United States Leads in Stealing Africa's Doctors

Pediatric doctors at Donka Hospital in Conakry, Guinea

Pediatric doctors at Donka Hospital in Conakry, Guinea

The United States is stealing the world’s doctors — and from the very places that need doctors the most. Dubbed the “international brain drain,” the United States leads the way in attracting international doctors, especially those from Africa.

The United States, with its high salaries, attracts more international doctors every year than Britain, Canada and Australia combined. However, for every 1000 people, Africa has only 2.3 health care workers, while the United States has almost 25. Doctors emigrating in droves from developing countries for “greener pastures” are making an already critical health worker shortage ever more dire.

But this brain drain is not new. In countries like Ghana, some 61% of doctors produced in the country between 1986 and 1994 had already left the country by 1999. The financial loss from emigration like this has been extremely detrimental. The loss from this period of emigration in Ghana alone is estimated at over 5.9 million dollars.

Foreign MDs
Foreign MDs

Not surprising, foreign medical doctors make up a substantial proportion of the doctors workforce in some of the most affluent countries in the world. More than 34% of doctors practicing in New Zealand were from overseas in 2000.  And according to a 2010 report in the Economie Internationale other developed countries have extremely high proportions of foreign doctors, including the United-Kingdom with 31%, the United-States with 26%, and Australia and Canada with more than 20%.

This is in part the result of initiatives like the 1994 U.S. legislation proposed to allow foreign doctors on student visas access to stay in the U.S. if they agreed to work in some of the poorest places in the United States. Since then, over 8,500 African doctors have left Africa and gained jobs at American hospitals that were in short supply.

A sneaky initiative. It looks great from the outside from its ability to give African medical students the chance to work in the U.S. for higher wages but it does nothing but continue to keep those living in “periphery” countries ever more dependent on “core” countries.

This is described by most scholars as the dependency theory — an economic model that became popular in the 1960s as a critic of the way the United States, along with many western countries, exploits those in the “periphery” for their own gain.

Poor countries provide resources, in the form of raw materials, cheap labor, and a market to those countries in the core. While wealthy countries in the core perpetuate their dependence in every way possible — through control of the media, economic politics, banks and finance insinuations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, educational initiatives, cultural exploitation, and even sporting events like the World Cup.

Indeed, this exploitation is clearly exemplified by the emigration policies facilitating the exodus of medical doctors from Africa over the past decade. Of the 12 African countries producing the most medical graduates, 8 have seen a 50% increase from 2002 - 2011 in all graduates appearing in the U.S. physician workforce. Cameroon, Sudan, and Ethiopia each had over a 100% increase since 2002.

These policies in place, that are sucking up some of Africa’s greatest doctors, are just further methods of perpetuating the poorest country’s dependence on the wealthiest.

It becomes clear then that while the United States benefits, Africa only appears to benefit. The U.S. gains excess doctors, while Africa looses the few it barely has.

While the United Sates grows its ratio of 2.45 doctors for every 1000 people, countries like Mozambique see a decrease in the already alarming rate of .04 doctors for every 1000 people.

Health professionals around the world agree that human resources is the most key component to solving problems in global health. But it is often one of the most neglected components, with much more emphasis focused on managing disease outbreaks and not the people actually preventing diseases.

Oliver Bakewel, of the International Migration Institute, agrees with this logic in writing that “development practice has commonly seen a reduction in migration as either an (implicit or explicit) aim of intervention or an indicator of a programme’s success" in an 2007 report.

However some scholars at the World Bank disagree with the notion that migration is inversely proportional to success in African development. A 2014 article in The Atlantic headlined "Why the brain drain can actually benefit African countries," outlined their findings that suggest "one additional migrant creates about 2,100 dollars a year in additional exports for his/her country of origin.”

However, this argument does not look closely enough at the brain drain for specifically medical doctors.

The brain drain intersects more than just the medial field — it cross cuts every highly skilled profession. But the effects of the brain drain on the status of health care in Africa is much more harmful than that of the brain drain of — for example — African professors. The average increase of 2,100 dollars in exports will do nothing to solve the critical and immediate lack of medical doctors in almost every African country.

The time is here more than ever for the international community to play a more proactive role in addressing the international medical brain drain. Affluent countries like the United States should be held accountable for exploiting Africa for its doctors, while international policies should be put in place to help African governments increase wages for health workers and retain their much needed doctors.

