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Health

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The overwhelming majority of bats are friends of humanity. They gobble up the insects that bite us and ruin our crops. They pollinate flowers and they replant forests by spreading seeds around. But as agriculture overtakes rain forests and jungles, humans have come into conflict with one bat species: the common vampire bat.

It's a public health problem that spans the globe.

It kills close to 6 million people a year.

Teenagers are at risk.

It's not the latest epidemic or chronic disease.

It's the cigarette.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control looks at rates of smoking among 13- to 15-year-olds (most smokers start in adolescence) and how they feel about it, with a nod to the kinds of measures that work to cut rates of teen smoking.

Here's a classic scene from a telenovela.

It's the funeral of a very rich man whose heirs are battling over his fortune. An indignant woman says to a female guest: "You are disrupting the service. Who else would you be saving this seat for other than Richard Juma's second wife?"

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Each morning at 8, 24-year-old Mariatu Kamara puts on her jeans, jacket and bright yellow helmet. She climbs onto her motorbike and rides up the mud path beside her house in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

As she passes, children nudge one another and whisper, "That's a woman."

She parks on the edge of the main road, next to four men on bikes. This is where the motorbike taxis (locally known as "okadas") wait for their customers.

When I was about 5 years old, my father passed away and life took a dramatic turn. My uncles from my father's side took all his properties, per the custom in my village in Ghana, so each of my father's seven wives had to find ways to provide and take care of their children. My mother struggled to get enough food — mainly beans and vegetables — to make even one daily meal for myself and my six siblings. She would make our food as spicy as possible so that we would have to drink a lot and fill our stomachs with water.

In a tragic turn in South Sudan, an effort to protect 15 children ended up killing them.

The children, all under age 5, died of severe sepsis and toxicity due to a botched vaccination campaign, according to a joint statement issued Thursday by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

India is having a debate about its national animals.

Currently, the mighty tiger is the national beast and the peacock is the national bird. But the cow has recently been proposed as a replacement for the tiger because of its status as a holy animal.

And this week, both bird and bovine have caused an internet explosion that touched on reproductive issues, education and science.

Who poses the greatest risk to teenage girls whose lives are disrupted by conflict?

Many of them have fled their homes and are living in refugee camps and other temporary facilities. Others live surrounded by fighting. It's long been thought that soldiers and other armed personnel pose the biggest threat in terms of sexual and physical violence.

But a new survey offers a different perspective. And the reason for the revelations could be the technology used in the survey.

The girls answered questions on a tablet rather than in a face-to-face interview.

Wonder Woman is certainly basking in accolades these days.

The new movie starring Gal Gadot is being widely praised for finally giving the world a big-screen female superhero who — to quote just a few of the glowing reviews — is both "awesomely fierce" and "surprisingly funny," "sexually aware without being sexualized" and a refreshing throwback to the days of "uncomplicated role models ... fighting for peace and justice."

"Should America Keep Giving Billions Of Dollars To Countries In Need?"

That was the headline of a story NPR published in early May, looking into a former Trump campaign adviser's claim made during an interview on Morning Edition. Stephen Miller said there's "zero evidence" that U.S. foreign aid has had an effect on economic development.

When Ebola erupted in West Africa a few years ago, it was catastrophic.

But one good thing emerged from the outbreak: The development of an Ebola vaccine-- a powerful vaccine.

Somaliland's Foreign Minister Saad Ali Shire is clearly frustrated.

Somaliland is being hit by a regional food crisis that the U.N. has described as one of the largest humanitarian emergencies since 1945. More than a million of Somaliland's four million people are at risk of starvation yet relief has been slow to come.

Watch Women Shame Men Who Pee In Public

May 29, 2017

An ad that came out on Monday has gone viral this week in India. The topic? Open urination and defecation.

It goes like this. A group of guys heads out at the break of dawn to relieve themselves in the fields surrounding their village. But, as they start to undo their pajamas, they hear a metallic beat.

Sherpas are extraordinary human beings.

In the high peaks of the Himalayas, members of the Nepalese ethnic group are famous for their speed-climbing records, ascents of routes that no one has ascended before, expert guiding and other skills.

What makes Sherpas so good at climbing into the wispy atmosphere of the world's tallest mountains?

Back when Stefani McCoy was 17, she felt isolated and depressed. Her mother was raising her solo while her father battled drug addiction. One day, she decided she was done with going to school. "No one could talk me out of it," says McCoy, who soon ended up living out of her car.

