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Maternal Healthcare
Hakha
By Andre Malerba
22 Sep 2015

A midwife checks the health of a pregnant woman in a rural village in Chin State, Myanmar.

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Iraqi Refugees Desperate for Healthcare
Diyala
By mushtaq mohammed
09 Dec 2014

November 9, 2014
Khanaqin, Diyala, Iraq

Refugees in the UNHCR camp, near the town of Khanaqin, are living in life threatening conditions. They were promised free check ups and treatment by the local government and NGOs but have so far received none. Forced to flee their homes in Mosul and other parts of the Nineveh province, after ISIS took over vast areas of northern Iraq, many of the refugees require urgent medical attention or suffer from incurable diseases. In desperation, some are using what little money they have for appointments with independent doctors who charge 1500 Iraqi Dinars ($1.30) just for a check up.

Transcription:

Um Majed, refugee, (Woman, Arabic):
(02:06-02:28) "I am a refugee from al-Saadeya, al-Asreya village. We fled five months ago. We were not offered any doctors or medication. I am sick and I have a slipped disc in my spinal chord. I cannot afford to go to a doctor. My husband had a stroke two years ago, we have to buy his medications for 4000-5000 Dinar ($3-4) a box and we cannot afford it. Nobody has came to check on us."

Mustafa, refugee, (Man, Arabic):
(03:06-03:33) "I am a sick man, I suffer from five illnesses. I have had a heart attack and a stroke, I have diabetes, hight blood pressure and asthma. I suffer from so many diseases and we are here in the camp. We have no medication. My five year-old son has diabetes, it started six months ago, ever since the problems started."

Abdulqader, refugee, (Man, Arabic):
(03:59-04:22) "If a doctor comes here, he charges 1500 Dinar ($1.30), We ask him to minimize the charge, he says that he has official receipts form the health directory of Diala. For chronic diseases he charges 1500 Dinar. How can people afford that? The doctor writes the prescription, and without providing any medications, he charges 1500 Dinar. None of the refugees have an income to afford that."

Abu Mohamed, refugee, (Man, Arabic): (04:44-04:56) "I have been running to help my daughter who is sick. I took her to the health care unit, and they have no medication. I spent over 40,000 Dinar ($35) on my sick daughters, all of them are sick."

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School for refugee children in Qaa
Qaa (Lebanon-Syrian border) Bekaa Valley
By Ferran Quevedo
11 Jul 2014

The school for refugee children in Qaa (Lebanese-Syrian border) was the first school to receive Syrian children at the beginning of the conflict. Due to the dedication of Father Elyen Nasrallah, priest of the Greek Catholic Parish Church of Qaa and the support of international organizations such as L'Oeuvre d'Orient and L'IECD (Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement), more than 250 children aged from 3 to 12 years living in tents on "no-man’s land" between the Syrian and Lebanese frontier posts, known as Mashari El Qaa, can receive primary education and participate in several activities such as the Christmas party, mother's day, etc.. They arrived fleeing the battles from northern Syria, and many have lost some of their relatives.

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Clan Life in Yemen
Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
30 Mar 2014

Surrounded by al-Houthi militias in the north and neglected by the government in the south most people have to look after themselves. Clan affiliation and tradition is strong outside the cities in today’s Yemen. Here lies the community of a connectedness to their own group. When most of law and order have disappeared people rely on the village and the family who create its own laws and rules of life.

Nassir, a farmer west of the city of Aden, doesn’t want to talk about the kidnappings, blackmail and possession of weapons that has become synonymous with the country’s clan-controlled countryside. Instead, he talks about the family’s struggle to survive in the rugged terrain. Before wheat was grown in the fields, but now it’s too dry to even grow fodder for goats.
"It is no longer profitable to feed them. All the money we earn from selling their meat and milk is spent buying pasture."

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Loss of Livelihood | Tuberculosis in ...
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

A young tuktuk driver suffering from tuberculosis in the slums of Phnom Penh. Tuberculosis render patients weak with severe weight-loss (unable to perform physical work) and stigma at work place (infectious disease, loss of job). Tuberculosis is a slow killer and health condition affect the self-employed people as well.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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Loss of Livelihood | Tuberculosis in ...
Takeo, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

An old patient waiting for the community health worker to arrive with the daily dose. Tuberculosis render patients weak with severe weight-loss (unable to perform physical work) and stigma at work place (infectious disease, loss of job).