Contributing Editor: @AustinBryan
LinkedIn: Austin Drake Bryan

Omani Woman Nora Al-Daher, Gambled and Lost £2m in One Night, then Refuses to Pay Casino

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Gambling Addiction, Model A.A., Photo by Gregory CinqueUNITED KINGDOM, London - There is such a thing as gambling addiction, problem gambling, or ludomania which is the urge to continuously gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. Pathological gambling is considered by the American Psychiatric Association to be an impulse control disorder rather than an addiction. However, for the DSM 5.0, Pathological Gambling is being considered as an Addictive Disorder as opposed to an impulse-control disorder. (Wikipedia) Then, there is the question of personal responsibility. In today's modern world there are a number of means to avoid the consequences of irresponsible or downright bad behavior i.e. if one is rich enough, if one can claim mental defect, or you can simply run away.

None of these options absolve the person of responsibility, but having a disorder such as a gambling addiction could potentially mitigate the ultimate judgment in the case of someone gambling away their savings, house, and car, thus leaving them in a position whereby they are unable to meet credit obligations.

Nora Al-Daher, whose husband is the foreign minister of Oman, told the High Court that she is a gambling addict. She was testifying in a suit which she brought against the exclusive Ritz Club in London where she gambled and lost £1million, but only after she had lost an equal sum earlier that night at other casinos around the city.

It is interesting to note that according to Islamic scholars gambling, is categorically forbidden, as is drinking alcohol. So, this begs the question of how Mrs. Al-Daher was able to lose millions of pounds, a sum which 99.9% of the world's population will never realize in their lifetimes? According to court documents, "between 1999 and April 2012, The Ritz alone had received more than £20million in buys-ins from Mrs. Al-Daher, of which she lost more than £7million." (Daily Mail U.K.)

Her credit was extended by The Ritz because of her previous good payment history, and as a valued customer they wanted to accommodate the self-proclaimed addict. However, this time she wrote checks, which in the parlance of the poor, "bounced" and were not honored by her bank because of "Non-Sufficient Funds."

The idea that someone with access to that amount of money would be frivolous enough to gamble it away, and then refuse to pay the debt, disparages people of lesser means who have gambling addictions. With her extreme wealth she could have sought the best addiction treatment in a private and exclusive environment.

She could have also settled her debt and informed in advance all the casinos that she frequented and were known to extend generous credit to her, that she has a gambling addiction, and ask that they cut her off much like a bar tender is now legislated to no longer serve alcohol to a patron who is clearly intoxicated.

Instead, Mrs. Al-Daher called foul play after the fact, and used the condition to justify her not settling the debt. It is not as if she doesn't have access to the money, but it is curious that her checks bounced. Perhaps, this time her husband refused to provide her with the money to pay her debt, but in any case The Ritz should not be made the scapegoat.

Personally, I am against gambling, so this article is not written in support of these institutions that regularly fleece millions of customers each year in casinos all over the world. The fact that gambling, once illegal in many countries, has been granted the veneer of respectability under the guise that the taxes which they pay are used to better the communities in which they reside, does not confer upon them beneficence.

The logic behind the marketing scheme used to convince communities to allow these establishments to operate in their midst, is that by paying large sums in taxes to local and state governments, these funds can in turn be used by these governments to improve schools, social services, etc. However, in fact this premise is about as valid as the claims that cigarettes are safe and do not cause cancer. The fact that exorbitant taxes are paid is akin to bribery because very little of this money trickles down to the people or communities that are professed to benefit.

That said, this case has yet to be adjudicated, but in this court of opinion......she played, she lost, she has the millions, so she should pay the piper.

Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor-in-Chief: @ayannanahmias

Paedophilia Sex Ring Busted in UK

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Patrice Ellerbe, Staff WriterLast Modified: 13:14 p.m. EDT, 17 January 2013

Young Girl Mannequin, Photo by NachtjägerOXFORD, England -- Over eight years, girls as young as 11-years-old were exposed to unbelievable sexual acts and behavior. They were being trafficked around the UK by male gang members out of Oxford.

The victims endured extreme physical and sexual violence, and some victims were even sold for prostitution. The men each face a total of 51 counts of charges that range from rape, forcing a child into prostitution, and trafficking. From 2004 to 2012, six of the victims were given drugs and drinks before being repeatedly raped for days at a time by multiple men.

The men targeted girls from chaotic backgrounds, who they then coerced into recruiting other girls for the sex ring. At times, members of the gang received payments for any new child prostitutes the girls brought in.

