Related Blogs

Three Ways for Health Workers to Mitigate a Hidden Global Crisis

The birth of a child is typically a time of happiness and celebration. But in Nepal a family’s joy turned to horror when during a traditional birth ceremony, 2-month-old Astha fell from her mother’s lap into an open fire. She was scooped from the flames and survived, but suffered severe burns all over her face.

Looking Back – and Moving Forward – on Tackling Neglected Tropical Diseases

I am fresh with the recent memories of the holidays, and images of children playing and for the most part, enjoying being children. But always at the back of my mind is the knowledge that moments like these are luxuries out of reach for millions of children infected with intestinal worms, or soil transmitted helminthes (STH).

Giving the Gift of Yourself: Juliet's Story

The earrings are simple – a thin piece of pink plastic, almost like a small spear. They’re inexpensive, not from any known designer, but they are one of my most treasured possessions. They were made and given to me by Juliet, a young Kenyan woman I met several years ago while working on an advocacy film about the effects of abstinence-only sexual education.

Juliet is an extraordinary person, and the story that she shared in the film, and countless times since then, is one that I will never forget. With herpermission, I’d like to share it with you now: 

In Recognition of World Toilet Day

The global health and development editorial calendar is filled with awareness days. World Water Day, World Malaria Day and World Aids Day usually come to mind immediately. But today’s awareness day is one that often brings a chuckle or a snigger whenever it comes up in conversation.

Extreme Resilience: Finding Hope in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, there are extremists everywhere – but not the kind you think: I mean people living in extreme poverty, extreme pain, extreme despair. At the same time, there is extreme resilience and extreme hopefulness. Resilient is how I describe a country whose people have survived decades of warfare and instability and have always managed to prevail.

Polio in Syria: an Urgent Reminder to End Polio at its Source

I was saddened to learn this week of a tragic development in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria. The World Health Organization reports that polio, a crippling and often deadly virus, has resurfaced 14 years after being driven from the country.

Empowering Entrepreneurs in Zambia

After 11-year-old Winnie and her two siblings lost both parents to HIV& AIDS, their Aunt Judith took them in. Judith was a single woman trying to make ends meet by selling small quantities of groceries, but lacked the capital to sustain her business. Judith struggled to provide for the girls’ basic needs like school, clothes and food, and began to lose hope that she would be able to care the three orphaned children on her own.

Celebrating World Poverty Day with a Bold Commitment

We live in a world where more than 1 billion people struggle to find enough to eat every day. More than 1 billion live in homes with inadequate roofs and no latrines. Basic services like schools and health centers are out of reach. For many individuals life remains a struggle to find the most basic human dignity.

This is our world today. But it does not have to be our world tomorrow.

Dream with a Deadline: The Millennium Development Goals

Although it was several years ago, I still remember how Melinda and I felt when we learned about the Millennium Development Goals. We were hopeful, but we had reservations.

Uniting Partners to Achieve a Shared Vision

"Wash your hands..." "Don't put your hands in your mouth..."

I cannot count the number of times I heard these admonitions as a child growing up in the rural outskirts of Hong Kong. Wise words they were, too. The simple act of eating a piece of fruit or a chocolate bar with soiled fingers and licking those delicious flavors off already dirty hands may have resulted in a stomachache - or so much worse.

For the most part, we in the developed world can usually escape those trespasses unscathed.

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