The Pornography of Poverty

May 21, 2007 at 11:02 am (Links)

Check out this post on one of our tagged blogs, Technology, Health, and Development.

It raises an interesting point about how we see the impoverished parts of the world and reminds us that we might want to change that.

Also check this site out for some really insightful little video interviews on the subject.

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Google Acquires Public Health-Oriented Statistics Tool

March 22, 2007 at 11:37 am (Links, Michael's Posts)

The story: some Swedish folks, with the health of the globe in mind, designed a cool tool for gathering statistics so as to make the plight of the poor in the world more powerfully factual in hopes of raising awareness and building strength in the discourse. Google recently bought that tool.
Is this a good or a bad thing?
Good: increased exposure and power is imbued in the tool via association with the WebGiant Google.
Bad: corporatization and the subsequent dulling of the social justice side of the tool.
Another health blog, Public Health Matters, has posted an article that I read and found interesting.
A call for action may be in the works.

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The science of resistance

November 10, 2006 at 5:07 pm (Links, Sam's Posts)

Here is another informative perspective from the New England Journal of Medicine:

Malaria – Time to Act

It was published just a couple days ago, and it covers the viability of a possible reentry into malaria treatment protocol for chloroquinone. With only a small amount of knowledge about drug resistance in infectious disease treatment, I was previously under the impression that once a drug lost its utility, it was gone for good, and would never be helpful again. Not so.

In particular, I find it amazing that ‘chloroquine resistance presumably confers a fitness disadvantage, and stable compensatory mutations sufficient to counter these disadvantage apparently have not occurred.’ I often look at infectious disease treatment as a bacterial seige on humans, patiently mutating, waiting outside the walls until we run out of drug innovations and become defenseless. The fact that some of these stronger, mutated agents are weak enough in other ways to want to revert back to their original form once their original scourge is gone – this confers some hope. We still need long-term, all-encompassing solutions, but in the meantime, you, drug, circle around back and hop in the end of the line – your turn will come again.

-Sam

p.s. I see that the clinical trial asserting the rebound of chloroquine efficacy is also in the current issue of NEJM. In case you want to read that:

Return of Chloroquine Antimalarial Efficacy in Malawi

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A frustrating day for the global health community

November 2, 2006 at 3:12 pm (Alex's Posts, Links)

Today, at their long-anticipated meeting in Guatemala, the Global Fund board neglected to elect a successor to Executive Director Richard Feachem. There’s been a lot written about this elsewhere, so I’ll direct people to the Center for Global Development for more info.

In the environment in which I work, this is an important issue, and an interesting one, because of the unique structure of the Global Fund board, which requires a high degree of consensus for the election of ED candidates and encompasses a wide range of stakeholders, from endemic country representatives to private pharma. And clearly, it’s ultimately important to everyone working in global health, as this organization is one of the major sources of funding for all AIDS, TB and malaria program throughout the world (along with the US, UK and Gates Foundation.)

But in the context of this community here, I find myself asking, is anyone else even paying attention? If you’re not an activist or a policymaker, will you ever even read the press release? Did you even know the name of the old Global Fund ED? I’ve found myself thinking about the different reaches and priorities of different players in the global health community in many different contexts over the past year or so, as I at once study to enter medical school and work on advocacy efforts targeted toward policymakers who may not even know what the word “falciparum” means. It’s an interesting dichotomy, and makes one wonder what the “global health community” even really refers to.

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Regarding Gender Mortality in India

October 27, 2006 at 2:24 pm (Links, Sam's Posts)

I realize I often resort to asking about/talking about interesting articles instead of posting solely based on physical experience or mental pondering.

Nonetheless. I decided today that I should take advantage of my automatic access to just about any journal I want.

Excess Female Mortality in India

Now, this article is from 2000, so the numbers have definitely changed. But the problem is still the same.

In particular I wonder whether or not the state of decline in female:male ratios that existed in 90s still exists. Do males still (allegedly) benefit more from nutritional and health advancement? I wish the author didn’t glaze over the reasons for uneven populations of men and women – “While the reasons for India’s anomalous sex ratio are fairly well established…” – but the examination of Himachal Pradesh seems like it might have a lot of potential. And it’s inspiring that something as concrete as literacy rates could explain an increase in female:male ratios; to me the improvement literacy rates seems a lot more doable, while also not being something that I would have thought of on my own.  I’ll have to look for publications involving further research into Himachal Pradesh.

Sam

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Therapeutic Gene Product Delivery

October 19, 2006 at 1:11 pm (Links)

Sarah and I have been talking about hemophilia treatment, among other things. This file has 3 abstracts and a review that I took from the Internet. I worked for this guy for a year, he’s good. See the conversation between Sarah and me under the post ‘Sex Selection’ for more background.

vandenburgh_research_abstracts.doc

In particular, check out part 4 of the review, entiteld ‘Bioengineered Striated Muscle for Therapeutic Delivery of Gene Product’. Turns out you can make little muscles that release a therapeutic protein of your choosing and implant it into a mouse to see if it works consistently.

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cheesesteaks and chili fries

October 11, 2006 at 4:47 pm (Links, Sam's Posts)

I don’t how my current city of residence, Philadelphia, would ever be able to mimic what might happen in New York City and Chicago, among other places.

New York City Plans Limits on Restaurants’ Use of Trans Fats

Seems pretty cool that the New York Board of Health can go ahead with legislation like this without much bureaucracy or red tape to bust through. I don’t want to speak too soon, of course.

 I’m pretty sure you can register on nytimes.com for free, so don’t complain that you need to log in to view this article. I feel like I’m breaking copyright laws when I copy and paste articles into word and post them on the web.

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Dust in China (From Monica Young)

September 18, 2006 at 2:01 pm (Links, Monica's Posts)

Monica sent me this link

http://www.boston.com/yourlife/health/other/articles/2006/09/18/chinas_dangerous_dustbowl?p1=email_to_a_friend

with this note:

one for the blog, on global environmental health…wait till you get to the part about chinese farmers using antique anti-aircraft missles loaded with chemicials into passing clouds to make it rain…WILD

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En Garde, Bez.

September 15, 2006 at 8:23 pm (Links, Sam's Posts)

AJHP Foray into Diabetes

-Sam-

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Diabetes from a public health perspective

September 13, 2006 at 9:20 pm (Dan's Posts, Links)

Today’s NYT has an interesting article on the rise of diabetes in India.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/13/world/asia/13diabetes.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Daniel Beswick

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