All nine of the men, ages ranging from 24 to 38, deny the charges against them. It has been stated that there are more men involved as well. The trial is expected to last eight to twelve weeks. Nine men face 19 counts of rape, seven of them with a child under the age of 13, arranging or facilitating child prostitution, trafficking within the UK, and using instruments in to induce miscarriages. The jury was told to prepare themselves for the evidence that would be brought before them in the court.

The girls were taken to guests houses as well as vacant houses, where they were abused and prevented from escaping. The men conducted perverted acts on the young girls such as biting, suffocation, burning, and scratching. The men carried and used weapons to torture the girls which included knives, baseball bats, and meat cleavers, while some men went as far as urinating on the young girls.

As previously stated, the girls involved were from chaotic backgrounds which made it easy for these men to take advantage of the girls' desire for positive male attention. Under this guise, the men initially plied the girls with gifts, and lavished attention on them which they craved, with the goal of enslaving them.

These benign gifts soon gave way to heroine, crack, cocaine, and cannabis, resulting in addiction. The addictions eventually made the girls dependent on the men in order to feed their drug addiction. The girls were often threatened with grievous bodily harm or even death if they tried to escape. To further alienate them, the men threatened to also kill their families as well.

The ring functioned like an out-call prostitution service where men would make appointments then travel from places as far as Bradford, Leeds, London and Slough to pay to have sex with the under aged females. Sometimes, the pimps delivered the girls to customers by ferry to London and Bournemouth.

One girl, who can not be named, was 12-years-old when she was targeted by the gang. Just like many of the other young girls, she was tortured and subjected to extreme physical, sexual, and psychological abuse for the next 3 years until she was able to escape at age 15.

Though it is likely that many of the men involved in the ring as well as their customers are paedophiles, it is just as certain that these men are misogynist. The men involved in this reprehensible crime were not only unbelievably cruel, but also perverted. Unfortunately, these young girls have been scarred for life, and have had their childhood irrevocably taken from them.

Innocent children should never be subjected to acts of this sort no matter what their backgrounds, country of origin or religion. Global trafficking of children for prostitution is not a new phenomenon; however, most people generally think of this as a problem unique to and more prevalent in developing nations.

They would in fact be surprised that in "America, approximately 250,000 children are trafficked each year, the average age of entering prostitution is thirteen. Many of these children entered prostitution from homelessness or as an escape from an abusive situation. The documentary 'Very Young Girls' introduces the audience to girls who have been manipulated by their pimps, beaten and raped, sold for sex and then sent to jail. (Source: Fem 2.0)

That it happens anywhere is a travesty. That it happened in the UK raises eyebrows though it shouldn't. No country or society is immune to this scourge which has earned the moniker of 'the oldest profession in the world.'

However, this assignation is only applicable to women and men who willingly chose to ply this trade, not girls or boys who are coerced, beaten, kidnapped, or otherwise forced to engage in this industry. It is incumbent upon us all to face the ugly truth of this problem and to persist in shining a light on this horrendous darkness.

Follow Patrice Ellerbe on Twitter
Twitter: @nahmias_report Staff Writer: @PatriceEllerbe
 

Oscar Pistorius Wows 2012 London Olympics

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 00:05 AM EDT, 11 September 2012

Oscar Pistorius, Photo by Global Sports ForumLONDON, England – South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, also known as the ‘Blade Runner,’ races wearing carbon fiber prosthetic blades because he was born without a fibula in both legs which were amputated before he was a year old.

Pistorius is the first Paralympian to compete in the Olympics against able-bodied athletes. This double amputee inspired spectators, fellow Olympians, and Paralympians with his outstanding sports prowess at the 2012 London Olympics.

Controversy surrounding his use of the carbon fiber prosthetic blades and the potential advantage they may afford him against able-bodied runners was resolved in advance of his participation in the games though some remained unconvinced.

Pistorius, who is also known as 'the fastest man on no legs' brushed off any criticism and focused his attention on the games, and amazingly qualified for the 400 semi-finals though he did not make the finals.

On Saturday, 8 September 2012, Pistorius subsequently competed and won the final Paralympic Games track gold medal in the men's 400 meters as well as a gold medal in the 4x100 relay. This despite coming up short in his bid to defend the 100 and 200 titles he won in Beijing four years ago.

