Vera esta pagina en Espanol
Vera esta pagina en Espanol

Not enough joint learning at the Joint Learning Initiative symposium

By Susan McCallister, Hesperian Staff

Noreen Kaleeba at JLICA The room at Harvard Medical School was full of people who work on issues of children and HIV, from academics to service providers to activists and campaigners. Many are tireless workers among those suffering most directly, while others work in the halls of science and policy; but all are committed to improving the lots of children and families who struggle under the double burdens of HIV and poverty. Participants traveled from the US, Africa, Asia and Europe, including Noerine Kaleeba (pictured left), founder of The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) in Uganda.

I attended the September symposium for Hesperian in hopes of discussing: how to strengthen families, roles for community and civil society, and innovative models for providing services to children­all focuses of the Joint Learning Initiative’s working groups, and content we are addressing in two Hesperian publications “Helping Vulnerable Children” and “HIV, Health and Your Community” while the presentations covered these topics, no time was allotted for discussion and the few questions addressed had to be submitted in advance, on index cards. Unfortunately, the meeting was not organized to take advantage of the amazing experience and perspective gathered in the room.

For instance, there was no chance to engage with Doug Webb who argued that orphans were a reliable “proxy” for measuring the impact of HIV, but not the best targets for support, suggesting that poverty rather than parental status was a more effective focus. He was one of several speakers arguing that we should be working to provide access to universal social protection to supplement community-based actions in support of poor and vulnerable households, and to move beyond charity driven responses to crisis.

Photo of the Panel at JLICAThe need for social welfare systems to include cash transfers to poor families was probably the most controversial topic addressed. Whether and how to organize and fund such systems in some of the poorest countries in Africa was the focus of an afternoon debate: “Can a developing country support the welfare needs of children affected by AIDS?” Economists heatedly argued both sides of this question from the podium, and activists spoke from the floor. Social protection programs are being considered very seriously, but there is a lot more work to do in imagining how they could be implemented­and implementing them!

I was glad to hear John Williamson, from the Displaced Children’s and Orphans Fund, discussing the different roles for a community in relation to three types of activities: agency-implemented activities, agency initiatives with community participation, and community-“owned” and -managed activities. One of his key ideas is that in community-owned activities, outside agencies must relinquish control of outcomes. Audience resistance to this definition of community ownership was fascinating; several questions objected to what people understood as his implied idea that poor communities should cope without outside funding, as if people thought it beyond question that providing financial resources determined who should control outcomes.

Perhaps this explains some of the barriers to trusting poor families with direct financial aid to meet needs as they see fit. Or scheduling sufficient time in a conference for participants to question, discuss, and generate debate and agreement.

Disrupting efforts in the fight against HIV is life-threatening

September 21, 2020

Helping Children Live with HIV is designed to empower families and communities affected by HIV in their efforts to support children’s well-being and healthy development in home settings. This resource is richly illustrated and filled with unique stories and practical advice that address the physical and emotional health needs of children living with HIV. Read More

Don’t wait until the pandemic ends

September 11, 2020

No health issue can be addressed overnight, but waiting until one health crisis is over to pay attention to another will only make both problems worse. Hesperian is here for you and your communities to jump-start action and create positive change. Our Health Organizing Set is the perfect starter kit for taking action.  Read More

Telemedicine is not the future, it’s the present.

September 10, 2020

While nothing can substitute for the warm, in-person advice of a caring health worker, telemedicine can be a useful resource when care is too difficult or dangerous to access. Hesperian’s materials give telemedicine providers access to a variety of patient care tools that are understandable, culturally appropriate, and medically sound. Read More

Resources for Rural Health

August 26, 2020

Because COVID-19 is a global crisis, rural communities are deeply affected alongside urban areas. We try to be part of the solution by sharing information that speaks directly to rural health needs and work continuously to make our materials available in many languages and accessible formats. Read More

