TAKE A LOOK

Global Abortion Laws, Split on a Clear North-South Divide

The most liberal laws on abortion are found in the richest industrial countries. Does that matter? Advocates for reproductive health care say yes, because the abortion gap is often a bellwether indicating that health care for women in many developing countries offers few or no reproductive choices or respect for reproductive rights. The issue has … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

An Assault on Trump’s Global Women’s Health Policy Begins

Syrian refugees stuck in Rukban camp, near the Jordan border

With a fierce national budget battle looming in the United States Congress, Democrats on a key committee have formally proposed legislation overturning Trump policies that deny millions of women and girls in developing countries access to vital reproductive health care, including family planning. The legislative bill that emerged on May 16 from the House of … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Will the US Stand With Victims of Rape in War?

The annual debate on sexual violence in conflict is about to take place in the United Nations Security Council. As the UN special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, has said, this event — on Tuesday, April 23 — presents a critical opportunity to assess progress in the last 10 years, since the … Read more

In Numbers, Africa May Be a Force in the Christian World by 2060

Schoolgirls in Sierra Leone

New projections from a leading American research group suggest that the number of Christians in various denominations and sects is steadily rising in Africa and could dominate the faith numerically worldwide for decades to come. In 2015, according to the Pew Research Center, only three African countries were included in the top 10 in numbers … Read more

 

Big Holes in the UN Development Goals Are Exposed by New Studies

Serious flaws in the system for tracking progress on the Sustainable Development Goals have been uncovered in a newly published collection of stunning, provocative research by eminent developing policy specialists. They are finding that the lofty visions that produced the SDGs, now in their fourth year of implementation, have from the start been undercut and … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Unsafe Food, a Killer in Poor Nations, Needs Government Action

A World Bank report on foodborne diseases says food-safety regulations are most deficient in low-income countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which can result in early deaths, especially among children. A dried-fish market in Kathmandu, Nepal, above.

Poverty’s companions — hunger, malnutrition and recurring sickness — do not have to be the inevitable fate of people in low-income countries, the World Bank said in a recent report. But from national governments to farmers to market stallholders and their customers, making food safer has not been recognized and tackled as a major deterrent … Read more

Reform Clouds Darken the Future of the UN Development Program

As the first effects of Secretary-General António Guterres’s ambitious organizational reform plans become apparent, former and current officials of the United Nations Development Program see the future of the internationally influential agency as uncertain if not in peril. Fears center on aspects of the reform plan for development that would allow more political interference by … Read more

Where Is the Worst Place for a Child to Be Born?

By one measure — the chances of surviving to young adulthood — sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the highest rates of child deaths at every stage of childhood. By contrast, the best place to be born this year was Australia or New Zealand, where only two of every 1,000 babies die in their first … Read more

 

TOPIC: WOMEN

Abortion, Fertility and Women’s Rights: Where the UN & US Diverge

If it had not been for the disruption of Donald Trump’s appearances in the United Nations the last week of September, more attention might have been devoted to an international day of advocacy for safe abortion, on Sept. 28, arranged by more than 1,200 organizations. A woman’s right to choose has few more powerful political … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Two Health Alerts: Resurgent Polio and Antibiotic Resistance

Recent research reports published by The Lancet could make a lot of people rethink the assumption that once a disease has been declared eradicated, that’s it. Done. A recent resurge in cases of polio in several countries and concern in Europe that antibiotic resistance is being bought there by refugees and migrants are becoming global … Read more

With Trump’s Human-Rights Policies, Religious ‘Values’ Take Priority

Cubans waiting to be served food during the country's annual celebration of its revolution.

For almost three centuries, through street protests, court battles and a civil war, the United States has sporadically but steadily advanced and expanded human-rights protections and commitments in domestic and foreign policies. Now Donald Trump and the most conservative, ideologically driven officials on his team want to turn back this record in fundamental ways, as … Read more

Lost in the War on Malaria, a Chance to Create Local Jobs

It is playoff season for the NBA, and each time the basketball star Stephen Curry hits a three-point shot, he donates three mosquito nets to Nothing But Nets, a United Nations Foundation campaign that fights malaria one bed at a time. Last season, Curry sank 402 three-pointers and helped deliver 1,206 nets. With the Golden … Read more

 

In Nunavut, Poor Health Care Shortens Indigenous People’s Lives

Canada’s national health system, the envy of many people in other countries, including in the United States, is being more scrutinized from Canadians as reports reveal serious health-service gaps in the territory of Nunavut, a self-governing province populated by mostly Inuit people. Critical reports of deprivation and neglect emerging from Nunavut paint a picture of … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Europe’s Contraception Gaps: They May Be Wider Than You Think

It is a continent where almost half of the pregnancies are unplanned, where government agencies do not provide enough information on available contraception, where geography is destiny for those needing reliable family planning advice. This is not a developing region, but 21st-century Europe, according to the recently published 2018 Contraception Atlas. The atlas, presented in … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Trump Team Wants to Slash Funds for Global Women’s Health by Half

There has yet to be a decision in United States Congress on what funds for global women’s health, if any, will survive in the current 2018 national budget, a decision that is nearly six months overdue. But Donald Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, a hard-line social conservative who is playing a larger role … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Blessed Are the Peace-Builders in Ukraine: Female Activists Repair a Broken Country

KYIV, Ukraine — There is no escaping that Ukraine is at war — although it is not totally apparent who the Ukrainian military and volunteer vigilantes are fighting in the east: Russian “separatists” or Russians themselves? No one can definitively say who is who or decide up from down, one of the living puzzles of … Read more

 

TOPIC: WOMEN

Michelle Bachelet, Outgoing President of Chile, Gets a WHO Post

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has agreed to chair the board of the World Health Organization’s Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health after she finishes her government role on March 11. The announcement came after a Jan. 10 meeting at the presidential palace in Santiago, during which the WHO leadership offered Bachelet the position. “This … Read more

A Novel Idea: Putting Refugee Health Care Experts to Work

With a record 65.6 million people displaced from their homes around the world — 22.5 million of them classified as refugees who have fled across borders — alarms are sounding about the health risks in overcrowded refugee settlements. Sanitation is soon overwhelmed, hygienic conditions rapidly deteriorate and malnutrition rises, contributing to the spread of contagious … Read more

TOPIC: INDIA

TB in India: Drug-Resistant Strains Are ‘Out of Control,’ New Report Says

Stephen Lewis is an outspoken and often impassioned Canadian diplomat and former United Nations official with a lot of experience in tracking health crises in Africa. Now he has turned his attention to tuberculosis in India, where he made a fact-finding trip in early October. He was shocked and disheartened by what he saw and … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

A Guide to Trump’s Global Edicts on Women’s Reproductive Health

The Trump administration, which announced early this year that it would curtail American-funded women’s health services around the world that may be involved in any way in abortion, has turned its attention to curbing family planning in the United States. Rules have been issued with immediate effect that American women can no longer obtain contraceptives … Read more

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