Professor Spotlight: Dr. Nunn

Professor Spotlight: Dr. Nunn

Dr. Nunn is a professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Global Health and is currently teaching the course “Human Health in Evolutionary Perspective” here at Duke. The following is the transcript of an in-person interview conducted with Dr. Nunn. What inspired you to teach “Human Health in Evolutionary Perspective” at Duke? In particular, what long-term perspectives do you hope students will gain from this course? “I came to Duke in 2013 from Harvard where I taught this course and it was called Evolutionary Medicine. I was really excited to teach it there because it was in the General Education Curriculum and a colleague of mine, Peter Ellison, and I developed a course that was aimed at people without any background in evolution or background in pre-med. It was meant to be a course that attracted any student and it was amazing. It allowed me to engage with the material in a more basic level and I came to realize the material is something...
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Tumaini La Maisha Health Services Organization

Tumaini La Maisha Health Services Organization

This is a non-profit organization that works jointly with Kisumu Hospice Center established at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) on cancer projects. Breast, cervical, prostate and esophageal cancers are its focus. The Kisumu Hospice serves the local community and supports a satellite hospice center at the Siaya District Hospital. On average, the hospice aids 50 patients each month. The organization promotes cancer awareness and helps navigation through patient referall by community screening and linkage. The foundation has established an accommodation unit in Nairobi that hosts a total of six patients at a time who have been referred for radiotherapy. It has also established a school in Nyakach (Kisumu County) for vulnerable children and offers support to the school. The organization works with partners like Aga Khan Health Services, JOOTRH and Oncology Department to offer services to cancer patients. The organization takes the lead in participating in national events, organizing medical camps and community outreach programs with an aim to...
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A Frightening Global Truth: Domestic Violence Within Social Normativity

A Frightening Global Truth: Domestic Violence Within Social Normativity

In reviewing data from Demographic and Health Surveys administered in low and middle-income countries between 2005 and 2017, researchers at the University of Bristol have come to an unsettling conclusion; domestic violence against women often exists within the bounds of social normativity. These surveys evaluated the social acceptability of domestic violence when provoked by certain situations, such as when a woman goes out without telling her partner, argues with her partner, neglects her children, is suspected of being unfaithful, refuses to have sex or burns a meal. It was found that approximately 36% of survey participants considered domestic violence justifiable in at least one of these instances. Furthermore, in 36 out of the 49 countries studied, women were more likely to justify this abusive behavior than men, speaking volumes to the deep entrenchment of female subordination, even amongst women. The data regarding the social acceptance of domestic violence is highly variable, ranging anywhere from 3% of the population accepting this...
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Family Planning Use in East Africa

Family Planning Use in East Africa

Family planning (FP) is critical in the promotion of community health. It is an intervention that is proven to save lives and foster development. Research supports the notion that family planning is directly linked to improvement in maternal and child health in addition to socio-economic progress. Understanding the unmet need for family planning services is key to improving worldwide reproductive health. During the last three decades in East Africa, research shows that Kenya and Rwanda are clear leaders in regards to access to and use of contraception. These two countries have a history of implementing targeted and focused programs to improve access to FP services. FP differs in each country in ways such as the amount of methods offered and the extent to which each method is available. Across the sub-region there is an increase in the use of modern contraceptives. But, a steady proportion of women in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania are still using traditional methods. While short-term contraception is frequent in the sub-region, there is...
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The Girl Child’s Present Colors Her Future: The International Day of the Girl Child

The Girl Child’s Present Colors Her Future: The International Day of the Girl Child

October 11th, 2018 marked the sixth annual International Day of the Girl Child, a celebration which works to establish investment in girls as essential to a sustainable and thriving community.  This holiday occurred at a crucial intersection within both a domestic and global narrative. From the election of Brett Kavanaugh to the growing momentum of #MeToo and #WhyIDidn’tReport, sexual violence and other gender disparities have been thrust into the center of public dialogue, igniting the fires of social change. However, to dismantle the culture and practices which systematically devalue women in their present, we must first protect the girl child, as her condition, positive or negative, will ultimately inform her future. This year’s theme of the international day was “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce,” which drew attention to the 25% of unemployed youth, disproportionately consisting of girls. This disadvantaged demographic of girls in the workforce is especially vulnerable to both monetary and sexual exploitation. The very derivation of gender equality...
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#notwithoutrepro

#notwithoutrepro

On Thursday November 2nd, Ivanka Trump traveled to Japan to speak at the World Assembly of Women. In her remarks, Trump commented on the importance of shaping a more realistic picture of women who work (be it in the home, outside, or a combination of both), and that women need to be afforded the same opportunities as their male peers. As she talked about her daughter, she said: "It is my hope that by the time my daughter Arabella grows into a woman, she will not be defined by whether she works inside or outside the home. She will simply be a woman afforded the same opportunities as her male peers and equipped with the education and support she needs to fulfill her unique potential." For her daughter, or girls around the world to do this? They need access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare. Without the ability to decide and control their reproductive futures, girls choices are taken away from them. They will...
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