Category: Health

Crisis in Yemen: Your questions answered

By

Where’s Yemen? Who lives there?

A map showing Yemen and the Middle East

©BRC

Yemen is in the Middle East, directly below Saudi Arabia and about 500 miles from Dubai.

It’s twice the size of the UK and home to about 26 million people, more than double the population of Scotland and Wales combined. It’s one of the poorest countries in the Middle East.

What’s the crisis about?

Yemen has been affected by armed conflict for decades. This has made it harder for people there to earn money, go to school or even get everyday essentials such as food, water and healthcare.

But in the last few months the fighting, which involves a wide range of different armed groups, has become much worse in most of the country’s provinces. More

Why prevention really is better than cure

By

Homeless-BLOGThey sound worlds apart, but a homeless programme in the USA and our social care work here in England share one big idea – tackling problems early makes sense.

A few years ago, the state of Utah launched a novel strategy to combat its chronic homeless problem. It just gave everybody a home.

On the surface, this sounded like a crazy move. Most of the state’s 2,000 chronically homeless population had significant mental health issues and substance addictions.

Frankly, they didn’t seem like ideal candidates to be trusted with the keys to a house. (The traditional approach had always been to place the homeless into shelters until they were deemed ‘housing ready’.)

And yet, the idea worked like a dream. More

From terror to treatment: Three TB stories

By
A man standing outside

Andrey Yushko

When someone in Turkmenistan learns they have tuberculosis (TB), the questions they need answered come thick and fast. What is this illness? Will it kill me? Can I get treated for it? How will it affect my family? Will I lose my job, or even my home?

TB can kill. But the disease is curable, although treatment in Turkmenistan is a long and difficult process. And poverty and stigma can make recovery even more difficult.

That’s why, for more than a decade, the British Red Cross has worked with our partner – the Turkmenistan Red Crescent – to support thousands of people through months of treatment and recovery. More

Ebola virus disease explained: Q&A

By
©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

An outbreak of Ebola has left thousands dead in West Africa. The Red Cross, along with other humanitarian agencies, is working to stop the spread of the deadly and highly contagious disease.

1. What is the Ebola virus?

Ebola virus disease is a severe and often fatal illness – outbreaks have a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Outbreaks occur predominately in remote villages in Central and West Africa near tropical rainforests.

The first incidence of Ebola was in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks: in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo close to the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

The origin of the virus is unknown. The current Ebola outbreak is the largest ever documented, both in terms of the number of cases and the size of the affected area.

More

In pictures: the difference clean water and toilets make in Kenya

By

DSC_0281

In developed countries such as the UK, it’s easy to take simple things like flushing a toilet or a glass of water for granted.

But an estimated 2.5 billion people (more than one third of the world’s population) do not have access to basic sanitation such as toilets.

And then there’s the issue of fetching water. The average distance walked by women in Africa and Asia to fetch water? A sobering 3.5 miles.

World Water Day on Sunday serves as a reminder that much more needs to be done to address the global imbalance.

More

How a former patient became a volunteer

By

Carol-Looby-kettle-BLOGWhen she broke her hip, Carol Looby wasn’t just impressed by how the British Red Cross helped her – she vowed to become a volunteer once she was better.

“I love my uniform. I always say to people: ‘Don’t you think it looks friendly?’”

Carol beams with pride as she shows off the kit she wears while volunteering for the British Red Cross’ support at home service in Leeds.

Over the past 18 months, she’s helped more than 40 people at home, often visiting them many times over the course of several weeks.

Her visits enable vulnerable people to leave hospital earlier – and sometimes mean they don’t need to be admitted in the first place. More

‘Volunteering landed me a job’

By

Sarah-Coull-BLOG2Young mother Sarah Coull was fed up with being unemployed, so tried her hand at volunteering – and hey presto, it soon landed her a job. Here’s her story.

After leaving education, I spent a while struggling to find work. Like lots of people my age, I kept trying but the jobs just weren’t out there.

While I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do for a career, the prospect of care work had always interested me. I think older people are often marginalised, which isn’t fair. More

Ebola outbreak – after the quarantine

By

Ebola-Anna-blogJinna Amara had been ill for several days. No one knew what was wrong with her.

Upon hearing that his cousin was sick, Mustapha Mambu did what anyone else would do – he cared for her and tried to get her treatment.

Mustapha went to fetch his cousin from her home in Kailahun, eastern Sierra Leone, in late September.

He wasn’t to know that she had Ebola. Sadly, three days after bringing her home, she died. But worse was to come.

More