HIV, malaria, women, and children

first_imgA new report on global health policy calls for the United States to maintain its commitment to fight HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis and to double the funds committed to maternal and child health, to $2 billion a year.The report, unveiled at a Boston University (BU) conference co-sponsored by BU, Harvard, and the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Center for Strategic and International Studies on Monday (April 26), also recommends strengthening efforts at disease prevention, setting national global health priorities for the next 15 years, and bolstering collaboration and support of international institutions that can help in the effort, such as the World Health Organization, the World Bank, UNICEF, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.Harvard Provost Steven Hyman, who spoke at one of the event’s three panels, said it’s important that, as the academic field of global health emerges, it not be bound in a traditional academic silo. Though the creation of academic disciplines has been an important way to focus efforts in some fields, Hyman said a more problem-centered approach that draws solutions from many fields is more appropriate for global health.Hyman said New England is well placed to play a key role in global health, with collaborations already established among universities, hospitals, and businesses.BU President Robert Brown said that student interest in global health is “profoundly” greater now than it was a decade ago and that the international flavor of the region’s universities — both with many students from abroad coming here and students studying abroad — will give the area an advantage as global health increases in importance.The evidence that more students are interested in global health today is reflected on Harvard’s campuses, Hyman said, in courses that are so packed that students have to be admitted by lottery. When they graduate, though, he cautioned, those students will need careers that can harness their enthusiasm and apply it toward the greater good.“The real question is are we going to create the kinds of … opportunities that allow this wonderful burst of idealism to be wedded to a career path that allows a student to make a career in global health,” Hyman said.Novartis senior director Phil Dormitzer, who spoke on the panel featuring Hyman and Brown — and which also featured U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano and Genzyme Senior Vice President James Geraghty —  said that New England’s concentration of research institutions attracted Genzyme’s operations a few years ago from the San Francisco Bay area. Still, he said, one of the biggest challenges in global health is not necessarily marshalling the brain power, clinical expertise, and capital to conceive, test, and bring products to market. To be usable in the developing world, where the need is greatest, vaccines and critical drugs need to be made very inexpensively, something that is best done in other parts of the world.New England, Capuano said, has long outgrown its textile mill industrial roots and specializes in well-paying, knowledge-based industry. Today the dominant industry is in the biosciences, which Capuano said will likely move elsewhere as it matures, as production practices become refined and as manufacturing costs become more and more important. By then, Capuano said, the region’s powerful combination of knowledge-based resources will likely be on to the next big thing, whatever that may be.“We do intellectual capital. We build it in the university, we test it in the hospitals, we commercialize it in our businesses,” Capuano said.Outside of New England, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) student Amy Bei, participating on a panel of future global health leaders, said it is critical that capacity be built in the developing nations themselves. Bei, who worked in Tanzania on malaria, said she has a passion to help train local scientists.last_img read more

Multinational Operations Improve Defense in the Amazon Region and Provide Care to Riverine Populations

first_imgBy Andréa Barretto / Diálogo September 16, 2019 “The goal is to improve the level of training, interoperability, and integration among naval forces for the security of the Amazon region,” said Brazilian Navy Vice Admiral Paulo César Colmenero Lopes, commander of the 9th Naval District, the military institution responsible for monitoring the more than 13,500-mile waterway in the Amazon region.The 2019 edition of the exercise is split into three phases, bringing together about 400 navy service members from the three nations. The first and second stages of the operation took place July 9-August 9, between the ports of Leticia, in Colombia, and Iquitos, in Peru, in the waters of the Marañon River, a stretch of the Amazon River within Peruvian territory. During these phases that included the use of ships and aircraft, service members implemented maneuvers to counter common problems in this part of the border: drug and arms trafficking.Some of the activities included leapfrog and light-line transfer, where ships participating in the operation are positioned side-by-side to move cargo between them, which requires precise ship maneuvering. Communication and information exchanges, rapid response to attacks and patrolling, with the latter aimed at monitoring and identifying suspicious activities on the water, were some of the other operations carried out.The Brazilian and Peruvian navies provide medical and dental services to riverine populations during a binational operation conducted on the Javari River, in May 2019. (Photo: Brazilian Navy)The third phase took place in Brazil, September 2-9, near the Negro and Solimões rivers, which are tributaries of the Amazon river. Marines participated in this stage and trained on how to disembark in a riverine region.“Naval operation procedures have evolved due to advances in technology. Each operation brings new lessons as planners face different situations given the characteristics of the region,” said Vice Adm. Colmenero.In 2019, Brazilian and Peruvian service members provided medical and dental services to more than 3,000 individuals, both on the Peruvian and Brazilian side of the riverbank.last_img read more

