What White America Can Learn from Nationwide’s #MakeSafeHappen Messages

Just to start off, all of us can learn from this campaign. I’m not sure if the Super Bowl advertisement was great marketing, but the tips on the web site are informative and you should implement them. Thank you, Nationwide. Continue reading

Advocate of DDT Says It Is Effective Against Malaria and Poses Little Health Risk

Thomas “Woody” Highsmith of Evans, Georgia is retired from the Georgia Department of Agriculture Entomology & Pesticides Division, was a Department of Defense pest control contractor in Afghanistan from 2006-2009, and is currently facilities pest controller at the Carl Vinson Veterans Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia. He responded to my letter DDT is No Solution to Malaria with a defense of DDT. Continue reading

A Vicious Cycle in Sahel: Malaria and Malnutrition


Photo: In the Madaoua and Bouza districts of Niger, there were an average of seven deaths for every 10,000 children every day last year. More than half of the deaths were due to malaria. © Juan-Carlos Tomasi

A Vicious Cycle in Sahel

Malaria and malnutrition are closely related. This is played out dramatically in Africa’s Sahel region during the “hunger gap” months. Food stocks run low and new crops are not ready for harvest, so malnutrition is at its peak; meanwhile, the rainy season, when mosquitoes breed, is in full swing. The diseases combine in a vicious circle: malnourished children with weak immune systems can’t fight diseases including malaria; children sick with malaria are more likely to become dangerously malnourished.

Refugees displaced by violence in Darfur have settled in Tissi. Chad


Photo: Refugees displaced by violence in Darfur have settled in Tissi. Chad 2013 © MSF.

Chad: More than 10,000 Refugees Arrive in Tissi Within a Few Days

Roughly 25,000 refugees and returnees had already been living in and around five villages in southeastern Chad for nearly three months. But starting on April 4, 2013, an additional 10,000 began to arrive, having fled violent clashes in Um Dukhun, Sudan, 10 kilometers [about 6 miles] away from the border. And there’s every indication that more are on their way.

They tell similar stories, of villages attacked and set on fire by armed men on horseback, of neighbors and family members killed, of women and children abandoning all their belongings and taking flight. Fighting resumed between several Arab tribes of North and Central Darfur States a few months ago, but the situation has deteriorated dramatically in recent days.

When I sat on the bed across from Hissen, I just looked at him. His serious little face was angry. I fished out my mobile phone and offered it him. He took it carefully with his right hand and held onto it. I kept on giving him more things out of my pockets and he kept taking them only with his right hand. He would not use his left arm at all. After enough temporary gifts, Hissen agreed to shake my hand. Every move I made, he studied me as carefully as I was studying him.

Inspecting his left arm, we could see there was a swelling above his elbow. As gently as I could, I ran my fingers over it. Hissen did not like that. He immediately cried and I had to stop. Something was wrong.

Dr Raghu helps a very scared little boy with sickle cell anemia overcome his fears. Raghu is a Canadian doctor working with MSF in Chad. Please leave your questions and comments for Raghu in the comments box below his blog post.  (via doctorswithoutborders)

Treating HIV and Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in India


Illustration: This is in Bandra again, in a slum. This is a drug-resistant TB patient with HIV as well. He was happy to have us there and let us draw him and talk to him, and the stigma wasn’t an issue for him. This is really a description of the outside of the house where he lives with his mum and his other brother. She’s raised six children here; he sleeps outside as a sort of precaution, she sleeps inside, and this is his bed which is covered up by bits of plastic bags and propped up by pillars and corrugated iron. It gives you an idea of the sort of places that [MSF’s patients] are living in, and living in when they’ve got this horrible disease. India 2013 © George Butler

MSF’s HIV/TB Project in Mumbai

MSF invited illustrator George Butler to visit our HIV and MDR-TB project in Mumbai, India to capture our activities there. He returned with images and stories of families affected by multidrug-resistant TB, their care givers, and the MSF team responsible for their treatment.

On this Earth, some children have access to life-saving medications, and others do not. This unfair imbalance means lives of equal value are treated unequally. Our MSF action seeks to make a dent in this injustice. It is unfair and tragic that children like Oumere die so early in their lives.

MSF doctor Raghu writes about his team’s concerted efforts to help young Oumere survive and reflects on the bigger issues affecting children’s survival in Chad. (via doctorswithoutborders)

How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths


A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths

Even the most basic framework of Japan’s approach to gun ownership is almost the polar opposite of America’s. U.S. gun law begins with the second amendment’s affirmation of the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” and narrows it down from there. Japanese law, however, starts with the 1958 act stating that “No person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords,” later adding a few exceptions. In other words, American law is designed to enshrine access to guns, while Japan starts with the premise of forbidding it. The history of that is complicated, but it’s worth noting that U.S. gun law has its roots in resistance to British gun restrictions, whereas some academic literature links the Japanese law to the national campaign to forcibly disarm the samurai, which may partially explain why the 1958 mentions firearms and swords side-by-side.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]