"I was certain that I was going to die," said 25-year-old Ifrah in Somaliland, of her battle with tuberculosis. It's not something we should be hearing in 2017. An illness old enough to have been known as 'consumption' or 'The White Plague' should have its place in medical history -- not claiming 1.8 million lives a year.
It was four days after my 30th birthday. Looking down at the two lines on that little stick, I knew that my life had already begun changing in so many ways. What I could not have anticipated were all of the challenges I would face in my pregnancy.
World Water Day is about more than clean water. It's also about sanitation and hygiene, since proper sanitation and hygiene (in conjunction with clean water, of course) can help reduce the risk of deadly diseases. That is why toilets, or latrines as they are called in some countries, are so important.
Traditions are strong among the Pokot people of northwest Kenya. But one tradition — female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as cutting or female circumcision — can be deadly. It is the practice of cutting off a girl’s external genitalia for nonmedical reasons. Done with a razor blade or knife — often with no anesthesia and no disinfectant — “the cut” can cause severe pain, bleeding, and swelling that may prevent passing urine or feces.
Some people hate being in a plane for a long period of time, but I love it: it means you’re off to a faraway destination. Wearing a sari, I was told I “carry it” well: a compliment that stayed with me. I was honoured to take part in such a historic practice, which dates back to as early as 2000 BC. One of the evening events took place on an open plot of land, that was transformed into a wedding venue using carpets and stage lighting. It spilled into the street. I was told to expect hundreds of people, but it was hard to pinpoint the exact number of guests expected, since nobody knew how many people would be walking by and decide to join the party. That’s right: wedding crashers were warmly welcomed. It’s visited by more than 100,000 people each day – all of whom are invited to a shared meal called “langar.” Between two windows each day (12 to 2 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.), meals are served every 15 minutes. It’s a process that’s facilitated by volunteers, who have it down like clockwork. It’s been running for mo...