The Paralympics was the second-largest multi-sport event ever held in the United Kingdom after the 2012 Summer Olympics, and were the largest and most commercially successful Paralympics ever; 4,294 athletes from 164 National Paralympic Committees participated. The London Olympic Games contributed to significantly higher demand for tickets than ever before, breaking numerous sales records. (Source: Wikipedia)

London’s success in hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics also benefited the Paralympic sports by elevating global awareness and public enthusiasm for these inspirational games and the phenomenal participants who overcome significant life challenges to compete at the highest levels attainable by athletes from around the world.

"I'm so proud, this summer has been a dream come true and I couldn't hope for anything better. It's my 11th time on this track and I wanted to give the crowd something special that they could take home with them." (Source: Reuters)

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Ecuador Harbors Wikileak's Julian Assange

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 23:09 PM EDT, 19 June 2012

http://www.ecuadorembassyuk.org.uk/announcements/statement-on-julian-assangeLONDON, England - Today, WikiLeak’s founder, Julian Assange, 40, escaped extradition to Sweden by fleeing to the Ecuadorean embassy in London. On 15 June 2012 Assange lost all appeals in U.K. against extradition to Sweden to face questioning in two cases of alleged rape and sexual assault.

The British government is stunned and embarrassed by the lapse in security which enabled Assange to remain in London just beyond the reach of its police. Prior to loss of his appeals, Assange spent a year and a half under house arrest without being charged. Fortunately for Assange, he spent this confinement at the luxurious country estate of a wealthy supporter.

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his country would weigh the asylum request in light of the belief by many that the sex crime accusations were manufactured to discredit Assange with the added benefit of impugning the credibility of WikiLeaks.

Conspiracy theorist believe that Assange’s 18-month ordeal was instigated by the U.S. in retaliation for the 2010, WikiLeak's release of secret video footage and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, many of them about Iraq and Afghanistan, in the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.

Following the release, the now defunct Wikileak was systematically undermined when sources refused to provide the organization with newsworthy leaks and credit card companies instituted a blockade that staunched donations which were the life blood of the organization. The final straw was the revelation by two former female employees of sexual abuse by Assange.

As a strong proponent of women’s rights, we often feature stories of women who have been physically or emotionally abused, and rape is one of the most heinous expressions of brute power perpetrated by one human being against another.  Unfortunately, the merits of these women’s accusations are tainted by the perception that they may have been used as pawns in an international campaign to silence one of the few remaining advocates of freedom of speech and access to information.

On 19 June 2012, the Ecuadorean Embassy updated their website with the following statement. "While the department assesses Mr. Assange's application, Mr. Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean Government. The decision to consider Mr. Assange's application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden." (Source: Ecuador Embassy UK)

Meanwhile, Assange remains safely ensconced in the Ecuadorean Embassy while Patino assesses the merit of his asylum request and the geopolitical impact. Preexisting tensions between the government of Rafael Correa, Ecuador's leftist and ardently anti-Washington president and the U.S. could permanently rupture should they choose to grant permanent asylum to Assange.

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Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor: @ayannanahmias

Sade, Timeless

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 13:30 PM EDT, 27 April 2012 First Published: 15:03 PM EDT, 15 January 2010

Sade, Photo by OutkastedLONDON, England - Helen Folasade Adu “Sade”, 53, who was born in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, has come out with a follow-up single to "Soldier of Love," aptly titled "Love is Found." It is amazing to watch and listen to a woman who has been performing since 1984, and whose musical style has remained consistently outstanding and timeless.

I think in part her longevity is due to the private nature of her life, as it seems she has wisely chosen to focus her public persona entirely on her music. But for a brief moment when she experienced a terribly painful breakup, this seems little more than a blip compared to the drama that regularly plays out in the tabloids and news media about today's "musicians."

Sade is a songstress, an artist who harkens back to vocalist like Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, to name a few. Women who inhabited their talent with grace and class. We have chosen to update this post because of the recent news comparing Sade to Adele, another British superstar, and rumors of another album release.

Sade's soulful renderings come from a place borne of the experiences of a woman who has known and lost love, who is daughter and mother, who has navigated the complexities of a heritage that is both African and European, and who has passed through the agonies of heartbreak and pain played out in the public domain.

Her commitment to her music is what continues to draw fans to listen to and buy her music which has remained relevant even with a nine-year hiatus. She is the epitome of a true artist who is beholden first and foremost to their craft.

