Topic: global health

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Poverty, disasters & health against all odds

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] The most powerful influences on population health are not the medical interventions that diagnose and treat disease. Rather, they are the broad social forces—war or peace, poverty or financial security, political oppression or fundamental human rights—that shape all…

Making sense of sexual violence in Central Africa

[ Spring 2009 ] Imani* was just 15 when soldiers from the rebel group Interahamwe seized her on the road. Amid a bewildering array of competing armies, local militias, and rebel factions, sexual brutality has reached unprecedented levels there, terrorizing Congolese women…

HPV screening: Saving lives in resource-poor nations

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] Each year, approximately half a million women develop cervical cancer, a malignancy linked to high-risk strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). In wealthy nations, cervical cancer deaths have plummeted over the six decades that the Pap…

Changing the cycle of family abuse in India and South Asia

[ Spring/Summer 2010 ] Child Brides, Child Mothers, Child Victims It’s a tale of two siblings that plays out hundreds of thousands of times every year in rural India. While her older brother completes his education and is given the opportunity to…

A tale of two countries: Q and A with Professor Jennifer Leaning

[ Fall 2008 ] On May 2, Cyclone Nargis hit the coast of Myanmar, devastating the low-lying Irrawaddy delta with 120 miles-per-hour winds and a 12-foot tidal surge. Ten days later, an earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale struck China's mountainous Sichuan Province.…

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…

John Briscoe offers bold, unorthodox ideas for managing scarce water

[Fall 2009] What do people in developing nations understand about water that people in wealthy nations do not? "They understand the absence of it," says John Briscoe, newly appointed Professor of the Practice of Environmental Health at HSPH.  If it doesn't rain, women who haul…

Strengthening health systems to address New Challenge Diseases (NCDs)

[ Fall 2011 ] Reframing a Public Health Acronym In September 2011, the United Nations General Assembly is holding a High-Level Meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). In the following essay, Felicia Marie Knaul, director of the Harvard Global…