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Poverty and humanitarian crises — Our people

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The Impact of Financial Aid

Emmanuel Akintoye, MPH '14 Next Many ambitious Nigerian children aspire to medical school, but while he had reached this goal, Emmanuel Akintoye wanted something more. He found it in public health. "I knew from the first moment that this is what I…

Ebola epidemic in U.S. unlikely

While Ebola continues to spread in West Africa, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials call the risk of an outbreak in the United States very low. Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) Professor Michael VanRooyen, director of the Harvard Humanitarian…

Mosquito nets: The price of prevention

July 2014 -- Jessica Cohen, assistant professor of global health, sought an answer to the following: Would malaria-protecting mosquito nets gain wider usage if they were given away for free? Or would they be valued and used more if there was a…

Fighters for equity

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] Tackling two-tier health care With the creation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965, the United States began its first large-scale experiment with a formal national health system. Almost overnight, it began subsidizing medical care for the…

Racism harms health

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] "I remember thinking, as a young assistant professor, ‘Oh my God, you can actually measure racism?’ recalled Ichiro Kawachi. He was referring to the groundbreaking work two decades ago of his colleague, social epidemiologist Nancy Krieger. “Nancy made…

Population visionary

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] When Roger Revelle took the helm of the new Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (known as the Pop Center) in 1964, he was already one of the world’s most eminent and eclectic scientists. His prominence in…

Health care with dignity

[ Spring/Summer 2011 ] Alum Robert Taube helps homeless people build healthier lives—and self-esteem. Casey Hubbs’s world crumbled after her husband died, and she wound up living under a bridge in Boston. Her existence was grim, and she felt ashamed. “I smelled…

Bridging a cultural divide

[Winter 2010] Are better tools needed to identify emotional distress in non-Western refugees? More than 17,000 Iraqi refugees arrived in the United States in 2009, carrying the deep physical and emotional scars of war. Many are widows with young children. Some have…

Can doing good be done better?

[ Spring/Summer 2012 ] Better-trained aid workers, closer coordination among relief agencies, and a bigger dose of humility while working in unfamiliar cultures would help ensure that the billions of dollars spent each year on humanitarian assistance are not wasted. Harvard Public…

Fighting sexual violence in the Congo

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] The plight of women in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has captured headlines, as women have fallen prey to lawlessness and violence in the ongoing conflict that first broke out in 1996. Since its inception,…

Life after death: Helping former child soldiers become whole again

[ Fall 2011 ] Today, among the 87 war-torn countries in which data have been gathered, 300,000–500,000 children are involved with fighting forces as child soldiers. Some, as young as seven, commit unspeakable atrocities: killing parents and siblings, assaulting neighbors, torching the…

A burning passion

[ Winter 2014 ] When Catlin Powers first stepped into a nomadic family’s canvas tent in the Chinese Himalayas, she was overpowered by the smell of burning yak dung, the traditional source of fuel. She almost choked on the thick yellow smoke that spewed…

An unhealthy digital divide

January 28, 2014 — K. “Vish” Viswanath, professor of health communication at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), is interested in finding better ways to communicate health information to lower-income individuals. He answers three questions about a recent study he co-authored that…

Nurturing resilience in vulnerable children

Resilience — "an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change” — is the quality that allows some people to survive the worst situations imaginable, writes Amy Spies, a member of the Harvard School of Public Health Leadership Council,…

A simple solution that has saved millions

A solution of table salt, sodium bicarbonate, glucose, and water. This simple elixir, known as oral rehydration solution (ORS), has saved tens of millions of people since the 1970s from death by cholera and other diarrheal diseases—now the second leading cause of…

Lessons in resilience

Theresa Betancourt, SD ’03, has dedicated her life to helping the world’s most abused and traumatized children. An HSPH alumna who is now associate professor of child health and human rights at the School, Betancourt has been working in some of the…

A piece of a big puzzle

Anywhere you turn, there's a need to be met. Josh Glasser, SM '12; Global Health & Population; Horace W. Goldsmith Fellow Fulbright scholar Josh Glasser saw the devastating effects of globalization and poverty up close when he interviewed…

Protecting environments and people

"It took a lot of people's help to get me this far. So doing something to give back to others makes me happy." Raphael Arku, SD '15; Environmental Health; Briggs Scholar and Dong Scholar Raphael Arku grew up…