A WATSONBLOG, hosted by THE WATSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES at BROWN UNIVERSITY

February 14, 2008

From Alma Ata to the Global Fund

From Alma Ata to the Global Fund: The history of International health policy is a report prepared by the Italian Global Health Watch, published in the journal of Social Medicine (Volume 3, Number 1, January, 2008). This paper traces the evolution of international health policies and international health institutions, starting from the birth of the World Health Organization, the setting up of the Health for All targets at the Alma Ata conference 1978 and the rise of neo-liberal policies promoted by international financial institution from 1980 to the present. The paper looks at different issues surrounding public-private partnerships and the setting up of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the influence of these institutions on the health system in poor countries. For having access to a copy of this report click here.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2008

Health, market or essential human right that is the question

Last week in a Medical Care Class at the BU school of public health, we discussed about the health market, professor said that the health market is an imperfect market, because it doesn't have the characteristics and assumptions adhered to a perfect market. A perfect market has some assumptions like rationality of the market actors, no transaction cost (no information cost and taxes), no price taking behavior and there is sufficiently large number of participants such that no individual can affect the market and freedom of decision. Professor told us that the health market is imperfect because the following assumption is not a case in this market (1):

Power Equal
Real competition and choice
Full information
No price fixing
Transparent to buyer and seller

Patient and doctors don't have an equal power, in most areas competition is not a case since there is no different health providers. For example in some countries only one neurosurgeon works, or because of the insurance policy patients are not allowed to visit any doctor that they wish.

But my question is what about we look at the health care as a fundamental human right, if so; we can not simply analyze the health system from a market perspective. In this case health is not only a commodity with all of characteristics related to goods, it is a right, and we need to take into the account the costs of providing a right for citizens and in some cases it can be an imperfect market.

(1) Courtesy of Professor Bill Bicknell

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2008

Health and Human Right

Surprisingly Health and Human Right as a unique field (one concept) is a young, but rapidly growing and dynamic field. When we think about public health, unconsciously we consider it as a human right, these two words had evolved parallel but it took a long time until finally this field was introduced as a unique concept. The first time that human rights were explicitly named in a public health strategy was only in the late 1980s, when people looked at rights of HIV/AIDS patients seriously. Prof. Jonathan Mann's observations were one of the early efforts to highlight the field.

Jonathan Mann’s 3 basic observations:

• Human rights abuses can dramatically affect health
• Health can be dramatically worsened when human rights are ignored
• Health and human rights can act synergistically

Today I learned about Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health & Human Rights, the deadline for nominees is January 15th, 2008. I believe this award and the announcement around it, can help to internalize this field among health policy makers and practitioners. For more info click here.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2008

Results of the Election 2008

I wrote this note last week before knowing about Iowa caucus's result. Today is the day of New Hampshire primary vote. We are looking forward to learn about the results of "Super Tuesday" and so on. It is too soon to even predict who actually will be the parties' candidates. But I like to write down my thought here and see what will happen.

I am not a political analyst or even activist. But for some reason that back to my personal experiences I can see somehow the Nov 5th 2008 headlines (Election Day will be Nov 4th 2008)

Republican candidate John McCain now holds only a slight lead, down from an advantage of almost 5000 votes. Democratic candidate Barack Obama in a statement congratulated the winner of the race. Democratic National Committee Chairman in a separate statement asked all of stakeholders including Supreme Court to think about some modifications in the Electoral College System and asked for a change in this regime.
Last night Hynes Convention Center in Boston was full of thousands of democratic supporters who shouted and sometimes crying in supporting Senator Obama the candidate of change.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2008

Needs Assessment, a weapon for change


Needs assessments play a vital role in strategic planning and in program and policy development process. In the needs assessment process, we try to learn about current needs for services and an assessment of effectiveness of past programs to meet those needs.

