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Health

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The White House has nominated Mark Andrew Green to what could be one the toughest jobs in the Trump administration.

The former Republican congressman from Wisconsin has been tapped to run USAID — the U.S. Agency for International Development. If confirmed, the 56-year-old Green will take over USAID at a time when global humanitarian crises are mounting. And he'll have to answer to a president who's been openly hostile to handing out American taxpayer dollars abroad.

Across the development world, Green's nomination has been widely praised.

Cholera can kill a person in a matter of hours.

It's a severe gastrointestinal disease that can trigger so much diarrhea and vomiting that patients can rapidly become dehydrated. They lose so much fluid that their internal organs shut down.

If, like many of us, you are reading this article on the toilet — then we've caught you at the perfect time.

When you're done with your business, perhaps you'll do a thorough hand washing. Or maybe just a quick rinse. Or maybe you'll skip it altogether.

Failure to wash is a problem for ordinary folks. Germs on your unwashed hands can get into your body when you touch, say, your eyes or mouth. And into your food, too.

Drug resistant tuberculosis is expected to increase globally over the next two decades.

New research predicts a steady rise in TB cases that can't be cured with conventional, first-line antibiotics in four countries.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast that these complicated — and potentially deadly — cases of TB will become far more common in Russia, India, the Philippines and South Africa by the year 2040.

On April 28, the magazine LensCulture posted a photo of what appeared to be a man raping a girl who looks like a young teenager.

The magazine — which has nearly a million Facebook followers — was using the photo to promote a competition in partnership with Magnum Photos, which cost $60 to enter 10 photos. "Don't miss out!" the post said, a few sentences above the photo.

The United States spends a lot of money taking care of the health needs of old people.

In 2010, for example, each person 65 and older received $18,424 in health care services. That's five times more than the $3,628 in spending per child under 18, and three times more than the $6,125 per working-age adult, according to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

Ximena Lopez wanted a bigger behind. She was 21 and lived in Medellín, Colombia, a hot spot for cosmetic work.

More than 357,000 surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures are performed in Colombia a year, making it the world's No. 8 country for body rehabbing.

A friend named Hanna Valencia told her, "Look, I've done the butt job." She recommended the "spa" she went to in a mall in a posh Medellín neighborhood.

For the first time in the U.S., two physicians and a medical office manager were indicted on charges stemming from the alleged female genital mutilation of two young girls, about six to eight years old, according to a Michigan U.S. Attorney's Office. Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and Attar's wife, Farida, were indicted on April 26 for FGM, which has been illegal in the U.S. since 1996. The AP reported that Nagarwala's attorney, Shannon Smith, has denied the allegation, saying the doctor was performing a religious custom that didn't involve cutting.

Soccer star Sulley Muntari finally got fed up. He's a midfielder from Ghana who plays for the Italian team Pescara. Last Sunday in a match against Cagliari in Sardinia, a bunch of spectators taunted him with racist chants. He reportedly shouted, "This is my color" and went to the referee to ask that the game be halted. Instead, he got a yellow card.

The card means he was booked for dissent, a punishment doled out to players who touch or verbally abuse officials.

Two weeks ago, a hashtag began going viral in India: #LahuKaLagaan. It literally means the tax on blood.

That would be India's tax on sanitary napkins — 12 to 15 percent on top of the 40 to 80 rupees (.60 cents to $1.25) for a package of eight. (Typically sold in an unmarked black plastic bag because India is not big on talking about menstrual topics.)

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

On November 18 last year, as fighter jets roared overhead, explosions ripped through the Omar bin Abdul Aziz Hospital in Aleppo Syria.

The airstrikes destroyed the last operating hospital in the eastern part of the city. This wasn't a rare event. Three other hospitals in Aleppo were bombed on that day, too.

These bombings occurred despite the fact that attacking a medical clinic is a war crime under international law.

On a sunny Friday morning in San Pablo Huitzo, a town in the Valles Centrales region of Oaxaca, Mexico, a half-dozen women are gathered for a workshop on making alegrías, a healthy, granola bar-like snack made with popped amaranth seeds. Their ingredient list is short: water, honey, raisins, a form of raw cane sugar known as piloncillo, and lime juice.

The Surprising Wishes Of India's Sex Workers

Apr 30, 2017

I awoke to the sound of a mosquito buzzing near my ear. It was still dark out, and I could see the stars from my window, a rare sight in India when you are in the city.

I, however, was at least a few hours from the nearest one. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure where I was as I was never given the address or directions, having been transported by a private car from Hyderabad, one of India's bustling tech hubs. I was spending a few days at the Prajwala facilities, a compound of several acres hidden away in the outskirts of a small town in rural Andhra Pradesh.

When Wanuri Kahiu took to the TED Fellows stage this week in Vancouver, the 36-year-old had on green shoes and a beaded necklace worn like a crown — a hint to her offbeat worldview.