Your Support Travels Far

July 29, 2020

The great strides we’ve made in our COVID-19 work wouldn’t have been possible without your support. This pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, and we’re asking all of you to stay with us as well. Now more than ever, being informed can help individuals and families gain some control over their health and well-being even when so many circumstances are beyond our control.  Read More

Actions that go beyond clicktivism

July 28, 2020

In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability of social media to allow us to keep a safe distance while speaking up for justice and human rights makes it a great organizing tool. The necessary thing to remember about social media, though, is that activism doesn’t end when you log off. Here are some ideas on how to bring your virtual actions into the material world to improve our collective health and well-being. Read More

Racism at the CDC impacts all of us

July 22, 2020

We will not improve public health enough to defeat the pandemic if we fail to address the racism in all of our institutions, especially those responsible for promoting health. We encourage you to learn about and undo the connections between racism and health, and to support initiatives that lessen the impact of COVID-19 on Black communities. Read More

We’ll never beat the pandemic without supporting women’s health

July 20, 2020

The pandemic demands increased investment in services, people, and programs to support women’s health and safety,as well as accessible information to mobilize women to take action for their health. Where Women Have No Doctor, combines self-help medical information with an understanding of the ways poverty, discrimination and cultural beliefs limit women's health and access to care. Read More

Defending the WHO

July 10, 2020

Instead of withdrawing from the WHO in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and losing access to giving and getting vital information on disease spread, containment strategies, vaccine development, etc., the United States should defend WHO and expand its ability to address this and future disease outbreaks.  Unfortunately, it will not be enough to simply return to the status quo post-November. Read More

Managing Emotions During COVID-19

June 29, 2020

Hesperian has just released an info sheet, “COVID-19: Managing stress and anger” to help address mental and emotional health during the pandemic. This resource includes strategies to care for ourselves, our children, and others who might need help. Read More

We Make Inclusivity A Priority

June 17, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world, but has not affected all of us equally. In their reporting about the impact of the pandemic, news outlets often leave out the effects of COVID-19 on people with disabilities. People with disabilities have been hit hard by the loss of essential health services. And once again, women with disabilities are confronting the highest barriers to health and well-being. Read More

New COVID-19 Info You Can Put To Use!

June 15, 2020

Since we published our COVID-19 Fact Sheet in the first week of March, the world has changed drastically. The pandemic has impacted the way we work, socialize, and do just about any other “normal” activity. Even as lockdown measures are being lifted, we are trying to figure out what it means to stay safe, to protect our own health and the health of our communities. To help find ways to continue to stay safe, Hesperian has released new COVID-19 fact sheets in English and Spanish. Read More

Demonstrating for Dignity #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd

June 5, 2020

Calling for an end to racist police violence, and demanding justice and equality for Black people in the US, is the responsibility of us all. Read More

#Actions4SafeAbortions: Supporting Safe Abortions During COVID-19

May 25, 2020

As part of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, Hesperian Health Guides and safe2choose have stepped forward to lead the #Actions4SafeAbortions social media campaign  from May 25th to May 28th to raise awareness about all the tech tools available to support safe abortion at home. Read More

Hunger, Food Not Bombs and COVID-19

May 21, 2020

As the response to COVID-19 pushes people into unemployment and hunger, activists in the Food Not Bombs movement continue to distribute food and feed people around the world. Thank you Food Not Bombs for fighting for the right to food and nutrition! Read More

Stop the Spread of Neglect

May 11, 2020

The needs of vulnerable populations, such as people and families with HIV, do not disappear when other health problems arise. In fact, they become more difficult to resolve. Our societies and health systems must respond to these increased needs with increased care, not with neglect. Read More

WHO cares about your health?

Access to reproductive health services have been limited since the beginning of the pandemic. Lockdown and quarantine orders have meant that women and girls are unable to access reproductive health care. Read More

Thank You, Translators!

