Global Health

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.

Humanosphere
2:59 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Join us for the first Humanosphere 'Change-Up' meetup

Justin Steyer KPLU

Calling all local Humanospherians! Do you like beer? Want to make the world a better place?

If so, please come join the gang at Humanosphere for our ‘inaugural’ (that means first) Change-Up gathering at Seattle’s Re:public public house and cafe on Westlake in the beautiful and fascinating (okay, that’s going too far) South Lake Union neighborhood.

Short notice. It’s this Thursday, Jan. 26.

Humanosphere
2:26 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Does the World Economic Forum at Davos matter?

Protesters from the Occupy anti-capitalist movement release a banner reading ' Hey WEF! Where are the other 6.9999 billion leaders?' on the first day of the 42nd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
The Associated Press

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the spread of the Arab Spring from Tunisia to Egypt. Yet at last year’s hobnob gathering of the upper one percentile at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, nary a peep was heard about this world-changing popular revolution.

Even weirder, WEF was celebrating Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif as one of the world’s top model young leaders.

Some said then that WEF at Davos had become worse than irrelevant. What about now: Does Davos matter?

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
Humanosphere
12:25 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

PATH named world’s 6th best NGO; Gates doesn’t make the list

All those magazine rankings out there — of the best hospitals, best doctors or best sushi bars — are popular but often highly suspect if not downright absurd due to organizations manipulating the evaluation process, weird and arbitrary criteria or just plain old sloppiness.

Nevertheless, the Global Journal, a Geneva-based magazine aimed at becoming the insider’s guide to what it describes as the “global issues” scene, published its own rankings.

It says Seattle's PATH is the 6th best NGO in the world, but left the Gates Foundation off the list. What gives?

Read more on Humanosphere.

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.

Shots - Health Blog
11:36 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Obesity epidemic may have peaked in U.S.

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 10:08 am

The nation's obesity epidemic appears to have hit a plateau, according to the latest federal data released Tuesday.

Obesity soared in the U.S. during the 1980s and 1990s, doubling among adults and tripling among children. That raised widespread alarm and debate about the causes and possible solutions. Obesity can increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other serious health problems.

Read more
Humanosphere
4:34 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Update: Seattle man accused of helping fund Sudan massacre calls it defense

Law and order in South Sudan
babasteve Flickr

The Seattle man who helped fund a massacre in South Sudan says the militia-style attack was a defensive action against a tribe that had attacked his tribe without warning.

Gai Bol Thong, a member of the Nuer tribe, recently gained international attention for raising funding to support local militia groups that have killed thousands of members of the Murle tribe. The attacks were in retaliation for the Murle attacks that have killed hundreds of Nuer, including women and children.

“The Murle made genocide on us. We do not kill old people, women and children,” he said.

But somebody did, according to the news reports.

(Listen to Tom's interview with Gai Bol Thong, click the audio link above.)

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
11:50 am
Thu January 12, 2012

Technophilia Seattle swimming hard against the e-waste stream

A young e-waste scavenger in Lagos, Nigeria.
Basel Action Network

Americans like to buy the latest devices and that makes us happy ... but it also makes us the biggest contributor to the global problem of electronic waste.

However, Seattle is home to two entreprenuers who are effectively swimming against the e-waste stream: Charles Brennick of Interconnection and Craig Lorch of Total Reclaim.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
10:39 am
Wed January 11, 2012

A dozen cases of tuberculosis that resists all drugs found in India

An image of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria captured with an electron microscope.
CDC

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 6:55 am

Tuberculosis specialists in India have diagnosed infections in a dozen patients in Mumbai that are unfazed by the three first-choice TB drugs and all nine second-line drugs.

The doctors are calling them "totally drug-resistant TB," and the infections are essentially incurable with all available medicines.

Read more
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.

Mount Rainier killing
11:49 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Flags lower Tuesday for Mount Rainier ranger

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at state buildings fly at half-staff Tuesday in memory of the ranger shot to death on New Year's Day at Mount Rainier National Park.

Read more
Humanosphere
5:00 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

BBC looks at 'secretive' and powerful Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates speak at Malaria Forum, with moderator ABC News' Richard Besser
Tom Paulson KPLU

The BBC report is a nice overview of how the Seattle philanthropy, in the last decade-and-a-half, has emerged to dominate the humanitarian arena. But it doesn’t really break much new ground and follows on a number of similar, or harder-hitting reports, such as this much-cited series done last fall by Alliance magazine called Living with the Gates Foundation.

“What we think is global health, how we define this mission, is increasingly decided by a relatively small number of Americans living in Seattle, Washington,” Laurie Garrett, with the Council on Foreign Relations, told the BBC.

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.

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