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is no match for Nicholls’ Katie Jones

first_imgTHIBODAUX, La. – Freshman Katie Jones was committed to play volleyball for Nicholls State University in the fall of 2017, but a diagnosis of Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in early July saw those plans quickly change.A 6-2 outside/right-side hitter from Mont Belvieu, Texas, Jones verbally committed the day after her visit to Thibodaux. She already had a connection on the squad, competing alongside Colonel teammate Jennifer Olivarez on the Houston Stellar club team under coach Nancy Cole.When the summer before her first semester came around, Jones noticed a swollen lymph node on her neck. A family doctor ran tests and saw no issue with the bump. Jones then visited M.D. Anderson, the most well-renowned cancer center in Houston, to receive a biopsy, and the doctors realized the lymph node was indeed cancerous.“At that point [when I was told I had cancer] the world stood still,” Jones said. “I was thinking, ‘What in the world, why now?’ I waited a week to let it settle in so I wouldn’t be so emotional when I called coach.”Even after being diagnosed, Jones originally intended to play during the 2017 season, setting up treatments with Ochsner in New Orleans while still attending classes. Not feeling well the first three days on campus, Jones went back to Ochsner only to realize she had a bacterial infection that dropped her white blood cell count to almost zero. That one-month span put Jones between a rock and a hard place.“I kind of decided that it wasn’t the opportunity for me or the risk I needed to take,” Jones said. “So I thought that I should probably go home, sit down and think about it. I finally decided that I was going to leave this semester and not play in the fall – go home, get better and then come back.”Jones would make a surprise return to Nicholls on Oct. 6 when the Colonels faced Abilene Christian for their annual cancer awareness match. With Jones watching from the stands, Nicholls pulled off an emotional five-set upset against the Wildcats, who finished runner-up at the SLC Tournament.After undergoing two cycles of treatments, Jones was deemed cancer-free and received two more cycles that ran into mid-November. Jones returned to the court with her club team and then with the Colonels, quickly realizing that it would take time to get back to form.“It wasn’t the same,” Jones said. “I felt really out of shape. I couldn’t jump, and I couldn’t lift a lot, so it was really hard for me. I’m not back to where I want to be or back to where I was, but it’s still great being here with everyone. This is my family.”Big congratulations to Katie Jones, 18 Elite, on her commitment to Nicholls State University. ?????? @katiejoness_14— Houston Stellar VB (@houstonstellar) October 28, 2016 Although four months without training set Jones back on the court, she is still hopeful because of the progress she has made since returning.“When I couldn’t do anything for that long my muscles deteriorated a lot so it’s hard getting back into it,” Jones said. “It’s like I’m starting from scratch. It has been hard to get back in shape, especially with my lungs – it feels like it’s hard to breath. In conditioning I have to go a lot easier than all the other girls do and I lift a lot lighter, but it’s definitely been a drastic change from the beginning to now.”The recent hiring of head coach Jay Van Vark has Jones even more excited to return to the court for the Colonels in 2018.“Coach Jay has been amazing honestly,” Jones said. “He’s made such a change in the last two months. He’s implemented new skills that I never would have thought of doing. He’s made me think more outside the box than I ever would have with any other coach. He’s more about what you’re doing in detail than the result of it. He’s done a lot for us the past two months that he’s been here.”Story courtesy of Nicholls Athleticslast_img read more

