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Health Consequences for Mothers and Children: The Feminzation of Migration in West Africa

| November 30, 2012 | 0 Comments
Health Consequences for Mothers and Children: The Feminzation of Migration in West Africa

In the summer of 2010, while interning at a migration health policy organization in Dakar, Senegal, I was speaking with my manager about the benefits and challenges of living in Senegal versus the United States. An educated and well-traveled Senegalese woman expressed that it was much easier to live in Africa than in the United States because domestic help was readily available and inexpensive. In addition to the comforts of familiarity in her home country, the availability of cheap domestic help was a main reason that she and her family planned to remain in Dakar…

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Mulala Clinic: A Study in Providing Maternal Healthcare

| November 29, 2012 | 0 Comments
Mulala Clinic: A Study in Providing Maternal Healthcare

The drive to Sanari Village in the Limpopo Province of South Africa was jarring and just a little messy. I had traveled to South Africa to research the health seeking behaviors of women during pregnancy in rural areas; the dichotomy of Western and allopathic medicine in rural South Africa has presented numerous challenges for pregnant women. In order to improve maternal health in these villages, reproductive health education should be implemented and accessibility to clinics and medicine must increase.

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Team HBV at Harvard Addresses the Need to Raise Awareness of the Hepatitis B Virus

| November 29, 2012 | 0 Comments
Team HBV at Harvard Addresses the Need to Raise Awareness of the Hepatitis B Virus

When the members of Team HBV (Hepatitis B Virus) at Harvard give their presentations to local communities at high risk for Hepatitis B, they ask as a component of their presentation, “How many of you have heard of Hepatitis B and know exactly what it is?” The proportion of raised hands to this question is, unfortunately, fairly low.

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From Jurassic Park to H5N1: Is There a Human Threat?

| November 28, 2012 | 0 Comments
From Jurassic Park to H5N1: Is There a Human Threat?

This past summer, Nature and Science published a pair of studies, identifying mutations and other biological modifications that significantly elevate the contagiousness of H5N1, or bird flu. The set of articles sparked a heated discussion regarding both public access to and the appropriateness of potentially dangerous research on infectious disease. Although much of the concern surrounding studies of this nature is warranted, scientists and public health officials should err on the side of scientific freedom when considering restrictions on research and its public access.

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Cooperative But Not Conforming

| November 27, 2012 | 0 Comments
Cooperative But Not Conforming

China established its foreign aid programs soon after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, when the country itself was short of funds. Today, China has come to the forefront as a development partner, especially in Africa. China has historically been unique as an aid-giving country. China’s presence in Africa, for example, started in 1956—around the time Bretton Woods Institutions were established with a focus on Europe. When aid from “traditional donors” stagnated in the late 2000s because of the global economic crisis, China continued increasing investment in Africa, drawing the world’s attention with the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, established in 2000.

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Infectious Entertainment

| November 26, 2012 | 0 Comments
Infectious Entertainment

“This just doesn’t feel right,” I reflected, while the bacteria I created spread from one continent to another, coloring the world map a menacing red. Maniacal enthusiasm in using my “DNA points” to upgrade my bacteria’s infectiousness, ability to transmit, and symptoms all too quickly meant I had no infected people left at the end of the game, rendering this round a total failure. Incidentally, I only made my creation extra-multi-resistant (and had there been a totally resistant option I probably would have vamped up to it in no time). Alas, it’s not every day you pretend to bring about the end of humanity using your own carefully customized pathogen! I would not, however, go as far as stating that “Killing billions has never been so fun”, as stated in one of the many positive reviews for the iPhone game app “Plague.”

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Surgical Disease: The Reality Beyond the Big Screen

| November 25, 2012 | 0 Comments
Surgical Disease: The Reality Beyond the Big Screen

Here in the United States, in a culture where Grey’s Anatomy monopolizes the television screens of American households, it is difficult to envision a place without surgical infrastructure. However, this is the reality of life, and death, in many parts of the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), two billion people globally have no access to emergency or surgical care. However, unlike the success of surgical television shows in captivating public interest, the reality of surgical need on a global scale has yet to garner any significant attention. Addressing this unmet disease burden is a feasible undertaking that demands increased attention from the global community.

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Public-Private Partnerships: A Double-Edged Sword

| November 16, 2012 | 0 Comments
Public-Private Partnerships: A Double-Edged Sword

The varied financial models for funding global health have caused uncertainty regarding the ideal structure of global health organizations. With a number of interests at stake – including those of governments, profit-driven initiatives, and philanthropic organizations – there are often conflicts between groups whose goals do not align.

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Who Pays for Health? Global Health Financing Today and Tomorrow

| November 15, 2012 | 0 Comments
Who Pays for Health? Global Health Financing Today and Tomorrow

Baby Janelle, a two-year old living outside Kampala, Uganda, falls sick with cough, vomiting and fever. Her single mother, a day laborer in the stone quarries, is forced to choose between taking Janelle to the health center – for which she must pay herself – and paying school fees for her other two children.

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World Food Day: Beyond One Day

| November 13, 2012 | 0 Comments
World Food Day: Beyond One Day

In 1945, the United Nations established October 16th as World Food Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness about food security, hunger, and poverty. Although over 150 countries have celebrated World Food Day for sixty-seven years, the problem of global hunger has not yet subsided, and 870 million people continue to go hungry every day. This disconnect leaves us questioning the efficacy of these large-scale, top-down development campaigns, World Food Day included, and prompts us to search for tangible solutions to alleviate these persistent global problems.

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