An interview with Paul Farmer on Democracy Now
Health workers in West Africa have been among the hardest hit by the recent Ebola outbreak, risking their own health and safety to care for others during this devastating epidemic. Health workers in affected countries need our support to protect themselves and others; when safe and healthy, they are our best defense against the further spread of Ebola. Consider supporting the work of Friends of the Earth International and Last Mile Health, two organizations that are equipping health workers in Liberia with the equipment and training they need to stay safe and save lives. This most recent outbreak has shown that when we do not provide sufficient support, clinics shut down and people lose confidence in their medical systems.
If you or your colleagues are working directly with Ebola patients, we’ve compiled a list of fact sheets and resources that can help in your work:
Improved treatment efforts are only one piece of the puzzle. In an interview on Democracy Now, Paul Farmer points that the outbreak is “a reflection of long-standing and growing inequalities of access to basic systems of healthcare delivery.” Disparities in treatment illustrate how deep the inequities run – while infected US doctors have been carefully quarantined, in West Africa sick people have been incarcerated in slums and subject to food shortages. As we strive to control and eventually end Ebola, we must do so without losing sight of basic human rights, which Farmer notes include “the right to healthcare, the right to compassion, the right to psychosocial support.”
Thanks for supporting Hesperian.
Don’t forget to submit your health materials in Swahili before August 30th! Prizes for contest winners include a complete library of Hesperian books in English and a blog piece featuring your organization on Hesperian’s website.
Working with flood victims? We can help.
This summer we have seen devastating floods around the world, in record numbers. Nearly 41 million people have been affected by flooding since June, in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. The immediate destruction of these floods have already caused the death of thousands of people from injury, drowning and electrocution. Read More
Read, teach, repeat
Tomorrow's Stars provides scholarships, libraries, and other support for students in Elmina, Ghana who face significant barriers to completing their education. To augment classroom learning with lessons on life skills, volunteer Sue Ron Gonzalez helped form a girls club in the rural farming village Abrem Essiam. After searching for practical and empowering information to share with the girls, she finally found Health Actions for Women at a gathering in San Francisco with Sarah Shannon, Hesperian's Executive Director. Read More
We couldn’t do it without our volunteers
Hesperian depends on the labor of an energetic team of volunteers, who devote thousands of hours to every aspect of our work, from packing books to researching to fundraising. Our digital projects volunteers make building our HealthWiki possible: they proofread, code, design, manipulate images, translate and program. Their skills and time enable people to access Hesperian materials everywhere on tablets, cell phones, and other mobile devices. Read More
Heart disease doesn’t have to be the number one killer
Heart diseases kill more of the world's people than anything else. Strikingly, three quarters of those deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. With the right resources and support, including regular primary health care, the risk factors for cardiovascular disease could be detected, people treated, and lives extended instead of being cut tragically short. Unfortunately, without access to regular, affordable health care, illness is caught too late, after the disease has progressed and treatment is not available or is too expensive. Read More
Police Violence Is a Public Health Issue
Brutality and shootings by police are now getting more attention than ever, but police violence has been all too common for too long. Coverage in social media and even the mainstream press has greatly expanded, particularly for typically marginalized communities such as transgender people and people of color, as offenses are increasingly filmed or photographed, shared, and protested, often through the organizing of the Black Lives Matter movement. Read More
We can prevent obstetric fistula
Obstetric fistula is a devastating condition that happens when a woman is in labor for too long, and pressure from her baby's head tears a hole in the vagina, causing her to leak urine or feces constantly. Maybe she's too young to deliver, her body is too small, her pelvis is not yet fully formed. Maybe she has diabetes, a malformed pelvis, or other problems that don't allow a normal, healthy delivery. Read More
Bringing the mining industry above ground
Around the globe, extractive industries encroach on indigenous land and pollute rivers and lakes, harming the health of workers, families, and communities. Against the odds, a global movement of people continues to fight back, even when stripped of their land and resources by multinational companies. Read More
Join Hesperian for a night of live music and good food!
