The blog of Burness Communications

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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Mandela and a new generation of African voices

"We have lost him, and must recognize the need for a next generation of selfless and driven leaders. For me, Mandela's example will always stand as a reminder of what is possible when conviction faces injustice, of the work that still remains unfinished, and of the long road ahead." 
 
These words come from Kennedy Odede, an incredible person and friend, and someone who—like so many other leaders—was inspired by Nelson Mandela. In his beautifully written piece on CNN.com, Kennedy—born into poverty in Nairobi’s slums— recounts how reading Mandela’s biography and his speeches gave him hope and inspired him to help his community. He now runs an organization that serves more than 50,000 people in the urban slums with health and education services. And while his organization continues to grow, he knows that the fight against urban poverty and inequality is far from over. There is so much left to do.

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Conversations in Development: A World Free of Malaria

Malaria is one of the world's most pressing health problems. It kills hundreds of thousands of people per year, most of them young African children, and infects many more. Many children who survive bouts of the disease suffer permanent mental and physical impairments.

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Simple Approaches to Reduce Children's Pain

For parents, the experience of taking their child to the pediatrician or hospital for necessary vaccinations or tests involving a series of shots is a time of anxiety and stress. In fact, ten percent of both children and adults have a significant needle phobia. Often, this is because the pain with getting shots with needles is managed poorly, if it is even managed at all.

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New Report: Doctors’ Participation in Interrogation and Torture in U.S. Detention Centers

Doctors and other health care providers are expected to adhere to certain professional ethical standards, to “do no harm” and “put patient interests first.” But a new report from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) says that military doctors and psychologists have let national security interests trump ethical standards, leading them to design, enable and engage in torture of detainees in U.S. military detention centers.

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Conversations in Development: The Critical Role of Women in Agriculture

The majority of those who produce, process, and market Africa’s food are women, but only one in four agricultural researchers and one in seven agricultural policymakers is female.

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Looking in Switzerland for the answers to financial risk in economic development

When you look at mining, logging, and large-scale agriculture in the developing world, an unfortunate set of numbers leap out.  Because these industries need land that is mostly inhabited, contested ownership of rural, forest, and dryland areas directly affects the livelihoods of more than two billion people.

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