Making peace with Paris

What’s it like to visit a place where you’re haunted by painful memories? ‘I was afraid that a visit to the world’s capital of romance would rekindle my own heartbreak,’ writes Ana Santos. I was maybe 22 when I first started what I called “My Paris Fund.” I put in every peso, every centavo I […]

Philippines government ‘must do better’ to rebuild education

MANILA, 6 June 2014 (IRIN) – As some students in areas hit by the Philippines’s devastating Typhoon Haiyan troop back to school this month, the government’s efforts in rebuilding the education service has been met with concerns that, seven-months on, access to learning remains a challenge for far too many children. The category 5 super […]

Philippines still rebuilding six months after typhoon’s visit

MANILA, 29 May 2014 (IRIN) – More than six months after Typhoon Haiyan devastated large parts of the central Philippines, progress is being made in rebuilding livelihoods. However, huge challenges remain in making them sustainable. “What we need now is to intensify emergency employment efforts on the ground and transition into sustainable livelihood programmes,” Ruth […]

Radyo Bakdaw: Airwaves aid in disaster relief

BY ANA P. SANTOS GUIUAN, Philippines – Every Friday afternoon, they have a karaoke contest. That may not sound unusual at all for the Philippines and its known penchant for singing, but in the small town of Guiuan, where many of life’s basic necessities have yet to be restored after Typhoon Yolanda, a karaoke contest is […]

Importance of tech response during disasters

BY ANA P. SANTOS AND MICHAELA ROMULO GUIUAN, Eastern Samar – In Guiuan, where Yolanda first made landfall, there is no electricity, water is distributed everyday through water tanks, and many people are living in tent cities which serve as temporary shelters – but there is WiFi. Though intermittent and sometimes slow during a weather disturbance, […]

Womb for rent

For many Filipino couples that have a hard time conceiving, they go to Obando, Antipolo, and pray to St. Claire to give them a child. For the rest of the world, there is India. India, most specially the city of Anand in Gujarat has become known as the “Mecca for surrogacy.” Here, couples do not […]

HIV interventions also needed behind bars

  MANILA, 12 February 2014 (IRIN) – Providing access to HIV prevention and treatment services in closed settings, such as prisons, is crucial to curbing the transmission of HIV, particularly among women, say public health experts. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says global HIV prevalence among prisoners is up to 50 times higher […]

[DASH of SAS] Going back to the basics to prevent infertility

MANILA, Philippines – Conception has been made less difficult for couples due to the number of medical breakthroughs in the field of reproductive science. There is “assisted reproductive technology” which involve manipulation of both the sperm and the egg; there are also early interventions such as drugs that stimulate the production of eggs. (READ: When conceiving […]

Why identifying Typhoon Haiyan’s dead matters to the living

TACLOBAN/MANILA, 7 January 2014 (IRIN) – The authorities in Tacloban City, capital of Leyte Province in central Philippines, have concluded a mass burial of unidentified bodies retrieved from the debris left by Typhoon Haiyan. In a report published on 7 January, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) estimated that the category 5 […]

Philippine fishermen need support after Typhoon Haiyan

CAPIZ, 2 January 2014 (IRIN) – Authorities in the Philippines want to accelerate rehabilitation efforts for fishermen hit by Typhoon Haiyan to get the industry up and running as soon as possible. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) says 146,748 fishermen and 21 of the country’s 72 fishing provinces were affected by the storm. […]