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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The Daily Dose | Tuberculosis in Camb...
Takeo, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

A female peasant in a village consuming her daily dose of TB medication.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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The Daily Dose | Tuberculosis in Camb...
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

Hands of a patient receiving medications for the day from an NGO community health worker.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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Older population more vulnerable | Tu...
Takeo, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

An old female patient with TB medicines in hand. Though the disease prevalence varies by country, TB tends to infect older people more as compared to other age groups. This is enhanced in poor population due to malnutrition and weak immune systems.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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Public Health Sector in Cambodia | Tu...
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

A patient shown to be undergoing the chest x-ray for the diagnosis of pulmonary negative tuberculosis at CENAT. These tests are supposed to be free under the public sector, but the patients end up paying for quick access and test results.

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Isolation | Tuberculosis in Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

The TB patients admitted in the government hospitals are kept in separate wards away from the administration and other areas.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

In the lagoon, between "Petite-Terre" and "Grande-Terre".

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Ismane, 17, Adballah's friend, grew up without his parents in the Kawéni slum. In an attempt to trick his solitude, he picked up a dozen stray dogs.

Ismane, 17 ans, ami d'Abdallah, a grandi sans ses parents dans le bidonville de Kawéni. Pour tromper sa solitude, il a recueilli une dizaine de chiens errants. ©Adrien MATTON

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Saindou, 16, French of Comorian origin, is a friend of Djof’s and lives as well in a Banga, a makeshift shelter made of sheets.

Saïndou, 16 ans, français d’origine comorienne et ami de Djof vit lui aussi dans un "banga", un abri de fortune fabriqué avec de la tôle. ©Adrien MATTON

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Abdallah is playing football on a construction site, away from the slum.

Abdallah joue au foot sur un terrain en construction, loin du bidonville.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Abdallah regularly goes to a friend’s place to sleep in a "Banga", a makeshift shelter.

Abdallah se rend régulièrement chez un ami pour dormir dans un "Banga", un abri de fortune, qu’ils partagent souvent à plusieurs.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

When they have the means, Abdallah and his friends get drunk on cheap wine.

Quand ils en ont les moyens, Abdallah et ses copains se saoulent de mauvais vin.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

After a fire in the Kawéni slum.

Après un incendie dans le bidonville de Kawéni.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Kayoum, 16, French of Comorian origin, lives in the Kawéni slum. He’s Djof’s best friend.

Kayoum, 16 ans, Français d'origine Comorienne, vie dans le bidonville de Kawéni. Il est le meilleur ami de Djof.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Abdallah has to leave his shantytown in order to find water for a shower.

Pour se laver, Abdallah doit quitter le bidonville afin de bénéficier d'eau pour se laver.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Djof, 17 (center). He arrived to Mayotte at the age of 10 after leaving the Comoros Islands, his native country, after an accident. He lives ever since in the Kawéni slum, without his parents.

Djof (au centre) a 17 ans. Il est arrivé à Mayotte à l'âge de 10 ans après avoir quitté les Comores, son pays d'origine, suite à un accident. Il vit depuis sans ses parents dans le bidonville de Kawéni.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Abdallah, 17 (center). He was born in Mayotte to a Comorian mother who’s an illegal immigrant. She was sent back when Abdallah was barely 10 years old. He lives alone ever since in the Kawéni slum.

Abdallah (au centre) a 17 ans. Il est né à Mayotte d'une mère Comorienne en situation irrégulière. Elle a été expulsée alors qu'il avait à peine 10 ans. Il vit depuis, seul, dans le bidonville de Kawéni.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Upon his arrival to Mayotte, Djof found shelter at a cousin’s place. He still goes back for consultation and to acquire his administrative documents.

A son arrivée à Mayotte, Djof a été hébergé chez une cousine. Il s’y rend encore pour consulter ou récupérer ses documents administratifs.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

In the Kawéni slum, Djof and his friends are preparing the traditional "voulé", Mahorese (Mahorais) barbecue.

