The changing face of global health: Yale and South African doctors partner to expand care

While working in South Africa several years ago, Dr. J. Zachary Porterfield came across a young child in a clinic in rural KwaZulu-Natal. During the examination, the doctor was surprised to find that the patient had drainage from her ears and loss of hearing.

“It had progressed to the point that she was having difficulty in school,” said Porterfield. “When I asked her mother how long this had been going on, she said three years. Her ears had been draining, and she had been losing her hearing for three years.”

Unfortunately, this is not an unusual situation in some KwaZulu-Natal communities. Indeed, many children in at-risk communities around the world are losing their hearing as a result of chronic untreated ear infections, a phenomenon largely unheard of in the United States. The socioeconomic and personal costs of acquired deafness are usually devastating.

Return to Rwanda

vedder weber yale thenandnow

You might be surprised to find one of the world’s foremost experts on mountain gorilla conservation supporting the reintroduction of bison at a conference in Banff National Park in Alberta where they had been extirpated for more than a century.

But Bill Weber, a social scientist and lecturer at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) who, along with his wife, ecologist Amy Vedder, is well known for his pioneering work in the Congo Basin, is no stranger to conservation in the American West. As the former head of the North America division of the Wildlife Conservation Society and co-chair of the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative (Y2Y), he is well versed in western conservation challenges, from connectivity to carnivores. The Banff conference was unusual, he says, because it not only focused on bison, but also on Canada’s First Nations and Native Americans, for whom bison are an essential part of their culture.

Understanding conflict in Central African Republic: Q&A with anthropologist Louisa Lombard

Beginning in 2012, fighting between various factions in the Central African Republic (CAR) caused widespread bloodshed and displaced hundreds of thousands in the Texas-sized nation of 4.7 million people.

Scholars, journalists, and politicians have struggled to make sense of the conflict in the rural, landlocked country — a former French colony.

Louisa Lombard, assistant professor of anthropology at Yale, has spent 13 years conducting ethnographic research in CAR. Her latest book, “State of Rebellion,” puts the recent uprising in social, cultural, and historical context. She examines the role that international organizations and nongovernmental organizations have played in sustaining conflict in the little-known country.

Lombard recently spoke with YaleNews about her book. An edited transcript follows.

Chubb Fellow 2016-2017: Hawa Abdi Human Rights Activist and Physician

Image result for Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe

Dr. Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe is a Somali human rights activist and physician. She is the founder and chairperson of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation (DHAF), a non-profit organization.  She was born in 1947 in Mogadishu. Her father was a worker in the city’s port and her mother died when she was very young. As the eldest child, Hawa was forced to raise her four sisters in conditions of poverty. But she never lost hope and sight of her dreams.

Chubb Fellowship Lecture


Tuesday, April 18, 2017 4:30 pm

The Chubb lecture will be held on April 18, 2017, in Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona 1 Prospect Street, at 4:30 pm.  Doors will open for seating at 4;10 pm. The lecture is free and open to the public.  It will be followed by a reception for Dr.Hawa Abdi with Timothy Dwight Fellows at the Timothy Dwight Head of College house.  This reception is by invitation only.  Following the reception, Head of College, Mary Lui will host a dinner in Dr. Hawa Abdi’s honor for Timothy Dwight students and other invited Yale students and guests.

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‘The Art of Life in South Africa’: Q&A with Yale historian Daniel Magaziner

From 1952 to 1981, South Africa’s apartheid government operated a training school for art teachers in the Bantu Education system — the school system for black South Africans.

Although primarily intended as a place to train teachers, the school, known as Ndaleni, offered black South Africans the largely unheard-of opportunity to learn art history and to train as artists. This opportunity came at a price: Upon completing the course, the students were to teach in a Bantu school for at least a year, entangling them with the apartheid state.

The Art of Life in South Africa,” a new book by Yale historian Daniel Magaziner, tells the story of Ndaleni’s students and teachers, the art they created, and the compromises they made — providing insights into the complexities of life under apartheid.

A new location and a new focus for Yale’s African Art Collection

A new installation of African art at the Yale University Art Gallery presents objects from Africa’s earliest cultures along with pieces that inspired modernist artists like Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

Relocated from the gallery’s second floor to a more prominent space on the ground level, the installation presents more than 250 objects, spanning 3,000 years, including sculpture, ceramics, masks, ivory carvings, and metalwork. The objects are arranged by various themes, offering viewers a sense of Africa’s complex and varied artistic traditions.

Growth of Mega-Cities Will Consume Swaths of Cropland in Africa and Asia

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The growth of mega-cities will eliminate massive areas of valuable cropland in some parts of the world by the year 2030, according to a new international study co-authored by Yale Prof. Karen Seto.

According to the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, some 300,000 square kilometers of fertile cropland worldwide — an area roughly the size of New Jersey — will be lost.

While that accounts for only about 2 percent loss of today’s global cropland, the losses will be acute in some countries and regions, particularly in Africa and Asia, said Seto, Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES).