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Many young American surgeons have a strong desire to do humanitarian work overseas. But their good intentions usually don't match up with the skills, such as performing cesarean section deliveries and fixing broken bones, that they'll need in poor countries.

And that means U.S. general surgeons, eager to do charitable work around the globe, may miss out on chances to help some of the world's neediest patients.

There was a time when Chenai Mathabire read Vogue, watched beauty pageants on TV and fantasized about being a supermodel. Today she helps the sick and injured as a nurse and epidemiologist.

When three-time Grammy-winning singer Angelique Kidjo was a 12-year-old schoolgirl in her native Benin, her best friend suddenly disappeared from school. Kidjo went to her friend's house and asked her father what had happened. The reason shocked Kidjo: Her friend Awaawou had become a child bride, and that meant that her friend's education — and her girlhood — were at an end.

In Africa as well as parts of Asia and Latin America, women and babies die when labor takes a complicated turn and there is no one to provide a cesarean section. Young people succumb to accidental injuries for lack of surgical interventions. A child born with a cleft palate or club foot suffers through a lifetime of disability because no team is available to provide routine surgery.

Nepal's government has enacted a new law aimed at stopping the practice of forcing a woman who is menstruating, or has just given birth, to sleep outside their home, in a hut or shed.

According to the law, any family member who forces a woman to practice "chaupadi" — the Nepali term used for menstrual isolation — can be punished with a jail sentence of 3 months and/or a fine of 3,000 rupees (about $30).

Toyam Raya, spokesperson for the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, told NPR that the new law will be implemented within a week.

Mark Andrew Green, the new head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, kicked off his first day on the job with a speech to hundreds of employees. In his speech on Monday, he focused on what they can expect from him and his vision for USAID.

"I can't tell you what an honor and a relief it is to finally be here with you," said Green, a former Republican congressman from Wisconsin. "Let's get at it. We got work to do."

You don't have to convince Likezo Nasilele that giving people a small but steady stream of cash with no strings attached may be the smartest way to fix poverty.

Just a few years ago Nasilele and her husband, Chipopa Lyoni, couldn't even afford to feed their four children properly. Then Nasilele, who lives in a rural village in Western Zambia, lucked into a government pilot program that has provided her with up to $18 every other month. In the 2 1/2 years since, she and her husband have more than doubled the money by using it to start several businesses.

Young guys in dusty polo shirts. New moms holding their babies. Grandmas in bright head wraps. They've all gathered in a clearing for one of the village meetings when something remarkable happens. Practically every person's cellphone starts tinkling.

If you're a goat, you sure don't want to catch "goat plague."

The same goes for sheep along with wild animals that are at risk, like antelope and camels.

The proper name for the virus is "peste des petits ruminants" and it is indeed a pestilence. Symptoms include "a high fever, listlessness, eye and nose discharges," says Adegbola Adesogan, professor and director of Feed the Future Livestock Systems Innovation Lab at the University of Florida.

And that's just the beginning.

Samir Hussain's life changed in 2015, just after he and a friend left a movie theater in Crawley, a town south of London.

A gang of strangers, all men, had harassed them during the show and tried to start a fight outside Hussain's car.

He noticed that one of the men held what looked like a bottle of water in his hand, wrapped in a sweater. The man splashed it on Hussain.

Preparing For A Nuclear Attack (Seriously)

Aug 5, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Barbershops and beauty salons are everywhere and overflowing with customers in Goma, a city on the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Women get their hair extended, dyed, or elaborately braided. Men have the edges of their beards and moustaches shaped or faded in innumerable ways.

The shops become busier toward the end of the week as people get ready for clubbing, church, and other social outings. "Everybody is always trying to outdo everybody else," says journalist and filmmaker Shayla Harris. "It's like a nuclear arms race of aesthetics."

Corruption.

Some U.S. officials cite it as one of the biggest reasons to stop giving aid to the developing world.

Sen. Rand Paul, for example, claimed that 70 percent of foreign aid is "skimmed off the top," in January.

But economist Charles Kenny says they've got it wrong. "The evidence that aid is siphoned off isn't there," he says.

The music video is set to a catchy tune and starts out with two transgender women in bejeweled pink and red outfits, primping before a mirror. But it soon turns dark. They get disapproving stares in the marketplace and outside a mosque. And while they dance for cash at a bachelor party, the guests rough them up.

