Global Health

Humanosphere's Changemakers
1:18 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Hooked on science by accident, Kimberly Choi puts it to work in the global community

Quick BIO: Kimberly Choi, 23, is a research technician at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed) and a University of Washington graduate.

By Lisa Stiffler, Humanosphere correspondent

Kimberly Choi wound up testing malaria vaccines on mice quite by accident.

“I thought I was going to study Spanish literature,” Choi recalled.

But in 2006, Choi was encouraged by a high school biology teacher to participate in Seattle BioMed’s outreach program, BioQuest, which gives students a chance to do hands-on research.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
2:11 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Changemakers: Ines Tucakovic puts humanitarian goals to work doing TB research

Quick BIO: Ines Tucakovic, 27, senior clinical research assistant with Seattle’s Infectious Disease Research Institute

By Lisa Stiffler, Humanosphere correspondent

Ines Tucakovic was only a child when she and her family fled the war in their native Bosnia. But her job at Seattle’s Infectious Disease Research Institute has a connection to home.

As part of the research team in the institute’s clinical immunology lab, Tucakovic prepares protocols for clinical trials being conducted internationally. The trials are for vaccines for tuberculosis and a parasite called leishmaniasis. Tucakovic also processes the samples taken from patients in Venezuela, Peru, India, Columbia and Sudan.

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Humanosphere
3:55 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Seattle global health expert issues call to arms in the war on fake drugs

Did you know a small, but increasing number of drugs are fake?
Rodrigo Senna Flickr

What looks like a very boring academic and institutional report, entitled “Ensuring Safe Foods and Medical Products Through Stronger Regulatory Systems Abroad,” is in fact a call to arms. A Seattle man is a leading voice in sounding the alarm on the problem of counterfeit drugs.

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Humanosphere
11:47 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Sequel to Kony 2012 takes on critics, appeals less to emotion

Screen shot from the new Kony 2012 video by Invisible Children.

This time, the video by Invisible Children is not so much a repeat of their first call to action as a defense of their action.

It’s kind of like when the Star Wars franchise put out a sequel that actually went back in time to explain how everything got started.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
10:36 am
Thu April 5, 2012

'Three Cups' author Mortenson mismanaged group

HELENA, Mont. — An investigative report has concluded that "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson mismanaged the charity he co-founded to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Montana Attorney General's office report released Thursday found Mortenson spent Central Asia Institute money on personal items, family vacations and charter flights.

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Humanosphere
3:09 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

DHHS' Nils Daulaire brings his fight to Seattle – Global is local!

“Our only chance to keep Americans safe is if the systems for preventing, detecting and containing disease … also stretch across the globe,” Nils Daulaire.
Lisa Stiffler Humanosphere

By Lisa Stiffler, Humanosphere correspondent

Many Americans just don’t get it – Global health is a domestic issue.

That was the main message last night at Seattle’s Broadway Performance Hall from Dr. Nils Daulaire, director of the Office of Global Affairs for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

At the “Diseases without Borders” forum Daulaire said that the question he’s most frequently asked is this: “Why does (Health and Human Services), a domestic institution, even have an Office of Global Affairs?”

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Humanosphere
2:28 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Was the attention on the Kony 2012 campaign justified?

But the important question is not whether Kony should be brought to justice, but whether doing so should be a priority given all of the other challenges our planet faces.
The Associated Press

Guest post by Kentaro Toyama

For a couple of weeks, Kony 2012 stole the spotlight in international development. It dominated conversation, with some applauding its success as an awareness-raising campaign (e.g., Nicholas Kristof); some criticizing it for its oversimplified, condescending, self-gratifying portrayal of the issues (e.g., Teju Cole); and many grumbling along the lines of, “Who are these punks who managed to get so much attention and funding?”

These are all important questions, but they miss the real issue that Kony 2012 raises — namely, how we as a society prioritize important issues in the age of Internet social media.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
12:23 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

'Hunger Games' threatened legal action against humanitarians

A fan of the 'Hungar Games' makes a play off of a character's names - a play off the title of the movie got Oxfam threatened with a lawsuit.
The Associated Press

The film company Lionsgate, which produced the blockbuster movie based on books about a post-apocalyptic, oppressive and divided America where the poor are starving, abused and also enlisted for gladiator-like sport, threatened to sue Oxfam for riffing off the popular movie to launch its campaign “Hunger is Not a Game.”

