The state of global health is constantly changing and we'd like to help keep track of the outstanding quality and diversity of research, medicine, and policy work in the global health field. If you have read a story that you would like to share with the global health community, email us at email@example.com and we'll share it on this page!
Japan is currently experiencing their first outbreak of Dengue Fever since 1945. Dengue is common in many nations with tropical climates, and there is no known vaccine or treatment: avoiding transmission via mosquito bites is the most commonly recommended prevention strategy. Learn more about the disease and the Japanese outbreak here.
A cholera outbreak in Accra, Ghana has infected thousands since June. The outbreak has been largely attributed to lack of access to proper sanitation and clean water in underserved urban areas of Accra. Read more here.
According to the WHO, the end of polio could be closer than we think due to newly published findings which show that a dual vaccine approach is highly effective in preventing the spread of the disease. Check out this BBC article to read more!
Today is World Humanitarian Day! This year, the WHO has released a message "calling for an end to the targeting of health workers in conflicts and other humanitarian crises." Check out this news release for more details.
Mental health can be too often overlooked in considerations of public health. Check out this NPR article about how depression can be provoked by a number of different ailments, and some ways to counter its effects.
A University of Chicago doctor has worked in Liberia over the past few years, and shared her experience and her reflections on the current Ebola outbreak in an interview with ABC7, which you can watch at this link.
Drug resistant diseases are becoming common as antibiotics are used more and more frequently to treat them. Although drug-resistant tuberculosis and gonorrhea are well-known threats, drug-resistant malaria is becoming more prominent, especially in Southeast Asia. Check out this BBC article for more information!
Yesterday, July 28th, marked World Hepatitis Day - a WHO-sponsored day to raise awareness and improve treatment and prevention of Hepatitis A, B, and C. Hepatitis is a viral disease which kills over a million people every year, but which is not a large focus in public health. This year, the WHO urged policymakers and the public to "think again" about Hepatitis, publishing a new set of treatment guidelines and recommendations concerning the disease. Click here to read more!
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a tradition in some cultures which has been widely debated and condemned by human rights activists. Check out this NPR article, which analyzes the newest report on female genital mutilation released by UNICEF.
Hundreds of people were placed in quarantine earlier this week when the bubonic plague claimed the life of a man in the Gansu province of China. Read more here!
There is a chance the AIDS epidemic can be brought under control by 2030, according to a report by the United Nations Aids agency. It said the number of new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS were both falling. However, it called for far more international effort, as the "current pace cannot end the epidemic." Click here to read more!
The World Health Organization has recently launched a new initiative to wipe out tuberculosis by 2050. This disease, which is preventable and treatable, is currently a large public health problem in many nations. TB especially tends to hurt groups of people who lack the time or resources to devote to the lengthy treatment process, which often requires that patients stop working for months at a time. The new WHO plan will attempt to address treatment methods for these vulnerable groups. Click this link for the full news release!
USAID has just announced their newest public-private partnerships in an initiative to fight for maternal and child health. The aid agency believes that partnership with the private sector will allow projects to enjoy better and more sustainable support than would be possible with limited public sector funding. Check out this article for a great read on the topic.
The government of India has just announced that they are expanding the number of free vaccines offered to their population as part of a program to reduce child mortality. These vaccines include rotavirus and encephalitis, which take a high toll on young children. Click the link to learn more!
Partners in Health, an international global health non-profit which has been very active in Haiti, recently released an article detailing the newest threat to health in the Caribbean: the chikungunya virus. Read the full article here. The virus has spread in recent weeks and is now affecting people throughout the Caribbean. Read more about the threat of chikungunya in this BBC article.
The World Health Organization recently posted an interesting article about the need for midwifery to improve maternal and child health in many regions of the world. Check out the full article here!
Leprosy is one of the world's oldest known diseases, and yet researchers in the modern age have struggled to produce a vaccine for this stigmatized illness, which is most prevalent in South-East Asia. However, scientists have recently experienced a breakthrough in their research, and the first clinical trial for a newly developed vaccine is set to start in 2015. Click here for the full story!