Mexico has key role in confronting surge of Central American migrants

first_imgRelated posts:Fix the immigration crisis at its root Central American foreign ministers meet in Washington to lobby Obama on immigration crisis Group criticizes US screening of asylum seekers from Honduras Immigrants find themselves torn between hope, defeat on Obama’s plans HUEHUETOCA, Mexico — A few weeks ago, just about the same time that Mexican officials said they were putting a stop once and for all to the rolling horror show nicknamed “The Beast,” Jhonny Torres left Honduras for Houston. He reached southern Mexico and scrambled onto a boxcar with hundreds of other migrants.Gang members stopped the train near the Mayan ruins of Palenque and took his last $50. In Orizaba, another dreaded shakedown site farther north, gunmen put a pistol to his temple and said he was a smuggling guide who had not anted up. They let him go, Torres said, only when they figured out it was his first trip and he had nothing left to steal.By the time Torres reached the tent-camp migrant shelter here on the northern outskirts of Mexico City, he’d been held up five times by armed gangs, including a group of commandos claiming to be members of the Zetas cartel. But he never encountered any Mexican police or soldiers.“There were some guys with military uniforms,” said Torres, 26. “But I think those were the Zetas.”In the two months since U.S. President Barack Obama called the surge of Central American minors and families crossing the U.S. southern border a “an urgent humanitarian situation,” he has asked the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to do more to stem illegal migration to the United States.But it is the big country between them — Mexico — that may actually have the power to do something.Unlike the small Central American republics, Mexico is neither impoverished nor weak. It has a network of highway checkpoints to screen travelers and large detention centers to hold illegal migrants. It has tens of thousands of federal police officers and immigration agents capable of arresting and deporting them, while also providing protection from attacks by criminal gangs.But large stretches of Mexico’s rail corridors, highways and border areas are effectively under the control of cartel gangsters who have learned to squeeze handsome profits from the human trafficking business.Mexican law enforcement agents often are not much better, and the reason “coyote” smuggling guides now charge $7,000 for the trip from Central America isn’t just greed or market demand. It is to pay bribes to Mexican police and immigration agents at highway checkpoints along the route north, where the going rate is typically 500 pesos ($40) per head.“We haven’t had any problems — everything’s been taken care of,” said Ofelia Aranda, ushering her sons, ages 8 and 4, into a smuggler’s battered white minivan outside a shelter, two weeks after leaving Honduras. The boys’ father in California had sent for the family. “We just need to get to Tijuana,” Aranda said.Analysts say Mexico’s commitment to tougher, less corrupt and more humane immigration enforcement will be pivotal to the U.S. effort to dissuade Central American families from rushing for the border or sending their kids northward.Mexican Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong announced last month that authorities would finally put an end to the spectacle of desperate migrants riding atop freight trains. “We can’t allow them to continue taking these risks and losing their lives without anyone doing anything,” he said.Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has appointed a special commissioner to implement a new multi-agency enforcement strategy targeting Mexico’s southern border, but the details of the effort have yet to be announced. Central American immigrants board “La Bestia” (“The Beast”) cargo train, in an attempt to reach the Mexico-U.S. border, in Arriaga, Chiapas state, Mexico on July 16, 2014. Elizabeth Ruíz/AFPMexican officials say they’re already doing more. According to the most recent data, Mexico had deported more than 60,000 Central Americans as of mid-July, including 12,400 minors. Last year, Mexico deported 86,000 Central Americans, of whom 9,600 were minors.But for all the talk of tighter controls and enhanced protections for vulnerable Central American travelers, little has changed along the railway routes used by tens of thousands of migrants who can’t afford to pay a smuggling guide to bribe their way north along the highways.If anything, interviews with migrants at the San Juan Diego shelter along the tracks — where canvas tents and bunk beds are being added to house up to 400 guests — suggest the route is just as perilous and crowded as ever.At the gated entrance topped with concertina wire, a group of Denver-bound Salvadoran men arrived on a recent afternoon asking for water, saying they had been robbed at gunpoint along the tracks a few minutes earlier. Several other travelers were nursing bruises and broken ribs from beatings they blamed on gang members or local police. A young Honduran woman said she was grateful she’d survived an assault with little more than a groping.“Why hasn’t Mexico taken care of the trains issue? It’s the most well-known and well-documented aspect of this whole tragedy,” said Eric Olson, an expert on security and migration at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.The freight trains, known collectively to migrants as “The Beast,” are “a concentrated, specific route that people are taking, and it would seem obvious that creating security on the train and keeping migrants off of it would be within the capacity of Mexican security forces. So one has to wonder why it hasn’t happened more quickly and readily,” Olson said.Though illegal migration into the United States from Mexico remains near its lowest levels in 40 years, the share of Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Hondurans arrested along the U.S. southern border is higher than ever.Mexico has its own complex immigration sensitivities, once fashioning itself as a champion of immigrant rights when its citizens were flooding into the United States illegally and complaining of abuse by U.S. border agents. But now that Mexico is a place where migrants have been systematically robbed, raped and even massacred, sometimes in collusion with authorities, the government struggles with its new role of enforcer and protector.Aware of these sensitivities, the Obama administration has not openly pressured Mexico to do more the way it has challenged Central American leaders. Obama met with Peña Nieto June 19 to discuss the border crisis, and the White House said Obama “welcomed the opportunity to work in close cooperation with Mexico to develop concrete proposals to address the root causes of unlawful migration from Central America.”Behind the scenes, U.S. officials have pressed for years for Mexico to tighten its southern border. The United States has spent tens of millions on training programs for immigration agents and technology to screen and register Central American migrants along Mexico’s southern border.But much of the 700-mile boundary Mexico shares with Guatemala and Belize is so densely forested and sparsely populated that calls for a U.S.-style border with tall fencing and aerial surveillance are not considered realistic.In some river crossings, Central Americans simply wade or float across in plain view of border guards. At other, more remote crossings busy with truck traffic, there aren’t any Mexican officials.Some in Mexico say the government’s spotty enforcement approach is the result of the view that Central American migration is a problem for the United States, not Mexico. But Marta Sánchez, a migrant rights advocate, said that’s an oversimplification.“Mexico, too, is worried that if more and more Central Americans can’t cross into the United States, they’ll end up getting stuck along the border,” she said, “creating an even bigger security problem.”© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more