Global health

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. 

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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.

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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.

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