Author: Madeline Reding

Madeline Reding writes for The Borgen Project from St. Paul, MN. Her academic interests include biology and creative writing. She has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellow, studying late-onset Tay-Sachs disease, and she dreams of writing for National Geographic.

SEATTLE — The use of cell phones for medical diagnostics in rural areas is becoming increasingly popular so that patients do not need to travel as far or as often to receive a medical diagnosis or treatment. This use of cell phone applications can help cut down lengthy wait time and travel expenses. In rural Kenya, for example, there is only one psychiatrist for every 5 million people — far off the mark for the international standard of one per ten thousand. In response, the Psychiatric Disability Organisation (PDO), based in Nakuru, Kenya, has developed an application called TrustCircle in…

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SEATTLE — The Mayaro virus has been contracted by a patient in Haiti for the first time – and though the virus has previously caused outbreaks in Brazil and other South American countries, the Mayaro virus detected in Haiti seems to be genetically distinct. Mayaro virus and chikungunya, another mosquito-borne virus, seem to be closely related; both cause fever, rashes, abdominal pain, and joint pain. However, it is not yet clear if the two viruses are transmitted by the same type of mosquito. Though little is known about the Mayaro virus, we do know a few things about chikungunya: the…

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SEATTLE — Technology has become key for improving access to education in remote and often underserved regions of the world. Indeed, Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, says that “technological competency is a requirement for entry into the global economy,” and the founder of the Epic Group learning company, Duncan Clark, calls cell phones “the single most important factor in increasing literacy on the planet.” The Internet makes educational content, including both curricula and test-taking tools, available in any setting. Below are five inventions and organizational endeavors for improving access to education. 1. Vodafone Foundation’s Instant Schools for Africa. The…

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SEATTLE — According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 10 million people contracted tuberculosis in 2015. Medical News Today notes that the majority of these cases — 86 percent — occur in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region. In the absence of adequate medical treatment, two-thirds of these patients die. A paper recently published in The Lancet reports that a significant number of tuberculosis cases are actually misdiagnosed. The bacteria M. tuberculosis causes most human cases of the disease, but a significant number are caused by the M. Bovis bacteria, which is of animal origin. Human-originating…

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SEATTLE — Medical technology is evolving quickly, but even so, the gap in available healthcare and medical technologies is growing between wealthier and poorer countries. The Lancet reports that as much as 40 percent of donated medical equipment goes unused in these countries, and according to the WHO, 75 percent of the devices donated are not able to be used because they are out of context. The devices may remain unused for a variety of reasons; inadequate transportation infrastructure may prevent the equipment from reaching its intended destination, healthcare facilities may not have the technological infrastructure to use the equipment and…

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