Djof et ses amis préparent le traditionnel "voulé", barbecue mahorais, dans le bidonville de Kawéni.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Djof uses a hardly sterilized needle and Chinese ink to tattoo his friends.

Une aiguille à peine stérilisée et de l’encre de Chine servent à Djof pour tatouer ses amis.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Djof (left), a 17-year old "unaccompanied minor of Comorian origin, lives in the Kaweni slum.

Djof (à gauche), 17, un mineur non accompagné d’origine Comorienne, vit dans le bidonville de Kawéni.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

To escape from the vices of the slum, the boys take a trip to the malavoune – the country side in Mahorese (Mahorais).

Pour sortir de l’étau du bidonville les jeunes font une virée à la malavoune , la « campagne » en langue mahoraise.

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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

Dzaoudzi airport, rocked at 8000 kilometers from mainland France, by the still waters of its lagoon, the Mayotte Island in the Indian Ocean is the smallest and most recent of French overseas territories.

Aéroport Dzaoudzi, bercée à 8000 kilomètres de la France métropolitaine par les eaux paisibles de son lagon, l'île de Mayotte dans l'Océan Indien, est le plus petit des départements français avec une surface de 375 kms carrés.

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MAYOTTE, THE DARK SIDE OF THE LAGOON
Mayotte Island
By U.S. Editor
16 May 2013

Behind Mayotte’s tropical paradise image lies a precarious social situation rife with slums and poverty. This island, an overseas department of France located in the northern Mozambique Channel, suffers from problems such as a chaotic migration policy, a saturated education system, and poor health care. It is also a destination for illegal immigrants from nearby Comoros. These illegal immigrants face grave danger in their journey to Mayotte in search of a better life. Once they are in the country, they often settle in the slums.

One shantytown in particular — located in the Kawéni commune — has become known to many as the “largest slum in France.” It’s a sea of undulating shacks with an exceptionally high youth population. Most of the inhabitants are from Comoros, though there are also Congolese and Rwandans as well. Youth come to the country with family, and alone – as was the case for Comorians Djof and Abdallah. For them, the hope of a promised land is nothing but a long gone memory. All they have found is an indefinite waiting game for jobs, shelter, and naturalization.

Additional information:

In a referendum on the island of Mayotte, located in the Indian Ocean, 95.2% of the population voted in favor of becoming an overseas territory of France. Shortly after, on the 31st of March 2011, Mayotte officially became the 101st overseas territory of the French Republic. With 212,645 inhabitants living in an area of 376 km2, the island is the most densely populated of France’s overseas territories.

To Read Description in French Go To: http://transterramedia.com/media/18093

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Stuck Between A War & The Turkish Border
Azaz, Syria
By U.S. Editor
03 Apr 2013

In Azaz, Syria, hundreds live in UN tents sprawled across a makeshift transition camp. Though the refugees encamped here fled intense shelling in and around Aleppo, the health hazards in their new homes provide a whole new set of dangers.

Asad Hoammed, who previously worked in a weapons manufacturing facility for the Syrian government, and whose sons now fight with the opposition, is waiting in hopes that his wife may receive medical attention. She needs heart surgery, an operation only possible if they are able to cross into Turkey. Unless they are able to make the crossing soon, she will likely die within days.

Dr. Al-Nasr, who works for a group called “Medical Relief for Syria,” acknowledged that the spread of disease and lack of medical care have created a dire situation. “It’s a problem with sanitation, how to dispose of the bathing water and used toilet water,” he said. “There are lakes of waste in some areas.”

Most of the camp’s water and insect-linked health issues, such as diarrhea and scabies, are treatable. But when addressing complex civilian health emergencies, there’s simply no good option in northern Syria.

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Stuck Between A War & The Turkish Bor...
Azaz, Syria
By Ben Taub
03 Apr 2013

Transit Camp, A’zaz, SYRIA

“My wife will die if she doesn’t have heart surgery in three or four days,” Asad Hoammed lamented as he prepared tea in his UN refugee tent. But getting the operation first requires getting her out of war-torn Syria and into a Turkish hospital that would somehow be willing to treat her for free.