When we talk about needs assessment we can look at it in an individual or population based frameworks. In an individual framework, finding the basic needs of an individual is not so difficult, everybody needs shelter, clean water, education, food and so on. But when we talk about population needs assessment, it would be complicated in some degrees. In fact in a population level, measurement of health outcomes and needs related to health outcome makes it challengeable.

We have to define the health outcome, we have to define needs, we have to find appropriate and validated measures to be able to understand the current health situation. Using some traditional measures like mortality and morbidity, not only just give us the negative sides of health outcomes but also just give us the extreme and absolute sides of the health outcomes and there is no news about the spectrum of health outcomes and a level of change.

Despite the difficulty of finding the appropriate definition and measure for delivering a needs assessment project we almost always follow some common steps.
The fundamental question for the program's needs assessment:
• Who is the target population?
• What are the target population's needs?
• Which groups within the target population have these needs?
• Geographically, where are those in need?
• What is currently being done to aid those in need, by whom and where?
• What and where are the unmet needs?
• How well did we do in addressing those needs in the past?
• What has changed since we started?

An articulate and well designed needs assessment project is a powerful tool for informing policy makers for supporting and financing the programs for addressing the unmet needs in a population.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 12:54 AM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2008

Why Public Health?

When I was a medical student in 80s a friend of mine who studied Philosophy at that time, always quoted a message from one of the Greek ancient philosophers about “Physicians”, the quote was something like: The “mean Docs” want people sick to make more money. This quote always leads me to avoid being a “mean Doc” so for making more money wish to see more sick people around. Of course, I know a meaningful number of physicians, who dedicate their lives and scarify their family time to help people around the world, with all respect to these colleagues and this important job, I chose to be more active in the field of public health rather than medicine, so why I did that.

Medicine targets individuals to diagnose disease and offer medical treatments to relieve symptoms and if it is possible, to cure. Physicians see individuals who have access to medical care, so what about the rest who don’t have access, how we can reach to these people, how we can make sure those people who suffer actually have any access, dealing with this kind of problems in a population framework comes as a matter of public health mission. Under public health umbrella you have this chance to address these issues in a population based paradigm.

Public health seeks to understand the conditions necessary for well being. Public health not only tries to understand these conditions but also tries to deliver interventions to address the issues. Public health is practice based knowledge, it is complicated, it is difficult to address, it is a multidimensional knowledge, and it is really a multi disciplinary field. Public health professionals believe that the population’s health condition deeply affected by social, economic, cultural and political context in which people live. Public health is a matter of human right, justice, and equity and it is all about change. Public health scholars or activists have a common desire and it is change. Changing from current status to a better condition with less suffer and pain.


I love to be in this field, the field of challenge and change. It is difficult and innovative field. I remember when I visited Lahore in Pakistan; I went to visit the Alameh Iqbal Lahoori’s tomb, a politician and a poet who wrote poems in Persian. There was a meaningful poem on the wall of his tomb.He says “The meaning of human is innovation, since moon and sun do their job as they did for years”. I am in this field to make a difference and serve marginalize and vulnerable folks, I hope I can.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2007

The seed of wisdom

The seed of wisdom did I sow,

And with mine own hand wrought to make it grow,

And this was all the harvest that I reap'd,

I came like water, and like wind I go
-- Omar Khayyam

Source : the Houtan Foundation website

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 10:07 PM

June 08, 2007

Mr. Ahmadinejad, please turn your volume down

What is your definition of National Interests? Each time you address something in your verbose talks, we start mourning in this country. Every time you start showing a hostile picture of our nation, I have to show hundreds of slides about my homeland to my classmates to make sure they understand that we are not rapacious.

What is your definition of National Interest? You can’t find any Iranian name in the list of terrorists who attack western interests in the previous years. Why you deliver irresponsible talks and try to help people call us terrorist.

Last year I applied for changing my visa status from Research Scholar to Full time student. This is a 2-3 month process. Now it is more than 1 year that I am waiting for this change. My case is on pending. I bet each time you deliver a speech; people try to consider my file one more time, because you are the president of my country.