April 22, 2020

Our impact is only as strong as our partnerships. Fortunately, our enthusiastic and dedicated network of translation partners help bring our health information to people we otherwise would not reach. Read More

The Heroes of the COVID-19 Response

April 9, 2020

Every year, the World Health Organization selects a specific theme to spread health awareness on World Health Day, April 7. Today, WHO is recognizing the selfless contributions of the nurses and midwives working day and night to protect people’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

More Trusted Sources of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

April 8, 2020

In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, having access to accurate and practical health information is paramount. In addition to Hesperian's materials, we want to spread the word about other COVID-19 resources providing easy to use and trustworthy information. Read More

The Right to Water Matters Now

March 26, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis shows why access to water is paramount -- people denied water are denied cleanliness, increasing their risk from diseases caused by the coronavirus and other germs. Access to water ensures that individuals and communities can practice healthy habits to protect themselves from infectious diseases. Read More

Connected by Coronavirus

March 20, 2020

As countries close borders and encourage citizens to stay indoors, we are all united by our need for accurate and practical coronavirus information. Thanks to the incredible skill and participation of many partners on short notice, our Coronavirus Fact Sheet is now available in 13 languages, with more on the way! Read More

New 2020 Edition of A Book for Midwives!

The essential midwifery training guide, with new information to support the maternal health needs of today. Newly updated in 2020 to include the latest information on birth control methods, HIV, medical abortion, manual vacuum aspiration, mental health, hepatitis, HPV and cancer prevention, and pre-eclampsia. Read More


March 5, 2020

Coronavirus is all over the news and people are looking for how-to, actionable information on surviving the pandemic. But limiting advice and actions to improving individual or community hygiene are only washing our hands of the problem. To successfully defeat the looming epidemic, we have to change a health system that places profit over health. Read More

#MarchForEqualChoice Twitter Campaign

March 4, 2020

Join us in the #MarchForEqualChoice! We are collaborating with safe2choose and Ipas on a Twitter campaign to advocate for the right to safe abortion. Read More

Where There Is No Doctor For A New Decade

March 3, 2020

New Where There Is No Doctor extends the actionable approach to health pioneered in our best-known health guide to a more inclusive range of topics. Read More

Helping Children Live with HIV

February 6, 2020

Hesperian’s newest book, Helping Children Live with HIV, takes a holistic approach to HIV care by integrating illness prevention and treatment with psychosocial support for families coping with poverty, discrimination, trauma, and loss. This health guide empowers caregivers supporting children’s well-being and healthy development. Read More

A Global Movement for Reproductive Justice

January 29, 2020

Advocates like Miatta help bring our reproductive health apps to people that may have otherwise not been aware of Hesperian’s free digital tools. No matter where you are in the world, you can help spread the word about our essential safe abortion and reproductive health information! Read More

Safe Births and Beginnings

January 23, 2020

Resources to support midwives, doulas, and community health workers ensuring safe births around the world. Read More

Introducing Hesperian’s Family Planning App!

January 16, 2020

Hesperian’s Family Planning App is designed to encourage and support counseling conversations led by health workers, community leaders, and peer promoters. Read More

The old, the new, and everything in between

January 6, 2020

Hesperian’s year has been all about opening new channels to health. As 2019 comes to a close, we reflect on how we have expanded beyond books as vehicles for sharing health information and what we hope to achieve in the new year. Read More

Handbook of Animal Health | 30% off Holiday Discount

No matter where you are in the world, Hesperian can help you care for animals during the holiday season and all year round. Enjoy a 30% off discount on "Where There Is No Animal Doctor/Handbook of Animal Health" now until the end of January! Read More

Last Minute Gift Ideas and A Holiday Sale!

Hesperian's gift guide and special discount can help you find the perfect books for your friends and family! Whether you are on top of your shopping or feeling the pressure, Hesperian is here to help with recommendations and a 30% discount on all our books. Read More

Teen shares information about reproductive health in Laos

December 5, 2019

Hesperian would like to introduce you to one of our youngest and most inspiring partners, Namfon Phonsouny. Namfon is a high school student who used her social networking skills to make reproductive health information more accessible in Laos. Read More

See you in Philadelphia at the APHA!

