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Choosing HIV over Diabetes: The Non-Communicable Disease Epidemic

Choosing HIV over Diabetes: The Non-Communicable Disease Epidemic

I write often about communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, which get a lot of international attention and popular support, spurred on by celebrities, government leaders, and the media.  What is ignored, however, is the growing epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic or “lifestyle” diseases.  With the upcoming United Nations High Level Meeting […]

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Parks, Parklets, and Green Spaces: Improving Health and Other Social Factors

Parks, Parklets, and Green Spaces: Improving Health and Other Social Factors

I’ve made a recent move to San Francisco, California, and a few days ago, I found myself wandering around The Mission, a neighborhood that is undergoing rapid gentrification.  Apart from the somewhat small but popular Dolores Park (pictured left), there isn’t a lot of green space in the area, in contrast with many other (generally […]

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Reading Day…

Reading Day…

I ran across a few interesting health and human rights issues in the news this week, and I thought I’d share them.  Researchers have concluded that the benefits of Vitamin A supplements for children’s health have been established so clearly that further trials would be unethical.  A woman who sued a Tennessee sheriff’s department after […]

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South Africa: Stop Human Rights Violations that Result in Maternal Deaths

South Africa: Stop Human Rights Violations that Result in Maternal Deaths

Just in time for National Women’s Day in South Africa, Human Rights Watch published a report last week on failing maternal care in the country.  South Africa has seen its maternal mortality ratio quadruple in the last ten years.  The report focuses on the Eastern Cape, one of the least developed provinces in the country, […]

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Uncomfortable Questions from Somalia

Uncomfortable Questions from Somalia

This post is not really about global health.  However, there’s little in the news to go on (which sort of contributes to my later points) as the famine in Somalia and drought in East Africa are everywhere in the media recently, as are photos of starving children.  Apart from being a very real humanitarian crisis, […]

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Threats to Global Health: Politicking in the USA

Threats to Global Health: Politicking in the USA

Well, it’s a new week and the same old, same old is happening in Washington. The House Appropriations Committee has released the 2012 State and Foreign Operations Bill and, unsurprisingly but disappointingly, in its current form the bill proposes an 18% cut below last year’s appropriation.  The proposed total on for appropriations is $39.6 billion, […]

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Inequalities in Mobile Technology Access: Throwing Phones At the Problem

Inequalities in Mobile Technology Access: Throwing Phones At the Problem

I’ve written about the potential positive effects of mobile technology on global health and human rights before, but I came across a paper from AudienceScapes (PDF) on inequalities in mobile phone access and penetration rates in lower-income countries and thought I’d follow up.  The brief, by Gayatri Murthy, outlines the gender and wealth disparities that […]

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Healthcare Cannot Be An Anti-Terrorism Ploy

Healthcare Cannot Be An Anti-Terrorism Ploy

This week, The Guardian reported that the CIA fabricated a vaccination program in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as part of its efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden.  The scheme was hatched in an attempt to collect DNA from the Bin Laden family to verify its presence in the area.  This tactic is concerning, to say the […]

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Mortality and Inequality: Linking Deaths to Social Factors

Mortality and Inequality: Linking Deaths to Social Factors

Original photo here, taken by NYC-MetroCard / CC BY Public Health researchers at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health released a study last month that estimates the number of deaths in the US in 2000 due to social factors such as poverty, low education, and income inequality.  The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 47 studies […]

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Sacrificing Public Health for Profit: Lead Poisoning in China

Over the past week, reports have emerged about pervasive lead poisoning in China and allegations of a cover-up and intimidation by the Chinese government.  The New York Times had a prominent article this week and Human Rights Watch has released a 75-page report.  Of course, we’re talking about a regime that already drastically represses the […]

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Reading Day…

It looks like Cynthia and I had the same idea this week.  So instead of a traditional post, I’d like to do a little link-mailing today.  As she wrote earlier this week, there are a lot of interesting things to share. First, the wonderful “In Focus with Alan Taylor” photography blog at The Atlantic says […]

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Speaking Truth to Power: Shades of Gray

There’s a tricky gray area in the non-profit world around “mission creep” and funding when it comes to human rights.  Non-profit organizations (and charitable foundations) obviously want to maximize their funding.  And most NGOs, or people working for or supporting NGOs, care about more than one issue, even if they have a narrow focus: generally, […]

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Steamrolling and Backhoeing to Increased Access

Steamrolling and Backhoeing to Increased Access

Over the past few weeks, the spotlight has been on Greg Mortenson, the founder of Central Asia Institute and co-author of Three Cups of Tea, for alleged financial fraud and false claims–with one of the most damning accounts coming from Jon Krakauer.  One of the refrains I’ve heard from colleagues and friends is a frustration […]

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Incentivizing Family Planning: When Cash Means Coercion

I picked up a piece on the IRIN HIV/AIDS network this week that reported on a “cash for contraception” program that’s currently underway in Kenya.  A US-based organization, Project Prevention, is reportedly offering Kenyan women living with HIV $40 (USD) to get intrauterine devices (IUDs), a long-term contraceptive.  The idea behind the program, whose operations […]

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Angry Birds: m-Health Edition

Apologies for skipping out on my last post; I was on vacation in one (two, actually) of those places where there’s no Internet, no cell phones, and no TV, which is really the only way to get a vacation anymore.  Which means that I didn’t get any news about anything until Tuesday morning.  And now, […]

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About the Author

Julia Robinson
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.

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