As the mom of two young girls (who are constantly hearing from me that they can grow up to be anything they want), I’m a sucker for girl-power stories. So an NPR blog piece called “They never told her that girls could become scientists” caught my eye over the weekend.
News from Africa
Regional News from Stanford University - Africa
Last week, the Paris Agreement, a global climate pact 23 years in the making, officially put into force unprecedented requirements for reducing emissions that fuel global climate change.
Now, representatives of 196 countries are in Marrakesh, Morocco, through Nov. 18 to hash out details of managing the pact and ensuring all signatories meet the goals they committed to, not only cutting carbon output but also financing adaptation in developing countries and other objectives (Paris Agreement highlights).
Clea Sarnquist, DrPH, a senior research scholar in pediatrics at Stanford, and statistician Michael Baiocchi, PhD, traveled to Kenya in January to launch a closed-cohort study that will track changes in a fixed group of about 4,000 girls, with the goal of better understanding of how girls are adapting to the trainings and their social situations.
One of the biggest challenges in providing relief to people living in poverty is locating them. The availability of accurate and reliable information on the location of impoverished zones is surprisingly lacking for much of the world, particularly on the African continent. Aid groups and other international organizations often fill in the gaps with door-to-door surveys, but these can be expensive and time-consuming to conduct.
Stanford emergency physician S.V. Mahadevan, MD, had no idea when he visited Madagascar two months ago that he would help save the life of an ailing newborn. The chair of emergency medicine at Stanford, Mahadevan traveled to the island country in April to teach some essential medical procedures to health care workers there, using simple equipment he had brought. Those same health care workers put that training into practice in July to rescue a 2-month-old with a life-threatening infection.
Girls and young women in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, are very vulnerable to sexual assault. Fortunately, as I’ve reported before, the nonprofit No Means No Worldwide is changing that. The organization, founded by San Francisco activist Lee Paiva, has developed curricula for girls and boys aimed at preventing sexual assaults.
Ami Bhatt, MD, PhD, has a gut feeling about many medical maladies.
That is, she believes that we can fight some diseases by learning more about the trillions of microbes living in our guts and on our bodies.
“Humans are not only made up of human cells, but are a complex mixture of human cells and the microbes that live within us and among us — and these microorganisms are as critical to our well-being as we are to theirs,” says Bhatt, who is an assistant professor of medicine and of genetics.
Many Stanford faculty who have conducted research in low-resourced environments point out lack of reciprocity as one of their biggest challenges. They often find it challenging to invite their collaborator from developing countries due to economic disparity. Among its eleven recipients, the Office of International’s seed grant enabled ten Stanford faculty members across disciplines to invite their collaborators from low and middle-income countries in 2014 and 2015.