Electrifying TransportationThe World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded 7 million premature deaths globally as a result of elevated levels of air pollution. In 2016, the WHO reported that 91% of the world’s population resided in areas that did not meet the threshold for acceptable air quality. Such conditions escalate the effects of and increase mortality from strokes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and infections, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In 2010, the World Bank along with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reported more than 180,000 deaths and the loss of 4,100,000 disability life adjusted years directly attributable to road transport air pollution. Also, when declaring the ‘best practice group’ for policy handling of air pollution, the list consisted mainly of high-income countries that can afford preventative measures like electrifying transportation.

Air Quality and Poverty

The WHO reports that low-and middle-income countries suffer the highest effects of elevated exposure to harmful air pollutants. In fact, the majority of the world’s cities with the highest Air Quality Indices (AQI) are found in developing nations. These countries typically do not have adequate laws or enforcement to protect against air pollution. These nations tend to contain a higher number of coal power stations and less stringent restrictions on vehicle emissions.

Further, developing nations experience great disparity in the effects of air pollution and the burden typically falls on the countries’ most impoverished populations. The reason for this is that the impoverished usually reside in highly concentrated areas with dense harmful emissions, a consequence of their exclusion from suburban areas where there are fewer pollutant-generating spaces.

Despite air pollution challenges, a healthy environment, which includes clean air, is a human right and forms part of the United Nations (U.N.) Sustainable Development Goals. In order to improve air quality, one of the U.N.’s main suggestions is to adopt clean and renewable energy and technologies.

Electrifying Transportation

The emissions from current fuel and diesel-powered traditional transportation systems consisting of fossil fuel-powered cars, trucks and buses generate pollutants that have adverse effects on every organ in the human body. These forms of transport are also responsible for approximately half of all the nitrogen oxides in the air of the U.S. alone.

Furthermore, transportation stands as one of the greatest sources of greenhouse gases. Given the large contribution to air pollution arising from main-stream fuel and diesel vehicles, electrifying transportation systems is anticipated to be one of the most effective, shorter-term solutions to air pollution. This will, in turn, lift some of the burdens on impoverished and vulnerable populations.

One of the main advancements in renewable technology is the use of electric vehicles. One estimate finds that with the widespread accelerated adoption of clean transportation through the electrification of vehicles and fuel, an approximated 25 million aggregate years of life would be saved by 2030. Included in this figure are at least 210,000 reductions in premature deaths in 2030 alone. These gains would primarily occur in China, India, the Middle East, Africa and developing Asia, especially in locations with the highest rates of poverty.

So far, there are three classes of electric vehicles:

  1. E4W – Electric four-wheelers.
  2. E2W – Electric two-wheelers.
  3. HEV – Hybrid electric vehicles.

Access in Developing Countries

One of the main barriers to electrifying transportation in developing nations is the fact that electric vehicles (EVs) are typically more expensive than traditional fuel and diesel-powered vehicles. However, switching to EVs can prompt savings. Developing nations exist on a spectrum of development. For those with public transportation systems, working police and emergency health care fleets, the governmental investment in the transition toward electric vehicles and trucks would not only help to improve the air quality in the respective nations but would also prove cheaper and more sustainable in the long run.

Of the available classes of electric transport options, the E2Ws would be most beneficial in developing nations. This is because E2Ws have the lowest energy consumption rating. Unlike E4Ws, the E2W class of EV’s ability to charge via regular home outlets means that there are no substantial charging infrastructure investment requirements.

In terms of operational costs, all classes of EVs have lower operational costs than their corresponding fuel vehicles. However, the E2W class has benefits ranging from 24% lower operational costs, and in some countries like Vietnam, eight times lower operating costs than corresponding fuel-based transportation.

