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Three years ago early on a February morning, 16-year-old Sangita Magar had just arrived at a prep class for her high school exams in Kathmandu. Her friend Seema Basnet was asking Magar for help with an accounting problem when the door flung open and someone threw liquid in Magar's face, splashing Basnet too.

Congo Faces Another Ebola Outbreak

Aug 19, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

What's it like to live in Honduras today — and why do so many people want to leave?

Those are the questions that photojournalist Tomas Ayuso, who grew up in the Central American country, explores in a project he calls "The Right To Grow Old."

Note to readers: As you would expect in a story about a sex advice columnist, this post contains some frank language about sex.

Growing up in India, I had no sex ed in school. Sex was a taboo. Indian parents largely avoid the whole birds-and-bees talk.

I'd never heard words like condom, intercourse, ejaculation or penetration spoken aloud.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Nov. 1, 2016, and has been updated.

Crazy Rich Asians is, of course, not a movie about global development. But as it happens, the topic gets a cameo in the rom-com.

Main character Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu) is a professor of economics. And on a trip to Singapore to meet the family of her "crazy rich" boyfriend Nick, she goes to a big wedding and runs into a Malay princess, who has written an article about ... microloans.

The World Health Organization said Friday that security concerns in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's North Kivu region were preventing aid workers from reaching certain areas — and leaving open the possibility of the Ebola virus spreading.

At least 1,500 people could be exposed to the virus, WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva, according to Reuters.

How To Get Women To Trust The Police? 'Gender' Desks

Aug 15, 2018

How do you get a woman to report to the police that she's been assaulted or abused if she doesn't trust the police to take action?

That, says activist Jamila Juna, is a serious problem in Zanzibar.

Juma is the executive director of the Zanzibar Female Lawyers Association (ZAFELA), which she helped found in 2003 to provide free legal aid to women and children. When a woman is assaulted in Zanzibar and wants to make a police report, there's a good chance Juma will be involved, in some capacity, as an advocate in her case.

In the marble halls of Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, patients are greeted by chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling French windows.

There are autism and Alzheimer's clinics, genetic testing, clinical trials of new drugs and private rooms. Spinal injuries are treated in a special robotics rehabilitation unit, where patients are hooked up to robots to exercise their limbs.

And visitors can grab a Starbucks latte in the lobby.

My back hurts when I sit down.

It's been going on for 10 years. It really doesn't matter where I am — at work, at a restaurant, even on our couch at home. My lower back screams, "Stop sitting!"

To try to reduce the pain, I bought a kneeling chair at work. Then I got a standing desk. Then I went back to a regular chair because standing became painful.

I've seen physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons and pain specialists. I've mastered Pilates, increased flexibility and strengthened muscles. At one point, my abs were so strong my husband nicknamed them "the plate."

Chasing A Dream: An Ambulance Service That People Can Trust

Aug 12, 2018

When Jamil Bangura realized that he and his family had signs of Ebola, in September 2014, he did what he had been told to do.

Following instructions from the Sierra Leonean government, he didn't try to treat himself or walk to a clinic. He didn't go to a traditional healer or stay at home.

He called an ambulance.

It came — two days later.

"I kept calling, and they kept saying, 'Wait, we'll come and take you people,'" recalls Bangura, who now helps lead a chapter of the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors (SLAES).

Earlier this week, we reported on the video from India that, according to Trevor Noah, "won" the Kiki Challenge. It was 39 seconds of two farmers dancing in the mud with their oxen.

Researchers have discovered why some stomach bugs hit us so hard — and spread so fast.

New research published Wednesday in Cell Host & Microbe found that stomach infections, like norovirus and rotavirus, are more contagious and more potent when the virus particles cluster together.

These findings may help treat — and even prevent — these viruses more effectively.

Orphanages are falling out of favor.

Ever since the horrific conditions in Romanian orphanages were widely publicized in the 1990s – naked children tied to cribs in overcrowded wards — there's been a movement in the international aid world to shut down orphanages completely.

But according to UNICEF, there are still 2.7 million children living in orphanages worldwide.

So what if someone tried to set up a good orphanage — a place where parentless kids could thrive? What would it look like? And what could it tell us about the basics of child rearing?