It’s been more than a month since Mr. Hoammed and his wife left their hometown of Tall Rifat seeking Turkish medical care, but having no money to begin a new life outside Syria has made the crossing impossible. Instead, they ended up in a refugee transit camp on the northern border with roughly 13,000 other Syrians waiting either to get into Turkey or for the war to end so they can go home and rebuild.

Most fled intense violence and shelling in and around Aleppo.

The tea was still too hot to drink, so Mr. Hoammed lit a cigarette. He took a slow drag as Syrian regime fighter jets bombed rebels laying siege to a military airport a few miles away. The distant thundering rattled none and inspired a few prayers for those likely killed, but the proximity posed no risk. Those few miles make a serious difference, as the transit camp is situated at the edge of the Turkish border. Any approaching jet would risk obliteration by Turkish air defenses.

Still, the transit camp isn’t a safe place to live. “One person is sick in every tent,” insisted the men gathered on Mr. Hoammed’s tarp floor. They blamed it on dirty drinking water.

Dr. Al-Nasr, who works for a group called “Medical Relief for Syria,” acknowledged the spread of disease is a dire situation but disputed that refugees’ drinking water is tainted in any way. “It’s a problem with sanitation, how to dispose of the bathing water and used toilet water,” he said. “There are lakes of waste in some areas.”

Most of the camp’s water and insect-linked health issues, such as diarrhea and scabies, are treatable. But when addressing complex civilian health emergencies, there’s simply no good option in northern Syria.

According to Dr. Al-Nasr, Turkish authorities will grant access and free hospital care if failure to perform a major operation would have urgent and imminent consequences. But how imminent is imminent? Mr. Hoammed thinks his wife has just a few days left to live, and that any action now may be too little, too late.

He paused for a moment, then reached for a plastic bag hanging from the tent wall from which he produced a coin-purse full of pills and a small Chinese charm sent by a business contact in Beijing two years ago. That was when his wife first fell ill. “This charm is to protect her health,” wrote the Chinese businessman.

At that time, Mr. Hoammed worked in a weapons manufacturing facility for the Syrian government. Soon after the war began, he defected and returned home to Tall Rifat. His two sons picked up arms a few months later, Abdel with the Free Syrian Army and Hamoud with Jabhat al-Nusra, the well-trained Islamist faction that also hopes to take down the Syrian regime.

Mr. Hoammed hasn’t seen his sons since he and his ill wife arrived at the transit camp in late February. Tonight he intends to plead his case and seek free crossing and heart surgery for the woman he has lived with and loved through war and peace.

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Stuck Between A War & The Turkish Bor...
Azaz, Syria
By Ben Taub
03 Apr 2013

Transit Camp, A’zaz, SYRIA

“My wife will die if she doesn’t have heart surgery in three or four days,” Asad Hoammed lamented as he prepared tea in his UN refugee tent. But getting the operation first requires getting her out of war-torn Syria and into a Turkish hospital that would somehow be willing to treat her for free.

It’s been more than a month since Mr. Hoammed and his wife left their hometown of Tall Rifat seeking Turkish medical care, but having no money to begin a new life outside Syria has made the crossing impossible. Instead, they ended up in a refugee transit camp on the northern border with roughly 13,000 other Syrians waiting either to get into Turkey or for the war to end so they can go home and rebuild.

Most fled intense violence and shelling in and around Aleppo.

The tea was still too hot to drink, so Mr. Hoammed lit a cigarette. He took a slow drag as Syrian regime fighter jets bombed rebels laying siege to a military airport a few miles away. The distant thundering rattled none and inspired a few prayers for those likely killed, but the proximity posed no risk. Those few miles make a serious difference, as the transit camp is situated at the edge of the Turkish border. Any approaching jet would risk obliteration by Turkish air defenses.

Still, the transit camp isn’t a safe place to live. “One person is sick in every tent,” insisted the men gathered on Mr. Hoammed’s tarp floor. They blamed it on dirty drinking water.