According to a new statsitic released by the World Heath Organization, the number of maternal deaths worldwide has dropped by 45% since 1990.
After almost a decade of work from a coalition of researchers around the world, the genome of the Tsetse fly has been completely sequenced, opening up new possibilities for the prevention of sleeping sickness. A bite from the Tsetse fly is the most common method of infection for victims of sleeping sickness, an often-fatal disease that occurs mainly in Africa. There are now fewer than 10,000 confirmed cases per year of sleeping sickness — formally known as human African trypanosomiasis — but the disease occurs in epidemics. Genetic knowledge about this species of fly may prove to be an important step forward in the fight against neglected diseases such as sleeping sickness. Check out this link to the full New York Times article for more details!
A new analysis of nearly 4 million scientific articles finds that research is disproportionately focused on diseases that primarily afflict wealthy countries. Correspondingly, less research attention is given to diseases of the developing world, increasing global health disparities, concludes the study, published in PLoS ONE.
The Ebola outbreak that has killed 78 people in Guinea is "unprecedented", according to the humanitarian NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). One of their officials said the spread of the disease across the country made it very difficult to control. "We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases," Mariano Lugli, a co-ordinator in Guinea for the aid group said.
As World Tuberculosis Awareness day approaches next week (March 24), here's a story from last year about the successful approach of a Russian prison - in collaboration with the non-profit Partners in Health - to tackle drug-resistant tuberculosis. The article focuses on this prison's holistic approach, which promotes recovery by "getting each patient to take responsibility for his own health," and thereby promoting the long-term sustainability of TB treatment.
This article describes some of the new strides that researchers are making toward cancer detection and prevention. As surprising as it sounds, we may soon be able to obtain easy and early diagnoses of diseases by smell. This week researchers found one odour-sniffing machine was as good as a mammogram at detecting breast cancer - and many other devices capable of spotting other diseases may be on the way. Check out the link to the article above for more information!
Warmer temperatures are causing malaria to spread to higher altitudes, a study suggests. Researchers have found that people living in the highlands of Africa and South America are at an increased risk of catching the mosquito-borne disease during hotter years.
Today, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the specialized agency of WHO for cancer, launched the "World cancer report 2014". The report reveals how the cancer burden is growing at an alarming pace and emphasizes the need for urgent implementation of efficient prevention strategies to curb the disease. In 2012, the global burden of cancer rose to an estimated 14 million new cases per year, a figure expected to rise to 22 million annually within the next 2 decades.
A "potentially revolutionary" device to help women during difficult births has come from an unlikely source - a car mechanic from Argentina, who based the idea on a party trick. This device could make huge strides in improving maternal and pediatric health as well as decreasing infant mortality around the world.
The cancer divide between black women and white women in the United States is as entrenched as it is startling. In the 1980s, breast cancer survival rates for the two were nearly identical. But since 1991, as improvements in screening and treatment came into use, the gap has widened, with no signs of abating. Although breast cancer is diagnosed in far more white women, black women are far more likely to die of the disease.
Submitted: December 12, 2013
The number of people being diagnosed with cancer in the world each year has leaped to more than 14 million, the World Health Organization says. The data for 2012 shows a marked rise on the 12.7 million cases in 2008. In that time the number of deaths has also increased, from 7.6 million to 8.2 million. The rising burden of cancer is being driven by a rapid shift in lifestyles in the developing world to more closely reflect industrialized countries.
Submitted: September 18, 2013
A country, previously torn by violence and strife, has emerged from the ashes. Rwanda has taken the next step to becoming a sustainable nation by providing affordable and accessible health care to even its poorest population. While there is a lot of progress to still make in addressing this issue, there are a number of lessons the U.S. can learn from this born-again country.
Submitted: September 11, 2013
As the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals looms closer, members of the United Nations have begun to reflect on the state of global health. There's still a long way to go but the Millennium target has helped numerous countries take the next step in improving the state of poverty and maternal death.
Submitted: August 12, 2013
At the tender age of six, Bukola Sogbuyi was diagnosed with sickle cell. In an effort to fight the odds and stand as a survivor of sickle cell disease, Bukola has strived to become a strong, educated, and successul woman.