All posts filed under: Health

UN expert: Laos’ approach ‘destroyed livelihoods, entrenched vulnerability’

Laos’ economic and poverty alleviation approach is counterproductive to its impoverished population’s health and puts their rights at risk, according to a scathing preliminary report by United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston, which was recorded live for the first time. Alston delivered the report at the UN House in Vientiane Thursday after investigating the human rights of people in poverty in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The report includes the status of rural children, women and ethnic minorities, environmental issues and climate change, the role of foreign investment and infrastructure projects, access to social support, education and healthcare, and more. Alston acknowledged the government’s progress in reducing poverty, such as lowering the number of those living below the poverty line in half, but said its methods to grow the economy have “destroyed livelihoods, entrenched vulnerability, and actually made some people poorer by taking away their access to lands, livelihoods, and resources.” Almost 1/4 of the population lives in poverty and an estimated 80 percent lives at risk of poverty, according to the report. The UN expert …

Canadian Universal Health vs The Great American Gamble

The day my twins were born, my son developed an infection in his leg. It was an excruciating ailment, one that came on without warning and left him unable to walk or even move. It was also a big mystery; doctors weren’t exactly sure what it was, or how to treat it. My husband spent the next eight days shuttling him back and forth to the hospital. While I tended to our newborns at home, they logged hours on the pediatric floor. Each day brought a different round of testing for our young son. His little body was put through it all: x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and bloodwork. That was a draining week for all of us. Most days, we struggled just to keep him comfortable. The hospital had every test result back within 12 hours each day. But waiting isn’t easy – especially for a hormonal mother who can’t stay off Google. I spent sleepless nights worrying about sprains, Lyme disease, even cancer. WebMD became my best friend and worst nightmare. My insane penchant to …