that is destroying communities, throwing many deeper into poverty and perhaps causing the deaths of many thousands.

Not AIDS or malaria.

It’s an outbreak of property seizures and community displacements known as the land grab.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
3:02 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

The desire for the latest e-gizmo is poisoning the poor worldwide

Chinese woman sorts electronic waste.
Basel Action Network

“This is against international law but not against the law in the U.S.”

The media love-fest with digital gizmos is moving from the high-pitched holiday phase (electronic devices are always the top gifts for Christmas) into a smaller, but more intense hysterical phase this week with the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Tuesday.

When we buy new gizmos, we usually want to get rid of the old ones. Electronic waste (aka e-waste) is a surprisingly large, toxic and growing burden inflicted, like many such afflictions, mostly on poor people in poor countries.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
4:41 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Humanitarian insider reveals unsavory truths

It's not enough to just get your hands dirty when trying to help the poor, says one insider.
Julien Harneis Flickr

An anonymous humanitarian expert with years in the field writes about the things more “ordinary people” should understand about humanitarian aid:

"There’s always some woman at the Christmas party who, once she discovers what I do for a living, wants to talk my ear off about some awful idea she has about how to help poor children in El Salvador or Cambodia."

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
4:51 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

NW entrepreneurs focus on saving lives with better stoves

Women in India using an Envirofit clean cookstove to reduce indoor air pollution.
Associated Press

More than a century after the discovery of electricity, billions – yes, billions – of people still heat and cook with wood fires. In the developing world, indoor air pollution from smoke is blamed for nearly 2 million deaths per year.

Burning wood, crop waste, charcoal or dung does the damage, filling homes with smoke and blackening walls. It’s women and children who suffer the most, because they are the ones tending the fires.

But it’s not an easy a problem to fix.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
4:12 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Rwanda is empowering girls, with a little help from Seattle

The students at Gashora Academy, first class of the Rwanda Girls Initiative.
RGI

It has become a mantra in aid and development circles today to say that empowering girls is the single most effective means of fighting poverty, inequity and any number of ills in poor countries.

And in Rwanda, Paul Kagame’s government is clearly walking the talk on girls and women — and a number of Seattle organizations are assisting in the gender revolution happening here.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere in Rwanda
9:28 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Rwanda, an African success story with Seattle connections

Gorillas in the mist. Mass genocide. The movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and maybe coffee. Tom Paulson is in Rwanda to explore these issues and more.
extremeboh Flickr

Seattle is connected to Rwanda in a number of ways, beginning with the country’s role as a major producer of high quality coffee beans for Starbucks and Costco. A number of local humanitarian organizations, as well as social enterprise business ventures, are active there.

KPLU and Humanosphere blogger Tom Paulson is headed to Rwanda along with a dozen or so other journalists sponsored by the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University. For the next two weeks, he’ll be reporting on the trip and also posting stories on a number of Seattle projects at work there that have helped make Rwanda — despite its horrific recent past history — into what many see as an African success story.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
10:16 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Bill Gates hands in his foreign aid report to G20

Bill Gates.
Associated Press

Bill Gates, who according to Forbes is the fifth most powerful person in the world, has made his case for boosting foreign aid and development to the G20 meeting of the world’s richest countries, which is held in France this year

It’s a compelling case. Unfortunately, it may be Greek to the rest of the world’s powerful.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
1:32 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

World population soon to hit the 7 billion mark ... will we survive?

Pretty soon, joining the crowd may not be an option – it'll be crowds everywhere.
Stefano Corso Flickr

Sometime around Halloween, we’re told, the world’s 7th billion living person will be born.

Whether you should celebrate this milestone, recoil in horror or shrug depends upon your perspective regarding global population growth.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
1:14 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

‘Five-Step Plan’ to save the planet, can it work?

Can the Earth's future be secured in five 'easy' steps?
Southernpixel Alby Flickr

Rather than simply get overwhelmed by all of the world’s many problems, an environment and land-use professor at the University of Minnesota and his colleagues decided to come up with a workable game plan to simultaneously deal with three major, overlapping forces that dictate our future.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
10:50 am
Tue October 18, 2011

Queen of England bestows honor on PATH’s gizmo guy

Michael Free, at right, has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
PATH

The Queen of England has bestowed an exalted honor on PATH’s top gizmo guy.

Michael Free, chief of technology for PATH, has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his team’s many inventions and innovative approaches aimed at helping solve health problems in the developing world. It’s not quite as prestigious as a Knighthood but better than a sharp poke in the helmet.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
1:40 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Global tuberculosis cases drop for first time

A woman, left, cuts the hair of a fellow tuberculosis patient at a clinic in the township of Khayelitsha, on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, in March.

Schalk van Zuydam AP

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 11:33 am

Worldwide tuberculosis cases are declining annually for the first time, according to a report just out from the World Health Organization. Deaths from the disease have also sunk to the lowest level in a decade.

Read more
Global Health
12:25 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

How the ‘Battle in Seattle’ led to a global health epicenter

So what do the WTO riots and globalization have to do with global health? 'Lots,' says geographer Matt Sparke.
djbones Flickr

How did Seattle get to be a world epicenter for global health?

Most people would say that it’s due to the simple fact that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is here ... but Matt Sparke would say it’s more complicated than that.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
9:52 am
Tue September 20, 2011

Global health efforts make food, beverage, drug industries nervous

Headquarters of the United Nations.
UN

Chronic or non-communicable diseases (aka NCDs) are the world’s big killers, representing about 60 percent of all causes of death. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease (mostly from tobacco), diabetes and the like kill many more people — most of them in the developing world — than do infectious diseases like AIDS, TB or malaria.

However, developing health goals to combat NCSs often run up against powerful commercial interests in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

Global Health
12:23 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Get live ongoing coverage of UN Week from Humanosphere

A week of big meetings surrounding the United Nations in New York, including a pivotal discussion of tackling non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes ... in poor countries.

Go to Humanosphere for Compelete coverage.

Global Health
11:28 am
Fri September 16, 2011

More women in poor countries dying from breast cancer

The number of young women with breast cancer has more than doubled worldwide since 1980, say researchers at Seattle’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Most of this, say the University of Washington global health number crunchers, is in the developing world where women lack access to screening, prevention and treatment programs that have reduced the overall risk of breast cancer for women in the rich world.

Read more on Humanosphere.

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