When Chris Ategeka was a boy of 7 in Uganda, his parents died of HIV/AIDS. And his brother, not yet 5, died of malaria.

Today he's 32. He's got a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (where he was the commencement speaker for the college of engineering at his graduation in 2011). With his entrepreneurial spirit, he could have followed classmates to Silicon Valley.

But he didn't.

In his TED Fellows talk in Vancouver this week, he explained how his personal history set him on a different path.

Because I Was Harmed

Apr 27, 2017

Unlike my fellow Americans, the news of a Detroit doctor being arrested for performing female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) did not shock me. I grew up in the same religious sect (Dawoodi Bohra) as the doctor, and twenty-seven years earlier, in 1990, before U.S. federal legislation criminalizing FGM/C existed, I too was cut.

Why Do So Many Africans Drown?

Apr 27, 2017

Peter Ssali makes his living on Lake Victoria. Most days he fishes on Africa's largest lake. Sometimes he ferries cargo to the lake's islands or gives tours to sightseers on the small boat he leases for around $5 a day.

The 34-year-old Ugandan with a scruffy beard and shaved head has been on the lake pretty much every day for the last 12 years.

But he can't swim.

Back in the 1960s, a female doctor in Japan created a powerful drug to help mothers who hemorrhage after childbirth.

The medicine is inexpensive to make. It's safe to use. And it stops bleeding quickly by helping keep naturally forming blood clots intact.

The drug's inventor, Utako Okamoto, hoped that the drug called tranexamic acid would be used to help save moms' lives.

In her first running of the Boston Marathon, Edna Kiplagat powered across the finish line of the Boston Marathon this month nearly a minute ahead of her closest rival. Kiplagat made the 26.2 mile outing look like a spirited jog in the park. She even clocked a blazingly fast 5:02 minute mile at the 20-mile mark of Boston's storied road race.

It sounds like a fairy tale. A benefactor gives you a million dollars to make a wish come true.

Only it can't be a selfish wish. The TED annual award goes each year to an "exceptional individual with a creative and bold vision to solve a timely, pressing problem." (TED is a nonprofit dedicated to "ideas worth spreading" and sponsors the TED talks aired on NPR's TED Radio Hour.)

Vending machines are selling increasingly novel items: cupcakes, live crabs and fresh baguettes.

In China, you can now add HIV testing kits to that list.

Malaria transmission in the United States was eliminated in the early 1950s through the use of insecticides, drainage ditches and the incredible power of window screens.

But the mosquito-borne disease has staged a comeback in American hospitals as travelers return from parts of the world where malaria runs rampant. In the early 1970s there only a couple hundred malaria cases reported in the entire U.S. but that number has steadily increased in recent years.

Can all hope be lost?

I used to think not.

I used to think that no matter how tough life gets for people, they always have hope to cling to – to get them through it.

Then I met some Rohingya refugees on a trip to Bangladesh last month. Reporter Michael Sullivan and I were there to report on the latest wave of the Muslim minority group to flee over the border from Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

Nasir Abdullahi is sitting in a mall in downtown Abuja, sipping fresh juice and eating plantain chips. Small, distinguished with an embroidered cap, Nasir looks like your typical Northern Nigerian businessman, but he's also a farmer.

A few years ago he got a call from an employee on his millet farm in Jigawa, Nigeria.

"He was even crying when he called me," Abdullahi says. "I said, 'Talk!' He said, 'There is something serious, there is something serious!' I said, 'Did anybody die? What is it?' He said, 'No, it's cattle herdsmen.'"

To say that the U.N.'s peacekeeping mission in Haiti has been controversial is an understatement.

The peacekeepers are blamed for bringing cholera to the island nation for the first time.

They were accused of sexually abusing locals. Haitians have accused them of being an occupying army.

But the peacekeepers also have been credited with bringing a measure of stability to one of the most impoverished, unstable nations in the hemisphere.

And now, after 13 years, the end of the mission is in sight.

Most creepy, crawly bugs are pretty much harmless when it comes to infectious diseases.

But there are two classes of little critters that cause big — and we're talking big — problems: ticks and mosquitoes.

To learn how climate change could alter the course of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases, we talked to two scientists who have devoted a major chunk of their careers to answering that question.

Let's start with the bloodsuckers that can stay on your skin for days.

What do you want to know about world hunger?

One thing we do know is that more than 20 million people are now at risk of starvation and famine. The United Nations is calling it the biggest humanitarian crisis since the U.N. was founded in 1945. Conflict and drought are blamed for the looming crisis in four countries in Africa and the Middle East: Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria.

The United States spends the most on health care per person — $9,237 – according to two new papers published in the journal The Lancet.

Somalia spends the least – just $33 per person.

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