To Cook or Not to Cook?

BY MAHRUKH SHAHID “To cook or not to cook is a consequential question”.1 The above quote is one of the parting words from Michael Pollan’s documentary Cooked—a four-part miniseries divided into the classical elements: air, earth, fire, and water. Pollan shows us the science, and magic, behind the transformation of these elements into food. His…

Ecuador’s Earthquake: The Mental Health Consequences of Natural Disasters

BY CARLIN SHERIDAN On April 16, 2016 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador, killing 659 people and injuring over 16,600.1 As the nation begins its emergency response, the disaster sheds light on the weaknesses of its health infrastructure. Natural disasters can be characterized as a health issue because in addition to causing physical injuries, they also destroy urban,…

Diabetes: Health Inequity of Mexican Immigrants in the United States

BY ANABEL STAROSTA In the United States, Latino immigrants are especially affected by certain illnesses due to social and structural factors beyond their control. Latino immigrants often work as disenfranchised laborers, experience ethnic and cultural discrimination, and remain in low socioeconomic conditions. 1 While certain negative health outcomes are equally prevalent across the greater Latino population, Mexican immigrants in…

Beyond Flint: Lead Poisoning as National Crisis

BY HOLLY ROBINSON The ongoing lead crisis in Flint, Michigan has prompted abundant media coverage on both health issues and political corruption. This attention also increased awareness about the prominence of lead poisoning, bringing similar stories from across the nation to the foreground. At least three other cities—Newark, New York City, and Cleveland—have since reported lead crises of their…

Thailand: A Model for Migrant Healthcare

BY AKHIL UPNEJA At a time when oppressive regimes are committing particularly heinous human rights violations, governments across the world are refusing to welcome refugees and migrants. Even in those nations that do accept migrants, accessing affordable health care is becoming an increasingly important issue. Thailand stands out as a leader in these respects. With…

Mental Health Legacies of the Rwandan Genocide

BY ANABEL STAROSTA Beginning in 1990, a civil war between the Hutu-led government and the Tutsi minority group erupted in Rwanda. In 1994, the civil war escalated into a genocide orchestrated by Hutus against Tutsis. As a result of murder and systematic brutality, genocide against the Tutsis and non-extremist Hutus left approximately one million people dead within a period…

Family Planning in Refugee Settings

BY HOLLY ROBINSON Sixty-one million people needed humanitarian assistance in 2012.1 The health of these refugees is often thought of as a short-term problem that can be solved by providing only food and water, and the goal is often to sustain refugee populations until they are able to move to a more permanent living situation. It is easy…

An Aging Japan Births New Challenges

BY HOLLY ROBINSON The demography of the world is shifting. Many countries in the world are amidst the transition from a population characterized by a high birth and death rate to one characterized by a low birth and death rate. Japan’s low death rate and even lower birthrate make it the front-runner in this transition. However, it is…

Olympic Levels of Water Contamination in Rio de Janeiro

BY AKHIL UPNEJA In July 2015, the Associated Press published a concerning report regarding contamination levels in the waters surrounding Rio de Janeiro, the venue of the 2016 Summer Olympics. In the scathing report, the Associated Press writes “Olympic athletes are almost certain to come into contact with disease-causing viruses that in some tests measured up to 1.7 million…