October 23, 2019

Join Hesperian at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting, November 2nd through November 6th in Philadelphia. Meet our staff and learn about Hesperian’s efforts to extend and defend health at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  Read More

A Guide Through Grief

October 9, 2019

Hesperian’s health guide, Helping Children Live with HIV, has been praised for its accessible and practical information on caring for the physical and emotional needs of children affected by HIV. Losing family members and friends to illness can take an immense emotional toll on children so we ensured that our book includes guidance for guardians wanting to support children as they face these challenges. Read More

This is Our America

Hesperian is proud to be part of a long legacy of activists, humanists, and social justice trailblazers who have struggled to make this country a place of innovation and activism for social good. This 4th of July, as we gather to reflect on words like community, independence, and nation-building, Hesperian wants to celebrate the people who define what is good in our country. Read More

Protecting Women’s Health: Information & Actions

Hesperian has always recognized how essential women’s health issues are to the health of every member of every community. So women’s rights and dignity are central to everything Hesperian develops and publishes. Join us in learning more about, and sharing, vital health information. Read More

New Chapter on Our HealthWiki: Vaccinations

Vaccinations are among the simplest collective measures we can take to care for our children. Yet they have become politically charged, and avoiding them has resulted in outbreaks of completely preventable dangerous illness. Read More

Dr. Amit Sengupta, a Leader for Public Health, Passed Away at the Age of 60

With deep sadness we share the news that Dr. Amit Sengupta, a pillar for public health advocacy in India and close colleague of Hesperian Health Guides through his leadership in the People’s Health Movement, died on Wednesday November 28 at the age of 60.

Read More

Spread knowledge this World Diabetes Day

Diabetes is on the rise everywhere, especially in low- and middle-income countries where needed health care and medicines are much harder to access, and reliable information is hard to find. Diabetes is a manageable disease, but without these resources it can result in serious conditions including kidney failure, stroke, heart disease, vision loss and neuropathy.

Read More

See you in San Diego at APHA

Join Hesperian at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting, November 11th through November 14th in San Diego. Meet our staff and browse our books at Booth #1216 in the Exhibit Hall. Check out the special conference discounts on all products, as well as free shipping if you don't want to lug the books home in your suitcase.

Read More

Celebremos a las personas que hicieron tanto en vida

En las oficinas de Hesperian cada año celebramos el Dí­a de Muertos, un día arraigado profundamente en las culturas de Mesoamérica y donde se recuerda a las personas que hemos perdido durante el camino de nuestras vidas. Junto con nuestrxs abuelxs, madres y padres y hermanxs, celebramos también a las y los activistas que han dejado de acompañarnos en vida.

Read More

Water, sanitation, and environmental action in Mozambique

Help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Community Guide to Environmental Health, now in 5 languages with a talk from our partner, Felicianos dos Santos. And honor his achievement in receiving the Climate Trailblazer award at this year’s Global Climate Action Summit. 

Read More

Mobilizing for women’s health

Hesperian piloted a Latin America based print run of 200 copies of Guía práctica para promover la salud de las mujeres in Guatemala making a large number of copies  immediately available where there are many exciting grassroots initiatives and where Hesperian enjoys close and long-term ties. And on August 2, Hesperian co-sponsored a book launch event in Guatemala City with about 100 attendees.

Read More

ICE harms immigrants’ health

Hesperian has been gathering firsthand reports on the deplorable conditions in ICE detention centers which harm migrant health and violate human rights. What's going on in the center in McAllen, Texas? Ashtyn Tayler, a pre-med student, drove 500 miles from her home north of Dallas to see for herself and to help if she could.

Read More

Border detentions: Institutionalized abuse

Ursula detention center in McAllen, Texas is the largest Customs and Border Protection detention center for undocumented migrants in the United States. The facility is a converted warehouse, able to house 1,000 children and adults. As of June 17th, 1,129 people were being held at Ursula in large, chain-link cages.