Dr. Al-Nasr, who works for a group called “Medical Relief for Syria,” acknowledged the spread of disease is a dire situation but disputed that refugees’ drinking water is tainted in any way. “It’s a problem with sanitation, how to dispose of the bathing water and used toilet water,” he said. “There are lakes of waste in some areas.”

Most of the camp’s water and insect-linked health issues, such as diarrhea and scabies, are treatable. But when addressing complex civilian health emergencies, there’s simply no good option in northern Syria.

According to Dr. Al-Nasr, Turkish authorities will grant access and free hospital care if failure to perform a major operation would have urgent and imminent consequences. But how imminent is imminent? Mr. Hoammed thinks his wife has just a few days left to live, and that any action now may be too little, too late.

He paused for a moment, then reached for a plastic bag hanging from the tent wall from which he produced a coin-purse full of pills and a small Chinese charm sent by a business contact in Beijing two years ago. That was when his wife first fell ill. “This charm is to protect her health,” wrote the Chinese businessman.

At that time, Mr. Hoammed worked in a weapons manufacturing facility for the Syrian government. Soon after the war began, he defected and returned home to Tall Rifat. His two sons picked up arms a few months later, Abdel with the Free Syrian Army and Hamoud with Jabhat al-Nusra, the well-trained Islamist faction that also hopes to take down the Syrian regime.

Mr. Hoammed hasn’t seen his sons since he and his ill wife arrived at the transit camp in late February. Tonight he intends to plead his case and seek free crossing and heart surgery for the woman he has lived with and loved through war and peace.

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Stuck Between A War & The Turkish Bor...
Azaz, Syria
By Ben Taub
03 Apr 2013

Transit Camp, A’zaz, SYRIA

“My wife will die if she doesn’t have heart surgery in three or four days,” Asad Hoammed lamented as he prepared tea in his UN refugee tent. But getting the operation first requires getting her out of war-torn Syria and into a Turkish hospital that would somehow be willing to treat her for free.

It’s been more than a month since Mr. Hoammed and his wife left their hometown of Tall Rifat seeking Turkish medical care, but having no money to begin a new life outside Syria has made the crossing impossible. Instead, they ended up in a refugee transit camp on the northern border with roughly 13,000 other Syrians waiting either to get into Turkey or for the war to end so they can go home and rebuild.

Most fled intense violence and shelling in and around Aleppo.

The tea was still too hot to drink, so Mr. Hoammed lit a cigarette. He took a slow drag as Syrian regime fighter jets bombed rebels laying siege to a military airport a few miles away. The distant thundering rattled none and inspired a few prayers for those likely killed, but the proximity posed no risk. Those few miles make a serious difference, as the transit camp is situated at the edge of the Turkish border. Any approaching jet would risk obliteration by Turkish air defenses.

Still, the transit camp isn’t a safe place to live. “One person is sick in every tent,” insisted the men gathered on Mr. Hoammed’s tarp floor. They blamed it on dirty drinking water.

Dr. Al-Nasr, who works for a group called “Medical Relief for Syria,” acknowledged the spread of disease is a dire situation but disputed that refugees’ drinking water is tainted in any way. “It’s a problem with sanitation, how to dispose of the bathing water and used toilet water,” he said. “There are lakes of waste in some areas.”

Most of the camp’s water and insect-linked health issues, such as diarrhea and scabies, are treatable. But when addressing complex civilian health emergencies, there’s simply no good option in northern Syria.

According to Dr. Al-Nasr, Turkish authorities will grant access and free hospital care if failure to perform a major operation would have urgent and imminent consequences. But how imminent is imminent? Mr. Hoammed thinks his wife has just a few days left to live, and that any action now may be too little, too late.

He paused for a moment, then reached for a plastic bag hanging from the tent wall from which he produced a coin-purse full of pills and a small Chinese charm sent by a business contact in Beijing two years ago. That was when his wife first fell ill. “This charm is to protect her health,” wrote the Chinese businessman.

At that time, Mr. Hoammed worked in a weapons manufacturing facility for the Syrian government. Soon after the war began, he defected and returned home to Tall Rifat. His two sons picked up arms a few months later, Abdel with the Free Syrian Army and Hamoud with Jabhat al-Nusra, the well-trained Islamist faction that also hopes to take down the Syrian regime.

