Foreign Policy Blogs

Global Health News: Whooping Cough, HIV in the Early Days, and More

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For today, I’d like to share a few links to recent articles about global health.

A New Whooping Cough Epidemic? : Slate examines the recent rise of whooping cough in the United States. Although parents’ failure to vaccinate their children is a major cause, Amanda Schaffer discusses the complexities behind the re-emergence of this disease.

Remembering the Early Days of HIV: Although not a traditional source of global health news, confessional-style blog Thought Catalog has a moving piece by Jeffery Allen of receiving a diagnosis of HIV at age 26 in 1992. It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come.

Reforming the American Health Care System: Kate Tulenko of IntraHealth International wrote an impassioned Op-Ed for the New York Times last week on why the U.S. must reform its health care system, which is woefully understaffed. The barriers to licensing, such as long education requirements, have made it difficult for people in the U.S. to enter the health care workforce, which has led to both labor shortages as well as the “brain drain” of doctors and other health workers from developing countries.

Rachel Carson, DDT, and Malaria: Slatealso revisited Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which turns 50 this month. Silent Spring condemned the over-use of pesticides, particularly DDT, and the book is considered the beginning of the modern-day environmental movement. Recently, arguments have reemerged painting Carson’s work as contributing to malaria deaths. Slate’s William Souder argues in Carson’s defense and points out that in the early 1960s, the WHO had already begun to examine other malaria eradication programs–because the liberal use of DDT was leading to the rise of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes.

Gates Foundation and World Contraceptive Day: The Gates Foundation blog, “Impatient Optimists,” is featuring a series on contraception before World Contraception Day (September 26). Yemurai Nyoni, a Ugandan youth advocate for sexual and reproductive health, has a powerful piece on how young people often get left out of the equation when it comes to contraception, particularly in many African contexts, and calls on African leaders to increase access to contraception.


Header photo by NS Newsflash, via Flickr, CC By 2.0



Julia Robinson

Julia Robinson has worked in South Africa at an NGO that helps to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and in Sierra Leone for an organization that provides surgeries, medical care, and support to women suffering from obstetric fistula. She is interested in human rights, global health, social justice, and innovative, unconventional solutions to global issues. Julia lives in San Francisco, where she works for a sustainability and corporate social responsibility non-profit. She has a BA in African History from Columbia University.