[DASH OF SAS] Vagina drop

My daughter calls the apex of the roller coaster and the sudden drop that sends you spinning at what feels like 3Gs, a “vagina drop.” Yes, my 12-year old uses that word. In our house, body parts are body parts—not birds and flowers. This year, she graduated from riding the kiddie rollercoasters that just kind of […]

[DASH OF SAS] Is HIV going out of fashion?

BY ANA P. SANTOS “In light of other pressing issues like urban terrorism, climate change, and the global recession, is HIV still newsworthy? Is HIV still ‘fashionable’ to talk about?” At last November’s International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific(ICAAP11), a regional conference attended by more than 3,000 delegates from government, public health institutions and […]

Building “storm-resilient” shelters

MANILA, Philippines – Two months after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the Philippine government and aid organizations are transitioning from the emergency and relief phase to the recovery phase, and shelter remains the biggest challenge. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has reported that more than1.1 million homes were damaged by Haiyan. Of that number, […]

Typhoon survivors celebrate uncertain Christmas

GUIUAN, 24 December 2013 (IRIN) – Typhoon survivors in the Guiuan area will celebrate an uncertain Christmas as aid workers and authorities struggle to provide shelter and livelihood assistance more than one month after Typhoon Haiyan made first landfall here, in Guiuan Eastern Samar Province in the Philippines. “We depend on relief goods for our […]

Analysis: Help wanted – local aid workers need psychosocial assistance too

HIGHLIGHTS Scant mental health support for local aid workers Financial needs may muffle requests for help Debriefing aid workers re-examined Line “blurred” between local responders and survivors MANILA/BANGKOK, 3 December 2013 (IRIN) – Back-to-back emergencies during the last three months in the Philippines have exposed the need for more psychosocial support (clinical and social assistance […]

Displaced first by Typhoon Haiyan, now an oil spill

  LOILO PROVINCE, 29 November 2013 (IRIN) – Local government authorities in a fishing village in northern Panay island in central Philippines are scrambling to evacuate thousands of residents after toxic fumes from a bunker fuel leak caused levels of benzene in the air to rocket. “We identified 1,042 families living along the contaminated coastline […]

After the storm: Pregnant women need urgent care and attention

  MANILA, Philippines – An estimated 235,000 pregnant women affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda urgently need assistance, particularly the restoration of maternal and newborn health services. This was the call made by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) who reports that based on government estimates that between 9 and 13 million Filipinos have been affected […]

Philippine conflict-displaced on Mindanao now hit by floods

  MANILA/ZAMBOANGA, 10 October 2013 (IRIN) – Still recovering from three weeks of fighting between government troops and Muslim separatists that lefttens of thousands displaced, battle-scarred Zamboanga region in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao is now dealing with flooding in already congested evacuation centres. Rains brought by the annual southwest May-October monsoon and the […]

Philippine conflict-displaced on Mindanao now hit by floods

  MANILA/ZAMBOANGA, 10 October 2013 (IRIN) – Still recovering from three weeks of fighting between government troops and Muslim separatists that lefttens of thousands displaced, battle-scarred Zamboanga region in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao is now dealing with flooding in already congested evacuation centres. Rains brought by the annual southwest May-October monsoon and the […]

[DASH OF SAS] Things solo moms are told

BY ANA P. SANTOS “Risa Hontiveros has four children?! Ah, those are all with different dads, right?” The woman asked me after reading the article about Risa Hontiveros in Happy Even After: A Solo Mom’s Journal. “Uhm, no. She’s a widow. Her husband passed away quite unexpectedly from an asthma attack,” I explained, tacitly admonishing the woman […]