She possesses the patience to await the muse of inspiration that has once again enabled her to deliver a song that is "classic," evocative, and boldly revealing. She remains an inspiration to those of us who seek to live boldly without artifice, to display without sentiment our triumphs and foibles, and to experience the spectrum of emotional interactions that makes us uniquely human.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15WDBuvovXo]

Music video by Sade performing Love Is Found. (c) 2011 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR5_rTCi-Bo]

Music video by Sade performing Soldier Of Love (c) 2010 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

Watch the making of "Soldier Of Love" below.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DLxYOiXT2c]

Tibetan Monk Self-Immolates

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 16:24 PM EDT, 16 February 2012

Konchog Wangdu Tibetan MonkLOBSANG GYATSO, Tibet - A 19-year-old monk from the Kirti monastery set himself ablaze on the main street, according to the London-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT). Security forces beat Gyatso while extinguishing the flames, then took him away, the group said in an online statement posted late Monday. It was not immediately clear whether he survived.

Tibetan’s are a deeply religious and independent culture. The annexation of the country, forced resettlement, plus the exile of one of its most revered figure, the Dalai Lama has sparked intense resistance . Many monks remain fiercely loyal to Tibet's exiled Buddhist leader, who fled the Himalayan region in 1959 amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EASprHOwZ48&feature=related]

China's tacit acceptance of the country's religious fervor does not negate the fact that the Tibetan people have expressed feelings of oppression from and domination by the invading Chinese. Out of fear of reprisal many Tibetans, including the man who was interviewed in 2008 by Michael Palin, will only publicly state that they have experienced no problems with their assimilation into Chinese society and culture.

Tibet is governed by China as an autonomous region and the territories of Lhasa and Yushu were featured prominently in Palin’s documentary “The Roof of the World.” The rich culture depicted in the documentary seems quite different from that of the Chinese. From this perspective, it is not surprising that this clash of cultures would result in an escalation of the number and kinds protests that dissidents would engage in to capture the world’s attention and highlight the human rights abuses that occur in Tibet on a daily basis.

Self-immolation is one of the most extreme forms of civil protest, second only in my opinion to a hunger strike. The case of the Tibetan monk setting himself on fire is reminiscent of another monk who burned himself to death in protest of the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam’s Roman Catholic government.

His name was Thích Quảng Đức and the photos of his self-immolation are burned into the psyche of anyone born in the 60’s. His self-sacrifice brought attention to the repressive policies of the Diệm regime. Malcolm Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for his renowned photograph of the monk's death.”(Source: Wikipedia)

Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday, 14 February 2012, stated that with regard to China's policies on Tibet, they respect the Tibetans traditional culture and freedom of religious belief. He further cast aspersions on the monk by stating that "in his opinion this monk and others like him are being manipulated by outside nations to incite the populace and destabilize the country."

Group: Tibetan sets herself on fire in protest

It would appear, based upon China’s response to this deadly incident that the officials view this movement as economic sabotage. China has invested a great deal in the infrastructure of Tibet, including building new dams, roads and communications networks. According to a CBS reporter who recently visited, he claimed that cellular service was better there than in America.

The Chinese government views these improvements as a benefit to Tibetans, but in reality the continued development encroaches on the nomadic, peaceful and spiritual lives of the Tibetans. Like the Native Americans, the Tibetans are facing the loss of their autonomy and culture through the imposition of the English and Chinese languages, habiliment and atheism.

Premiere Wen was quoted as saying, "Any attempt to incite a small number of monks to take radical moves to undermine stability in the Tibet Autonomous Region is not in the interest of development in Tibet or the interests of the people living in Tibet. Such attempts can have no popular support." He delivered this pronouncement to reporters at a joint press conference with visiting leaders from the European Union.

It is interesting that he used the imperative when stating that this movement “can have no” popular support. His words connoted a subtle but implied threat to any Tibetan who would seek to embarrass or otherwise demonstrate dissatisfaction with Chinese rule. Much of the recent unrest has occurred in adjoining provinces with large Tibetan populations, particularly Sichuan.

According to ICT, 20 Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople have set themselves on fire in China over the past year, with at least 13 dying from their injuries. These self-immolations have occurred with increasing frequency in recent weeks, and most have taken place in Sichuan's remote and mountainous Tibetan areas.

Independent verification of the true status of these anti-Chinese dissidents is unknown since Western reporters trying to visit that part of Sichuan have been turned away by security forces.