Urinalysis in Nepal

In The Healing of America, T.R. Reid discusses some ‘interesting’ urinalysis techniques practiced by Dr. Tenzin in Nepal.   “When they do urinalysis up at Khunde [a Western-style clinic in Nepal], all the do is stick a slip of paper into a sample,” he said.  “But that can’t be enough.  I just don’t think it…

Paying poor people to get vaccinated

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs have become very popular among development economists.  This programs pay poor families to have their children attend school and/or get vaccinated.  Some of the larger programs include Bolsa Família in Brazil and Oportunidades in Mexico.   Should economists support CCTs that pay the poor to get vaccinated?  This depends on 2 factors: 1)…

AIDS Crowds-Out

Case and Paxson (2009): “We document the impact of the AIDS crisis on non-AIDS related health services in fourteen sub-Saharan African countries…Regions of countries that have light AIDS burdens have witnessed small or no declines in health care, using the measures noted above, while those regions currently shouldering the heaviest burdens have seen the largest…

Cuban Exports: Sugar, Cigars…and Cancer drugs?

Cuba is well known for its high quality cigars and sugar production, but is less well-known for its production of high quality pharmaceuticals.  According to MSNBC, “With more than 7,000 scientists dedicated to researching new drugs, Cuba has one of the most sophisticated biotech industries in the developing world. Last year the country earned $350…

Flushed

I just finished reading an interesting book on plumbing.  I can just see that I lost half my readers with that last sentence.  How can plumbing be interesting? It turns out that if you are interested in health, you must be interested in plumbing.  Disposing of human waste is one of the biggest health problems,…

Obama likes condoms

The Think Progress Wonk Room says that President-elect Obama will reverse the Bush-era rule that NGOs must refrain from promoting family planning measures if they wish to receive federal funding: “…While the policy was “purportedly designed to reduce abortion by limiting a woman’s access to abortion services, and to ensure that U.S. funding for family…

The success (or corruption) of Microfinance

This blog has repeatedly reported on the success of microfinance organizations such as Nobel-prize-winner Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank and ACCIÓN (see 26 Mar 07 and 26 May 06 posts). Up to this point, the organizations who have worked to make loans to the world’s poor have been nonprofit organizations. Now, however, The Economist reports (“Doing…

Sight-saving Charity

An estimated 1.6% of Ethiopia’s the population is blind, with approximately 12% of this blindness caused by trachoma.  Trachoma is a highly infectious disease; it is spread through contact with an infected person’s hands or clothing, or by flies that have come in contact with the discharge from an infected eye or nose.  One good…

Are wet babies healthy babies?

Does rainfall improve health for children in developing countries? Sharon L. Maccini and Dean Yang (2008) hypothesize that higher rainfall will lead to higher incomes for rural household and higher incomes allows increased food purchases and more disposable income to be made available for health care purchases. The authors find that in Indonesia, “[w]omen with…