global

2,500 Miles from Home, 8 Children Seek a 2nd Chance at Life

An Academy Award nominated documentary short, “Open Heart” is the story of eight Rwandan children and their journey to undergo open-heart surgery at the only free-of-charge cardiac surgery hospital in Africa. These eight children suffer from life-threatening rheumatic heart disease, and open-heart surgery may be their only chance at survival. Located in the village of Soba in Sudan, the “Salam” Centre opened in 2007 is the only facility in Africa capable of such advanced cardiac surgery free of charge. The documentary is one of the more moving portrayals I’ve seen of the power that medicine has to affect lives. A definite must-watch.   Featured images taken from video...

These 6 Words from a Pancreatic Cancer Patient Have Set off a Firestorm in the Breast Cancer Community

This awareness campaign video by Pancreatic Cancer Action has stirred considerable controversy over some of the taglines mentioned in the video and on print ads. One print ad in the series uses a quote from 24-year-old pancreatic cancer patient Kerry Harvey—”I wish I had breast cancer”—as its headline and mentions that the survival rate is only 3%, the lowest among the 22 common cancers. The video also notes that pancreatic cancer receives less than 1% of cancer research funding. So, what do you think? Did Pancreatic Cancer Action Step too far? Or was this a necessary call to action and awareness? Tell us your thoughts in the comments...

These Docs Dreamed of Saving the World, and They’re Doing Just That

Doctors across the United States can read up on vital health information with a quick Google search, but how do medical professionals in global underserved communities access this same material? WiRED International, a volunteer-driven non-profit, has been solving this problem since 1997 by building Medical Information Centers (MICs) for healthcare professionals and Community Health Information Centers (CHI Centers) for local community members. For information-starved doctors and nurses in regions stricken by war and poverty, the CHI Centers represent a chance to learn from previously unattainable medical information. On the other hand, MICs offer grassroot community involvement of birth attendants, students, peer educators, and traditional healers and teach them the health issues such as HIV/AIDS prevention in Kenya.  In order to verify that each of WiRED’s training modules are accurate and effective, WiRED pulls from a board and volunteer-base with extensive clinical and public-health backgrounds. By giving medical professionals the chance to learn more about the health needs of their region, WiRED aims to empower local doctors and nurses to take better care of their communities. The list of program countries reaches across the globe and Community Health Information Libraries can be found in countries ranging from Albania to Iraq to Sierra Leone. In 2009, WiRED’s founder, Dr. Gary Selnow, received the UC Berkeley Public Health Hero Award in which he talked about the program: WiRED’s latest program is a Severe Malnutrition Module produced in response to the alarming increase in malnutrition in Syria. Future programs for 2014...

Believe It or Not, Modern Tech Hurts Us in Global Crises

Sheri Fink, MD, PhD, Senior Fellow, New America Foundation, reminds us that low-tech solutions, and imaginative innovation are sometimes better than modern, electricity-dependent technologies in times of crisis.   Filmed at FutureMed, in February, 2012, at Singularity...

5 Ways to Make Our World a Healthier Place

Mark Rosenberg, MD, MPP, President of The Task Force for Global Health, former head of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, discusses the top 5 issues currently facing global health. From eradicating disease to reducing poverty, he covers the ways that doctors and patients can come together to ensure that even the poorest people in the world can lead healthy lives. Read more about The Task Force for Global Health.       Featured image is a screenshot from video...

Baseball In a Time of Cholera

The cholera epidemic in Haiti was one of the worst public health outbreaks to plague an already devastated nation. After the catastrophic earthquake that took place on January 12, 2010, upwards of 7,490 people have died and 586,000 people have fallen ill to cholera. To make matters worse, UN peacekeepers from Nepal were implicated as the source of the outbreak. This must-see short documentary covers the aftermath of the outbreak as well as one boy’s personal story to keep hope alive for his family and community through baseball. Watch the film, share it with your network and visit undeny.org to sign the petition. Together we can end this crisis!       Featured image is a screenshot from video above ...

Doctor’s Without Borders Reports Unprecedented Chemical Victims in Syria

An announcement from Doctors Without Borders has confirmed that three hospitals in Syria’s Damascus have reported over 3,600 patients arriving at their clinics with neurotoxic symptoms. Of the 3,600 patients who arrived within three hours, 355 have been reported dead. Doctors Without Borders, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), says that patients arrived with symptoms such as convulsions, excessive saliva, and pointed pupils, all signs of a neurotoxic agent. MSF has been using atropine to treat the patients. There is much concern over the violation of international humanitarian law, due to the belief that the source of the neurotoxin was a biological warfare attack. Did Syria use chemical weapons against its own people, including thousands of children? The answer to this question has not yet been definitively answered but the United States has already readied troops to intervene if indeed this was a violation of the international humanitarian law. WARNING: Images are graphic and disturbing Read the announcement published by Doctors Without Borders. Featured image is a screen shot from the video...

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