Look At This

Stories about how you see the world.

About a dozen military veterans have locked themselves inside a caged boxing ring, in a rough part of San Diego, and they’re starting to throw punches. It’s therapeutic, they say.

"A lot of people say, ‘You guys are punching each other in the face. How is that helpful?’ " says Aaron Espinoza, a former Marine. "But it’s a respect thing, it’s mutual. I have to push him, he has to push me to get better."

Espinoza is a regular at P.O.W., which stands for Pugilistic Offensive Warrior, a mixed martial arts training session that’s free for veterans. Iraq veteran Todd Vance founded the group after his own struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

"I was in a dark place for a long time and I personally used mixed martial arts to get myself back on track," says Vance. "Once I got back on track I went to school — studying social work."

First Rule Of The Fight Club: You Must Be A Veteran

Photo Credit: David Gilkey/NPR

nprglobalhealth:

Reporting On Ebola: An Abandoned 10-Year-Old, A Nervous Neighborhood
Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is under nighttime curfew as that country struggles to contain the Ebola epidemic. On Wednesday, an entire neighborhood in Monrovia was quarantined, sealed off from the rest of the city by the government. The neighborhood is called West Point and it’s where a holding center for patients suspected of having Ebola was attacked over the weekend. Patients fled, and looters carried off bloody mattresses and other possibly infected supplies. The NPR team in Liberia visited West Point on Tuesday. We spoke to correspondent Nurith Aizenman about the experience.
What is West Point like?
It is a sort of finger of land, a little sandy peninsula that juts out from a nicer area of Monrovia, abutting a river on one side and the ocean on the other. It’s about 800 meters long and 550 meters wide. There are only two roads in that are paved. The rest is a thicket of shacks and houses and huts, pretty much all one story and built of plywood or cement blocks, with corrugated metal on the rooftops. Between them are sandy pathways. It’s so closely packed that in some cases if you’re trying to get to your house you have to walk through someone else’s house.
Both sides of the paved roads are packed with shops selling all manners of goods, vegetables, fish. There are throngs of people, carrying big buckets on their heads with all sorts of goods. If you drive in, you gently nudge your way forward, parting this sea of people.
And that’s where NPR’s photographer David Gilkey encountered the 10-year-old in the picture above?
Residents had originally found this boy naked on the beach. They dragged him up to a sort of alleyway and put a shirt and pants on him. But beyond that no one wanted to touch him, no one wanted to give him shelter, because it seems he was a child who had been at that holding center for Ebola patients.
Continue reading.
Photo: A 10-year-old boy suspected of being sick with Ebola was found naked on the beach by residents of West Point. They dressed him but couldn’t find a clinic to take him in at first. Eventually he was was taken to JFK Hospital in Monrovia. (David Gilkey/NPR)
Related: Out, Out, Damned Ebola: Liberia Is Obsessed With Hand Washing

A heartbreaking image by NPR’s David Gilkey while covering Ebola in Monrovia. -Emily

nprglobalhealth:

Reporting On Ebola: An Abandoned 10-Year-Old, A Nervous Neighborhood

Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is under nighttime curfew as that country struggles to contain the Ebola epidemic. On Wednesday, an entire neighborhood in Monrovia was quarantined, sealed off from the rest of the city by the government. The neighborhood is called West Point and it’s where a holding center for patients suspected of having Ebola was attacked over the weekend. Patients fled, and looters carried off bloody mattresses and other possibly infected supplies. The NPR team in Liberia visited West Point on Tuesday. We spoke to correspondent Nurith Aizenman about the experience.

What is West Point like?

It is a sort of finger of land, a little sandy peninsula that juts out from a nicer area of Monrovia, abutting a river on one side and the ocean on the other. It’s about 800 meters long and 550 meters wide. There are only two roads in that are paved. The rest is a thicket of shacks and houses and huts, pretty much all one story and built of plywood or cement blocks, with corrugated metal on the rooftops. Between them are sandy pathways. It’s so closely packed that in some cases if you’re trying to get to your house you have to walk through someone else’s house.

Both sides of the paved roads are packed with shops selling all manners of goods, vegetables, fish. There are throngs of people, carrying big buckets on their heads with all sorts of goods. If you drive in, you gently nudge your way forward, parting this sea of people.

And that’s where NPR’s photographer David Gilkey encountered the 10-year-old in the picture above?

Residents had originally found this boy naked on the beach. They dragged him up to a sort of alleyway and put a shirt and pants on him. But beyond that no one wanted to touch him, no one wanted to give him shelter, because it seems he was a child who had been at that holding center for Ebola patients.

Continue reading.

Photo: A 10-year-old boy suspected of being sick with Ebola was found naked on the beach by residents of West Point. They dressed him but couldn’t find a clinic to take him in at first. Eventually he was was taken to JFK Hospital in Monrovia. (David Gilkey/NPR)

Related: Out, Out, Damned Ebola: Liberia Is Obsessed With Hand Washing

A heartbreaking image by NPR’s David Gilkey while covering Ebola in Monrovia. -Emily

nprglobalhealth:

Hit Hard By Ebola, Liberia Now Has A Third Treatment Center

The Ebola outbreak has been spreading through Liberia with alarming speed — more than 780 cases, with 100 identified over a recent two-day period. Yet for weeks there have been only two places in the country where patients could get medical care, one in the country’s rural north and one in the capital, Monrovia.

Doctors Without Borders has now opened a third facility.

