Author: Nathaniel Siegel

Nathaniel lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. Nathaniel and his family relocated to Michigan for his 3rd grade year due to Hurricane Katrina.

INDIA — Forty percent of child mortality worldwide occurs within the first 28 days of life. The critical first 60 seconds after birth are when life-saving treatments of mother and child must begin. In India, hospital access can be limited, especially in rural areas. Due to this, many women rely on midwives to aid them in the birthing process. In 2010, nearly one in four births in India were carried out by untrained midwives. Here, the use of the word ‘untrained’ is cause for concern. The World Health Organization recommends that while six midwives should exist per 1,000 births, the skill set of the…

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NEW ORLEANS — Since the beginnings of the Arab Spring, conflict in the Middle East and North Africa has been well-documented. Not as well-documented, however, are the long-term effects that armed conflict has on public health in the Middle East. From 1950 to 2000, the population of the Middle East and North Africa grew by around 280 million people, which more than triples the previous population numbers. This growth was more than any other major world region experienced during this time. The region contains 6.3 percent of the world’s population but only 1.4 percent of the world’s fresh water. The stress of…

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SEATTLE — This past June, the first Pan-African U-Report poll was held in conjunction with the the Day of the African Child (DAC) celebrations. This year, the theme of the celebrations was Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting All Children’s Rights. The DAC was held on June 16 in remembrance of the day in 1976 when thousands of black school children in South Africa publicly protested and fought for the right to learn in their native language. This first ever Pan-African poll was made possible using U-Report, an SMS-based service. U-Reporters receive survey questions through SMS and can respond with a yes or…

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BANGLADESH — Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi professor, banker and founder of the Grameen Bank, which focuses on providing microfinance in Bangladesh. When his bank makes small loans to women in Bangladesh, the quality of their lives improves in different ways. The idea of microfinance programs is not new. It has proven particularly helpful in increasing access to water and sanitary facilities. Globally, 573,000 home water and sanitation loans have reached more than 2.4 million people. Yunus’ program targets poor women, some of whom have never handled money before. Some aid programs only provide short-term success before donated equipment, such as a functional restroom,…

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SEATTLE, Washington — The 21st Annual International AIDS Conference was held on July 18 to 22. Several new studies revealed the existence of new and promising solutions to HIV reduction and treatment. However, technological solutions may only go so far in addressing the underlying issues of HIV. Perhaps one of the most promising new solutions to HIV reduction is the ASPIRE vaginal ring. It works by constantly releasing an antiretroviral drug that provides a continuous moderate level of HIV protection. When used properly,  ASPIRE has been shown to reduce overall risk of HIV infection by 56 percent. Other studies have shown the ring…

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