Many developing nations might not yet be in a position to invest in and benefit from the E4W or HEV EV classes due to their high initial investment and required charging infrastructure investments. The E2W class by contrast has been found to be a feasible investment for electrifying transportation for poverty reduction. Not only will this contribute to a significant reduction in air pollution, lightening its burden on the poorer populations, but it will also prompt savings for governments and stimulate economic growth. Additionally, as investments in EVs continue to rise, the initial purchase prices will fall and so developing countries might be able to afford higher classes.

Rebecca Harris
Photo: Flickr

impacting COVID-19 in AfricaIn 2021, COVID-19 is still rampaging across the globe, and despite efforts from the wealthiest nations, it has yet to drop down to non-pandemic status. Africa, a continent with a population of more than one billion, has reported 1.5 million cases and only 46,000 deaths as of November 2020. The smaller fatality numbers across Africa can be attributed to several different factors that are impacting COVID-19 in Africa.

Fast Action

The first case of COVID-19 in Africa was reported on February 14, 2020, in Egypt. Other countries across the continent immediately took action fearing that the virus would severely affect at-risk communities such as the elderly and those who are immune-compromised. Protocols such as frequent hand washing, avoiding physical touch-based greeting, social distancing and face masks were implemented right away.

Countries such as Lesotho acted before a single case was reported, going into a three-week lockdown on March 18, 2020, along with surrounding countries. A few days after lifting the lockdown, Lesotho announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case. However, despite the country having a population of more than two million people, as of October 2020, only 1,700 cases and 40 total deaths were reported in Lesotho.

Public Cooperation

Public support has contributed to the lower case numbers across Africa, impacting COVID-19 in Africa overall. More populated countries such as South Africa reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases at more than one million while Western Sahara reported only 10 cases.

According to polls taken in August 2020, almost 70% of adults completely adhered to washing their hands and wearing face masks in public and roughly 60% adhered to avoiding handshakes and public gatherings. Furthermore, roughly 45% of adults avoided places of worship.

Lockdown restrictions came at a huge cost across the continent as a reported 2.2 million jobs were lost  in South Africa during the first half of 2020. Many countries across the continent were forced to reopen their economies despite high cases. According to a PERC report, six in 10 citizens felt it was necessary for the economies to reopen.

Reports suggest that African citizens continue to see COVID-19 as a serious threat, but the economy remains an equally important factor. Citizens generally agreed to continue to adhere to the restrictions in order to keep cases down while allowing the economy to reopen.

A Younger Population

Africa is home to the largest population of young people in the world, with a median age of 19. The young population is a major contributing factor as to why fatalities from the virus have stayed low. This is due to the vast majority of the population not being in the at-risk range. The World Health Organization reports that 91% of COVID-19 cases in sub-Saharan Africa affected people below the age of 60 and more than 80% of those infected were asymptomatic.

The elderly form only 3% of the population across Africa while continents such as Asia, North America and Europe have the largest population of elderly in the world. Many African countries also do not have many retirement homes, which are superspreaders for the disease. The elderly across Africa move from cities where they worked back to rural areas when they retire. These rural areas are less populated and allow for better social distancing practices, making the spread of the virus less rapid.

Transportation also contributes to fewer cases. With no well-developed transportation system to transport those in and out of the city, the virus has not been able to spread as significantly in comparison to places such as the U.K. with major transportation lines that lead to the rapid spread of viruses such as COVID-19.

The Road Ahead

Many have speculated that Africa’s low case numbers could be attributed to African immunity. The above reasons show that Africa has in fact successfully managed the COVID-19 pandemic due to fast and early action to curb the spread of the virus, adherence to public health measures and a younger population.

Claire Olmstead
Photo: Flickr

India's AIDS EpidemicIndia is one of the most populous countries on the planet and is one of the most densely inhabited nations. With more than 1.38 billion people in the nation, diseases spread quickly and HIV/AIDS is no exception. Although only 0.2% of adults have HIV/AIDS, this equates to roughly 2.4 million people, a total far higher than any other country in Asia. For this reason, several programs aim to address India’s AIDS epidemic.

