Author Archives: Humanosphere

Pleas grow for health workers to join Ebola outbreak response


There are not enough health workers responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. So far, Ebola has infected more than 4,000 people and killed 2,218 across Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal. Most signs point to things getting worse before the countries and healthcare workers can get the outbreak under control in the

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Humanitarian aid hits record high in 2013, despite major funding shortfall

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Only two-thirds of the money the UN says was needed to respond to global humanitarian crises in 2013 was raised. Despite that, a record high $22 billion was spent to respond to various global challenges last year. The findings are a part of the annual Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report launched today by the UK-based

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Gates Foundation does poor job communicating with outside world

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation does many extraordinary things well, but public transparency and communicating with outsiders are not among them. That’s what the world’s biggest philanthropy itself has discovered after repeating a survey of its grant recipients and other partners, which includes many, if not most, major organization working on aid and development.

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Danger stalks boat migrants as numbers increase

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More and more people are leaving their countries to find opportunity and safety, by boat. Migrants and refugees are risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal.  Reports on the incidents raise concerns about the circumstances that are leading people to undertake such dangerous routes. There have

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Visualizing health disparities in war and peace: Israel vs Palestine

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Conflict between Israel and Palestine has resumed, with Israeli airstrikes killing top Hamas leaders and Hamas executing Palestinians they suspected of collaborating with Israel. The deadly cycle begins again, with civilian casualties mounting in Gaza as leaders on both sides blame each other for the breakdown in negotiations. To date, more than 2,000 Palestinians and

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Humanosphere: Ebola outbreak’s negative impact on maternal mortality

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The Awful Ebola-Maternal Mortality Nexus…You don’t need ebola to die from it. Reporting from Monrovia, Jina Moore describes how fear of ebola and a broken health system are killing pregnant women. “Liberia has one of the highest rates of maternal death in the world. Giving birth here is always risky, even when you can count

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Visualizing the surprisingly massive toll of suicide worldwide

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Yes, ‘surprisingly massive’ is the best way to describe it. The recent death of actor-comedian Robin Williams has sparked much-needed conversations about suicide, a global killer seldom discussed publicly due to stigma, fear or even the well-intended effort to avoid sparking copycat behavior – what some call ‘suicide contagion.’ Studies have shown that, done right,

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Peacetime abuses fuel Israel-Palestine conflict

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Editor’s note: Ross Fenter is a Seattle-based film maker who has been documenting the Israel-Palestine conflict for years now. Fenter has returned to the region to gain the perspective, arguably under-represented in the U.S. media, of the Palestinians. His focus has been on the Maria family in the West Bank, where they have been leaders in protesting the Israeli

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TB detection innovation holds potential to reduce infection’s spread

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Sputum samples containing tuberculosis bacteria fluoresce. Jeffrey D. Cirillo A newly discovered way of testing people for tuberculosis (TB) dramatically cuts the time it takes for a diagnosis to under an hour. The development by chemist Jianghong Rao of Stanford and microbiologist Jeffrey Cirillo of Texas A&M Health Science Center could not only make TB … Continue reading →

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News in the Humanosphere: 100 AIDS Researchers and Activists among 298 Killed in MH17 Downing

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Simon Boddy This is absolutely tragic news for the entire global health community, in light of the deeply tragic news of the downing of MH17. “About 100 of the 298 people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash were heading to Melbourne for a major AIDS conference, conference attendees have been told. Delegates at a pre-conference … Continue reading →

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Africa sees $58 billion leave the continent each year


The amount of money calculated to go into sub-Saharan Africa each year is less than the money that is sent outward. A new report published by Health Poverty Action and a dozen other partners, shows that $192 billion in total is lost due to tax havens, multinational profits and illegal logging. Which much of the … Continue reading →

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Child mortality worldwide is down, but it’s not always clear why

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Somali mother cradles her malnourished, ill child UN Child mortality is widely recognized as an indicator of a community’s overall health, with reductions in child deaths often cited as evidence of the impact of a particular intervention. Two high-profile events in Washington, DC, and Johannesburg, South Africa recently celebrated the progress made worldwide in reducing maternal … Continue reading →

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Did the Millennium Development Goals accomplish anything?

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Richard Horton, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet, recently penned an OpEd slamming the progress of the sustaniable development goals. In it, he proposes that the people putting together the new goals consider these areas when discussions sustainability: wellbeing, capability, intergenerational equity, externalities, resilience, and ‘strength of our civilizations.’ “Unless we embrace and … Continue reading →

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Documentary questions the very motives for Westerners ‘helping’ Africa

Nearly a decade has passed since Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina penned the satirical essay “How to Write About Africa” for Granta. The biting piece called out the way that people talk about, write about and depict the continent of Africa. Taboo subjects: ordinary domestic scenes, love between Africans (unless a death is involved), references to … Continue reading →

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