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Two pills to wipe out hookworm could cost you four cents. Or $400.

It just depends where you live.

The four cents is in Tanzania. That'll cover the two pills it takes to knock out the intestinal parasite. But in the United States, where hookworm has reemerged, the price for two 200 mg tablets of albendazole can cost as much as $400.

Rows Of Hot Pink Paper, All Saying #MeToo

Dec 10, 2017

Pink rectangles of paper, pinned to rows of clotheslines, festoon a gallery wall at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Each slip bears a note, handwritten by a museum visitor, that answers a question about sexual harassment and violence.

"As a child in a museum I was flashed, as a teen in the university library I was groped, as a student at the college doctor, again I was groped. No place is safe. But each time I felt I had to be polite. Not next time!" reads one.

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In the first century, a doctor called Aretaeus of Cappadocia described the rotting smell of "Egyptian ulcers." Ancient Chinese medical literature mentions a disease called "children-killing carbuncle." In 17th century Spain there were references to an illness known as "the strangler."

Jerry Parkes stands in a vast field of spiky leaves and peers at a pineapple that is larger than usual. "Wow, look at the size of this fruit!" he exclaims.

For the past couple of days, Johan Mooij has been holed up in his basement.

He's the country director for CARE in Yemen, and recent airstrikes sent him underground for safety.

Despite the destruction, disease and starvation he has witnessed in his two months in Sanaa, he has also seen countless examples of hospitality, concern and care among the Yemeni people — as well as signs of progress in controlling cholera.

"I think this is why this country has been able to keep up for so long," he says.

The world's only vaccine against dengue has hit a roadblock, and this complication is causing some countries to restrict use of the vaccine.

Many girls get married before age 18 in the northern, Amhara region of Ethiopia. The legal age of marriage is 18 — but the law is seldom enforced.

"My family received a request for my marriage when I was in grade 6," says one young woman from the area, who asked not to be named to protect her privacy. "All my elder sisters were married when they were children. It was common in the kebele [neighborhood]."

The youngest in her family, she is now 23, a university graduate and still unmarried.

And the reason has a lot to do with ... a chicken.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on December 1 and has been updated.

World AIDS Day was December 1. The White House hung a red ribbon. Hundreds of red balloons were released in the air in Brazil. And Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first appearance as a royal couple at an AIDS charity event in Nottingham, U.K.

Well, it looks like women have been balancing a full-time job and motherhood for thousands of years. All the while, they haven't gotten much credit for it.

By studying the bones of ancient women in Europe, archaeologists at the University of Cambridge have uncovered a hidden history of women's manual labor, from the early days of farming about 7,500 years ago up until about 2,000 years ago.

Fake birth control pills. Cough syrup for children that contained a powerful opioid. Antimalarial pills that were actually just made of potato and cornstarch.

These are, according to the World Health Organization, just a few examples of poor-quality or fake medicines identified in recent years.

These days, Charles Watmon shares his bed — a few sheets of thin, white foam on the concrete floor of his thatched-roof hut — with his dog.

It's not much. But to Watmon, 44, and his caramel-colored mutt, it's more than enough for a good night's sleep — and a welcome change from his past.

During the course of nearly a decade, Watmon fought on both sides of Uganda's brutal civil wars — first with the rebel group known as the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), then with the government.

For a long time, the residents of Acre State in Brazil were lucky.

They lived in the right climate for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries dengue fever. But that mosquito was nowhere to be found, and there were no recorded cases of dengue in the state.

Douglas Ng'ang'a stands in the middle of the "slum library" he runs. Only he doesn't take credit for the 3,000 books housed in his childhood home in Nairobi's Mathare Valley.

"The books just showed up," he says.

Well, not exactly. His neighbors brought them.

Ng'ang'a funds the library by working as a driver. He started the collection with 200 of his own books. Members of the community spread the word through social media and pitched in.

In Kenya, the generosity that led to the library isn't an exception.

In Caguas, south of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jared Haley is fighting a daily battle at C-Axis, the medical device manufacturer where he's the general manager. The power has been out at his plant for nearly three months, since Hurricane Irma.

Operating on emergency generators, the plant restarted operations last month and, Haley says, is delivering all its work on schedule. But he's not happy now with the plant's condition. Walking into his factory, he laments, "This shop used to look like a doctor's office."

Think before you snap that selfie.

That's the serious message of a joint campaign created by two groups that have spent the past few years poking fun at problematic photos taken by Western volunteers. They often have the tendency to paint themselves as saviors to needy people in low-income countries.

