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Category: Public Health

Why Poverty Persists in America, pt. 2

Why Poverty Persists in America, pt. 2

The other day, I talked about the first of the four reasons why we cannot end poverty in the United States.  Now I will talk about the other three. Single parenthood is another challenge.  According to Edelman, poverty rates among families led by single mothers is an astonishing 40%.  I don’t know enough about the problem to propose any solutions.  In the past, I have discussed how the the problem is systemic and self-reinforcing.  But, from a policy perspective, I am…

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HIV-Positive in Philadelphia vs. Uganda

HIV-Positive in Philadelphia vs. Uganda

“What does it mean to say that one life is “worth more” than another? Aren’t all lives infinitely precious? Well, no, at least not in any sense that’s at all useful for making hard policy decisions about things like job safety and access to medical care. Economists measure the value of a life by people’s willingness to pay for safety. Suppose you’d willingly cough up $50,000—but no more—to shave one percentage point off your chance of being killed in an…

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Why Jim Kim is Right for the World Bank

Why Jim Kim is Right for the World Bank

As faithful readers of this blog know, I am a big fan of the Barack Obama’s foreign policy positions and decisions.  Specifically, I like his deference to nuanced conditions and his emphasis on achieving the objective over claiming credit.  In my neck of the woods – specifically, Libya, Somalia, and Uganda – he understands and appreciates the nuances that made previous incursions into the region unsuccessful.  I think he understands that multilateralism and mutual respect can achieve more than the…

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Please Help: Tragedy in the Philippines

Please Help: Tragedy in the Philippines

Tragedy has struck the Philippines, my adopted second home.  From NPR: The United Nations is rushing food, shelter and clean water to the Philippines, following last weekend’s devastating tropical storm. The UN estimates about 1,000 people died when Tropical Storm Washi burst ashore last Friday on the big southern island of Mindanao. Washi, known as Sendong in the Philippines, may be the world’sdeadliest storm of 2011, according to Washington Postmeteorologist Jason Samenow. The system raked the southern Philippines islands, finally emerging…

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Preventing the Next Pandemic with Cell Phones

Preventing the Next Pandemic with Cell Phones

Much is known about patient zero, allegedly the first carrier of HIV and catalyst for one of the greatest pandemics the world has ever known.  But the origins of the virus can be traced much further back than that.  The roots of the virus that has plagued humanity for the last three decades snake from the United States, through Haiti, and back to Africa, where all life began. A recent Radiolab show titled “Patient Zero” traces the virus from the…

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There Is a Famine in East Africa Right Now

There Is a Famine in East Africa Right Now

The official definition of a famine: More than 30% of children must be suffering from acute malnutrition Two adults or four children must be dying of hunger each day for every group of 10,000 people The population must have access to far below 2,100 kilocalories of food per day This how the UN now characterizes the worst drought in Somalia in 50 years.  When the UN declares a famine in a country of 3.7 million people, that means that either…

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Insite: A Step Beyond a Needle Exchange

Insite: A Step Beyond a Needle Exchange

The following is a guest post by Shawn Zhou, a country program analyst with the Clinton Foundation on the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Shanghai, China. An interesting progressive model for combating HIV/AIDS has emerged over the past 5-10 years in Vancouver, BC. Once home to the highest rate of HIV infection growth in North America, Vancouver has seen a significant decline in the spread of HIV among its intravenous drug users. The model they’ve implemented encourages drug users to…

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mHealth in Northern Ghana

mHealth in Northern Ghana

This post originally appeared on Next Billion. “Some women feel they want to hide their pregnancy at the early stages. Maybe because they fear the ‘the evil eye,’ miscarriages, the unknown or visiting a midwife. These fears are normal. Here are some tips to help you deal with them: Seek healthcare even before traditional rites are performed. Nothing should prevent you from going to see a midwife at the early stages of your pregnancy.” If you are a pregnant woman…

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The Silver Bullet of Conditional Cash Transfers

The Silver Bullet of Conditional Cash Transfers

There is a new paper from DFID (the British overseas development assistance authority) about the usefulness and effectiveness of conditional cash transfers.  I have written a few times about this topic in early 2011 and way back when in 2010 (see here and here) and have always been pretty bullish on the use of them as tools for poverty alleviation.  Conditional cash transfers effectively pay the poor in exchange for meeting certain requirements regarding healthcare and education.  Welfare programs for…

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