Issue

Global Health: Chronic Illnesses and Challenges

Here Pulitzer Center journalists dig into the causes, treatment, and consequences of increasingly prevalent chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, and silicosis—diseases that, if left untreated, rob communities of both productivity and quality of life.

We also look at the global footprint of cancer, which kills more people than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. We examine the disproportionate burden placed on poorer countries, as well as the medical and business innovations that allow for treatment once thought too costly or too difficult to deliver.

Other projects relate to the rise of mental health awareness throughout the world. Our grantees investigate the impact of trauma on Syrian refugees and the lack of infrastructure to address it. They report on the effects that climate change will have on mental health in the future. And they analyze the demographic shift in countries faced with the challenges of caring for an aging population.

Chronic Illnesses and Challenges highlights the non-communicable diseases that people can’t catch, but can’t seem to get rid of, either. For both journalists and scientists, the emerging challenge is to conquer the chronic.

Global Health: Chronic Illnesses and Challenges

Biotech in Africa: High Hopes and High Stakes (Part 1)

Fog shrouds the terraced hills, and a stream is swollen from the rain that fell overnight, but the damage of a drought that left 10 million Kenyans dependent on food aid is still evident. On many of the small farms, the ground is bare at a time when corn crops should be several feet tall.

"We had no maize because we planted and there was no rain," said Victor Mutua, who feeds an extended family of 15 from his 20-acre plot.

Biotech in Africa: Researchers Prepare for Field Tests

There's nothing like rain to wreck the field trial of a crop designed to resist drought. So an arid plain south of Nairobi is considered a good place to test drought-resistant biotech corn seeds: It doesn't rain for six months at a time.

Those long dry periods allow scientists to test the crop by stopping irrigation during critical periods, such as when plants flower.

South Africa: Does Biotech Have a Future for Africa Farms?

I left Africa last night with a great deal of gratitude for the people who have shared their stories with me, especially the farmers. Never have I encountered such a wide variety of experiences, skills and backgrounds, but all of them were willing, even eager, to share their thoughts with an American journalist. They include:

Janet Kaindu, who had lost her second crop in a row of maize and beans on her plot in Kenya's Rift

South Africa: The Moth That Eats Corn Crops

Thought moths were a threat to your clothes? They can devastate corn crops, too, and do in eastern and southern Africa. I got my first look at busseola fusca on Friday after hearing about ever since I arrived in Africa to look at the challenges facing farmers here and the potential for biotechnology to increase food production.