As Armenian photographer Anush Babajanyan wandered through the streets of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, she encountered something she found a bit strange. "I was walking with a friend of mine in the city's central district," she says. "And we started to see twins everywhere."

As they approached the big mosque in town, she saw more and more of them — congregations of twins, milling about the streets. Most of them were very young children, accompanied by their mothers. "And they were playing — with each other and their mothers."

Why Child Marriage Persists In Mexico

Nov 23, 2017

A dozen young women sit in a stuffy, gnat-filled room in a community center in Coatecas Altas, part of Mexico's Oaxaca state.

At first they're shy. But it doesn't take long for them to start talking about the pressures they face to marry at a young age.

"People will come up to me in the street and ask how old I am, and then they'll tell me I'm getting old," says Yolanda De la Cruz, 21.

Child marriage was banned in Mexico in 2014, and while rates of child marriage around the world have fallen in recent decades, the numbers in Mexico haven't moved much.

The Yam That Deserves To Win The Internet

Nov 23, 2017

It didn't exactly break the Internet, but there is no denying that it's an eye-catching photo: a smiling man holding a yam that is about 3 feet long.

"That's the biggest one I've seen from that particular species," says Paul Wilkin, the head of natural capital and plant health at the United Kingdom's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Ever since Lucy Nabiki Takona was a young girl growing up in a village not far from the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya, she knew she wanted to have a career in education.

So when her father told her at age 14 that she would have to drop out of school to marry the son of her father's friend, she ran away. It took her three days to walk through the bush to her aunt's house.

Puerto Rico is in the midst of the worst electricity outage in U.S. history. Most of the island remains without power more than two months after Hurricane Maria hit the island.

Some Puerto Ricans are saying that the current crisis should be a wake-up call that the island needs to move to a less centralized power system — and that solar power might be part of the solution. In other words, they believe Puerto Rico should follow the lead of many developing nations where solar power production is expanding rapidly.

The Mystery And The Magic Of Giving Thanks

Nov 22, 2017

This Thanksgiving I will be thinking about turkey, of course.

But also about chickens and roosters.

I now live in the United States, but I grew up in Ghana, where there is no national holiday of Thanksgiving. But giving thanks is a very important part of my culture.

When I was a boy growing up in Zimbabwe, our primary school textbook had a story about an owl that ruled all the other birds.

The current situation in Zimbabwe, with the end of the 37-year regime of President Robert Mugabe, has reminded me of that folktale from the Shona, a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe, Mozambiuque and Zambia.

Gay, Out And On The Airwaves In Kinshasa

Nov 21, 2017

Sitting at his desk in a stuffy office with a rainbow flag hanging behind him, 31-year-old Patou Izai says it takes a lot of courage to come out as gay in Kinshasa, the sprawling capital city of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Although this vast, volatile Central African nation does not have the harsh anti-gay laws adopted by neighbors such as Uganda, deeply ingrained conservative cultural norms routinely stigmatize, silence and lead to physical threats against LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people.

How Much Hotter Is It In The Slums?

Nov 20, 2017

When Nairobi gets hot, its slums get even hotter.

That's what a new study published in PLOS ONE has found. In 2015, researchers put dozens of thermometers in poor communities and monitored them during Nairobi's warmest months of December, January and February — during what turned out to be the capital's hottest summer in 30 years.

They found that slums were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the city's official weather station less than half a mile away.

"Shine bright like a diamond!!!!" said an early post on the "Miss Albinism Zimbabwe" Facebook page, a nod to Rihanna. Another message, "Beauty beyond the skin!!! Come and witness beauty of albinism, see you there!!!!"

Last Friday night, 15 women had planned to compete in the beauty pageant. But with protesters calling for an end to the 37-year-old rule of President Robert Mugabe, the show just couldn't go on.

If you search for images of "toilet" on Google, you'll get a page of sparkling white ceramic toilets.

That's the typical toilet for people in a high-income country. But not every toilet looks like that.

In early autumn, it became clear that something was not right in Madagascar.

The country often sees small outbreaks of the bubonic plague, which comes from an infection spread by a flea bite. The disease is now easily treatable with antibiotics.

But this time, the number of cases was growing quickly, and the bacterial infection was spreading in a different, more serious form.

You are in a foreign country. And things are certainly looking a bit foreign.

Do you sit or squat? Can you toss toilet paper down the bowl or hole?

Let the signs guide you.

That is, if you can understand them.

Doug Lansky, author of the Signspotting series of books, knows how toilet etiquette signs can be mysterious, misleading and hilarious. His books include all types of funny warning and advice signs, but the topic of toilets is especially popular.

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