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Author Archives: Eric A. Friedman

10.03.16

Starvation in Nigeria, a Simple Proposal, and a Painting for Tomorrow

By Eric A. Friedman

Sometimes do you feel a need to say something because an injustice calls out to you, demands your voice, all our voices, however much our calls may be lost in the din? Such was my feeling when reading about the world’s yawn in response to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, a famine that […]

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09.08.16

Exclude sugary drinks from nutrition program, but exclude stigma too

By Eric A. Friedman

Recent years have seen periodic calls for unhealthy foods, most prominently sugary drinks, to be excluded from items that can be purchased through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is the federally-funded program that helps low-income people in the United States, presently about 45 million, pay for food. Several states and locales have sought […]

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08.10.16

Global health, civil society, and a growing threat

By Eric A. Friedman

In how many ways is civil society integral to achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? In a recent article in Globalization and Health, Julia Smith, Kent Buse, and Case Gordon identify eight ways. I will offer thoughts on several of them, and suggest that given the importance of civil society to the SDGs and […]

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07.11.16

Reflections on Indifference and Human Rights

By Eric A. Friedman

Indifference. In a word, that was the enduring evil against which Elie Wiesel – the Nobel Peace Laureate and Auschwitz survivor who died earlier this month – struggled, indifference to avoidable anguish. In a 1999 White House address raising the perils of indifference, Elie Wiesel offered these reflections: Of course, indifference can be tempting – […]

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06.09.16

The right to health for all: Ending discrimination against undocumented migrants

By Eric A. Friedman

It is among the most – if not the most – prevalent form of formal discrimination when it comes to the ability of everyone to enjoy universally recognized human rights, embodied in the laws of most countries: discrimination against non-citizens, and above all, against undocumented immigrants, with respect to the right to health. Most countries […]

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05.03.16

Making Every Life Count by Counting Every TB Death

By Eric A. Friedman

At a recent event in Washington, DC, South African Minister of Health and chair of the Stop TB Partnership Aaron Motsoaledi, spoke of the difficulty of lighting the fire under TB, to get the world’s attention, even as this scourge kills 1.5 million people per year, making it the second most deadly infectious disease after […]

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02.04.16

Beyond cost-effectiveness: Why we need a human rights approach to universal health coverage

By Eric A. Friedman

This blog was jointly prepared by Eric A. Friedman and Lawrence O. Gostin. The world having agreed to universal health coverage as a key target of the Sustainable Development Goals, a basic question becomes: Coverage of what? A traditional approach to answering this question is to focus on cost-effectiveness. Start with a given resource envelope. […]

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01.11.16

The Persisting Toll of Global Health Inequity

By Eric A. Friedman

Inequity kills — by one measure, more than one in three of us. And this unconscionable toll hasn’t been getting much better. That was the finding from calculations by Juan Garay of the European Commission several years back, explained in his new book available for free viewing, Health Equity: The Key for Transformational Change (p. 33-35).  Essentially, if […]

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12.15.15

Why We Need the Framework Convention on Global Health Following the SDGs

By Eric A. Friedman

Next month, the WHO Executive Board will meet with a lengthy agenda, representing the range of serious health burdens and threats that persist. One challenge stands above the rest: immense global and national health inequities, linked to some 20 million deaths every year (about which more in an upcoming blog). The Executive Board could take […]

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11.09.15

The Food Minority: Food Labels, Eating Disorders, and People Who Need More Food

By Eric A. Friedman

A colleague, Aliza Glasner, recently asked a fundamental question about the move towards food labeling that not only tells you about what nutrients are in the food, but also provide warnings about unhealthy food: What is healthy food? What is unhealthy food? That got me thinking. What about people for whom “healthy” is not the […]

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