Stories: Health

  • In Northern Uganda, Male Mentors Spread the Word on Family Planning

    GULU, UGANDA – When Josephine Lamwaka was growing up, she watched her father abuse her mother almost every day, sometimes even threatening to kill her with a machete. Lamwaka’s father also forbade her mother from using contraception or visiting the local family planning clinic. With her parents as her only model for marriage, Lamwaka, 30, didn’t expect...

  • “If You Have Money, You Can Think Whatever You Want”

    People in Nepal’s Thulopakhar village shudder to hear of a girl going to work abroad. Under their voices, neighbors mutter about sex work, abuse, impropriety. In this village, nestled beneath the Himalayas, some 70 kilometers from the capital city of Kathmandu, boys leave because they have no choice but to earn money for their families; girls need to stay...

  • In Tanzania, mothers learn how to teach the facts of life

    DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — On a warm Saturday in October, a dozen women in the neighborhood of Mbagala Charambe in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, sat together in the open-air waiting area at Samaria Health Centre. On most weekends, women gather here to learn how to talk with their preteen and teenage daughters about puberty, their changing bodies, contraception and...

  • In Senegal, family planning finds a key ally: imams

    The mosque loudspeaker crackles to life, just as it does five times a day, every day, in this quiet village just outside the Senegalese capital, Dakar. But instead of the typical melodious call to prayer, the voice booming from the minaret is all business. “If you are interested in learning about your family-planning options, please come to the health...

  • In push to end child marriage in Guatemala, young women are on the front line

    In this remote village perched high in the hills of eastern Guatemala, a spunky 21-year-old in high-tops and skinny black jeans is holding court in a former coffee-processing plant. In front of Patricia Rossibel Cortéz Jiménez are dozens of girls, ages 8 to 18, who whisper and swing their feet beneath plastic chairs as she opens a weekly...

  • Can helping men in Mongolia improve life for women?

    Over green tea at a Western-style cafe in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar in late summer, Temuulen rattles off reasons why Mongolian men need help: poor health, high unemployment and heavy drinking. As vice director of the nonprofit Men’s Association, Temuulen, who, like many Mongolians, uses only one name, has a lot to say about the status of...

  • In push to end FGM, local women offer influential message

    It was the biggest party Aminata Mané had ever been to, a riot of colorful dresses and exuberant dancing. There were enough fluffy piles of rice and roasted sheep’s meat for the entire village to eat until their stomachs hurt – and it was all to celebrate her. But Mrs. Mané, who was 11 at the...

  • FOR G-D SO LOVED HAITI

    It was a muggy autumn afternoon when I finally managed to squeeze my way to the front of a service at Shalom. I normally preferred to hang toward the back—the only foreigner, curious and awed by the crush of bodies pressed in together, sometimes as many as twenty thousand, though church leaders boasted of crowds twice that size...

  • The hero rats of Africa sniff out land mines — and TB infections

    MOROGORO, Tanzania — The grass is still damp with dew as the sun begins to glint over the Uluguru Mountains. It’s only 7 a.m. in Morogoro, Tanzania, but Oprah and Malala and Taylor Swift and the others are already hard at work. They are heroes in the region, literal saviors to thousands of Tanzanians and those in the...

  • The child brides of Nepal: why education alone is not enough to stop underage marriages

    Inside the house of her husband’s parents, Apsara Devi Sah sits on a mat in a small, windowless storage room with a mud floor. Three days after her wedding she is still dressed in bridal finery – an ornately embroidered yellow veil and dress dipped in red, elaborate mehndi snaking down her arms and legs. Dozens of green,...