Articles and Reflections

Before going to India, I approached planning issues from a narrow framework. Traveling anywhere forces you to re-evaluate your own viewpoint. In my case, although I researched urban planning in India, I did not really understand how different it could look until I went there. 
5 billion people worldwide lack access to timely, safe, and affordable surgical care. In many places, the challenges to provision of this care are daunting. Health systems lack basic human and material resources, rudimentary education regarding congenital anomalies and need for referral at the primary care/midwife/rural medical center level, and safety and transportation logistics. 
Each time we enter our research site, teachers and students welcome and seek to help us feel at home within a well-established community that is flourishing behind old school doors. Warm, inviting faces fill the halls, wherein school leadership and staff seek to uplift students who have escaped economic destitution, identity-based violence, and war to resettle as refugees in the United States. Given the school mission and established programming, more recently staff also work to address the needs of an influx of Puerto Rican students displaced because of Hurricane Maria.
In the United States, students suffering mental health issues related to trauma can often find help from school social workers. Unfortunately, many countries lack these services. In the Dominican Republic, less than 1% of the country’s health care finances are allocated to mental health. Social work is not an available career, therefore children suffering mental health issues have limited access to care.
Solid fuel combustion – in the form of biomass and coal – is a dominant energy source for household heating and cooking in low and middle-income countries. As a result, nearly 3 billion people worldwide are exposed to household air pollution, causing four million premature deaths annually.
The majority of the population living in the state of Odisha, India, earn a living as cultivators – 53% work their land for more than 6 months a year. In 2013, these farmers produced a surplus of 124 million tons of rice, yet the population still suffers from undernourishment (21%) and poverty (32%), and 40% of children under five are underweight
Small-holder farmers around the globe use about 8% of all agricultural land, yet account for 70% of all farms. Many farmers live off what they grow and have limited access to capital, markets, land, and technology.  Subsequently, large-scale changes like urbanization, a globalizing food system, and climate change, intensely affect their economic, social, and physical health and wellbeing. 
With the support of the Community for Global Health Equity (CGHE), in January 2018, Medical Sciences students Arsalan Haghdel and Aye Bay Na Sa, Environmental and Civil Engineering double major Matthew Falcone, and Architecture and Planning graduate student Nicole Little traveled to India to conduct research through Amrita University’s Live-In Labs (LILA) program.
Economic and environmental sustainability is a critical challenge for populations around the world, but the obstacles are diverse, reflecting the politics, cultural identities and geographies of each nation. One method to improve a nation’s sustainability is Green building, or the efficient use of resources, safeguarding occupant health and preventing environmental degradation.
As a participant of the Community for Global Health Equity’s (CGHE) first Global Innovation Challenge, I learned that children with disabilities around the world often do not attend school because they cannot access water and sanitation facilities. These facilities are not being monitored or assessed, leading to a large portion of the population uneducated and unable to find quality work.
Rising household incomes, multi-scalar supply chains – regional, national, transnational – women’s labor force participation, state food programs, and changing trade rules are altering food systems in middle-income countries across the globe. These factors shape and are shaped by dietary practices, as consumption shifts away from fresh foods prepared at home towards highly processed goods of low nutritional quality. As a result, populations face a “double burden” of malnutrition: undernourishment, on the one hand, and overweight and obesity, on the other.
The South Sudan civil war has led to an influx of approximately one million refugees to Uganda, one of the poorest countries in the world. Unlike most nations, Uganda welcomes refugees with the right to land, freedom to travel, ability to work, and access to food, water, and shelter. Unfortunately, limited water sources in Northern Uganda, where most refugees settle, are generally not safe for consumption. Currently around 8 million people in Uganda, 20% of the population, do not have access to safe water. Without access, subsistence farmers struggle to feed their families and earn a living, and children under the age of five die from diarrheal disease caused by poor water and sanitation.
Surrounded by a circular river system that receives the wastewater discharge of a population approaching 20 million, the physical geography of Bangladesh’s capital city, Dhaka, contributes to a number of significant public health hazards, including the interaction of pathogenic bacteria with antibiotic residues and chemicals.