Causes of the Epidemic

India’s HIV/AIDS epidemic stems from two primary factors — the practice of unprotected sex among sex workers and the injection of drugs using unsterilized needles. These two practices are most common among vulnerable populations such as low-income communities. Thus, India’s AIDS epidemic is centered in select regions; although only a small percentage of the total population has HIV, this number is high in certain regions and extra precautions are necessary for prevention in these areas.

Despite these overwhelming statistical figures, recent research has provided optimistic results. The number of HIV infections per year decreased by 57% between 2000 and 2011 and the annual deaths from AIDS decreased by 29% from 2007 to 2011. Bold government programs inspired by independent research instilled this change within the Indian population. The programs’ success stems from a variety of HIV treatments and from education, challenging the stigma and misconceptions about the disease.

Methods of Success

One of the main reasons behind progress in HIV/AIDS is India’s free antiretroviral therapy (ART) program. ART programs supply supplements and antiviral drugs for citizens infected with HIV. In 2004, the Indian government sponsored the program, striving to place 100,000 infected Indians in the program by 2007. This program likely played a major role in the steep decline in HIV-related deaths from 2007 to 2011.

Noticing the success of the ART initiative, the Indian government took a further step in 2017 by initiating the World Health Organization’s Treat All policy; this policy focuses on making the ART program accessible to all disadvantaged Indians. The Treat All policy increased the number of new monthly joiners by several hundred.

Along with these programs, the Indian government has sponsored adolescent education programs centered around preventing the spread of HIV with an aim to end the negative stigma toward the disease and those infected. These programs also provide basic sex education. Studies on these programs have shown extraordinary results; samples of students understand essential facts about the disease, such as how it spreads and the current lack of a cure. Although direct government intervention is vital, ending India’s AIDS epidemic begins with educating the youth.

Plans for the Future

With such a large number of people carrying the disease, managing HIV in India is no small task. Although the aforementioned methods have shown optimistic results, the involvement of local communities, governments and NGOs is essential to maintaining the trend. When discussing diseases such as HIV, the intervention of international bodies cannot maintain the health of individual citizens; ending India’s AIDS epidemic is ultimately the responsibility of Indian citizens and these new programs enable citizens to do so.

Joe Clark
Photo: Flickr

Ebola in Sierra Leone
When the Ebola epidemic hit Sierra Leone in 2014, the outbreak began slowly but gradually built into a burst of cases, then increased exponentially from there. With little knowledge on how to contain the disease and even less on how to cure it, the country declared a state of emergency and proceeded to shut down schools, cinemas and other common gathering places in a bid to contain the disease.

SMS messaging also played a key role in eradicating Ebola in Sierra Leone by March 2016.

Global Response to the Ebola Epidemic

In response to the outbreak, UNICEF launched the Rapidpro free source platform, which provided SMS messaging in Sierra Leone that had no need for internet, a sophisticated phone or even phone credit. Users only needed a basic handset with a network connection. This system — launched globally in September of 2014 — has been lauded for its ease of use particularly on pre-existing equipment and phone networks, even in remote places.

Rapidpro is cloud-based, multi-language and multi-channel so it can be accessed through SMS, voice or Twitter. SMS messaging in Sierra Leone was first used by the UNICEF team behind the Ebola Community Care Centres (CCCs), which set up 46 centers in five districts with 404 beds in less than two months. They needed SMS to communicate information on triage numbers, admissions and results on a daily and monthly basis so that experts would be able to stay updated on the latest caseload trends. 

SMS Messaging Helped Get Information to the Public

On November 7, 2015, the World Health Organization made an initial declaration that the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone was over, with the official announcement coming the following Spring. Over the course of the year and a half that the disease rampaged through the country, 8,704 people were infected and 3,589 died. Of those who died, 221 were health care workers.

As the country recovered from the epidemic, this system also allowed workers to monitor Observational Interim Care Centres (OICCs), report from district protection desks as well as follow up on family reunification efforts. Using a network of 788 monitors across the country, officials used SMS messaging in real-time to facilitate social mobilization.

