Global Health

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
Global Health
1:59 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

'Three Cups of Tea' and 'deceit' has international aid in hot spotlight

Attorneys who accuse Greg Mortenson of defrauding readers in his best-selling "Three Cups of Tea" say his case is no different from that of James Frey, who admitted on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" that he lied in his memoir "A Million Little Pieces."

That lawsuit ended in a settlement that offered refunds to buyers of the book.

The high profile fight over Mortenson’s book and questions about his work has aid agencies worried, said KPLU’s global health and development writer Tom Paulson.

Read more
Humanosphere
2:37 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

5 reasons not to panic about the bird flu experiments

It’s relatively easy for government officials, politicians or the media to demand risk reduction at the sacrifice of a select few (medical researchers) or some abstract idea. It’s much more difficult to make the case for science.

The scientific community is in serious kerfuffle right now about whether or not to publish the details of certain bird flu virus experiments.

Angry words are flying back and forth between experts – much like the proverbial behavior of chickens with their heads cut off. One commentator for Scientific American has even suggested banning all such research.

It’s all a bit much, and probably not good for science or for our global health. I would like to offer five reasons not to panic.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Around the Nation
5:55 pm
Sat February 4, 2012

Lost Malcolm X speech heard again 50 years later

Richard Holbrooke and Katharine Pierce as students in 1961 at Brown University.
Katharine Pierce

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 2:57 pm

Last semester, Brown senior Malcolm Burnley took a narrative writing course. One of the assignments was to write a fictional story based on something true — and that true event had to be found inside the university archives.

"So I went to the archives and started flipping through dusty compilations of student newspapers, and there was this old black-and-white photo of when Malcolm X came to speak," Burnley says. "There was one short article that corresponded to it, and very little else."

Read more
Humanosphere
4:51 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Study raising malaria death toll 'radically changes the picture'

In this 2003 file photo, patients wait to hear the results of their tests for Malaria, at a hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Malaria may be killing about twice as many people as experts previously thought, new research suggests.
The Associated Press

A new global estimate of malaria deaths by researchers in Seattle has revealed the death toll is much greater than most experts had thought — and is not, as had been universally assumed, mostly a killer of children.

The study found more than 1.2 million people died from malaria in 2010, nearly twice the official estimate put out by the World Health Organization, and more than a third of the deaths were in adults.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
1:18 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Jimmy Carter - serpent slayer and global health pioneer - hits Seattle

President Jimmy Carter speaks at World Affairs Council 60th Anniversary event in Seattle on Tuesday.
Tom Paulson KPLU

Former President Jimmy Carter is in Seattle, having spoken last night at the World Affairs Council’s 60th anniversary celebration and speaking today at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about Guinea worm.

Guinea worm is a human parasite that eats its way through the human body and emerges a year later, incapacitating people with the pain of completing its life cycle. It’s horrible.

Jimmy Carter and his team at the Carter Center are close now to completely ridding the world of this horrific disease. It’s a great story, and perhaps of much broader significance to global health than many might realize.

Read more on Humanosphere.

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. 

Read more
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.

Humanosphere
10:31 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Guidelines for Dispatches from the Field

These are first-person accounts of events, experiences, problems, successes or even mini-profiles of the people encountered in the field who have made a particular impression on the writer. These stories should ideally include photos and possibly video. The purpose is to share the human-level, personal experience of working in the field on our platform, which is capable of reaching a broad and diverse audience.

Read more
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.

Pages