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Hans Rosling and Gapminder: Revolutionizing Data in Global Health

| November 13, 2012 | 0 Comments
Hans Rosling and Gapminder: Revolutionizing Data in Global Health

Hans Rosling was as spry as ever during his talk sponsored by the Harvard Statistics Department in late October, a preacher of sorts for the clear communication of data on global trends. At one point, Rosling illustrated the pitfalls of PowerPoint presentations by circling the stage with his pants rolled up—what he considers the sartorial equivalent to small font size on a slide. Communicating data in an elegant and informative way was the vision behind the Trendalyzer software developed by Rosling’s Gapminder Foundation in 2006, a vision that has continued to grow under the direction of Google since Trendalyzer was acquired by the company in 2007.

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Forming Effective Partnerships in Global Health: One Public Health Practitioner’s Experience in Haiti

| November 13, 2012 | 0 Comments
Forming Effective Partnerships in Global Health: One Public Health Practitioner’s Experience in Haiti

It is difficult to comprehend the large scale on which global health operations run. Indeed, it is remarkable to note the myriad actors and organizations interacting to improve global public health. What is clear is that the resources at their combined disposal have the potential to provide enormous benefit to those in need. What’s not so clear, however, is the most efficient way for these groups to collaborate and form partnerships in order to maximize the use of these resources.

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A Reason to Count Sheep: Is Sleep Deprivation a Global Driver of Metabolic Disease?

| October 24, 2012 | 0 Comments
A Reason to Count Sheep: Is Sleep Deprivation a Global Driver of Metabolic Disease?

In an increasingly fast-paced world, getting a good night’s sleep is becoming less and less of a priority. Levels of sleep-related disorders are skyrocketing in both the developed and developing worlds. While our own experience tells us that getting too little sleep can impair our ability to function and slows down metabolism, recent studies are beginning to establish a firm link between sleep disorders and metabolic disease.

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The Sugar Dilemma

| October 24, 2012 | 1 Comment
The Sugar Dilemma

The global burden of non-communicable disease has skyrocketed in the past decade. For the first time in human history, chronic non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes pose a greater health burden worldwide than do infectious diseases, contributing to 35 million deaths annually. Developing countries must now bear the crippling double burden of both non-communicable and communicable disease. Although there are many drivers for recent surge in non-communicable disease, one of the biggest is undisputedly increased dietary use of refined sugar.

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The Forgotten Disease: Implications for the Future of Mental Health Care in Ghana and the U.S.

| October 19, 2012 | 1 Comment
The Forgotten Disease: Implications for the Future of Mental Health Care in Ghana and the U.S.

As reported by the Ghanaian NGO Basic Needs, a man by the identity of M. has been suffering through his mental illness and wandering about Ghana’s countryside for nearly 20 years, eventually getting his leg stuck in a fallen tree trunk. M. has remained in that same position for four years, plagued by his disease and nearly forgotten by the rest of society.

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Funding Orphan Drugs: Pitfalls of the Orphan Drug Act

| October 19, 2012 | 0 Comments
Funding Orphan Drugs: Pitfalls of the Orphan Drug Act

The debate over cost and access to drugs has long raged between patients, health advocates, and pharmaceutical companies. For patients with “orphan diseases,” or rare diseases which affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States, this debate becomes particularly acute, as the Orphan Drug Act passed by Congress in 1983 threatens to drive up prices for highly specialized treatments. While the Orphan Drug Act has helped to bring drugs for rare diseases to millions of patients and continues to stimulate research and development of orphan drugs, the law is certainly not without its problems and caveats.

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The World Will Never Know: An Anthropological View of Humanitarian Aid in Response to the Pakistan Floods

| October 19, 2012 | 0 Comments
The World Will Never Know: An Anthropological View of Humanitarian Aid in Response to the Pakistan Floods

In August 2010, the worst floods in recent history struck Pakistan, precipitating a humanitarian crisis and widespread destruction of health infrastructure and loss of access to clean water. The consequences for the health of the internally displaced person (IDP) are considerable given the three main epidemics facing the displaced population: cholera, malaria, and dengue fever. The humanitarian challenge presented by this unholy trinity of flood-precipitated diseases is both immediate and severe. This analysis considers the possible underlying causes of the limited humanitarian response and its implications for future humanitarian efforts, with a focus on how knowledge-flows could effectively improve the aid response.

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The Global Fund Turns Ten: A Year to Reflect, Restructure, and Reenergize

| June 19, 2012 | 0 Comments
The Global Fund Turns Ten: A Year to Reflect, Restructure, and Reenergize

This past winter marked the ten-year anniversary of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, prompting reflection on the organization’s achievements since its inception in 2002. The Global Fund works to invest and allocate the world’s money to improve health outcomes. It was conceived as an emergency response to combat three of the major diseases that were in the process of devastating the developing world.

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Explaining the Health Effects of Women’s Schooling in the Developing World

| May 15, 2012 | 0 Comments
Explaining the Health Effects of Women’s Schooling in the Developing World

Global health research has long faced a paradox: That the school attainment of mothers is associated – strongly, independently and in most less-developed countries – with reduced child mortality and other beneficial health outcomes, but no consensus has emerged about why or how this happens. A new book from our Project on Maternal Schooling at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Literacy and Mothering, tackles this problem directly, not only with a detailed theoretical explanation but also with evidence from literacy assessments of mothers in four countries: Mexico, Nepal, Venezuela and Zambia.

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Take Your Vitamins: Hypovitaminosis D in the Developing World

| April 16, 2012 | 0 Comments
Take Your Vitamins: Hypovitaminosis D in the Developing World

Described by the New York Times as “the most talked-about and written-about supplement of the decade,” Vitamin D has recently been shown to play crucial roles in brain, heart, immune system and bone health. As a more complete picture of vitamin D’s importance has begun to emerge, so too have the tragic consequences of vitamin D deficiency in the developing world.

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