Eleven years later, she's in the Peace Corps, trying to help dropouts in Namibia in a similar situation.

As McCoy says, "They're me in African form."

It may not be possible to imagine a more terrible crime.

Courtney Pieters, a 3-year-old girl from a suburb of Cape Town, went missing on May 4. Her body was found nine days later, buried in a shallow grave about two-thirds of a mile from her home. She had been raped twice.

"This is one of the saddest incidents I've come across," South African President Jacob Zuma said May 18.

May 25 is Red Nose Day in the United States.

And millions of people are probably going, "huh, what?"

U.S. aid for international family planning would be eliminated.

Programs to combat HIV/AIDS in the world's poorest countries would be slashed by 17 percent.

Efforts to fight malaria would be chopped by 11 percent.

Those are just some of the cuts to global health spending called for by President Trump in the proposed budget he unveiled this week.

On one level the reductions did not come as a surprise. Trump had already made clear in his "skinny budget" proposal, released in March, that he wanted to lower spending on foreign assistance by more than a third.

One of President Trump's boldest, most ambitious proposals on the campaign trail was to build a wall along the Southern border and get Mexico to pay for it. Amid the tumult of Trump's first few months in office, the border wall hasn't gotten as much attention as some other things. But new legislation has been introduced in Congress to help fund it.

It's called the Border Wall Funding Act of 2017, introduced on March 30 by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala.

Last year's Zika outbreak in Miami likely started in the spring of 2016, with the virus introduced multiple times before it was detected, researchers say. And most of those cases originated in the Caribbean.

Early Tuesday morning I awoke to the horrific news of the Manchester terror attack. A suspected suicide bomber killed at least 22 people and injured dozens more at an Ariana Grande concert.

I must admit that I don't know Ariana Grande or her music, but since then I have learned that she has a large fan base of female teens and tweens. So I now wonder: Was this attack a deliberate attempt to silence those young women and girls enjoying themselves at a concert?

Health officials from more than 180 countries meeting in Geneva on Tuesday have elected a new leader for the World Health Organization.

A former health minister from Ethiopia takes over an agency that's struggled recently to find the funding and exert the political leadership it needs to tackle the world's health problems.

On paper President Trump's newly unveiled budget proposal is balanced. But that's predicated on an extraordinarily rosy projection for U.S. economic growth: Trump says he expects to achieve annual increases of 3 percent — a substantial boost from the 2016 annual rate of 1.6 percent.

Such pledges were a frequent theme of Trump's campaign. And they were often coupled with the observation that countries such as China and India have been enjoying fast-paced growth for years.

This post was updated on May 25 to add a comment from the Women's Affairs Minister of Nigeria.

Picture a kaleidoscope of color and a medley of vivid African print cloth surging forward amid screams and weeping — for joy.

Refugees make headlines. Internally displaced people don't.

Maybe their plight eludes the limelight because, unlike refugees, they don't cross international borders ... or seek to enter the United States or Western Europe, where people debate how many of them to let in ... or undertake harrowing voyages across the Mediterranean.

And maybe it's because of their official label. "Internally displaced persons" (also known as IDPs) sounds vague and a bit confusing, as if they were lost inside themselves.

When planning a summer trip abroad, it's easy to think, "Oh, I'll just hop over to a travel clinic, and they'll tell me everything I need to know — and do — to keep from getting sick."

But that's not always the case.

A study published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that travel clinics missed giving the measles vaccine to about half of eligible travelers.

Dr. Dilantha Ellegala, a brain surgeon, trained someone who isn't a doctor to do brain surgery.

That is the story featured in the new book A Surgeon in the Village by journalist Tony Bartelme.

In the northwest Indian village of Ajrakhpur, 37-year-old Sufiyan ­Khatri stirs several stinky vats: one of bubbling indigo, another simmering pomegranate skins and a third containing a black, gummy brew of rusty bicycle parts fermenting with sugar cane. The mixtures are used to dye textiles with a traditional block-print method called ajrakh.

The newly-released details of the Trump administration's version of the "Mexico City policy" are raising many questions about its impact not only on abortion but also on preventing HIV and infectious diseases like malaria.

The policy is named for the place where it was introduced by President Ronald Reagan, at a U.N. conference, in 1984. The aim was to cut off U.S. funding to nongovernmental organizations that "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning."

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