Please join Hesperian Health Guides and RiseUp Ghana on Thursday, March 24th, for a night of music, dancing, and fun. Your donation will support RiseUp Ghana's efforts to build a clinic in Wli Todzi, a remote village in Ghana, and Hesperian's translations of Where There Is No Doctor. Read More
Dr. King is still right: Our needs are labor’s needs
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Of all forms of discrimination and inequalities, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman." Fighting for economic, racial, or reproductive justice is made all the more challenging when faced with the triple threat of increased illness, inadequate resources to find care, and discrimination in care. People with more resources are better equipped to fend off health problems, while poor people and historically marginalized groups are stuck with what they’ve got. Read More
Care for Where There Is No Justice: The modern history of street medics and how they support social movements
Street medic groups have been on the front line of many groundbreaking movements, from the Civil Rights and New Left movements, to modern day movements such as Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring. Perhaps more importantly, however, street medics have played a role addressing root causes of ill health and supporting the movements which transform dynamics of power, privilege, and access. Read More
Updated “Where There Is No Doctor” Reflects 40 Years of Care
Over 40 years ago, the “first edition” of Donde No Hay Doctor was produced on index cards using a typewriter. All the illustrations were drawn by hand, and typos were corrected in pencil.
Since then, Donde No Hay Doctor has been translated into English, Portuguese, Chinese, and Arabic -- over 80 languages altogether, and is considered the most widely used health manual in the world. Read More
To show our thanks, enjoy 20% off ’til Sunday
Every day, Hesperian receives letters from all over the world requesting copies of our materials. Village health workers, teachers, community members, and medical practitioners from places as far away as Nigeria, Ghana, El Salvador, and Brazil send letters, often hand-written, that tell the story of their communities -- and their need for Hesperian books. Read More
Health info crosses borders to aid refugees in Jordan
With border closings, harsh travel restrictions, and high fences, Hesperian health information can travel more freely than many refugees.
For decades, Hesperian’s materials have been used in emergency settings to help vulnerable groups. Today, nearly 60 million people are displaced around the globe -- 1 out of every 122 worldwide -- and the number is growing as the Syrian refugee crisis intensifies. Read More
Bridging the Healthcare Divide: 6th Annual Midwife Training
August 20, 2015
Each year, a group of approximately 30 midwives gather in Puerto Escondido, a small coastal town in Oaxaca, Mexico. These parteras come from all over the state of Oaxaca to take part in a 4-day training, honing their skills and gathering new information about safe birth techniques, management of emergencies during birth, and how to ensure that newborns stay healthy. Read More
Nepal earthquake response: Share Nepali health information
April 26, 2015
We extend our heartfelt sorrow and solidarity to the people of Nepal as they begin to bury their dead after Saturday’s earthquake left thousands dead, hundreds of thousands homeless, and many more completely cut off from contact by landslides. As civil society and governments struggle to provide search and rescue aid, food, medicine, and shelter, here are a few ways you can lend your support. Read More
Hesperian partner Jagruti delivers affordable medicine to poor in Dhaward, India
April 27, 2015
The need for affordable generic drugs is especially urgent in rural communities – treatable communicable diseases like tuberculosis and malaria remain commonplace, and chronic diseases, such diabetes, are on the rise. The Dharwad-Hubli district of Southern India is no exception, as most households have one wage-earner working seasonally in agriculture, except for one exciting development-- Jagruti, a long-time translation partner of Hesperian Health Guides, in coordination with Drug Action Forum—Karnataka has just launched the Dharwad Generic Drug House, which will bring low-cost generic drugs to the municipality. Inspired by Alma Ata and the work of the People’s Health Movement, the Drug action forum was formed by rural doctors in Karnataka, who felt that “the cost and use of medicines was forcing several families to penury,” and that accessible medicines and primary health care are an essential human right. Read More
Hesperian releases highly anticipated new title: Health Actions for Women
February 19, 2015
“No other resource today provides such concrete tools to engage communities and empower women of all ages to build lasting change from the ground up. A triumph!” —Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Women’s health is more than medicine; the social barriers to good health for women and girls are difficult to discuss and resolve. Hesperian’s new title, Health Actions for Women: Practical Strategies to Mobilize for Change provides a wealth of accessible, engagingly illustrated activities, strategies, and stories that address the social obstacles and practices that prevent women and girls from enjoying healthy lives. Read More
Celebrating Jane Maxwell’s 50 years of health activism!
February 16, 2015
On February 6th, 2015, friends and colleagues from many communities gathered in appreciation of Jane Maxwell, who has had (and will continue to have) an incredible impact on the lives and health of so many people through her work and advocacy over 50 years. Colleagues from MIUSA, WORLD, the AIDS Lifecycle ride to end AIDS, the Berkeley Free Clinic, Hesperian Health Guides, and many other communities thanked Jane for her enduring dedication, support, and friendship. Read More