Over 50,000 people have died worldwide due to kidney failure with unknown etiology, alerting healthcare professions and public health workers to an epidemic that may also be linked to the changing climate. The abnormally high number of deaths are concentrated in Central America. In the past two decades, public health workers and other officials have estimated that over 20,000 people have died in Central America and many of these people do not possess the usual risk factors of hypertension and diabetes for kidney failure.
Brazil has accomplished a great deal when it comes to combating AIDS. It has developed a comprehensive, multi-level approach to fighting the disease that includes both prevention and treatment. The nation’s approach brings together the federal government, local government and NGOs to combat the epidemic from all angles. After decades of working to perfect the plan to combat AIDS, Brazil received international acclaim for its success. Just a decade later, the country is at risk of shifting their focus away from the disease and losing all of the progress they have already made.
In August of this year, the CDC declared a health emergency alert for Puerto Rico regarding the spread of the Zika virus. Shortly thereafter, our “Isla del Encanto” would come to know its first cases of infection-related births; the month of September, brought with it the first group of babies in Puerto Rico exposed to the zika virus during the first trimester of pregnancy.
On September 10, 2016 the French pharmaceutical company that produces the dengue vaccine, the only one of its kind in the world at the moment, sold 1 million vaccines in Mexico alone. However, the vaccine is only present in the private sector. That is, the vaccine is only available via doctors and clinics, and not yet available to public health institutions.
“I’m afraid that something will happen to me…that they’ll kidnap me, I don’t know.” These are the fearful words of Ramona Rodríguez, the 51-year old Cuban primary care physician stationed in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pará. She has since left her position last week to seek asylum in the United States embassy in Brasilia and has sought refuge in Brazil in an attempt to establish her residency there while Washington looks over her request.
Nestled in the hills just outside downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a large, nondescript warehouse that is home to an organization that has been mending the world and quietly leaving its mark on health care providers all over the globe, one donation at a time. Global Links, like many organizations in today’s environmentally-conscious non-profit community, has a mission that includes an emphasis on environmental stewardship: recycling, repurposing, and sharing. But this is no ordinary recycling program.
It is believed that this unnamed tribe was forced out of their land by illegal loggers and miners near the border of Peru and Brazil. Being forced out of their homes and hungry they were forced to make contact. Upon arrival at the Ashinanka village, they signaled that they were hungry and were given plantains. The next day they came back, not because they needed more food, but because one of the members had come down with cold or flu like symptoms.
The recent Ebola outbreak has triggered world wide panic about the possible spread of the deadly virus. Now, with people infected in the US and Spain, countries are mobilizing to send doctors and nurses to West Africa in order to stop the spread of Ebola at its source. One of the countries at the forefront of this mobilization is Cuba.
Brazil has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. So, it comes as no surprise that even in the context of pregnancies affected by the Zika virus, Brazil is faced with theological and political challenges.
In the world of global public health, there is considerable tension over what kind of diseases should take priority in the allotment of scarce resources. Roughly speaking, the main division is infectious versus noncommunicable diseases, and there exists further debate within each of these categories. A perfect example is the evaluation of the World Health Organization’s handling (or bungling) of the west African Ebola epidemic of 2014. Many critics laid blame for the WHO’s slow and uncoor