Read More

Hesperian books helped me throughout my life

My encounter with Where There Is No Doctor dates back to my early childhood when my father introduced the book as one of the most ground-breaking works ever done in the field of health or medicine. He used to treat our minor medical problems through the home remedies suggested in the book. No one in my neighbourhood or the hospital thought I would survive my early childhood illnesses and malnutrition. Luckily I got the opportunity to live, and today many of my neighbours look at me as if some miracle did happen.

Read More

Remembering Dr. Davida Coady

Longtime Hesperian board member, advocate, and public health hero Davida Coady took her last breath on May 3rd. On Hesperian's board for 27 years, Davida led her life in the service of health justice, achieving "the greatest good for the greatest number of people". She acted globally, locally, and personally to touch so many lives. Remember her work by carrying it on. 

Read More

En Memoria de la Doctora Davida Coady

Una semana después de celebrar su cumpleaños número 80, Davida y su esposo Tom Gorham, decidieron no continuar el tratamiento contra el cáncer. Davida falleció pacíficamente en el hospicio de Bruns House en Alamo, donde Tom estuvo de vigilia junto a amistades de la pareja.

Read More

Protect the Planet, Protect Your Health

95% of the world's population is breathing unsafe air. According to a new report from the Health Effects Institute, people in developing countries are hit especially hard, with a one-two punch of polluted air outside and inside their homes. This Sunday, April 22nd, is Earth Day -- a chance to take action to protect the environment and our health.

Read More

See you at SOPHE!

We're going to SOPHE 2018, and hope to see you there! Editor Paula Worby, DrPH, MPH will present on Hesperian's use of Outcome Mapping to evaluate the qualitative impact of health information and health education initiatives. She will also present on Hesperian's experience developing health materials for low-wage factory workers and how organizations in the US and globally are using these resources to build sustainable, local, worker-centered programs.

Read More

Alert! Black-out on breast cancer info

The Trump administration's Department of Health and Human Services removed the bulk of its information on breast cancer from the government website. The Office on Women's Health main page on breast cancer disappeared, along with fact sheets and information covering symptoms, treatment, risk factors, and public no- or low-cost cancer screening programs. The removal of this lifesaving information was neither announced nor explained, and the content has not been re-posted elsewhere.

Read More

Nurses and midwives on the frontlines of care

The changing needs of the 21st Century mean nurses have an even greater role to play in the future. New and innovative types of services are needed -- more community and home-based, more holistic and people-centred, with increased focus on prevention. This is the vision of Nursing Now, a new campaign launched to elevate the role of nurses and midwives to bring us closer to achieving the goal of universal health care by the year 2020.

Read More

International Women’s Day and Rohingya women

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugee women are suffering in crowded camps, with poor water and sanitation, trying to care for themselves and their children. Because rape is a weapon of the Myanmar military, thousands of Rohingya women are pregnant and in desperate need of reproductive care and other women's health services. But in the refugee camps, women's healthcare is minimal or nonexistent.

Read More

New publication: Problems with the Eyes and Seeing

Worldwide, 80% of blindness and poor vision could be prevented or corrected. Many people with early stages of vision problems don't seek care because they don't recognize the symptoms, lack insurance, or have other more immediate concerns. Community health workers are uniquely placed to provide education around eye health, prevent problems from developing, and quickly treat common eye problems.

Read More

You can act against cancer

Information about cancer -- what causes it, how to prevent and treat it -- saves lives. We can actually prevent up to 50% of all cancers (WHO), but prevention information is often too hard to understand for people, either using difficult vocabulary, out of context for their access to healthcare or living standards, or assuming they have choices that are foreign to their reality.

Read More

Health Guides for RPCVs Working with Refugees

A growing fear of deportation is preventing many refugees and immigrants in the US from seeking healthcare and other services, making these materials more important than ever. To address this problem, the US Gratis initiative is sending free health guides in English and Spanish to organizations that support refugee and immigrant communities. 

