The blog of Burness Communications

Ebola Insights

The 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH, a Burness Client), on November 5 2014, featured informative, gripping, tragic, and inspirational testimony from people working on the frontlines of the Ebola epidemic and now racing to develop, test, and approve life-saving drugs and vaccines. The meeting highlighted progress and setbacks, and attracted many major media outlets eager for updates about the situation in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

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Visiting Hours Are Over: Why Patients’ Families Should Be With Them 24/7

Imagine being separated from your family or loved one during your stay in the hospital or ICU. Maybe you’re even in pain and critically ill, or you’re told you can’t be with your spouse because “visiting hours are over.”

This is an unfortunate reality for thousands of patients across the country. Each day, hospitals enforce outdated visiting policies based on beliefs that visitors spread infection and disrupt patient care. Research tells a different story, showing little evidence to back up these antiquated ideas. In fact, studies show that having a loved one by your side can reduce patient stress and complications as well as improve patient satisfaction in the hospital.

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Conversations in Development: Guardians of the Forest, Protectors of the Climate

Tropical forests are critical to the future of the planet. They harbor millions of species of plants and animals, and, as natural storers of carbon, they play a key role in combating climate change.

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Wired for Pain: How Different People Process Pain

Rollercoasters. For some, they are an intoxicating thrill. But for others, just the word can set off a wave of motion sickness. So why do people react differently to the exact same experience? It all comes down to brain structure.

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Conversations in Development: Improving Health in Kenya's Urban Slums

Poverty, poor health and overcrowding are some of the many challenges facing communities in Kenya's urban slums, or informal settlements. Jane Otai knows these issues firsthand.

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Looking at hunger ‘with new eyes’

This op-ed originally appeared on April 16 in the Montgomery County, MD Gazette

Brazil’s fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, with 2.5 million people, has accomplished what we have been unable to do in America: end hunger. A former city official there says, “It is easy to end hunger if we are willing to break free of limiting frames and to see with new eyes.”

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Conversations in Development: Livestock—The Unsung Heroes of International Development

Cattle, goats, chickens and other farm animals are the unsung heroes of international development. More than 600 million rural poor depend on their animals to survive, and livestock contribute up to 80 percent of agricultural GDP in developing countries. Perhaps no group understands this better than the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which conducts research on livestock to improve food security and reduce poverty globally.

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Conversations in Development: Ethiopia Minister of Health on Country’s Historic Health Advances

Over the last ten years, Ethiopia has made tremendous strides in improving health outcomes for its citizens. Last year the country made headlines for beating the global deadline for achieving Millennium Development Goal 4–reducing child mortality by two-thirds. One of the reasons behind the country's success is its Health Extension Program, which deploys more than 30,000 health extension workers to remote areas of the country that lack access to healthcare. Dr. Kesete Admasu, Minister of Health of Ethiopia, recently sat down with BurnessGlobal's Ellen Wilson outside of Addis Ababa to discuss the country's historic advances and his personal motivation for improving the lives of his fellow citizens.

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Conversations in Development: Indigenous Women in Latin America

Across Latin America, indigenous communities are on frontlines of an ongoing battle, fighting to protect their culture and livelihoods from companies and governments hungry for land and resources. As guardians of the forest and preservers of indigenous culture, indigenous women play a key role in keeping their communities safe and thriving.

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