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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.

That’s why, in June, Hesperian expanded the Gratis Book Program to include the United States. The Gratis Program provides free books to those who can’t afford the cost, but are well positioned to use the information to improve their community’s health. Since we asked for your support in expanding the program in June, we have received enthusiastic responses from both donors and people in need.

The Oakland, CA office of the International Rescue Committee requested 30 copies of Where There Is No Doctor in Spanish and English to serve their medically vulnerable clients.

San Francisco-based Operation Access, which arranges surgical care for undocumented migrant workers, will use Hesperian books as a resource for their office staff and referring clinicians. They wrote that the books are especially needed after the devastation of the Northern California wildfires because “so many doctors were affected by the fire, losing their homes, and now patients are having a much harder time getting medical care as a result.”

Please make a gift to support the expansion of the Gratis Books Program to people in the United States. Your support will empower people to understand what they can do on their own and with the support of their communities to prevent disease, improve living conditions and nutrition, respond to emergencies, and make pregnancy safer and children healthier.


Hesperian Executive Director Receives Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award in International Health and The Paul Cornely Award


Sarah Shannon, the Executive Director of Hesperian Health Guides, has received two prestigious awards recognizing her contributions to public health: the Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the American Public Health Association’s International Health section, and the Paul Cornely Award, a national APHA award presented at the Health Activist Dinner. Read More

Getting heated about workers’ protections


2023 is on track to become the hottest year ever recorded. For people who work outdoors in industries like agriculture and construction, warmer temperatures can be dangerous. Read More

The buzz around the BBQ


For those of us living in drier climates, mosquito bites are usually just an annoyance. But the reality for people in tropical or subtropical areas is very different— a fateful mosquito bite can have deadly consequences. Read More

A new edition of “Where Women Have No Doctor” for a new generation.


To mark its 25th anniversary, a completely revised, updated edition of Where Women Have No Doctor is just back from the printer! When first published in 1998, Where Women was the first accessibly written source of health information for millions of women worldwide. Its revolutionary approach challenged medical systems which discriminated against women and their needs.  Read More

Remembering Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury

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Everyday is Indigenous People’s Day


This Monday, Hesperian did not observe Columbus Day. Our organization made a conscious decision to not honor the holiday, not reinforce the misinformation that Columbus’ “discovered” the Americas, and not celebrate the violence and genocide that followed. Instead of taking a day off, we are paying attention to the health and human rights challenges Indigenous people face in North America and globally. Read More

Women choose. We help.


Regardless of whether abortion is legal or penalized, Hesperian remains one of the most accessible sources of comprehensive, evidence-based information on abortion. We are working harder now to ensure that people in the US find out about the app, especially in states that are restricting abortions and in BIPOC communities where barriers to access are greater. Read More

Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst


Many of us laughed at those who were preparing for the world to end in 2012. But in the face of these crises, we cannot help but wonder if they were correct to be stocking up and hunkering down. Read More

Midwives for Every Community


National Midwifery Week is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the essential role that midwives play in delivering ethical, culturally appropriate, quality health care.   This year’s theme is "Midwives for Every Community" – and we couldn’t agree more! For many in the U.S., midwifery care is a luxury despite the critical care and services they deliver. From contraceptive counseling to caring for newborns, midwives care for the entire community. Read More

This is a good news post.


Labor Day 2021, as it was last year, is going to be very different from previous celebrations. And while we might still be marking the end of summer with BBQs with our vaccinated friends and family, let’s share over the grill some of the good news that’s happening for working people! Read More

“No hot water, no toilets, no lights.”


Tackling wealth hoarding requires us to organize and advocate for more equitable legislation and a just economic system. While we work on that, one thing we can do individually is to avoid contributing our hard-earned dollars to Amazon. Read More

Improving Family Planning in the DRC


In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), access to family planning services remains difficult, especially for adolescents and young adults. Consequently, unwanted pregnancies and clandestine abortions constitute a major public health problem in the country. Over the past year, Hesperian has been collaborating with journalists in the DRC to share information about sexual and reproductive health and Hesperian’s apps in French. If you speak French, join us this Saturday, August 28th, for the first PF-MeetUp, an exchange organized by the Network of Journalists in Sexual and Reproductive Health from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Hesperian Health Guides. Read More

Health Resources for the Earthquake in Haiti


The huge 7.2 earthquake on August 14 has devastated the southwest of Haiti. More than 1,400 people have died and at least 84,000 homes and buildings were destroyed or damaged. Coming on top of the assassination of Haiti's president and the denial of COVID vaccines to the Haitian people by the US and European pharmaceutical companies, this makes an already difficult situation even more unbearable. Read More