Read More

Global Gag Rule denies women’s right to health

Shortly after taking office, the Trump administration reinstated the Global Gag Rule, designed to cut US funding to any organization that provides abortion services. This expanded version is more disastrous for global health than any prior iteration. Not only does it cut funding to organizations for abortions, it slashes all US government funding - close to $9 billion - to organizations that offer a range of non-abortion related health services if they also provide, refer, or even just counsel about abortion.

Read More

Hesperian wins award to support reproductive health for Rohingya refugees

Close to 1 million Rohingya people have been forced from their homes in Myanmar in a tragic ethnic genocide. The Rohingya are a minority Muslim population in a majority-Buddhist country and have suffered execution, rape, and other unthinkable cruelties as they have been driven into exile to Bangladesh, where overwhelming needs for food security, sanitation, and basic healthcare sideline reproductive health needs.

Read More

We couldn’t do it without our partners

In September, Hesperian was honored to host our partner Julie Cliff, a dedicated physician and teacher in Mozambique. Dr. Cliff discussed her work in Mozambique; her research on konzo, a deadly disease caused by eating cassava; and her work as a translator and reviewer for Hesperian. Watch the video of her visit to Hesperian here.

Read More

Teaching Them to Fish

After years of Medical Mission work, I found myself asking “What do they do when we are gone?” Fortunately I stumbled upon the Hesperian book Where There is No Doctor. I was so inspired by the concept of allowing the villagers to learn to manage their own health. So, I started a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose was to form a community health program.

Read More

Health needs at home

Across the US, volunteers and community leaders are stepping up to serve their neighbors who are increasingly being denied health care, or rightfully afraid to seek the care they need. Headlines report the most jarring cases: a young girl in Texas picked up by immigration agents while traveling for emergency surgery; immigrants afraid to make routine doctor visits. Every day, across the country, similar stories are playing out.

Read More

See you in Atlanta!

Join Hesperian at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting, November 4th through November 8th in Atlanta. Meet our staff and browse our books at Booth #1301 in the Exhibit Hall, and sit in on panels and workshops presented by Hesperian staff to learn about our work and upcoming projects.

Read More

Update from Puerto Rico

It's been one month since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, yet much of the island is still without basic necessities. People are struggling to cope without clean water, passable roads, electricity, medicines and other supplies. Amidst this backdrop, stories of residents' and aid workers creative efforts are beginning to emerge.

Read More

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

Join Hesperian for a conversation with Dr. Julie Cliff

Please join Hesperian and Dr. Julie Cliff for a wide-ranging conversation about health in Mozambique on Wednesday, September 27th at 6:30pm. Dr.Cliff has lived and worked in Mozambique for over 40 years, leading the epidemiology department at the Ministry of Health and the infectious diseases unit at Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique's primary teaching hospital.

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

Four years later

Four years ago the world watched as 1,134 people lost their lives in the deadly Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. In the wake of the disaster, 200 brand name clothing retailers responded to public pressure by signing on to the more effective Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and the less effective Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. Both agreements bound the participating retailers to fund safety inspections and improvements at the Bangladeshi factories that supply them with product.

Read More

Your suitcase isn’t ready til you’ve packed these

The influence of policies created by the United States and Canada is strongly felt in Honduras, magnifying poverty, inequality, insecurity, and violence in the country. In response to this interference, organizations from the US and Canada have formed the Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) to support Honduran activists and community leaders in their commitment to further social justice.

Read More

Training programs use Where There Is No Doctor

We receive stories from people around the world who use Where There Is No Doctor and Hesperian's other titles in their training and primary health care programs. Health workers appreciate the books' approach to sensitive or "taboo" issues, the clearly-written information their patients or trainees can understand, and the adaptable, practical solutions to a variety of health problems.

Read More

What Filipino Women Want

Information on women's health, and especially family planning, can be difficult to find in the Philippines due to governmental and religious opposition. But access will soon become easier when Hesperian Health Guides releases Where Women Have No Doctor in Filipino on the HealthWiki. Together with our Philippine partner Likhaan, this edition is being updated to reflect current information on a range of women's health issues and produced for online viewing.

