What's Killing Us: A Practical Guide to Understanding Our Biggest Global Health Problems
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In the past decade, we’ve changed the way we collectively view the health of the 7 billion people who occupy this planet. Health issues were once seen as an isolated national or regional problem; now they are a global concern. In 'What's Killing Us: A Practical Guide to Understanding Our Biggest Global Health Problems,' 2011 TED Senior Fellow and health care expert Alanna Shaikh lays out the most important challenges and issues in global wellness - from tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS to flu, maternal mortality, and the diminishing effectiveness of antibiotics - while untangling the web of jargon that so often permeate those discussions. Shaikh, who also runs the international development focused-blog Blood and Milk, provides clear ideas about how these worldwide problems can be managed.
diseases that result from climate change is important. This will mean things like promoting oral rehydration solutions to treat diarrhea, and getting people to use mosquito nets as a shield against mosquitoes bringing malaria. Working to reduce poverty will help the world’s poorest people survive the impact of climate change. (Of course, if reducing poverty were quick or easy, there wouldn’t be any poor people to suffer from climate change, just a giant, resilient middle class.) Anticipating
the geographical impact of climate change will reduce the direct damage. For example, housing shouldn’t be built in flood plains or directly on shorefronts. Alleviating hunger can be accomplished at least to some extent by (1) enhancing agriculture: planting drought-tolerant crops, improving irrigation techniques, and supporting credit for farmers; and (2) storing grain and developing emergency feeding programs. Preparing for extreme weather events must include focusing on disaster risk
guardian.co.uk/science/2010/aug/11/antibiotics-efficiency-drug-resistant-bacteria. About the author Alanna Shaikh, a TED Senior Fellow, is a global health and development specialist with a decade of experience in the Middle East and Central Asia. Alanna has worked for NGOs, consulting companies, universities, the U.S. government and the United Nations. She writes about global health for UN Dispatch and about international development on her Blood and Milk blog. Alanna is also a
and drugs and treatment for opportunistic infections. The health sector also needs the resources to prevent AIDS transmission within the sector itself: a clean blood supply, enough needles that they don’t need to be reused, protective gear to make sure health care providers don’t get infected with HIV, and training for those providers on how to use that gear. Tuberculosis • The basics The most famous tuberculosis patient in the world must be the American lawyer Andrew Speaker.
methods of treatment. Treating TB with the right antibiotic the first time will help prevent MDR- and XDR-TB. It comes down to investment in pharmaceutical R&D, probably through a catalytic partnership between governments, private companies and donors. One new tool is the GeneXpert machine. Developed in a partnership between a publicly funded research initiative and a private company, the GeneXpert machine provides highly precise TB diagnosis at a low cost. It lets you know immediately if the TB