I am an Iranian physician; I served people in poor areas as a volunteer Doc for a decade. If I wasn’t an Iranian I had lots of choices for funding and scholarship in the school of public health, but since I am an Iranian student I am not eligible for applying to almost all of scholarships available for people like me from developing countries.
My visa is on pending and it means I am not allowed to even work as a student and use my summer for doing my practicum. I am not able to work as a research or teaching assistants.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, what is your definition of National Interests? I never use any governmental fund in my whole life; I am a self employed and stand on my own feet. Why you make life of people like me difficult with your irresponsible talks.
You have two ears and one tongue. I recommend you to listen more than giving talks. If you turn your volume down, maybe you hear this voice.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 03:40 PM

April 30, 2007

New website launched as Social Network for HIV/AIDS Community

Launched on March 1st, HIVConnect.net is a unique site that connects all sectors of the HIV/AIDS community. This new social network is a place of free dialogue for people with HIV/AIDS, Community Based Organizations, AIDS Service Organizations, and the family / friends of HIV-positive people.

The site brings organizations together with each other and their clients on-line, taking the concept of a local "drop in center" to the internet.The goal of HIVConnect.net is to deepen the interaction between clients and the organizations that seek to support them.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 10:30 PM

April 08, 2007

A Success Story, Population Policy in Iran

As health professionals interested in International health a lot can be learned from the Iran population policy story. The process of implementing the policy shows the importance of census data in developing countries, and also the value of a powerful technical body in the development and health organizations as a capacity for developing the policy.

Starting the policy in the right time and attention to the window of opportunity is another lesson. This policy was legitimate and politically sustainable because of the Fatwa by the leader of the Islamic Revolution. The policy was operationally and administratively feasible, because of the extensive health network around the country with more than 16000 health houses in rural and urban area. Also the policy was substantively valuable, because it answered real needs of the society, and the willingness for development and country reconstruction after the war was something desirable for the nation.

Taking a gender approach and appreciating the role of both women and men was another message of this success story. The policy tried to change the values, beliefs of the people toward family size and fertility, and the family planning activities. Now the small family size is a norm in Iran. Thus, it would be so difficult for any policy makers to change this norm.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 09:41 AM

March 18, 2007

How serious is Iran nuclear program

Maybe you are overwhelmed with the news about our nuclear program, I don’t know much about this issue, and I have absolutely no idea about the standards of the nuclear scientists. Recently president Ahamdinejad gave a talk and he mentioned about the story of one of the Iranian nuclear scientists, you can watch this 2.5 minutes talk here, and also I wrote the translation of the talk below. Regarding to this story I think the Iranian nuclear plan is not as serious as that west think about it.

President said:


A lady high school teacher contacted me sometimes ago, that we have a 16 years old girl in our school, a third year high school student in Math Physics major.
She has told her teacher that she in her house discovered nuclear energy. The teacher asked me to do something about it. I asked them to have a meeting in school and asked the student some questions and find out how serious it is. They had a meeting, asked questions and found out that it is serious. They informed me I called the chief of nuclear energy organization. I told him” Dear sir, a high school student claiming something like this. I asked him to investigate and if it is true support her. They invited our nuclear scientists who are younger than 25 on the average.”
They sat and had a meeting; they invited the student and questioned her. They saw that she is right, they told her let’s see what you are doing in your house. They went to the house, They realized that this 3 rd year high school student with help of her older brother has bought some parts from the market and attached them together, and had really produced nuclear energy, Now they have taken her there and she has become a nuclear scientist Now she has bodyguard, a car, driver and etc.
This is self confidence

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 06:22 PM

March 13, 2007

Is really Iran President is an Israeli secret agent?