Mr. Hoammed hasn’t seen his sons since he and his ill wife arrived at the transit camp in late February. Tonight he intends to plead his case and seek free crossing and heart surgery for the woman he has lived with and loved through war and peace.

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Stuck Between A War & The Turkish Bor...
Azaz, Syria
By Ben Taub
03 Apr 2013

Transit Camp, A’zaz, SYRIA

“My wife will die if she doesn’t have heart surgery in three or four days,” Asad Hoammed lamented as he prepared tea in his UN refugee tent. But getting the operation first requires getting her out of war-torn Syria and into a Turkish hospital that would somehow be willing to treat her for free.

It’s been more than a month since Mr. Hoammed and his wife left their hometown of Tall Rifat seeking Turkish medical care, but having no money to begin a new life outside Syria has made the crossing impossible. Instead, they ended up in a refugee transit camp on the northern border with roughly 13,000 other Syrians waiting either to get into Turkey or for the war to end so they can go home and rebuild.

Most fled intense violence and shelling in and around Aleppo.

The tea was still too hot to drink, so Mr. Hoammed lit a cigarette. He took a slow drag as Syrian regime fighter jets bombed rebels laying siege to a military airport a few miles away. The distant thundering rattled none and inspired a few prayers for those likely killed, but the proximity posed no risk. Those few miles make a serious difference, as the transit camp is situated at the edge of the Turkish border. Any approaching jet would risk obliteration by Turkish air defenses.

Still, the transit camp isn’t a safe place to live. “One person is sick in every tent,” insisted the men gathered on Mr. Hoammed’s tarp floor. They blamed it on dirty drinking water.

Dr. Al-Nasr, who works for a group called “Medical Relief for Syria,” acknowledged the spread of disease is a dire situation but disputed that refugees’ drinking water is tainted in any way. “It’s a problem with sanitation, how to dispose of the bathing water and used toilet water,” he said. “There are lakes of waste in some areas.”

Most of the camp’s water and insect-linked health issues, such as diarrhea and scabies, are treatable. But when addressing complex civilian health emergencies, there’s simply no good option in northern Syria.

According to Dr. Al-Nasr, Turkish authorities will grant access and free hospital care if failure to perform a major operation would have urgent and imminent consequences. But how imminent is imminent? Mr. Hoammed thinks his wife has just a few days left to live, and that any action now may be too little, too late.

He paused for a moment, then reached for a plastic bag hanging from the tent wall from which he produced a coin-purse full of pills and a small Chinese charm sent by a business contact in Beijing two years ago. That was when his wife first fell ill. “This charm is to protect her health,” wrote the Chinese businessman.

At that time, Mr. Hoammed worked in a weapons manufacturing facility for the Syrian government. Soon after the war began, he defected and returned home to Tall Rifat. His two sons picked up arms a few months later, Abdel with the Free Syrian Army and Hamoud with Jabhat al-Nusra, the well-trained Islamist faction that also hopes to take down the Syrian regime.

Mr. Hoammed hasn’t seen his sons since he and his ill wife arrived at the transit camp in late February. Tonight he intends to plead his case and seek free crossing and heart surgery for the woman he has lived with and loved through war and peace.

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Stuck Between A War & The Turkish Bor...
Azaz, Syria
By Ben Taub
03 Apr 2013

Transit Camp, A’zaz, SYRIA

“My wife will die if she doesn’t have heart surgery in three or four days,” Asad Hoammed lamented as he prepared tea in his UN refugee tent. But getting the operation first requires getting her out of war-torn Syria and into a Turkish hospital that would somehow be willing to treat her for free.

It’s been more than a month since Mr. Hoammed and his wife left their hometown of Tall Rifat seeking Turkish medical care, but having no money to begin a new life outside Syria has made the crossing impossible. Instead, they ended up in a refugee transit camp on the northern border with roughly 13,000 other Syrians waiting either to get into Turkey or for the war to end so they can go home and rebuild.

Most fled intense violence and shelling in and around Aleppo.