The data and projections are alarming. 70% of infections in babies with sepsis were multi-drug resistant in a private, metropolitan hospital in India. 
Access to essential medicines is not only about the development and cost of pharmaceuticals but also supply chain logistics. The "last mile" plays a particularly important (and challenging) role in low- and middle-income countries, such as Uganda. Industrial and systems engineering research reveals major disparities in access to essential medicines.
Since its independence from Britain in 1948, Burma has been embroiled in one of the longest-running civil wars in the world, mainly due to its complex ethno-political tensions that resulted in ongoing conflicts between its military government and ethnic minority groups. As a result, many refugees from Burma, members of the Karen ethnic group in particular, fled to refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border, where these refugees have lingered for years before being granted resettlement to the United States in the early 2000s.
Buffalo's diverse populations must be considered when designing public assistance programs. Diverse diets do not always include whole-grain bread, infant formula, baby food, and milk, foods chosen through a "rigorous science-based process".
In the spring of 2016, 13 master’s students from architecture, urban and regional planning, environmental engineering and public health enrolled in a course to help develop a city sanitation plan for Maradu, India. Co-taught by Drs. Samina Raja (urban planning) and Korydon Smith (architecture), and in partnership with the Centre for Science and the Environment and the College of Engineering at Trivandrum, the group traveled to Maradu for three weeks in January 2016 to conduct preliminary fieldwork. As a teaching assistant along with Smitha Gopalakrishnan, I traveled to Maradu, to help facilitate the fieldwork portion of the studio.
According to reports from the 2014 United Nations Data, India has an “urban slum population” of 98.4 million people (i.e., people living in urban informal settlements that do not have legal recognition of tenure of the land they live on). In parallel, according to the 2011 Census of India, the total urban population with some form of disability was over 8 million. 
Sitting on the veranda outside of my room at the Mata Amritanandamai Math Ashram, I am serenaded by a chirping cricket, the rustling of leaves in the gentle cool breeze. In the distance, I can hear the soft whispering of the Bagivati River, a tributary of the Ganga, as it rushes past us on its daily journey. After four long days on a train, then 6 hours winding through the Himalayas by taxi, I took a few moments to soak up the beautiful scenery surrounding us before beginning our work in Dunda, a small village in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.
Cancer control in low and middle income countries will not be effective without a multifaceted, innovative approach that includes the lay public and the medical community.
The Havana confab brought together public health and social scientists from sixteen different Latin American countries, and focused on three interrelated themes: the social determinants of health; food security and nutrition, and the prevention and control of disease. 
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that can begin at around week 20 and may present a wide range of symptoms, such as high blood pressure, weight gain, presence of high amounts of protein in urine, and abdominal pain. Due to diverse and inconsistent symptoms, it is often misdiagnosed as hypertension.
At the start of 2017, the number of people worldwide forcibly displaced was over 65 million, an increase of nearly 30 million people since 2011. “Forcibly displaced persons” includes refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), asylum seekers and stateless persons. Violence, persecution, conflict, or human rights violations contribute to displacement. 
Communities in every nation are increasingly faced with the need to provide competent, equitable and culturally appropriate services for resettling refugees. 
Culture plays a major role in defining disabilities. Concepts and types of disabilities vary widely across cultures, and many societies do not have linguistic equivalences for “disability,” “impairment”, or the now pejorative “handicap" [1]. 
The United Nations General Assembly has reaffirmed that clean drinking water and sanitation are vital to human health and has explicitly stated that access to water and sanitation is a fundamental human right [1]. From this principle, the UN sought to double the proportion of people around the world with sustainable access to basic sanitation from 2000 to 2015. The target was missed by almost 700 million people [2].
In an effort to reduce open defecation in low- and middle-income countries, there has been a focus on increasing latrine coverage and, more recently, motivating people to use them. 
One billion people around the world have some form of disability, and of these, 360 million do not have access to improved sanitation facilities [1,2].
From September 26 to October 6, 2015, Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the popular blog and Facebook page, “Humans of New York,” posted photos of Syrian refugees with captions that told a small part of each individual’s story. The photos, which have garnered hundreds of thousands or more “likes,” left viewers to reflect on their lives and the lives of those affected by the Syrian Civil War.