I am not a politician, and I do not know a lot about politics, but I found a note in an Isreali website by Guy Bechor, who writes periodically at Ynetnews, the leading source for Israel news, on his article in March 1st 2007, tilted: Ahmadinejad, our secret agent in Iran, he provided some facts that show President Ahmadinejad works more in the favor of Israel rather than Iran. He wrote:

“Could it be that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is working for us? He is after all doing an excellent job for Israel. This week, while Teheran is divided between pragmatic elements calling to suspend Iran's nuclear program (or at least enter dialog with the US,) and militant elements who are not prepared to make any concessions – militant Ahmadinejad should definitely be supported.
It would be bad news for Israel if the Iranian nuclear program was halted now because international pressure would wane, a new American president would come to power and the smart Iranians would renew the project later on. Fortunately we have Ahmadinejad who insists that his country be isolated and trumpeted as the world's problem child.

Continue reading "Is really Iran President is an Israeli secret agent?"

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 10:33 AM

March 12, 2007

The Power of Hollywood for making Good and Bad Nations

Despite the fact that 300 is not a historical film, and it is just a fiction, but Iranian community takes position against it, because of the fact that this film tries to show our ancestor like uncivilized, gory, bloody and bad nation. Iranian community says” It seems that there is a mission on the table to ruin Iran and Hollywood has the responsibility to prepare the public and show them this nation must be treated like a wild and stubborn community”

Iranian nation says “we don't deserve this treatment, especially during Iranian American Heritage Month”.
We refer western community to learn about our ancestors from different sources rather than Hollywood, and keep in mind that the first human right declaration was written by Cyrus the Great in 2500 years ago also you may find the name of Cyrus in Bible, who gave freedom to Jews and built the second temple for them and let them to practice their religion.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 12:23 PM

March 05, 2007

No War With Iran

Forget the NEWS and Propaganda against Iran, people in Iran like the other Nations are full of love and life.
please check this out



Posted by Syamak Moattari at 02:51 PM

February 18, 2007

Demographic Transition, Population Policy and Fertility Change in Iran


Since the adoption of a new population policy in 1988, Iran’s population growth rate dropped dramatically from 3.2 percent in 1986 to1.2 percent in 2001 and 1.1 percent in 2006.This reduction in an Islamic developing country in the Middle East is one of the fastest declines in the world.

Now I am working to do an analysis of the population’s policy in Iran. We look back to explore the determination of the policy, how this policy got into the agenda, were initiated and formulated and what is the policy content. For this exploration we use the health policy triangle method, in this approach actors are in the center of the policy and context, content and process are on the corners of the triangle. Learning about Iran experience can be useful for adaptation population policy in the Islamic world. Many developing countries with fast growing population can profit by learning from Iran’s model in promoting population stability.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 06:30 PM

February 05, 2007

International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in November 1999, and observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Today, about half of the 6,000 or so languages spoken in the world are under threat.

Over the past three centuries, languages have died out and disappeared at a steadily increasing pace, especially in the Americas and Australia. At least 3,000 tongues are endangered, seriously endangered or dying in many parts of the world. According to recent estimates, very few people speak most of the 6,000 known languages around the world. Half of today's languages have fewer than 10,000 speakers and a quarter have fewer than1,000.

Read more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 12:12 AM

January 11, 2007

Civil disobedience

Rosa Parks.gif

Fifty years ago, an African-American woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white man. Her act of civil disobedience and subsequent arrest and trial triggered the Montgomery Bus Boycott, one of the first and most successful mass movements against racial separation in U.S. history, and propelled Martin Luther King, Jr., to the forefront of the civil rights movement.

Now the question is, what will happen in the most counties in the Middle East including Iran if some people do civil disobedience (exclude Lebanon and Iraq) for attending the human right or even saving the environment. I can imagine what happen what do you think?

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 04:31 PM

January 10, 2007

Respect to Communities

Thanks God to give me the chance to visit almost every single point of my country .I had this chance to see all of Iran’s borders with our neighbors including all of provinces. And also as a development activist and sometimes as a physician I had the opportunity to live and learn from communities of different ethnic groups in my country.
I’ve never worn the local people cloths without their offer and permission. I’ve never worn their customs in public.