SMS played a role in sharing information about school reopenings, plans for nutrition supply monitoring and reporting on HIV treatment. Thanks to this initiative, officials reached 1.2 million subscribers, containing the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone thanks to text messages.

SMS Messaging in the Aftermath

Today, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation uses SMS Messaging in Sierra Leone to monitor aid supplies received from the EU, DFID, USAID and UNICEF. SMS helps ensure that these life-saving supplies reach those in need at some 1,200 health facilities by simply sending a text message as soon as the products have arrived. Every facility is required to report the drugs and supplies within 24 hours of receiving them, saving everyone time. The previous, paper-based system, took many days to check and had a slow response time. SMS messaging increases trust for donors, governments and communities because they know that the supplies are reaching the people who direly need them.

Workers like Alfred Pujeh, an administrator at one of Sierra Leone’s OICCs use the system to answer questions immediately from the Ministry of Social Welfare and Gender and Children’s Welfare Agency in Freetown about the children in their care. SMS messaging makes his job easier and more efficient so he is able to focus more on the children who need him, instead of being weighed down by paperwork that could get lost en route to his supervisors.

– Michela Rahaim
Photo: Flickr

Displacement in Syria
Syria is a country located in the Middle East that has been in constant warfare since 2011, leaving millions of people displaced.

Today, there are several nonprofit organizations that are directly affecting the lives of people that are affected by war and, as a result, displacement in Syria.

United Nations Work on Displacement in Syria

The United Nations estimates that 6.6 million people are internally displaced in Syria. Refugees considered, there are approximately 12 million people in and bordering Syria that need humanitarian assistance.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has teamed up with other United Nations humanitarian and development agencies to appeal for $8 billion in new funding to help millions of refugees.

The first aspect of the appeal is the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) for 2018-2019.

The plan will give $4.4 billion in support for over 5 million refugees in neighboring countries and close to 4 million people in the communities hosting these refugees.

The second aspect is known as the 2017 Syria Humanitarian Response Plan and seeks to provide $3.2 billion in humanitarian support and protection to over 13 million people in Syria.

The Case of Idlib

Idlib, a city in northwestern Syria, has been hit with bombings and airstrikes in the past few months. It is estimated that over 1 million people living in Idlib were previously displaced from elsewhere in the country and citizens still face uncertainty with constant violence.

Many citizens remain trapped in the city, with the main exits of the city closed. It is estimated that 30,000 people from the city have fled the country since the violence began. More than 2 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance even before the violence began.

Displacement in Syria and Water Issues

Overpopulated makeshift settlements in Syria are often reliant on unsafe drinking water.

It is estimated that 35 percent of the population relies on sources of drinking water that are not safe. Areas with the largest refugee populations have faced drastically low levels of water.

Many refugees rely on less than 22 liters of water a day, less than one-tenth of what the average citizen of the United States uses.

The World Health Organization has tested and treated 650 unsafe sources of drinking water in 2017 alone. The production of water storage tanks and groundwater wells has provided water to over 200,000 people.

The WHO has developed a disease reporting system that monitors the spread of infectious diseases. Around 1670 sentinel sites have been built across the country. This system allows professionals to rapidly detect and respond to typhoid fever, measles and polio in Syria and in neighboring countries.

The WHO is also supporting the integration of mental health services into health care and community centers in Syria. More than 400 health care facilities have been built and are proving mental health assistance.

The WHO also started the Mental Health Gap Action Programme in northwest Syria in 2017. The program has trained more than 250 Syrian health care workers and mental health professionals.

Displacement in Syria is the direct consequence of the constant violence present in the country since 2011. Due to the unsafe situation in the country, people are moving from their homes in search of a safer environment in the country or abroad. Organizations such as WHO and UNHCR are providing important humanitarian support to those in need.

– Casey Geier

Photo: Flickr

Improvements in Nigeria’s Water Quality
In Nigeria, more than 70 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, more than 110 million do not have access to proper sanitation, and 124,000 children under the age of five die every year from waterborne diseases such as diarrhea. Despite the circumstances, there have been steps towards improvements in Nigeria’s water quality.

