Training Non-Doctors to Treat Patients: A Suprisingly Simple Global Health Solution

Another look at how community health workers can impact the developing world, and potentially the United States, as well.

Last week we wrote about Tina Rosenberg's New York Times blog where she wrote about villagers in India trained as community health workers.

There was such an overwhelming response to this idea that Rosenberg wrote a follow up column in Saturday's New York Times:

Several readers also noted that the idea of doctoring by lay people is not new; it was done on a colossal scale in China under Mao. In the Barefoot Doctor program, which began in the late 1960s, each commune trained workers to do basic preventive and curative health care, paying them in work points. When the communes were dissolved in 1981, so was the program. Many of the Barefoot Doctors became standard doctors, charging patients and concentrating on curative medicine.


Readers mentioned other community health programs around the world including Operation ASHA, where semi-literate counselors treat tuberculosis in slums in India and Cambodia., para-dentists in rural Alaska and Concern America, which works with health promoters in Colombia and Central America.

And she lays out the step-by-step plan for how such small programs can have a larger impact by applying their practice model to larger programs like Save The Children's Newborn LIves Program.

Photo of a Barefoot Doctor from the World Health Organization, via Wikimedia Commons.

Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

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There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

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Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

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