We have to learn to do respect to communities with valuing their customs. I don’t know who told President Ahmadi Nejad to wear the Arab, Kurd, Lor or Turkman customs. Delivering a speech to the local people is not a Halloween party. We are not allowed to wear local people customs and deliver a talk for 1000s of locals. Sometimes local people think we want to do kidding with them when we wear a cloth that is not our usual dress.

I believe President Ahmadi Nejad needs some consultants to let him know more about the communities' sensitivities .

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 05:19 PM

December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein and European Responsibility

halabja 1.jpg


The former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, has been hanged in northern Baghdad for crimes against humanity.
I believe Saddam was executed when American soldiers captured him in a whole near Tikrit in March 2003. We saw a mountain man in a whole, tried to save his own life. When we saw his picture in newspapers in March 2003 searching his teeth and hair by Army physicians, the dictator was died. In his eyes I could see a poor man that was looking for help without any power.

Today he was hanged in Baghdad. Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court on November 5th after a year-long trial over the killings of 148 Shias from the town of Dujail in the 1980s. But the missing part of his Trial is the Chemical Bombardment of Halabja in 1988.On March 16th 1988 at least 5,000 civilian people died as an immediate result of the chemical attack and it is estimated that a further 7,000 people were injured or suffered long term illness.

Saddam started a bloody war against Iran in 1980s, he occupied Kuwait in 1990s.He killed his oppositions including his sons in law. With an Ideological viewpoint he can explain his behavior. He can say that he hate Iranian nation and killing Iranian Soldiers and civilians with chemical weapons is his right. But I don’t know how he could explain killing his nation in Halabja with chemical weapons. How a dictator can phrase this homicide.On the other hand I don’t know why European Governments and most of the western nations ignored this crime against humanity during the crime time. May having business with Saddam during those days was an obvious reason to ignore this crime.

European Union must explain why her members sold chemical weapons to the dictator during Iran-Iraq war and supported the dictator for years.We have to add Halabja to the list of human suffering if we can accept our responsibility as human society.


Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:20 AM

December 16, 2006

Holocaust Conference, a Conference of Hate

As an Iranian Citizen, I ask for forgiveness from all of Holocaust Victims and all of women and men who fight against discrimination in the world, who try to reduce hate between Whites and Blacks, among followers of different religions and between poor and rich countries.

I apologize from Steven Spielbergthe director of Schindler's List (1993), I deeply express my pardon to Dr. Martin Luther King because of the participation of the America's best known racist ,David Duke that he formed the National Association for the Advancement of White People, not to mention the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan .

It is shame for human. It is shame for a nation with a great history in tolerance to host this conference, a conference of hate. As a son of Cyrus the Great who wrote the first human right declaration 2500 years ago in Iran, I express my apology to my ancestors.

I feel sad and shameful; please call me a citizen of the world.


Posted by Syamak Moattari at 06:11 PM

December 11, 2006

Frontiers of Development Economics -- The Future in Perspective

With contributions from 35 leading economists, this book (Frontiers of Development Economics) explores the future of development economics against the background of the past half-century of development thought and practice. The volume offers an analysis of the broad range of issues involved in development economics, and a critique of what is needed in development theory and policy to reduce poverty. An overriding issue is whether in the future "development economics" is to be regarded simply as applied economics or whether its nature and scope will constitute a need for a special development theory to supplement general economic theory.

more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 06:57 AM

December 02, 2006

HIV/AIDS in Iran

While Iran enjoys a low prevalence of HIV/AIDS, it does not mean that the risk is not high. Timing is critical in working on HIV/AIDS and nations have to work on it without any delay. In this report we try to analyze and assess the needs related to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in Tehran, the capital of Iran. . Iran is located in South West Asia and is bounded by Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Caspian Sea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, Iraq and Turkey. With a population of 69 million (July 2006 est.)