Effects of Unsafe Water Are Far-Reaching

Unsafe drinking water can cause many health problems, from cognitive deficits and malnutrition to respiratory disease. These consequences do not stop here; children miss school and adults miss work, creating further social problems for the population. According to UNICEF, women and girls in Nigeria are affected more often than men due to the fact that in Nigeria, women are the main carriers of water. The distances that women need to travel to collect and carry the water is vast, and this can have large effects on health and quality of life for these individuals.

Rural areas struggle to access safe drinking water even more than urban areas. Nigeria’s population is rapidly increasing. Within one decade, Nigeria saw a population increase of approximately 60 million people. Water infrastructure is overloaded, rural populations are being cut off, and without funding, water infrastructure in Nigeria is unable to support the population without substantial and prompt upgrades.

Government Unveils New Water Quality Standards

But not all is bleak. Vast improvements in Nigeria’s water quality have been made. Africa’s biggest economy released a plan in March 2018 that outlined standards for water quality in the nation. In conjunction with foreign aid, steps have been taken to improve its water quality. The Nigerian government has established a Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality that is based on a collaborative multi-agency approach in order to get the perspective of many different stakeholders. Some of the standards in this plan include limits on hazardous water contaminants and national guidelines for mandatory limits that designate safe water.

The Water and Sanitation Program, a subset of the World Bank Group’s Water Global Practice, identified that the main challenge to financing a proper safe water supply is a lack of funding. This is where foreign aid comes in. Organizations such as UNICEF are bringing in foreign aid to support water goals and implementing educational programs to help the Nigerian population identify and cultivate safe drinking water.

Past Decade Has Seen Improvements in Nigeria’s Water Quality

Are these campaigns and goals working? From 2010 until 2015, the WHO estimates that consistent access to safely managed drinking water has risen from 17 percent to 19 percent. In the same timeframe, data shows that the percentage of Nigerians with access to at least basic safe drinking water has risen from 46 percent to 67 percent. Growth is occurring and hopefully will continue due to the efforts of both the Nigerian government and foreign aid collaborators.

These improvements in Nigeria’s water quality could have further widespread effects on the Nigerian population. The Nigerian minister of water resources, Suleiman Adamu, said that waterborne diseases are a huge burden on national health care delivery. These improvements in Nigerian water quality could influence improvements in other areas, such as healthcare in the region.

There is hope on the horizon, and while there is still a problem, there is also an opportunity for growth and improvement. Nigeria is moving towards a better tomorrow.

 – Katherine Kirker
Photo: Flickr

Cancer Cases
The World Health Organization (WHO,) guardian of international health statistics, released new numbers last week indicating a major upturn in the number of cancer cases worldwide.

In 2012, 14.1 million people received cancer diagnoses in 184 countries across the globe, a nearly 10 percent increase from 2008. Unfortunately, this rise translates across the board to mortality rates as well, which saw a similar 9.3 percent increase over the same period.

Lung cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer round out the three most common forms of the disease, comprising 13 percent, 11.9 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively, of the aggregate number of diagnoses.

Breast cancer has seen the most rapid acceleration of any other manifestation of cancer and continues to be the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. In 2012, over 6.3 million women were living with cancer diagnoses from the previous five years alone. Incidence increased 20 percent from the beginning to the end of that five-year period (2008-2012); 1.7 million women received initial diagnoses in 2012.

Unfortunately, the mortality rate for this common cancer has not slowed down, increasing by 14 percent in the study period.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) forecasts the upward trend of aggregate cancer incidence will likely continue through and beyond the year 2025. By that time, over 19.3 million new cancer cases will lob on to the current cancer burden each year.

The increase is not inherently problematic for global health: these statistics reflect an aging global population and the planet’s sustained population growth. As more adults celebrate birthdays in their 70’s and 80’s, it follows that more are alive to receive diagnoses of cancer, a disease largely believed to arise from the effects of aging on the error-prone process of cellular reproduction.

