Author Archives: Humanosphere

Antimicrobial resistance: The public health issue that will cost $100 trillion

NEW YORK — Health and drug experts are raising the alarm about antimicrobial resistance (AMR), one of the world’s most pressing public health issues that, if left unchecked, will cost the world $100 trillion by 2050. Scientists have been monitoring the rise of drug-resistant infections for years, but AMR moved into the global spotlight after

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News in the Humanosphere: Paris climate agreement gets big boost, on track to be enacted soon

Thirty-one countries formally joined the Paris climate change pact Wednesday, bringing the total number of countries ratifying the treaty to 60 and raising hopes that it will enter into effect by the end of the year. The number is higher than the 55-country threshold needed for the treaty to enter into force. But because together

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News in the Humanosphere: U.N. rights chief condemns Congo’s deadly crackdown on protests

The U.N. human rights chief strongly condemned this week’s fatal shooting of anti-government protesters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and urged the government on Thursday to seek dialogue with the opposition. Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said the death toll from clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital Kinshasa on Monday had

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Conflict zones pose final threat to eradicating polio

Health organizations have all the right weapons to eradicate polio, but can’t deploy them because of wartime conflict in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan – the last three countries affected by the disease. Two years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Nigeria – along with the rest of Africa – to be polio-free. This year,

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U.N. Women receives millions in funds to improve gender data

UNITED NATIONS — The U.S. Agency for International Development and the Australian government have granted $5 million and $6 million USD, respectively, to help fund a new initiative by U.N. Women to produce and collect gender data. The initiative, backed by a new public-private partnership between U.N. Women, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Data2X

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Only 6 pathogens guilty for most childhood diarrhea, new study reveals

Scientists are delighted with a new study that suggests vaccines and antibiotics just need to target six pathogens to tackle 78 percent of cases of childhood diarrhea, the second leading cause of death in children under 5. “It’s not a hopelessly long list of infections that we can’t do anything about,” Eric Houpt, professor of infectious diseases and

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India embraces technology as a tool to reach development goals

India’s long- and short-term vision to address poverty includes plans to increase energy production and scientific collaboration to expand access to technology. Rajagopala Chidambaram, principal scientific adviser to the government of India, covered a wide range of technology initiatives ranging from the expansion of electricity access to rural tech programs in a Seattle talk last

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Australia divided over offshore detention of refugees, but report is optimistic for reform

The Australian Human Rights Commission released a report last week proposing alternatives to a current controversial policy of detaining asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus islands. But hope for a pivot under the new prime minister may be short-lived after statements this week indicated little intention to shift away from a border policy he calls

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U.N. complicit in Kenya’s illegal forced refugee repatriation scheme, critics say

Even as President Obama, speaking today at the United Nations, urges the world to do more in response to the massive global refugee crisis, critics say one U.N.-backed scheme in Kenya is simply a disguised effort to give the boot to the displaced. Somalis living in the world’s biggest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, are

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News in the Humanosphere: Syria ceasefire is apparently over

Syria’s ceasefire was on the brink of collapsing Sunday after a U.S.-led coalition strike killed dozens of regime soldiers and Aleppo city was hit by its first raids in nearly a week. The barrage of strikes on rebel-held districts of Aleppo risks reigniting battlefronts there and could be the most serious threat to the ceasefire so

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When the fighting stopped in Syria, aid still didn’t get through

The short-lived cease-fire in Syrian ended earlier this week. A break in fighting provided relief to embattled Syrians caught in the middle of the civil war. Hopes were high that the period of safety would allow more humanitarian aid to enter the country. It did not. Can well-fed grown men please stop putting political, bureaucratic and

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Silver lining despite Senate’s failure to block Saudi arms deal

A resolution to block the sale of $1.15 billion in tanks and weapons by the U.S. to Saudi Arabia failed in the Senate today. Politicians from both parties joined to oppose the deal, but could not muster enough support to stop it. It comes on the heels of new evidence that U.S. bombs were used

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News in the Humanosphere: Aid convoys bombed as fighting resumes in Syria

The United Nations says initial reports indicate that many people were killed or seriously wounded in airstrikes on a convoy carrying aid to a rebel-held area northwest of Aleppo including volunteers with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. Humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said in a statement late Monday that a Red Crescent warehouse was also hit

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Mother and child death rates improving in most parts of the world

By Sean McKee, special to Humanosphere Child death rates are plummeting and child health overall is improving, according to a study published yesterday in The Lancet. Maternal health and mortality statistics are also showing steady improvement globally, though with one perhaps surprising aberration: Maternal deaths in the United States are actually on the increase, rising

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