The new center sits in the middle of a vast, muddy field on the outskirts of Monrovia. Orange mesh fencing surrounds long white tents. The facility has only been open for an hour and already about a dozen men, women and children are waiting outside. They had arrived hours earlier, dispersed when it began raining heavily and then returned.

"I’ve been trying to find them for the last hour or two but thankfully they’ve come back and we’ll screen them," says Brett Adamson, the coordinator of the center. Like everyone here, he’s soaking wet. He looks over at the people in line and says there’s a good possibility many of them have Ebola.

"These are patients that have been to the existing facility and [there was] no space," Adamson says. "They’ve essentially been turned away, and they’ve been waiting for us to open."

Continue reading.

Top Photo: A man sits on a bed that will be part a new Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, run by Doctors Without Borders. (David Gilkey/NPR)

Bottom Photo: A nurse dons protective gear before entering the new Ebola treatment facility in Monrovia. (David Gilkey/NPR)

Our Staff Photographer David Gilkey is in Liberia covering the Ebola outbreak. For more Ebola coverage, head to Goats And Soda, NPR’s Global Health and Development blog.

Anderson Desir, 9, shares a dream with many boys his age in the Dominican Republic: He wants to grow up and play baseball in la liga grande, otherwise known as American Major League Baseball.

But there’s an important difference between Anderson and the 80 Dominican kids from his summer baseball league in San Pedro de Macoris: Anderson is Haitian.

In a controversial decision last year, the Dominican Constitutional Court ruled that those born in the country are not citizens unless at least one parent is a legal resident.

The decision could cause problems for Haitians living in the Dominican Republic, like Anderson, whose parents brought him here from Haiti shortly after he was born. However, the ruling especially affects an estimated 250,000 Haitian descendants born in the Dominican Republic, including Anderson’s two siblings — his sister Rosaura, 6, and his brother Mickael, 2.

Who’s A Citizen? The Question Dividing The Island Of Hispaniola

Photo Credit: Sarah Tilotta for NPR

nprglobalhealth:

At Niger’s School For Husbands, The Lesson Is ‘Space Your Children’
The school for husbands is in session in Niger. It’s part of an effort to bring down the world’s highest birthrate: more than seven children per woman on average. That’s a major problem in a country that depends on agriculture but has only a limited amount of land that can be farmed — much of Niger is desert — and ever more hungry mouths. The current population of 17 million is expected to double in 20 years if the birthrate stays at its current level.
Jason Beaubien visited Niger this summer to see how the government is trying to bring down family size. He’ll report on this topic on the radio in the weeks ahead, but gave Goats and Soda a preview of the schools for husbands, which began in 2011 as a program from the United Nations Population Fund. In different communities, men meet twice a month, under a tree or in an open-air classroom, to talk about maternal health and contraception.
What’s the basic message of the school for husbands?
It’s an effort to get people to accept contraceptives, which is fairly controversial in Niger. A lot of times they talk about child spacing — instead of using the word contraception, which raises red flags with a lot of people.
Why is the idea of contraception controversial?
In Niger, having a big family was traditionally a sign of success, a sign that you’re rich, you’re doing well. You’re a big man if you have a big family. Yet now having a big family is becoming a huge problem. Even the president talked about it being shameful this month for people to have 20 kids if they’re not able to feed them. There’s a growing awareness that something has to give on the population growth.
Is the government trying a strict “one-child” policy message, a la China?
It’s like the soft version of China’s one-child policy. They don’t come out and hit people hard and say this is what you have to do. They’re saying we’re going to make contraception available in all the health clinics. They’re trying to make contraception more acceptable to people, to get the word out that not only is it OK for women to use contraception but that they should be using contraception.
Continue reading.
Photo: At a session of the school for husbands in Chadakori, the topic of discussion is spacing out children. (Ron Haviv/VII for NPR)

nprglobalhealth:

At Niger’s School For Husbands, The Lesson Is ‘Space Your Children’

The school for husbands is in session in Niger. It’s part of an effort to bring down the world’s highest birthrate: more than seven children per woman on average. That’s a major problem in a country that depends on agriculture but has only a limited amount of land that can be farmed — much of Niger is desert — and ever more hungry mouths. The current population of 17 million is expected to double in 20 years if the birthrate stays at its current level.

Jason Beaubien visited Niger this summer to see how the government is trying to bring down family size. He’ll report on this topic on the radio in the weeks ahead, but gave Goats and Soda a preview of the schools for husbands, which began in 2011 as a program from the United Nations Population Fund. In different communities, men meet twice a month, under a tree or in an open-air classroom, to talk about maternal health and contraception.

What’s the basic message of the school for husbands?

It’s an effort to get people to accept contraceptives, which is fairly controversial in Niger. A lot of times they talk about child spacing — instead of using the word contraception, which raises red flags with a lot of people.

Why is the idea of contraception controversial?

In Niger, having a big family was traditionally a sign of success, a sign that you’re rich, you’re doing well. You’re a big man if you have a big family. Yet now having a big family is becoming a huge problem. Even the president talked about it being shameful this month for people to have 20 kids if they’re not able to feed them. There’s a growing awareness that something has to give on the population growth.

Is the government trying a strict “one-child” policy message, a la China?

It’s like the soft version of China’s one-child policy. They don’t come out and hit people hard and say this is what you have to do. They’re saying we’re going to make contraception available in all the health clinics. They’re trying to make contraception more acceptable to people, to get the word out that not only is it OK for women to use contraception but that they should be using contraception.

Continue reading.

Photo: At a session of the school for husbands in Chadakori, the topic of discussion is spacing out children. (Ron Haviv/VII for NPR)