How does a pregnant woman get to hospital when there’s no road?

Narendra Kumar is going to become a father in early January. His wife, Kavita, became pregnant two months after they got married in February and since then he has been worrying about getting her to hospital when the time comes. It’s a steep three-kilometre walk along a narrow, unpaved mountain path through oak and rhododendron forests from their village of Gwalakot to the main road where they could pick up a car or ambulance to Read more…

Child labour is exploitation: there’s no such thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ work

What is required is not the exception rising above the odds but changing the odds themselves I believe it is a dangerous romanticisation that children learn essential life skills from domestic work. What is it about tasks such as herding cattle, construction work, fetching water, pounding maize, agricultural labour, cooking for the family or looking after younger siblings that can be learnt only as a child? There is no evidence that the skills acquired through Read more…

Solid Gains for October Single-Family Permits

Over the first ten months of 2020, total single-family permits issued year-to-date (YTD) nationwide reached 808,301. On a year-over-year (YoY) basis, this is an 11.1% increase over the October 2019 level of 727,301. Year-to-date ending in October, single-family permits across the four regions ranged from an increase of 13.3% in the South to an increase of 7.0% in the Northeast. In multifamily permits, all four regions reported declines; Northeast (-11.6%), West (-11.2%), South (-9.3%), and the Midwest Read more…

RECENT GAINS IN HOMEOWNERSHIP STEM FROM YOUNGER HOUSEHOLDS

With housing leading the economy and a noticeable, renewed focus on the importance of “home” as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it’s hard to remember that just a few years ago some analysts and pundits were quite bearish when it came to the future of homeownership. That line of thinking claimed that for years to come the homeownership rate would continue the decline that began in 2005. During the housing boom of the early 2000s, the Read more…

A Running List of Record-Breaking Natural Disasters in 2020

Editor’s Note (11/10/20): This story has been updated to reflect new records, including 2020 becoming the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record. So far 2020 has been a standout year for all the wrong reasons, including its devastating natural disasters. Wildfires have ravaged the western U.S., and tropical cyclones have popped up left and right, with several causing significant damage to coastal areas. The latest storm, Hurricane Delta, is headed for the Gulf Coast. Though Read more…

Human-Made Stuff Now Outweighs All Life on Earth

Humanity has reached a new milestone in its dominance of the planet: human-made objects may now outweigh all of the living beings on Earth. Roads, houses, shopping malls, fishing vessels, printer paper, coffee mugs, smartphones and all the other infrastructure of daily life now weigh in at approximately 1.1 trillion metric tons—equal to the combined dry weight of all plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, archaea and protists on the planet. The creation of this human-made mass has rapidly Read more…

Where are the Largest Homes Built?

We previously reported a declining trend in new single-family home size that is likely to reverse during the post pandemic years. NAHB’s analysis of the 2019 Survey of Construction (SOC) data shows the pre-Covid19 trend of declining home size has been universal across the US regions. Nevertheless, regional differences in new home sizes exist with some of the largest single-family spec homes built in the Middle Atlantic and some of the largest custom homes built by contractors Read more…

Jobless Claims Rise to 853,000

In the week ending December 5, weekly initial jobless claims increase to 853,000, the highest level since mid-September. Continuing claims, which lag initial jobless claims by one week, ticked up for the first time after twelve consecutive decreases. There is no doubt that the labor market is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic gradually. However, increases in both initial jobless claims and continuing claims suggest that the road back to full employment is uneven, as the Read more…

Statement for Rare Disease Day

Statement by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-GeneralThe vision of the Sustainable Development Goals is a world in which no one is left behind, including people who suffer from rare diseases. Just because a disease affects a small number of people does not make it irrelevant or less important than diseases that affect millions. Rare diseases present fundamentally different challenges from those of more common diseases, especially for diagnosis. The small number of patients, the Read more…

Somalia: building a stronger primary health care system

In the first year of the Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: The Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All (GAP), 12 signatory agencies have engaged with several countries to help them achieve their major health priorities. The initial focus has been on strengthening primary health care and sustainable financing for health.  Somalia is one of the countries where progress under the GAP is most advanced and where its added value has been most clearly demonstrated. Routine immunization Read more…