Author: Sarah Denning

Sarah lives in Arlington, MA. Her academic interests include political science and health. Last summer Sarah traveled to Laos to work with a local organization that educated people on causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of malaria and HIV/AIDS. She had an amazing experience learning about a sustainable method to improve people’s well being and how aid organizations secure funding.

SEATTLE — Chagas disease is a potentially life-threatening illness that affects between six and seven million people worldwide. The disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is caused by a protozoan parasite, trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite can infect people when they come into contact with the feces or urine of the triatomine bug, commonly known as the kissing bug. The disease is most prevalent in continental Latin America, but is becoming more common in North America, parts of Europe and the Western Pacific. The infection is spreading due to the mobility of the Latin American population. Chagas disease has two phases.…

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The poverty rate in Sri Lanka in 2013 was 6.7 percent. Due to reforms in the 1980s, poverty was reduced throughout the country. However, some geographic areas and some employment sectors saw a greater reduction in poverty. The main causes of poverty in Sri Lanka are living far from a commercial center, employment in agriculture, being born into an impoverished family and an inadequate education system. 1. Geographic Location While the overall poverty rate in Sri Lanka greatly decreased since the 1970’s, some geographic areas face poverty at a much higher rate. Regions far from urban…

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SEATTLE — Malaria is a disease caused by parasites and transmitted to people by female Anopheles mosquitoes. In 2015, there were 212 million cases of malaria and 429,000 deaths from the disease. Malaria is treatable if it is caught early enough, and many advancements in prevention and treatment have taken place in the last decade; the rate of new cases of malaria decreased by 21 percent from 2010 to 2015. Malaria disease is caused by five different species of the Plasmodium parasite. P. falciparum is the most common malaria parasite in Africa and causes the most deaths from malaria. P.…

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MOSCOW — Russia’s population is decreasing. The United States Census Bureau estimates that Russia’s population will decrease to 111 million in 2050, from 143 million today. This is a decrease at a rate greater than 20 percent. This trend in Russian demographics is due to a decreasing birth rate, an increasing death rate and very little immigration. Russia’s birth rate in 2016 was 1.83 children per family. In order for a birth rate to sustain a population it must be at least 2.2. One reason that the population is decreasing is that there are so few women in Russia aged…

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BEIRUT — Approximately 350,000 Lebanese live in poverty and another 350,000 Syrian refugees living in Lebanon face poverty. Poverty in Lebanon has long existed but increased following the crisis in Syria in 2011. The Syrian conflict has impacted the Lebanese tourism and real estate market. It has also overwhelmed the low-skill labor market. Poverty in Lebanon is characterized by low incomes and living in poor neighborhoods. There is often one main income earner per family who is male. The highest level of education is often an intermediate level and this is the largest obstacle to employment. Most people are employed…

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HARARE — Zimbabwe’s constitution ensures that all children have access to free public education, even those with special needs. However, an examination of the system shows that Zimbabwe’s special education programs are not adequate. There is a significant demand for these services. In 2009, around 469,000 children required special needs education. Special education in Zimbabwe has shortcomings in staffing, curriculum, resources and early childhood development programs. The majority of teachers working with children with special needs do not have sufficient training. In a study done in northern Zimbabwe, 17 percent of teachers working with special needs students had a diploma…

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