Friday, October 28, 2005

Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge

About the Rx for Survival Project:

During the twentieth century, the world lived through a golden era in public health: vaccines were discovered, diseases were cured, and the average life expectancy rose by many years. In recent decades, however, this stunning progress has declined dramatically. Although life expectancy remains high in developed nations, in many countries of the developing world it has actually fallen.

The march to better world health has been slowed by the emergence of new and devastating diseases such as AIDS, SARS and West Nile virus, by microbial resistance to many modern drugs and by a global travel network that can turn a local disease into an international outbreak in a matter of hours.

Rx for Survival—A Global Health Challenge™ is a pioneering multimedia project that explores the current global health crisis and the solutions that promise to make our borderless society healthier. At the center of the project is a compelling six-hour documentary series premiering on PBS, November 1-3, co-produced by the award winning team of the WGBH/NOVA Science Unit and Vulcan Productions. In addition, a comprehensive Web site on offers in-depth information on global health issues, including an interactive atlas comparing socio-economic indicators with the spread of disease, essays and case studies on why global health matters, and classroom materials. Rx for Survival will be further extended by independent media coverage in the first week of November from TIME magazine, NPR, and The Penguin Press.

check out the website:

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Quote for today

If you think you are too small to make a difference,try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.

- African proverb

Expert Medical Groups Submit Report to Indian Human Rights Commission on Punjab Abuses


Medical Study Documents Torture and Psychological Trauma Suffered by Families of the “Disappeared” in Punjab:

Encourages Indian National Human Rights Commission to Investigate Violations

(San Francisco, CA) Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and the Bellevue/New York University School of Medicine Program for Survivors of Torture (Bellevue) submitted a report ( today in the Punjab mass cremations matter pending before India’s National Human Rights Commission since December 1996. The report, entitled Evaluation of Litigants Pertaining to Writ Petition (Crl.) No. 447/95 Committee for Information and Initiative on Punjab vs. State of Punjab, is based on structured interviews and diagnostic evaluations of 127 family members of victims killed and illegally cremated by Indian security forces from 1984 to 1995.

A six-member PHR/Bellevue investigative team with extensive experience in documenting torture and human rights abuses conducted this study in Amritsar, Punjab in May and June 2005 at the request of ENSAAF, a U.S.-based non-profit organization fighting impunity for human rights abuses committed in India. The PHR/Bellevue assessment reveals a “pattern of intentional abuse by law enforcement officials among multiple family members,” demonstrating that the Commission needs to investigate and adjudicate the fundamental rights violations committed by Indian security forces, beyond the illegal cremation of the family member.

“As a result of the death and illegal cremation of a close family member, most of the individuals interviewed demonstrated severe psychological disorders including depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, with nearly half of those interviewed continuing to describe these symptoms more than ten years after the traumas occurred,” write Dr. Allen Keller and Dr. Barry Rosenfeld, authors of the report. They further write, “Many participants described permanent impairments and long-term disability related to the physical abuse inflicted by the authorities during the time period surrounding the death and cremation of their relative.”

CIIP vs. State of Punjab has proceeded before the Commission for nearly nine years. The Commission, however, has not heard the testimony of a single survivor in the Punjab mass cremations matter; nor has it found a single security official or agency liable for the thousands of disappearances and extrajudicial executions leading to illegal cremations in Punjab. The Commission continues to flout international and domestic law by refusing to investigate the secret cremations, ignoring fundamental rights violations such as the unlawful deprivation of life and torture of family members. The PHR/Bellevue report should compel the Commission to investigate the physical and psychological trauma suffered by victim families, in addition to the murder and illegal cremation of their relative.


::mission statement::

to empower sikh students to improve the burden of disease and reduce health disparities in our communities both locally and globally. the quest of this initiative is to collaborate and aid our peers in becoming successful contributing professionals of the community.

::Welcome to the Sikh Students Health Initiative::

Welcome to the Sikh Students Health Initiative Blog. We are a new organization bringing awareness to Sikh students interested and empowered to advocate for health.

The ::humanitarian:: factor is an integral part of what it means to be a Sikh. Within Sikhism, there is a compassion towards all of humanity, advocating for health and well-being is one way to express this. The Sikh Students Health Initiative hopes to educate both ourselves and others to be more aware of issues that affect us directly and indirectly. Health is a human right that should be provided to all, regardless of socioeconomic factors. This organization hopes to reduce the burden of disease that affects the Sikh community both locally and globally, and in doing so, reducing the overall burden of disease impacting society.

We welcome your interest!

We are currently working on our official website (currently under construction):