On Saturday, July 29, a speeding bus ran over a group of students waiting on the side of the road in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Two students died. Ten others were critically injured. And a protest was launched that, at least for a few days, dramatically changed the flow of traffic in a country where some 20,000 people die in road accidents each year – and where drivers of buses, cars and rickshaw cycles disregard lanes and rules in a crazy quilt of intermingling vehicles. What's more, some drivers may not even have a license.

It's 'Shark Tank' For Global Health Inventions

Aug 4, 2018

What would happen if global health innovators appeared on "Shark Tank," the reality TV show that judges business concepts from straightforward to zany?

The latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo comes just a week after the last outbreak there was declared over. Making things worse for Congolese health officials, this new cluster of Ebola cases is in the volatile North Kivu province, where heavily armed militants have driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

In the early 2000s, hospitals across Australia began installing more hand-sanitizer dispensers in their rooms and hallways for staff, visitors and patients to use. Research showed these alcohol-based disinfectants helped battle staph infections in patients and certain kinds of drug-resistant bacteria. And rates of these infections went down.

But other infections didn't drop when people started using the sanitizer stations. In fact, certain infections went up.

The U.N. has an incredibly ambitious goal of wiping out HIV transmission by the year 2030.

But global health experts say they can't execute that plan without a cheaper way to monitor the health of millions of HIV patients.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, along with several other development agencies, has brokered an agreement to make routine HIV tests more accessible. They're aiming to make HIV viral load tests available for $12 a piece, slashing the price in some markets by more than 50 percent.

When Blessing Okoedion was 26, she headed to Spain for a job she had been offered at a computer store. In her home country of Nigeria, she had earned a degree in computer science and started her own business repairing computers.

But the job offer was a ruse. Her work visa had been faked by human traffickers. There was no computer store job.

After a brief stop in Spain, her captors sent her to Naples, Italy. They told her that she owed them 65,000 euros — more than $70,000 in today's dollars. And they forced her into sex work on the streets of an Italian town.

Etinosa Yvonne Osayimwen's goal is to get inside her subjects' heads.

The self-trained, 28-year-old documentary photographer does just that by using a double-exposure technique. She takes portraits of Nigerian survivors of violence and terrorism — then superimposes it with an image of something that reminds them of how their lives have changed.

So many aid programs in low-income countries have set "empowering women" as their goal. They don't just want to boost women's incomes and health and education level, but to give them the ability to make their own decisions over those aspects of their lives.

But how do you actually gauge how much control a woman has over her life?

Staged photos of impoverished Indians posing with fake food have sparked fierce criticism from Indian photographers, global development experts and the CEO of one of the world's largest charities in India. They are calling the project unethical and insensitive.

The world now has a potent, new weapon against malaria — one that can wipe out the parasite from a person's body with a single dose.

But before many people around the world can use it, scientists have to overcome a big obstacle.

The 22nd annual International AIDS Conference is currently underway in Amsterdam. And several studies are looking at the U.S. government's largest foreign HIV program: the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR.

The multi-billion dollar program to combat HIV and AIDS globally has been slated for cuts by the Trump administration. But researchers and African health officials credit the program started by President George W. Bush with helping to change the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic.

A few summers ago in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, an economist named Anant Nyshadham was heading to lunch with some executives at a garment factory.

"We walked through the factory floor on the way to the canteen," he recalls. "And I thought, 'Wow, this is really hot.' "

And this is a man who grew up in the state of Georgia. "But you know, I don't think I'll ever get used to the heat and humidity [there]," he says, laughing. "And India is on a different level."

Imagine an aid worker in Bangladesh. Her mother tongue is Chittagonian. She's trying to help a Rohingya refugee, whose language is similar to hers — but not 100 percent.

Just over four years ago, on July 17, 2014, six delegates on their way to the International AIDS Conference died in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine.

The delegates were among the 298 people killed hours after their flight took off from Amsterdam.

International investigations concluded that the missile that downed the jet originated with the Russian military, which has denied involvement.

When Maria Toorpakai plays squash in the Pakistan city of Peshawar, military snipers stand on the roof over the court to protect her from the Taliban.

It's a haunting image. At dusk, hundreds of Rohingya refugees at a camp in Bangladesh are huddled around a projector, looking at something just outside the frame — a film about health and sanitation.

That photo, taken on an iPhone by documentary photographer Jashim Salam of Bangladesh, is the grand prize-winning photo of the 2018 iPhone Photography Awards.

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