Archive for February, 2012
Access to reproductive healthcare is an inflammatory subject matter, often discussed in ideological rather than medical terms. Its attachment to sexuality and social norms distracts the public, legislators, and the judiciary from the de facto result of confounding morality with medicine. In other words, notions of virtue are relevant to families, not the state, and replacing evidence-based policy with dogma leaves women without care, regardless of the circumstances that placed them in need.
By Frederic Hua Clostridium tetani, the bacterium responsible for tetanus, is ubiquitous, yet its effects are found to be most devastating in developing countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated in 2008 that 59,000 newborns die from tetanus every year. Termed “maternal and neonatal tetanus” (MNT), the condition is generally caused by lack of proper [...]
By Sarah McCuskee Immigrant populations, including the Boston Haitian community, face staggering disparities in health. Structural issues are largely at fault—but more ambiguous “cultural” factors are often blamed as well. These factors—things like language and “health beliefs”—may be important: in 1970, Philip Tumulty wrote “what the scalpel is to the surgeon, words are to the [...]
The continued growth of coal mining has left communities with pervasive and irreparable damage. Until recently, however, the effects of coal on human health have been largely ignored and mining has continued without many appeals for improvement. In both the United States and China, industrial achievements have created a legacy of pollution that is taking [...]
After the Great East Japan Earthquake disrupted the lives of thousands of Japanese citizens in March 2011, it was expected that Japan’s foreign assistance would be significantly diminished in favor of domestic aid. Yet, Japan has continued to be involved in global health despite the tragedy. Japan’s commitment to global health illuminates how global health [...]
By Michelle Lee Situated at the confluence of the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, and the Meghna Rivers, Bangladesh has a tumultuous relationship with water, a problem present in both excess and scarcity. Though the country has many water sources and receives abundant rainfall, clean water is limited and often polluted. Flooding during the monsoon season leaves [...]
In Seattle we often are fortunate enough to have access to a good health clinic or physician, where we can go for regular check-ups and screening tests, get necessary immunizations, address our reproductive health needs, get assessed and treated for many illnesses or injuries, and obtain referrals when we need care that the clinic does not provide. This kind of accessible, integrated care, with its focus on prevention, standard treatment for common health problems, and monitoring of chronic conditions is good for individuals, families, and communities. Yet many people around the world face a much different health care picture.
By Sheba Mathew Neglected disease campaigns, like any other, demand money, but they do it to save lives. $25 to save a life with an HIV test. $20 to save a life with six months of tuberculosis medications. $10 to save a family with a malaria net. What about fifty cents a year to save [...]
Availability of Essential Medications for Non-Communicable and Chronic Diseases in Low and Middle Income Countries
Non-communicable and chronic diseases (NCDs) are on the rise throughout the world, but they pose an especially great challenge in low and middle income countries (LMIC). With limited resources for healthcare and prevention, these regions, still affected by a high burden of infectious diseases, are now facing a double epidemic. Many of the chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, require medications to prevent, treat, and alleviate their painful and persistent symptoms…