Similarly, advances in technology have increased the accuracy and applicability of diagnostic techniques. Early detection of cancer raises incidence rates but ultimately benefits cancer patients by improving outcomes.

Unfortunately, inequalities in global death distribution fall unfavorably on developed nations. The WHO estimates over 55 percent of all cancers and nearly 65 percent of all cancer deaths in 2012 occurred in lesser-developed regions of the world. The IARC expects that this trend will continue (and likely deteriorate) as 2025 approaches.

Dr. David Foreman, Head of the IARC Section of Cancer Information, urges the global community to “develop effective and affordable approaches to the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment” of cancers in the developing world. Funds allocated toward research and development in these areas will likely generate significant returns on investment; each year, cancer-related deaths and disability cost the global economy $1 trillion in economic losses.

If properly managed, the recent rise in cancer cases will inspire focused improvements in cancer control strategies that will bridge the gap between morbidity and mortality, improve outcomes for the developed world and turn the trend on its head.

– Casey Ernstes

Sources: The American Cancer Society, Voice of America, International Agency for Research on Cancer
Photo: News at Jama

Cancer cases
According to the World Health Organization, Cancer cases are soaring each year. Data indicates an upward trend from 12.7 million cases in 2008 to 14 million in 2012. Cancer related deaths have also increased from 7.6 million to 8.3 million since 2008. With these growing rates, there is a desperate need for advances in diagnosis and detection of cancer.

An IARC report has shown a connection between increased smoking, obesity and cancer rates. This report also predicts a rise in cancer cases to 19.3 million by 2025. Several types of cancer kill every year but the most common cancer affecting thousands of women worldwide and is a leading cause of deaths in developing countries is attributed to breast cancer.

Developed countries do not have the clinical advances required to stop the disease at an early stage. Several people living below the poverty level don’t even know they have breast cancer since clinics are scarce. The Word Health Organization has also claimed this urgency for treatment of breast cancer in developing countries as thousands die from late detection. In 2012, around 522,000 women from around the globe died of this disease. Lung cancer is also among the top most common cancers worldwide, about 13% of total cancer cases. The large amount of lung cancer rates has been linked to both increased smoking from adults and young adults alike. Longer lifespans also contributes to these spiking rates according to the BBC.

Several health leaders from IARC believe that these growing cancer rates can be changed through preemptive action seen before with cervical cancer and access to the HPV vaccination. They hope that national programs for screening can produce similar excellent results and by giving easy access to treatment or detection centers, several will be able to beat other forms of cancer.

Maybelline Martez

Sources: BBC, NY Daily News, Global Post

Global Health Accomplishments WHO
Global health has a huge impact with poverty. In many poverty-stricken areas, a lack of proper health equipment and the spread of diseases is a major function in the poverty trap. These countries rarely have the bare minimum to handle widespread disease and other health complications, making it hard truly to combat a global health issue. Despite these bleak conditions, there have been impressive global health accomplishments. The work and time put in by programs such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made these ten necessary improvements for impoverished areas.

Global health has improved by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Many different factors have caused this great revolution of health, but ten specific reasons can be credited with carrying the weight. Without improvement in these specific areas by programs like USAID and the CDC, many of the great advancements seen today in global health would have never had the funds to be reached.


Factors Contributing to Global Health Accomplishments


In many areas with great health risks; immunizations and vaccines are not made readily available. Without these treatments, many people are often infected by disease that could otherwise be avoided or contained with the assistance of vaccination and immunization. First, USAID immunization programs have provided the funds to treat up to three million impoverished people per year.

Many nations struggle with health issues because of water deprivation. Second, USAID introduced oral hydration therapy to these areas, in hopes it would counteract dehydration problems. As of today, the oral hydration therapy has been successful in areas all around the globe, with tens of millions of people being properly nourished through the low-cost program yearly.

