Author Archives: Humanosphere

Visualizing cervical cancer: Leading killer of African women

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for women in 40 of the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, according to the most reliable health statistics. In high-income countries, cervical cancer ranks in the bottom half of all new cancer cases – below gallbladder, mouth, or brain cancers. In places like Ethiopia, Ghana, and

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News in the Humanosphere: A coming Meningitis outbreak in Africa?

UNICEF, MSF, WHO and the IFRC are urging vaccine manufacturers to ramp up production of the meningitis vaccine. “‘In just the first six months of 2015, there have been 12,000 cases of meningitis C in Niger and Nigeria, and 800 deaths. At the same time, there has been a critical shortage of vaccine,’” said Dr

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News in the Humanosphere: Cuba sets global health milestone


Cuba became the first country in the world to receive validation from WHO that it has eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. “Eliminating transmission of a virus is one of the greatest public health achievements possible,” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. “This is a major victory in our long fight against HIV and

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Advocates urge U.S. to cease support for African agriculture initiative

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A program meant to help agriculture in Africa is causing more harm than good and should be closed, says an advocacy group. The 3-year-old New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition allowed large corporations to make land grabs that are to the detriment of small farmers, according to a new report by ActionAid. Released ahead

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Health gap between urban rich and poor getting worse


In cities, access to quality health care varies greatly between the rich and poor, from Lagos to Washington, D.C. The poorest urban children in some developing countries are twice as likely to die as their wealthy counterparts. Steps must be taken immediately to eliminate health inequality, says charity group Save the Children. Its annual State of

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Map of the Day: A new future for the World Bank


The World Bank’s influence is waning. Some point to the emerging Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as evidence of the body’s declining power, but it is the World Bank’s own projections that illustrate the change. Thirty-six countries will graduate from World Bank loans over the next four years (see the above gif). The World Bank maintains

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To get people to build toilets, turn to subsidies

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PONKRUM, Ghana — The one public bathroom in Ponkrum collapsed a few years ago. An effort to build a new one yielded a large pit that is used for trash, not defecation. For the people living in the small village near the Ghanian coast, there is no other option than going out in the open.

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Aid to poor countries fell, shows report

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By the amount spent, overall development assistance increased in 2014. But in real terms it fell by 0.5 percent and less of that money went to the world’s least-developed countries than the year prior, shows the data released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) this week. With development assistance making up more than two-thirds of

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Yemen on “verge of crisis” warn UN and aid groups

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Violence in Yemen is hampering efforts to provide humanitarian assistance, warned the United Nations and aid groups this week. The separate releases from the groups urged groups in Yemen to stop immediately. “A week of heavy airstrikes across much of Yemen, where more than 60 percent of the population are already reliant on aid, will result

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Death by fire in India a big risk, especially for women


By Amy VanderZanden, special to Humanosphere In the United States, when we think about fire, we might imagine a campfire or, in the summer, a forest fire. We worry about house fires, and efforts to improve building codes and enhance fire safety to has translated into fire deaths in this country to fall to the

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News in the Humanosphere: Filipino nurses kidnapped in Libya by Islamic State

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Militants from the Islamic State affiliate in Libya kidnapped four nurses from the Philippines in broad daylight from a hospital in the city of Sirte, while several others were evacuated on Monday. Election Day in Israel: Polls show that Prime Minister Netanyahu is on the ropes in a nail-biter of an election with profound regional

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Media and NGOs: 12 leading reporters on aid and development

This is the third part in a series on the relationship between NGOs and the media. The international aid and development sector is sprawling and somewhat difficult to define. It means that the journalists covering it report on many different stories. Despite some of the tension between media and NGOs, there are some reporters who are doing

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Central America big winner in White House budget proposal

The international affairs budget in the White House request for fiscal year 2016 received an unexpected boost yesterday. The Obama administration requested $54.8 billion to fund diplomatic, humanitarian and development work for next year. It is a 7.7 percent increase that may reverse a five-year trend of spending cuts. But the devil is in the

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News in the Humanosphere: Tax fraud costs Africa $50 billion a year

New data on how illicit corporate practices and organized crime are drains on African economies: “Africa loses at least $50 billion a year to illicit practices like tax fraud, corruption and organized crime, a worrying situation that is hurting the continent’s economies, a U.N.-mandated study group warned Sunday. Illicit financial flows – which range from

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