Global Health

Humanosphere
12:46 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Clooney campaigns against other war crimes in Africa

Actor George Clooney spies a missile flying overhead in Sudan in this screen grab from a video he made while in the embattled territory.

George Clooney, who has praised the Stop Kony campaign aimed at ridding east-central Africa of warlord Joseph Kony, is trying to make sure our focus on such efforts isn’t too singular.

The actor and human rights advocate has long been focused on the ongoing atrocities in Sudan and recently testified in Congress to draw attention to the killings, conflict and suffering. He recently snuck into a dangerous part of the country and produced this powerful, disturbing video.

Read more and watch the video on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
1:31 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Geena Davis, in Seattle, calls for the 'next women's movement'

Geena Davis (far right) with Chris Grumm (left) and Andrea Taylor at a Seattle Town Hall event last night.
Meryl Schenker www.merylschenker.com

"We’re due for a resurgence of the women’s movement."

Actor and women’s advocate Geena Davis, who played Thelma in the 1991 hit ‘neo-feminist’ movie Thelma & Louise, spent a lot of time at a Global Washington event in Seattle fielding questions and criticizing the way women are portrayed — and perceived — in Hollywood and throughout the media.

But her concerns are much more global.

Read more on Humanosphere.

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
1:25 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Changemakers: Becky Bartlein, health advocate, hot on the trail of bad drugs

Quick BIO: Becky Bartlein, 28, research coordinator for the University of Washington’s Global Medicines Program; master of public health from the UW’s Department of Global Health

It’s been a battle to get drug manufacturers to make medicines needed by people in developing countries, drugs to treat diseases expunged from wealthy nations. But what happens when the drugs finally reach these populations – do they work? Are they being used safely? Are there nasty side effects?

Becky Bartlein is trying to answer these questions as part of the newly formed Global Medicines Program at the University of Washington.

Read more 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
2:33 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Seattle org. focuses on business in a land of guns, drugs and murder

National police officers inspect a bag containing a mutilated body that was found inside the cemetery in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 2010. Honduras has become one of the deadliest cities in Central America..
The Associated Press

While the battle over drugs in the murder capital of the world intensifies and the U.S. president sends in VP Joe Biden, one Seattle expert worries the whole drug mess in Honduras is becoming a red herring.

Mauricio Vivero, executive director at the Seattle International Foundation, says many parts of Central America are in crisis today because of the combination of poverty, destabilized governments and a disengaged businesses.

There is no Hollywood-action-movie game plan that will fix the problem, he said. If the U.S. government truly wants to put a dent in the illegal drug trade, the first step should be to do whatever it can to promote trust and partnerships between business and local governments.

... but that’s just not as easy as sending guns and money.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
11:41 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Changemakers: Matthew Schneider on the hunt for what truly works

Quick BIO: Matthew T. Schneider, 25, is a research consultant for the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. He has a master of public health degree from the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health.

This is the first installment of a new series on KPLU's Humanosphere:  “Changemakers” explores how young people, connected and globally aware, are working to change the world.

For Matthew T. Schneider, the struggle to ease the suffering of people afflicted by HIV/AIDS or sickened by malaria is something of a numbers game. Schneider, who since October has worked at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C., is sifting mountains of data to understand how to best help sick, impoverished people in developing nations.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Read more
Global Health
3:26 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

A thing to do tonight (With NW beer!): Toast to global health!

Water 1st

Live music, great local beers, food, dancing and prizes all in the name of bringing clean water to families in Ethiopia. Where do I sign up?

Tonight the non-profit organization Water 1st is hosting their annual “Water 1st — Beer 2nd” fundraiser at the Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion. The event begins at 7:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

This event welcomes like-minded individuals who are passionate about ending global poverty and providing the opportunity to share humanitarian aid to families in Gonbisa Kussaye, Ethiopia, all the while enjoying an evening of fun (you man even see grown men in grass skirts).

Read more
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.

Humanosphere
12:38 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

WHO's afraid of chicken? Some want mutant bird flu strain kept top secret

No laughing matter: Some worry a mutant strain of bird flu could turn this chicken into a weapon of mass destruction.
4blueyes Flickr

Seems silly to talk about weaponized chickens, but that’s exactly the kind of talk world leaders have become afraid of.

The latest debate raging among scientists is whether to publish the results of recent experiments done on the bird flu virus. Those experiments have created a super deadly version of the H5N1 virus that could potentially be loosed by chickens (or other birds) and kill many tens of millions of people.

Read more
Humanosphere
11:31 am
Tue February 14, 2012

USAID story renews fears over mixing aid with foreign policy

Is it foreign aid or covert aid?
johanoomen Flickr

Remember when the CIA did that fake vaccination scheme in Pakistan, the one that many predicted (correctly) would undermine confidence in American health assistance and other aid programs?

Well, there’s another ongoing saga that illustrates the cost of mixing up foreign aid with foreign policy, especially when we use covert means to achieve foreign policy goals.

Read more on Humanosphere.

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

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