The tea was still too hot to drink, so Mr. Hoammed lit a cigarette. He took a slow drag as Syrian regime fighter jets bombed rebels laying siege to a military airport a few miles away. The distant thundering rattled none and inspired a few prayers for those likely killed, but the proximity posed no risk. Those few miles make a serious difference, as the transit camp is situated at the edge of the Turkish border. Any approaching jet would risk obliteration by Turkish air defenses.

Still, the transit camp isn’t a safe place to live. “One person is sick in every tent,” insisted the men gathered on Mr. Hoammed’s tarp floor. They blamed it on dirty drinking water.

Dr. Al-Nasr, who works for a group called “Medical Relief for Syria,” acknowledged the spread of disease is a dire situation but disputed that refugees’ drinking water is tainted in any way. “It’s a problem with sanitation, how to dispose of the bathing water and used toilet water,” he said. “There are lakes of waste in some areas.”

Most of the camp’s water and insect-linked health issues, such as diarrhea and scabies, are treatable. But when addressing complex civilian health emergencies, there’s simply no good option in northern Syria.

According to Dr. Al-Nasr, Turkish authorities will grant access and free hospital care if failure to perform a major operation would have urgent and imminent consequences. But how imminent is imminent? Mr. Hoammed thinks his wife has just a few days left to live, and that any action now may be too little, too late.

He paused for a moment, then reached for a plastic bag hanging from the tent wall from which he produced a coin-purse full of pills and a small Chinese charm sent by a business contact in Beijing two years ago. That was when his wife first fell ill. “This charm is to protect her health,” wrote the Chinese businessman.

At that time, Mr. Hoammed worked in a weapons manufacturing facility for the Syrian government. Soon after the war began, he defected and returned home to Tall Rifat. His two sons picked up arms a few months later, Abdel with the Free Syrian Army and Hamoud with Jabhat al-Nusra, the well-trained Islamist faction that also hopes to take down the Syrian regime.

Mr. Hoammed hasn’t seen his sons since he and his ill wife arrived at the transit camp in late February. Tonight he intends to plead his case and seek free crossing and heart surgery for the woman he has lived with and loved through war and peace.

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The Death of a Village
Karnataka, India
By Javed Iqbal
10 Mar 2013

The village, predominately populated by Lambadas (Banjara tribe) that was irrigated due to the Upper Krishna Project, bears an abandoned look, owing to migration and the large number of cancer cases.

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The Story of the Gold Mine in India
Karnataka, India
By Mais Istanbuli
10 Mar 2013

India’s abandoned Mangalur mine has been closed for 20 years, however, its toxic waste continues to haunt the lives of those inhabiting surrounding villages.

In Kanataka’s Raichur District, mine tailings continue to be dumped on farmland, rendering it not only unfertile, but also poisonous to residents. Tests on soil samples have shown this practice has effectively made the soil unsafe for use for at least 25 years.

Economic and social sectors are not the only areas suffering as a result of the toxic dumping. Locals ominously refer to the area as the 'cyanide' mountain, owing to the large amounts of sodium cyanide present in the tailings.

Chandibai, a 70-year old woman from Kiradali Tanda village, has developed deep lesions on her hands because of arsenic in the local drinking water.

Thirty-eight year old Kishan Chauhan has also been highly affected by the poisonous contents of the water. He lost his leg to gangrene after a lesion, caused by arsenic poisoning, became infected. He has since migrated over 500 kilometers away to Dodamargh, Savantwadi in Belgaum, where he earns 200 Rs (around 4 dollars) per week breaking stones. Despite his handicap, he has no choice but to work in hard labor to support his wife and two young daughters.

Dozens of such cases continue to emerge from Kiradali Tanda, where an independent study has shown has shown that water from village wells contains around 303 micrograms of arsenic per liter. The World Health Organization currently cites 10 micrograms per liter as the maximum acceptable level for human exposure.

India’s Mangalur mine, just four kilometers from the arsenic-ridden village of Kiradalli Tandi, originally began as a colonial project of Britain’s empire in the late 19th century. Karnataka’s government briefly reopened the mine nearly 70 years later, until flooding again forced it to close in 1994.