Topic: global health

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A simple solution that has saved millions

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] 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…

Cancer is on the rise in developing countries

[Fall 2009] by Julio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD Dean, Harvard School of Public Health While it's well known that cancer is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, what is less recognized and understood is the significant growth of cancer in the developing…

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…