Sebastiana’s eyes: a reflection on providing care

After a long and warm clinic day seeing kids in one of the Mayan communities we work, I asked Yoli, our auxiliary nurse in charge Read More


Sharing truths of terminal illness in rural Guatemala

Over the last four years I have visited communities in rural Guatemala with Wuqu’ Kawoq | Maya Health Alliance, a civil society organization providing health Read More


Science, global health, and irrational health behaviors

Ed. Note: Sara Gorman will be joining us once a month to highlight different aspects of her forthcoming book on science denialism.  Have you ever Read More


Gavi, Girl Effect Launch Partnership To Increase HPV Vaccine Demand In 3 African Nations

The Guardian: $10m campaign targets cervical cancer among girls in sub-Saharan Africa “A partnership worth $10m (£8.1m) to increase the uptake and awareness of a vaccine to protect girls from cervical cancer, which has higher death rates in sub-Saharan Africa than any other cancer, was launched on Tuesday. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, announced it is…More

Changing Social Norms Around Girls’ Health Critical To Uptake Of HPV Vaccine, Preventing…

Huffington Post: Beating Cervical Cancer In The Developing World — A Game-Changing Partnership To Create A ‘New Normal’ For Girls Farah Ramzan Golant, CEO of Girl Effect “…Too often, negative social norms about what girls should and shouldn’t do, as well as myths and misconceptions, act as barriers preventing adolescent girls from accessing health services…More

Can diets be climate friendly and reduce obesity at the same time?

As part of NCDFREE’s current focus, #FeastOfIdeas is a unique global campaign, crowdsourcing solutions worldwide to reduce the burden of NCDs. This is the first article in our October series delving deeper into how we can use food to solve our biggest health challenges. By 2050, 25 million more children will be malnourished because of climate change impacts on our food systems. Wen Hao explores how to balance the complex issue between food security and reducing obesity levels worldwide.  This startling statistic comes from a 2009 report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which compares models of crop growth under two climate scenarios.

NIH Officials To Discuss Funding Of WHO Cancer Agency With U.S. Lawmakers, Reuters Reports

Reuters: Exclusive: U.S. lawmakers to investigate funding of WHO cancer agency “Officials from the U.S. government’s health research agency are to be questioned by a congressional committee about why taxpayers are funding a World Health Organization cancer agency facing criticism over how it classifies carcinogens. An aide to the U.S.

Zika Funding Delay, Shortfall Will Hurt Cancer, Other Disease Research Efforts, U.S. Health…

CNN: Zika funding falls short but will be well spent, health officials say “…The [$1.1] billion dollars Congress just gave the fight on Zika will be well spent, even if it’s not enough and much too late. That’s the message from Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and key public health officials Monday…”…More

Cuban Scientists Make Progress In Various Health Research Areas Despite Multiple Challenges

Nature: Can Cuban science go global? “…For a country whose entire gross domestic product (GDP) is just half of what the U.S. government spends on research, Cuba punches above its weight in some areas of science. Fueled by relatively generous government support, biomedical researchers have managed to excel at creating low-cost vaccines, developing cancer treatments,…More

Rice University Bioengineer Receives MacArthur Award For Work On Innovation In Medical…

Washington Post: Ask a MacArthur genius: Just how cheap can cancer diagnosis get? “What’s the best way to bring cutting-edge health care to the world’s poorest places? It can be tempting to export money and equipment to solve the problem. … Could there be a better way?

CNN Examines Global Impact Of Fungi Infections, Related Deaths

CNN: How fungi kill millions globally “…[T]hese tiny organisms can be fatal and kill an estimated 1.5 million people globally each year. It’s a shockingly high figure and is greater than the number of people who die from malaria, more than twice the number of women who die from breast cancer, and an equivalent number…More

Weekly links September 23: yay for airlines x2, dig out those old audit studies, how to study…

The second edition of the book Impact Evaluation in Practice by Paul Gertler, Sebastian Martinez, Patrick Premand, Laura Rawlings and Christel Vermeersch is now available. For free online! “The updated version covers the newest techniques for evaluating programs and includes state-of-the-art implementation advice, as well as an expanded set of examples and case studies that draw on recent development challenges. It also includes new material on research ethics and partnerships to conduct impact evaluation.” Interesting Priceonomics piece on R.A. Fisher, and how he fought against the idea that smoking causes cancer Oxfam blog post on power calculations for propensity score matching The importance of airlines for research and growth: VoxEU piece on work showing that when Southwest airlines opens up routes between U.S.

Cancer in poor countries: Too big to tackle?

Governments face an uphill battle to control cancer. Simple messages and basic capabilities can help.

Royal Society Of Medicine Meeting Discusses Cancer Care, Control In Lower-Income Countries

SciDev.Net: Cancer in poor countries: Too big to tackle? “A revealing metaphor kicked off a day of discussions about tackling cancer in poor countries at the Royal Society of Medicine this week. If you think of global health as Mount Everest, cancer control would be a small flag at its peak, said Richard Sullivan, professor…More

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci Discusses U.S. Zika Funding, HIV/AIDS Efforts In Washington Post…

Washington Post: Anthony Fauci: Forced to rob cancer research to pay for Zika vaccine push Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer ” ‘Hold up. Wait, wait, wait a minute.’ That was my response when Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told me that the ongoing congressional battle over Zika funding forced…More

Lab rat, HeroRAT

You’ve likely heard of lab rats, but detection rats technology?  APOPO, a Belgian non-profit, with headquarters in Tanzania, breeds, trains, and implements landmine and tuberculosis detection rats in Africa and Asia.  Equipped with exceptional noses, African Giant Pouched rats have helped clear over 26 million square meters of land, including nearly 100 thousand landmines destroyed in Mozambique, Angola, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.  Once ravaged by civil and international wars, these lands are now suitable for community use. Source: APOPO Tuberculosis (TB) kills over a million people annually.  In countries such as Tanzania and Mozambique, prevalence of tuberculosis is high while detection and treatment are low.  This discrepancy is attributable to a lack of diagnostic equipment, trained staff, and lagging infrastructure and utilities.  A trained tuberculosis detection rat – otherwise known as a HeroRAT – can screen 100 samples in 20 minutes.  The same task would take a trained technician 4 days.  In Tanzania alone, over 8 thousand positive TB samples that were missed by technicians were identified by HeroRATS. Source: APOPO Could programs like APOPO fundamentally change the way we think about rats and their role in public health?  To find out, we must first take a look back at our long, intertwined history, past traditional research laboratories, and into a future where rats may well be our colleagues. Wherever people make a home, rats are sure to follow.

African Researchers Using Data To Facilitate Development Of TB, Malaria, Cancer Treatments

Quartz: TB-tracking headbands, mapping cancer, and a malaria hackathon: How data is fighting disease in Africa “…At a recent five-day hackathon, medical researchers from around the world joined forces to work through data mapping solutions to malaria. Other more long-term research projects are also using data to treat diseases like cancer and tuberculosis. … [Some…More

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