One of the world's most popular police departments on Twitter and Facebook is in Bangalore, India.

And it's all because they took the risk of partnering up with a hip outside consultant.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

What does it mean to be resilient — to be able to face trauma and get through it?

You're resilient if you're like a stick of bamboo — able to bend with the winds rather than break in half. That's how psychologists like to explain it.

But in different cultures, the source of that strength can be very different. That's the finding in a study published in the journal Child Development. The researchers interviewed Syrian tweens and teens who had been displaced because of war.

The rain began on Good Friday. It fell into the roofless ruins of Port-au-Prince's Catholic cathedral. It swirled through stalls in the market downtown. In the hills above Haiti's capital, the rain ran off the clay roof tiles of upscale homes.

No matter where the rain fell, it was all destined for the same place: the system of concrete canals that cut through the city and down to the sea.

A U.S. government venture capital fund supporting efforts to end extreme poverty will stop accepting new grant applications tonight.

Friday's announcement puts a hold on a program that provides seed funding for innovative initiatives like developing low-cost smart tractors in Nigeria and running a peer support group for pregnant women in Nepal.

As the International AIDS Conference took place in Paris this week, UNAIDS issued a report with an encouraging statistic.

An effort to help global sexual health charities losing support under the Trump administration has reached a new milestone: $300 million in fundraising.

The Dutch government revealed the new figure on Friday. The "She Decides" initiative — the brainchild of one Dutch official — kicked off earlier this year, and announced $190 million in funding as of early March.

It began with a gruesome crime: a 12-year-old girl was raped by a teenage boy in a field in mid-July.

What happened next was a reaction that Pakistan has been sharply condemned for over the years: A tribal council — or panchayat in Urdu — ordered a revenge rape.

Two days after the girl was raped, her brother sexually violated a 16-year-old girl. She is the sister of the first rapist, a 17-year-old boy.

The panchayat that ordered the rape is led by influential landlords who settle disputes according to tribal customs that predate Islam.

What would happen if you married an old custom — matchmaking — with something modern, like the ride-sharing app on your smartphone?

In Pakistan, that happened. Users of Careem, one of the country's most popular ride-sharing apps, woke up last week to this pop-up message on their phone: "Rishta Aunty Has Arrived."

Puyana (@Puyana) is a Venezuelan writer living in Austin, Texas. He is working on a novel titled Freedom Is a Feast set in Venezuela.

Sri Lanka celebrated its eradication of malaria last year. But now the country faces another mosquito-borne illness: dengue fever. It's also sometimes known as "breakbone fever" because of the severe pain it can cause.

A dengue outbreak has left some Sri Lankan hospitals so full that they're turning away patients, says Gerhard Tauscher, an operations manager with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. He is based in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.

Vaccine progress is stalling.

That's the message from a new report issued by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

The report focuses on the DTP vaccine — the essential vaccine that protects kids against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) and that was first licensed in 1949.

It's afternoon, and in a spacious courtyard in Accra, Ghana, children sit at tables and talk to adult mentors. Pat Wilkins, a youthful 52-year-old, firmly asks what they've been learning in school. She peers seriously at them through her glasses. And then "Aunty Pat" — as the kids call her — cracks a smile.

It's this blend of discipline and nurturing that's the foundation of BASICS, a nonprofit organization Wilkins started in 2001 that aims to change lives by guiding low-income children through school and preparing them for skilled jobs.

The next Game of Thrones could be a sci-fi epic set in Africa.

On Monday, Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor posted an announcement on her Facebook page:

"I'm finally free to announce this: My World Fantasy Award winning novel WHO FEARS DEATH has been optioned by HBO and is now in early development as a TV series with George R. R. Martin as executive producer. Note: This did not happen overnight. It's been nearly 4 years coming."

News this summer of a flu vaccine patch sparked a lot of chatter. Could getting vaccinated be as easy as putting on a bandage? Could there be fewer, or at least smaller, needles in our future?

Some companies and academic labs are working to make those things happen.

They're refining technologies that involve tiny needles, less than a millimeter long, and needle-free injectors that can send a dose of vaccine through your skin in a fraction of a second.

Some of these technologies are already available on the market, while others are still being tested.

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