Stories: Health

  • 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. ...

  • The Risk Farmers

    We recently visited a man who may be the best apple farmer in Lesotho. He wanted to expand his business — but he was wary of going all-in on apples. This is a common issue in the developing world: Farmers don't grow enough of the things they're best at growing. Why not? Two economists — who work across...

  • For One woman, Working on an Ebola Burial Team Cracked Her Life Open

    At the height of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, the rumors came fast and furious: The government was injecting patients with Ebola to shake more aid money out of the West; the best way to prevent Ebola was to drink salt water – gallons of it – or maybe bleach; the disease could be cured by onions, exorcisms, condensed...