Read More

War Kills in More Ways than One

The war in Yemen that has already killed thousands through bombing and starvation is now killing thousands more with one of the worst cholera outbreaks on record, over 300,000 reported cases. South Sudan, already struggling with fighting among armed factions and the threat of famine is now also facing a cholera outbreak.

Read More

Shining a light on women’s health

Recently, we lost Simone Veil, a Holocaust survivor who became a French politician and advocate for women's health. Veil's message was that women forced into a corner by laws and social pressures are left with dangerous health choices, neglecting their safety or trusting the wrong people, and ultimately risking their lives.

Read More

When a bug bite isn’t just a bug bite

After last year's frightening Zika outbreak, it comes as welcome news that reports of new cases have slowed down in areas of Brazil and the Caribbean. While cases in Florida also seem to be reducing, the CDC recently reported a larger breadth of the Zika-carrying mosquito in the south than previously known.

Read More

Preparing students for success

Every year a new group of nursing students from the Boston College Connell School of Nursing Global Health Initiative travel to Central America equipped with the clinical knowledge they learned from their textbooks and a copy of Donde no hay doctor (Spanish edition of Where There Is No Doctor). Ronna E. Krozy, EdD, RN, who has led the program since 1991, first to Ecuador and since 2005 to Nicaragua, has found Where There Is No Doctor to be the most important resource her students have.

Read More

Health promoters spread health and fight fear

Since the early 2000s, the Health Initiative of the Americas (a program of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health) has organized a yearly conference to bring together health promoters from the US and Mexico. At this year's conference Dr. America Bracho of Latino Health Access delivered a keynote that energized participants, reaffirming how critical it is for community members to build upon their unique strengths, especially through promotora programs.

Read More

A Peace Corps Volunteer gives back

Hesperian books have been used by Peace Corps volunteers to improve health in their host communities for decades. Gregory MacCrone, an RPCV who served in Liberia and Thailand, shares his story of how he used Where There Is No Doctor to help a local girl.

Read More

Mourn for the dead, fight for the living

April 28th is Workers' Memorial Day, when we honor and remember those who have lost their lives at and because of their work. This year's theme "Strong Laws, Safe Work" highlights the importance of fighting for workers' right to health and safety, especially now, as workplace protections are increasingly threatened in the US and worldwide.

Read More

You can take action to protect the environment

The latest Environmental Protection Agency budget details the new administration's plan to lay off 25% of EPA employees and to dismantle 56 programs, including pesticide safety and control of water runoff. It also eliminates restrictions designed to limit children's exposure to lead and cuts funding for research on climate change and water quality

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

The future of public health is in your hands

With the release of its new budget, the White House has set public health squarely in its crosshairs. The proposed plan would slash funding for agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the CDC by billions of dollars and eliminate lifesaving programs of the Office of Community Services.

Read More

School vouchers harm kids with and without disabilities

The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education has again raised the controversial topic of school vouchers. A strong argument against the voucher system is that private schools are not required to meet the same level of regulation as public schools. This creates serious problems for students with disabilities, as Senators Maggie Hassan and Tim Kaine brought up at DeVos' confirmation hearing. 

Read More

Hesperian teams up with disability services organizations to build capacity

Through a partnership with the Disability Communications Fund, Hesperian recently completed a distance-learning program with 7 community-based organizations serving people with disabilities throughout California. The pilot program focused on enhancing each organization’s capacity to better connect with hard to reach families through the creation of effective outreach materials.

Read More

NASA has found 7 Earth-like planets, but have we given up on ours?

The new US administration is working to take away protections to water and air quality and impose new policies that will harm our environment. Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline -- threatening the water supply on Native American lands -- is near completion after President Trump rebooted plans put on hold by the previous administration. 

Read More

Hesperian’s commitment to health & social justice

Given the outcome of the recent US elections and the threat to people’s health and rights, Hesperian recommits itself over the next years to strengthen and support US movements for health and social justice. Healthy people in thriving, equitable communities – it’s not just a description of the world we work to create, it also describes the movements we must build to achieve it. We look forward to joining you in that struggle.

