Global Health

Humanosphere
5:14 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Water advocate wonders at Gates Foundation’s focus on the toilet

Marla Smith-Nilson and friends.
Water 1st

Marla Smith-Nilson is director of Seattle-based Water 1st International and has worked for decades trying to improve access in the developing world to clean water and safe, healthy sanitation.

Smith-Nilson said she welcomes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation decision to get more involved in water and sanitation issues. But she is concerned that their primary interest in re-inventing the toilet is focused too much on the simple fix.

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Humanosphere
4:54 pm
Thu July 14, 2011

Why CIA's faked vaccines may cause damage

johanoomen Flickr

The CIA has acknowledged running a deceptive, if not totally fake, vaccination program in Pakistan as part of the effort months ago to hunt down Osama bin Laden, and here are three reasons why the deception may cause problems in global health efforts:

  • This isn’t just about vaccines.
  • Health workers and aid workers overseas have to be seen as neutral and independent if they are to operate effectively and safely.
  • National security isn’t achieved just by hunting and killing bad guys. It’s also achieved through humanitarian efforts.

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Humanosphere
9:05 am
Wed July 13, 2011

Microwaving malaria among winners of Gates grants

Gates Foundation announces latest round of grants.
Tom Paulson Humanosphere

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded its latest set of grants supporting innovative scientific research aimed at solving problems in global health.

The grants, awarded through the Gates Foundation’s $100 million Grand Challenges Exploration program, for this go-round appear to favor novel methods aimed at combating malaria.

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Humanosphere
2:18 pm
Tue July 12, 2011

Did CIA's fake vaccination program undermine global health?

Associated Press

One of the chronic problems the international community has with almost every disease-fighting campaign has been the need to overcome mistrust — mistrust of government, of foreign health workers or outsider do-gooders in general.

This is, for a variety of reasons, especially true of vaccines.

So many worry that such global health efforts will suffer from the revelation, reported first in The Guardian and later by the New York Times and others, that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) set up a fake vaccination program in Pakistan in order to collect DNA samples.

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