Twenty years after the genocide that killed up to a million and left Rwanda one of the world's poorest and sickest nations, life expectancy in the country has doubled and it is on course to be the first in Africa to meet the UN millennium development goals' health targets. This analysis of the dramatic progress made over 20 years has been made by the US Harvard professor Paul Farmer, and Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda's minister of health, with a team of public health experts. The study is published in the Lancet medical journal. The paper says: "In the aftermath of one of the worst spasms of mass violence in recorded history, few imagined that Rwanda might one day serve as a model for other nations committed to health equity. "In 1994, the genocide against the Tutsis led to the deaths of 1 million people in Rwanda (nearly 20% of the population at the time), as well as the displacement of millions more. "During the 100 days after Easter 1994 a bitter post-colonial divide linked to eugenic … [Read more...] about Rwandan life expectancy doubles in last 20 years, study finds
Life expectancy end stage heart failure
Black and Latinx Americans have higher rates of heart disease and failure than do white Americans - and scientists have now discovered a gene variant that may help explain the baffling disparity. Researchers at Mount Sinai and Penn Medicine discovered that a variant of a gene called TTR, which causes toxic proteins to accumulate on the heart and other organs, is far more common among black and Latinx people. And people of these descents with the gene are at a twofold greater risk of heart failure. Their study further suggested that the less common but often earlier appearing heart problems associated with the gene are likely under-diagnosed in these populations, adding weight to the argument for genetic screening. A map from the new study shows that where more people reported African or Latinx heritage, the disease-causing gene variant was more common (highest percentage shown in red) Nearly half (49 percent) of black women develop heart disease, compared to … [Read more...] about Black and Latinx Americans with a gene that causes proteins to build up on organs are at DOUBLE the risk of suffering heart failure, study finds
I never planned to write a play about Hong Kong, the place of my birth, nor China, the place of my father’s birth. My father was a pro-democracy politician, journalist and historian; my gradual uncovering of his work has since seeped into my own practice as a theatre-maker. Since 1997, Beijing has gradually tightened its grip on Hong Kong’s semi-autonomy. Following the umbrella revolution in 2014, the Chinese Communist party (CCP) swiftly accelerated its encroachment on civil liberties and freedom of speech. Journalists have bravely challenged China’s rise to global power off the back of millions who are persecuted and oppressed on a daily basis. Over little more than half a decade, western governments have kowtowed in droves to a state that punishes those who express opposing views. The UK has allowed China to build instrumental technological infrastructure and to own shares in its nuclear power, the public water supply and rail services. China, which, among a long … [Read more...] about Hong Kong reporters inspired The Life and Death of a Journalist
“There was a great deal of damage, destruction and violence,” Nick Davies reflected while speaking to me last year, “which isn’t terribly easy to stage without hurting people. You’d need a thousand extras if you were going to reconstruct it, and vehicles in flames with smoke pouring out of them. But apart from the enormous number of people, the expense, the damage and the injury … it should be quite easy for you to do.” Davies was talking about the Battle of the Beanfield – a contentious but widely forgotten clash between around 600 New Age travellers and 1,300 police officers in a field near Stonehenge, which he was one of the few journalists to witness in the summer of 1985. “Battle” is a misnomer. This was a coordinated assault on unarmed civilians, ostensibly to enforce an injunction protecting the monument from the annual Stonehenge Free festival, but more strategically aimed at “decommissioning” the convoy … [Read more...] about Revolution of the heads: how we staged the Battle of the Beanfield
With a massive turnout of teary-eyed crowds who filled the wide Plaza de Mayo square and overflowed down its adjoining avenues, Argentina bid farewell on Wednesday evening to its outgoing president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, perhaps the country’s best-loved leader since the return of democracy 32 years ago. But as Argentina prepared to complete a tetchy handover on Thursday to the former Buenos Aires mayor, Mauricio Macri, supporters were already calling for her to come back and anticipating the political battles to follow succession. “We will return, we will return,” chanted the tightly packed wall of supporters outside the Casa Rosada presidential palace. Many of them carried placards reading “Cristina 2019”, expressing the hope that Fernández might compete for a third term. Having already served twice, the leftwing leader was constitutionally barred from running in this year’s contest, which was won by Macri of the centre-right … [Read more...] about Argentina: Cristina Fernández exits stage left, but for how long?