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

Sharing critical information worldwide

As women in the US and around the world are orgnaizing to protect their rights, they can access critical health information, including family planning, with Hesperian resources. Readership of reproductive health information in the US and Mexico has reached nearly five million, as regressive political climates have made it more vital than ever for women to find respectful, trustworthy information about their health.

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

Fighting Climate Change on All Fronts

The new Timelapse feature on Google Earth lets you view the physical changes of the last 3 decades anywhere on the globe. Seeing how your neighborhood or city has developed since 1984 is fun, but the view becomes much more serious when you look at glaciers, or watch the northern coast of Asia - the pure whiteness of 1984 has faded to brown by 2016.

Read More

On the ground in Peten, Guatemala

Project coordinator of the NEW Where There is No Doctor, Paula Worby, recently spent several weeks in Peten, Guatemala with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Paula worked with the UNHCR and Guatemalan organizations that are offering humanitarian aid to Central American migrants and asylum seekers heading northward.

Read More

Toward a healthy and peaceful 2017

Hesperian accomplished a lot in 2016, but we know that there is so much more to do in 2017. Together, we can work to achieve health and justice. Look back at all the ways Hesperian contributed to Health for All in 2016, and then take a peek at the year ahead. 

Read More

Family planning info shouldn’t be kept a secret

For many women and girls around the world, reliable and accurate family planning and reproductive health information is extremely difficult to find. Harsh laws and restrictions prevent women from even asking for the resources they need. Philippine websites that provide reproductive health materials are regularly hacked and taken down. Several Latin American countries have made it illegal to publicly provide basic family planning content.

Read More

A Hesperian Book is a Gift of Health

Hesperian is thrilled to partner with the African Library Project to provide Where There Is No Doctor and other Hesperian books to community and school libraries in Africa, especially in rural areas where health information is scarce. With the support of donors, we have already distributed Hesperian books to 220 community libraries in Malawi, Sierra Leone and Ghana. 

Read More

Helping Children Live with HIV: A Collaborative Effort

Each AIDS day, we remember and mourn those we have lost, while renewing our commitment to empower and care for the living. We are especially thinking about young children, who depend on others to advocate for them -- people who love them and understand the importance for everyone’s future of considering all our children’s needs while they are young. This advocacy is urgently needed for children affected by HIV.

Read More

Fighting Against Asbestos

52 countries have banned the use of asbestos because it causes cancer and is a danger to public health. Unfortunately, the United States isn’t among them and has yet to completely ban asbestos. Last year’s Frank R. Lautenberg Act, signed by President Obama, took baby steps toward protecting Americans from some toxic substances, including asbestos.

Read More

America Bracho Interviewed on KGNU’s Metro – Wellness Wednesdays

Listen to this captivating interview with America Bracho, Executive Director of Latino Health Access and author of Recruiting the Heart, Training the Brain. Dr. Bracho discusses the value of community health workers with host Elzabieta Kosmicki on the 11/16/16 edition of KGNU’s Metro - Wellness Wednesdays. 

Read More

Babies and breastfeeding: 13 and counting

Too often, mothers and children in Somalia die in childbirth and infancy from lack of access to the prevention and treatment tools that would give them a chance at survival. Regular prenatal care, trained birth attendants, clean water and medical instruments, and availability of medicines are just some of the conditions needed for a safe delivery and healthy baby.

Read More

Strategies for a cleaner environment

China creates much of the world's air pollution which, according to the World Health Organization, caused more than 1 million deaths in just one year. Nearly 40% of China's air pollutants come from coal burned in factories, power plants, and homes all over the country. China uses almost as much coal as every other country in the world combined.

Read More

Refugees right to health

The conflict in Syria is "a very different style of warfare, violating numerous international mandates. The injuries are horrific." Medical workers and clinics have become military targets, with over 1,000 health workers killed, facilities destroyed, and remaining centers working without basic equipment or even electricity.

Read More