Cooling climate anxiety during the hottest summer yet — heat, floods, fire and fear


The brutal consequences of climate change are especially apparent this summer. On the West Coast, we are sweating through an extreme heat wave and bracing for a prolonged, frightening fire season. Fresh in our memory is the orange sky of doom that descended upon the Bay Area 11 months ago. Meanwhile, people in China, India and Europe are devastated by floods. Read More

One Peace Corps Volunteer’s Mission for Health

 As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you probably used (or are using!) the book Where There Is No Doctor. Hesperian Health Guides, the nonprofit writer and publisher of this important health resource, wants to connect with you to pursue a vision of Health for All! Together, we can continue to make a difference in your host community.

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Ending HIV in children is way off target


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Celebrating the Contributions of Community Health Workers in Family Planning


The COVID-19 pandemic has limited access to family planning and other essential health care. Country-wide lockdowns and breakdowns of healthcare systems have restricted contraceptive care to the extent that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates there will be 7 million more unintended pregnancies due to the pandemic. Read More

Coronavirus Costumes and a Cumbia Band


The COVID-19 pandemic has hit US Latinos harder for a number of reasons: many Latinos work in service or care jobs that can’t be done remotely and expose them to more people; many live in multi-generational households; and many local governments don’t provide adequate support to their communities. To deal with these conditions, community-based organizations stepped up to get people the resources they need. Now they are taking the lead in getting their communities vaccinated. Read More

Hope and action arise from tragedy


Hesperian is extremely proud of our work as part of the OHS Initiative. It is a profound and successful example of joining groups focused on gender, labor and public health to expand and strengthen the work of all. The Bangladesh OHS Initiative provides a concrete model for intersectional organizing around health issues that will be useful everywhere, including the United States. Read More

Wins and losses in reproductive health


The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) predicts that the COVID-19 pandemic will erase more than 20 years of progress on women’s health and reproductive health access. Hesperian and our partners are working to prevent that. Read More

Hesperian’s Social Justice Summer Reading List!


It’s finally summer! After everything that has happened over the past year and a half, many of us are eager to take time off and spend some quality time relaxing. Whether you travel or stay local, Hesperian has plenty of books that are excellent companions to help you expand your horizons. Read More

Celebrating the ADA’s 31st Anniversary


31 years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law after two years of lobbying and organizing. This historic win was made possible by the work of activists like Ed Roberts and Judy Heumann who had been fighting for disability rights for decades. The ADA made public spaces, transportation and job opportunities more accessible to people with disabilities, but disability activists point out there is still a lot to be done to achieve equity.  Read More

Hesperian’s COVID-19 Resources in Indian Languages

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India’s COVID-19 Emergency

India is experiencing a worse-case pandemic scenario. Over 300,000 people are reporting sick with COVID-19 every day. As the virus spreads, the health system — and the political and administrative will to save lives — has completely collapsed. Hospitals have run out of beds and oxygen. Pharmacies have exhausted their drug supplies. Read More

How the ‘Shadow Pandemic’ has impacted women worldwide

Gender-based violence, especially domestic violence, has increased as isolation at home has forced more exposure to abusers. This surge of violence, often referred to as the Shadow Pandemic, is a worldwide phenomenon. Read More

Standing in Solidarity with the Asian Community

As the horrific news of the murder of six women of Asian descent in Atlanta sinks in, all of us at Hesperian stand in solidarity with members of the Asian community, as well as others who face racism in America and are personally impacted.  Read More

Working together to support women’s health during COVID-19

With health systems overloaded by the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities serving women and girls have closed or cut back the services they offer. Some of Hesperian’s partners quickly realized that our reproductive health apps offer alternative ways to support women’s access to care in times when in-person services are unavailable or limited. Their experience and expertise transformed the apps into culturally and linguistically appropriate tools that can be used to support women's health during the pandemic. Read More

International Women’s Day 2021, looking back and looking forward

Monday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. Every year IWD calls us to challenge the social forces that oppress women and girls and prevent them from living full, fair, and free lives. IWD invites us to celebrate the incredible activists worldwide who mobilized quickly to provide information and services remotely during the pandemic shutdown and without slowing ongoing efforts to expand rights for women. Read More

Climate Change— A Crisis Here and Now

Community organizers and health workers use our materials to support the immediate needs of people affected by climate disasters as well as to organize their communities against the threat climate change poses to our health and survival. As we work to transform environmental health in our communities, we also must keep up the pressure on the politicians. Read More

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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