Stories: Health

  • Nigeria adrift as leader in London for month of treatment

    Nigeria, West Africa's economic and military powerhouse, is adrift as President Muhammadu Buhari has been in London for medical treatment for a month as of Wednesday, worrying many that his undisclosed health problems have left Africa's most populous country without strong direction. The president's prolonged absence has created "a vacuum," said Dapo Alaba Sobowale, the head of...

  • How teen moms in Nigeria could wind up hurt by Trump’s U.N. cuts

    LAGOS, Nigeria — Supo Nofisat didn’t mean to get pregnant. As a single, unemployed 18-year-old living in Nigeria, she knew that having a child could mean an even harder life. So when her pregnancy test came back positive in January and a traditional midwife told her she was already three months along, the aspiring hairdresser thought she had...

  • South Africa Sets Up Program to Break the Link between HIV/AIDS and Violence

    Miranda was four months pregnant and extremely anxious when she got her first HIV test. She had long been afraid of a positive diagnosis, and shortly after stepping into a tent offering free HIV tests at a taxi stand in central Johannesburg, her fear was confirmed. Miranda—who asked to use a pseudonym to protect her safety and privacy...

  • Embrace The Morning Milkshake

    I first tried alouda—Mauritius’ answer to the milkshake—at the Central Market in Port Louis. I caught a whiff of curry coming from the food court and followed my nose. It was before nine on a weekday morning and the place was packed with people lapping down glasses of the stuff. Glossy black beads floated to...

  • Japan Prefers Robot Bears to Foreign Nurses

    NAGOYA, Japan — If you want a protector for the elderly, what’s better than a robot bear? Robear, “the strong robot with the gentle touch,” is a nursing-care robot — with a cuddly look — touted as strong enough to lift up elderly Japanese and bring them to the bathroom, but also gentle enough to provide...

  • In Rural India, MIT Grads Aim to Improve Access to Sanitary Pads for Women

    DUMANDIH, India — Anita Kumari was scared and apprehensive when, at age 13, she first started her period. Though she'd learned about menstruation at her school in rural eastern India, she didn't fully understand what was happening to her body. But her mother calmed her nerves and gave her a cloth to use to absorb the blood. Like the...

  • South Africa’s plan to tackle HIV among sex workers

    Johannesburg, South Africa - In the shadow of an underpass, wearing a black bob wig, Tlaleng paces along her patch of Nugget Street, scanning the downtown Johannesburg traffic. Behind her, other women lead clients behind the crumbling walls of a gutted building in the brisk morning light. But Tlaleng, a boiled egg in one palm, is distracted, her eyes roaming...

  • ‘It’s not safe’: South Africans fear using public toilets after woman murdered

    * Warning: Some details in this story are disturbing.* In Khayelitsha, a township just outside Cape Town, South Africa, community activists amping up their efforts to get safe, private toilets after a 19-year-old woman was murdered on her way to a public bathroom. It's a story that is told in the documentary, When She Didn't Come Back, in which...

  • There’s a Message for City Planners in Cape Town Plumbing Poll

    A mother and father stand in the doorway of their Khayelitsha home, looking on as their two young children goof around on the small patch of dirt outside. It’s something like a front yard, only that — flanked on one side by the family’s corrugated tin shack and on the other by a public portable toilet...

  • Condom Couture and Other Ways to Fight AIDS With Art

    After 20 years of doing “condom couture,” Adriana Bertini knows she can make a dress out of old condoms in about 50 hours. But after years of carting bags packed with condom collectibles – including a wedding dress made from 80,000 sheaths – around the world, the Brazilian designer never knows how long it will take to get through the airport. ...