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Humanosphere
10:21 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Changemakers: Dean Chahim wants to launch a 'do-good' revolution

Quick BIO: Dean Chahim, 22, is a cofounder of Critical Development Forum, a University of Washington graduate and recipient of a Bonderman Travel Fellowship.

By Lisa Stiffler, Humanosphere correspondent

Can Dean Chahim save the world?

Not alone, he can’t. But if he can inspire and educate enough people in “critical consciousness” – an awareness of the policies and practices that create injustices and an understanding of how we can change them for the better – that might just do it.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
1:50 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Changemakers: Redmond high school kids help fellow students in Cambodia

Students from Washington and Cambodia pose at the school in the village of Pailin built in part with money raised by the Overlake School in Redmond.
Overlake School

By Claudia Rowe, Humanosphere correspondent

In a lesson showing just how far one unlikely idea can travel, 18 upper affluent kids from suburban Seattle are this weekend en route to Cambodia, where they will teach science, art and English to some of the poorest children on Earth.

Foreign aid is a messy business, often stymied by inefficiency and corruption. But students from the Overlake School in Redmond wave off such concerns – not to mention parental worries about residual landmines and mandatory inoculations.

They believe their two-week trip to the village of Pailin will benefit them as much as their young pupils.

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Global Health
2:25 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Seattle doctor to battle breast cancer in Uganda

“In developing countries, breast cancer is detected much later than in countries with established screening programs,” Dr. Constance Lehman said.

As an example of how cancer is no longer viewed solely as a health care issue of the rich world, a physician from Seattle plans to launch a pilot project studying the use of portable ultrasound for breast cancer diagnosis in Uganda.

Dr. Constance Lehman, a radiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, wants to see if using the device in selected communities can improve detection and treatment success rates of this common cancer and killer.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
3:37 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Steve Davis, entrepreneur and rights advocate, to head PATH

Steve Davis has been selected by PATH’s board to take the position of president and CEO.

In one sense, Davis' new job leading PATH represents a return to where he started — as a refugee settlement coordinator on the Thai-Laos border in the 1980s and later, as a young attorney, working on human rights issues in China, for gay and lesbian rights here in the U.S. and as a passionate advocate for the disenfranchised in general.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
8:48 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Changemakers: Katie Leach-Kemon, motivated by experience and empowered by math

Katie Leach-Kemon, 29, data development manager at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation; master of public health from the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health.

“Changemakers” is a new series on Humanosphere exploring how young people, connected and globally aware, are working to change the world.

By Lisa Stiffler, special correspondent

Katie Leach-Kemon arrived in Niger as a newly minted college grad, eager to help in her role as a community health agent with the Peace Corps. She teamed up with health workers who were identifying acutely malnourished children, and then assisting their mothers to better feed their kids. It was culturally sensitive stuff.

“I was straight out of college,” she said, “and I had a lot to learn.”

Read more on Humanosphere.

Washington Welfare
12:22 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

ATM fee for welfare recipients could be a thing of the past

Washington state is working on a deal with JPMorgan Chase that could eliminate an ATM fee for welfare clients. Photo by Austin Jenkins

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 12:00 am

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The 85-cent ATM fee that JPMorgan Chase charges Washington welfare clients could soon be a thing of the past. The state hopes to have a deal by the end of the month with JPMorgan on a new, lower cost contract for electronic benefits.

We first reported on the 85-cent fee because JPMorgan Chase wasn’t disclosing it at ATM machines. Now the fee is disclosed. But critics say it amounts to a tax on the poor.

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Humanosphere
6:53 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Changemakers: Winning, one vegetable patch at a time

Quick BIO: Noah Derman, 31, is development director for Development in Gardening in Atlanta and a University of Washington graduate.

By Lisa Stiffler, special correspondent

Global health and development is by definition bound to be overpowering. So Noah Derman has a strategy for not feeling crushed by the enormous scope of the field’s challenges – he mentally breaks them into smaller chunks.

“If you look at smaller battles that you win,” said Derman, “you won’t get so overwhelmed.”

For Derman, development director for Development in Gardening, or DIG, those battles are won one vegetable patch at a time.

Read more on Humanosphere.

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