Thirdly,  not only is the oral hydration therapy combatting worldwide dehydration, USAID has partnered with The United Nations Drinking Water Supply to help some 1.3 billion people receive proper water nourishment sources.

Sanitary water is a vital piece to figuring out the poverty puzzle, but the eradication of poverty begins with the young people. Fourth, the average number of children per family in impoverished nations has dropped from 6.1 in the mid-1960s to 4.2 today. In addition, infant and child deaths have decreased by 50 percent in these impoverished areas.

Fifth, USAID child survival programs have made a 10 percent child mortality rate reduction in just the past eight years. Not only has the number of children’s lives saved risen, but life expectancy has improved by 33 percent in these nations.

The decrease of major diseases worldwide is a major improvement made possible by USAID, CDC, and similar programs worldwide. Sixth, Smallpox has been eradicated, and now only exists in laboratories. Seventh, USAID has accounted for thirty-two HIV/AIDS prevention programs throughout the world.

Eighth, over 850,000 people have been reached by the HIV program, and (ninth) another 40,000 people have been trained to treat the virus. Lastly, programs like the CDC have been responsible for the diminishing malaria cases, from 2004 (2.1 million cases) to 2009 (1.8 million cases).

By combatting major poverty causing issues such as disease epidemics, unsanitary water, and child mortality rates, programs such as USAID and the CDC have been instrumental in causing the turnaround of world poverty. With the continued support from these programs, the world’s impoverished people can be assured of better conditions outside of these ten beneficial starts.


10 Key Global Health Accomplishments


1. USAID immunizations and vaccines have provided funds to treat up to three million impoverished people per year.

2. Introduction of oral hydration therapy in impoverished areas.

3. Supplied roughly 1.3 billion people proper nourishment sources.

4. Average number of children per impoverished family has dropped from 6.1 to 4.2.

5. 10 percent child mortality rate reduction.

6. Smallpox only exists in laboratories.

7. USAID has 32 HIV/AIDS programs throughout the world.

8. 850,000+ people have been reached by the HIV program.

9. 40,000 have been trained to treat HIV.

10. Diminishing malaria cases, from 2.1 million to 1.8 million over a five year period.

– Zachary Wright

Sources:  USAIDCDC

Photo: USAID

Violence Against WomenPhysical or sexual violence against women is causing a global health problem of “epidemic proportions,” according to a new study released by the World Health Organization on June 20.

The report, “Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner and non-partner sexual violence,” was released in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council. According to the report, more than 1 in 3 women globally are impacted by physical or sexual violence. The perpetrator of such violence is usually an intimate partner: it affects an estimated 30 percent of women worldwide.

The new study compared this violence in high-income countries with that in other countries. The study found that 23.2 percent of women living in high-income countries experience intimate partner violence, as compared with 36.6 percent in Africa, 37 percent in the Eastern Mediterranean region, and 37.7 percent in South-East Asia.

“These findings send a powerful message,” said Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO. “We also see that the world’s health systems can and must do more for women who experience violence.”

The report looked at the impact of violence on both the physical and mental health of girls and women, including broken bones, pregnancy-related complications, impaired social functioning, and mental problems.

Other findings on the health impacts of intimate partner violence were staggering. The report found that 38 percent of all women who were murdered were killed by their intimate partners. Women who experienced this were twice as likely to have alcohol-use problems and were 1.5 times more likely to acquire syphilis, chlamydia or gonorrhea. In some regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, those women were also 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV.

The report called for a major scaling up of violence-prevention efforts by addressing social and cultural factors that could be impacting the prevalence of violence. It also called for better health care for women experiencing it. Simply teaching health workers how to respond to violence could be helpful, the report noted.

The report pulled data from dozens of regional and national studies for the first time. By using regional data it was also able to highlight regional patterns. For example, women in Africa are almost twice as likely to experience violence as women living in lower and middle-income countries in Europe.

– Liza Casabona

Source: World Health Organization, The Guardian
Photo: The Guardian