Iran is the second largest economy in the Middle-Eastern region. It is also the second largest OPEC (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil producer and has the world’s second largest reserve of gas. Iran’s economy is marked by an inefficient and centralized state in which most of the economic activities are controlled by the state. Private sector activity is typically small-scale. According to 2006 Index of Economic Freedom Report by the Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal, Iran in terms of degree of economic freedom is ranked 156 among 157 countries and only North Korea stays after Iran (4). Currently Iran faces the high rate of unemployment and inflation with one of the youngest population in the world. The demand for higher education and jobs in Iran increased as a result of the country’s 1980s population boom. From 1976 to 1991, the country's population grew at an annual rate of 3.4 percent increasing from 34 million to 56 million people. The growth followed the 1979 Islamic revolution, when Iran's new government promoted population growth, in order to increase Omate Islami (Islamic Nation).

The health status of Iranians and the health system in Iran has improved over the last two decades. Iran has been able to extend public health preventive services through the establishment of an extensive Primary Health Care network.This network is active in providing primary health care and environmental health.This system is more successful in the rural areas compared to the urban areas, specially in mega cities like Tehran. As a result of this network, child and maternal mortality rates have fallen significantly, and life expectancy at birth has risen remarkably. In a transition period from a rural to an urban society, this country faces a number of socio-economic and political problems. Rapid urbanization and high population have had a negative impact on educational and health system and have confronted this country with serious human development challenges. Iran’s geographical characteristic marks this country as a bridge between East and West. In The Religions of the Silk Road, a book by Professor Richard Foltz, he explains how cultural traditions, especially in the form of religious ideas, accompanied merchants and their goods along the overland Asian trade routes in pre-modern times on the Silk Road. (5)

Iran is a crossroad for migrants and a short cut for drugs smuggling from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Europe, as the Golden Crescent of opium. In the north of Iran there are also the newly independent countries that those are suffering from one of the fastest growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world. Iran has some “border markets” with these countries; also migrant workers including sex workers travel frequently between Newly Independent Countries from Former Soviet Union and Iran.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 12:32 AM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2006

Why HIV/AIDS is so important in the Middle East?

Over the past two decades, HIV/AIDS shows its power to destroy most of economies in sub Saharan Africa. The epidemic is now threatening to spread with equal force in Russian Federation, India, China, and many other transition economies including the countries in the Middle East and North Africa. HIV/AIDS infection is important because of its characteristics; it targets people in their most productive years with high morbidity and mortality. It can reverse human development achievement; increase poverty and increase the incidence of other infectious diseases including Tuberculosis.

The Human cost of HIV/AIDS is incalculable, from pain and guilt in individuals to threatened social and political security at the state level. HIV/AIDS reverses the process of building human capabilities. The most visible consequences of HIV/AIDS are cost of prevention, care and treatment.
Jenkins and Robalino (2002) carried out a simulation model in which the impact of HIV/AIDS on MENA region economy, they projects the direct cost of HIV/AIDS to be an average around 1.5 percent of GDP by 2015 for most countries in MENA region.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 10:44 PM

November 17, 2006

Long time, no see

I am back again, it was a long time of absence, since I started my new post graduate program at Boston University in International Health, I was overwhelmed with my course works and not able to write here, but I think the course works never ended and it is better to come back to the community and at least share idea and finings with friends.

Currently I am working on learning about HIV/AIDS in Iran and also I am interested in the outcome of Environmental degradation on Burden of disease.
I would like to learn much more about integration of the economic, society and health outcomes with particular attention to environmental health, it sounds easy but in practice you need more resources. It is much more about paradigm and priorities. I wish to learn from you if you have same interests.


Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:57 AM

August 28, 2006

Outcomes of the Toronto AIDS Conference


Organizers of the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto chose the theme "Time to deliver" to urge the international community to act. The scientific community delivered rich data and directions to one day find a vaccine against HIV. With 4.1 million people being infected in 2005, several speakers noted the conference stressed that it is crucial to focus on both treatment and prevention. Youth organizations emphasized the importance of reaching and educating young people before they become sexually active. The conference also called for government accountability, political and religious leadership, a stronger civil society and better coordination between international organizations.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 03:28 PM

June 13, 2006

It is not really fare

Iranian women held a protest on Hate Tir Squar in Tehran on June 12th against the gender discrimination under current Iran’s laws.
Unfortunately police violently attacked a small group of women who were peacefully started to demonstrate their idea.
Today I showed some photos of the protest and the police treatment to my 7 year daughter.
My daughter asked me why police hit these women and I explained that these ladies wanted to say something and government didn't like that, I told her about the gender equity and some of the women expectations in Iran.

She replied if I was governor I let them to tell me their idea, I want they just chant really soft
They could be the president if they want, I want to break that law and I wanna say if you are a girl and a boy it dose not matter, it is not that different they are the same.
I am killing that law,
I wanna be a president so why can't I ?
It is not really fare.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 03:29 PM | Comments (1)

June 12, 2006

Audio Meeting - Governance Systems and Political Effectiveness

In the past, when African countries attempted to increase accountability and decrease corruption in their governments, they were often advised to reform politically. But do accountability institutions actually lead to stronger governance? In this B-Span report Robert Bates, professor at Harvard University, discussed this problem and the reasons that governments might implement bad policy.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 12:03 PM

May 20, 2006

Information Age serves Terror Age

Why do terrorists make video from execution of their victims? And why do they try to show these awful videos on Satellite or websites?
Terror means the ability to instill intense fear or one that instills intense fear and terrorists try to take maximum advantages from the information age, now they can show the execution moments of a victim to millions of people around the world. Media serves terrorists in order to send their message (Fear) to million of audiences.

One of the fearful and heart-rending pictures that you can see in whole of your life is a documentary of beheading of a human by the new wave of terrorists in Middle East. Now terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan do that frequently. These pictures act like some training courses for other terrorists around the globe and media are the facilitators of these "workshops".

Recently in Iran a group of Islamic fundamentalists started to capture and kill civilians on the roads.
In the middle of March they wore the police uniform on one of the roads of Sistan and Balouchestan Province in Iran, they stopped cars, asked people to come out of the cars and gathered the people on one side of the road and shoot on the heads of 22 humans.
They kidnapped 7 civilians and 20 days ago they beheaded one of their hostages.
They made a video and now you can see the video on the web.
One of the easy to access places that you can watch this video is not the terrorist's website; it is an Iranian news agency (Entekhab)
It seems the news agency tried to show you how bad these terrorists are and wants to show you how awful can be a human to use a big knife and …….

This news agency is a tool on the hand of terrorists, this website is a medium for transferring the message of terrorists to civilians, it serves violence culture, and it helps the terrorists to spread the insecure feeling among the nation, may be this news doesn't know but it serves terrorist mission.

Let me know if these terrorists know that they have no chance to show their documentary, do they use a knife and a video tape to send their message or they used another way to deliver their points.

Last night I saw this video and I am not able to delete the picture from my mind.
I can't understand the moment that Prophet Abraham tried to do something like that with his son Ishmael.
On the moment of killing, maybe these terrorists guys expected to hear a message from the Paradise to select them as the best men on the Earth.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:18 AM

May 16, 2006

Little Green Data Book 2006

This annual World Bank publication, which monitors global pollution and climate change issues, was launched at UN headquarters on the occasion of the Fourteenth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. This year's edition says carbon dioxide emissions worldwide have now topped 24 billion metric tons, an increase of 15 percent compared to the 1992 levels. more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 10:19 AM

May 01, 2006

World No Tobacco Day 2006


The purpose of World No Tobacco Day is to encourage countries and governments to work towards strict regulation of tobacco products. It does this by raising awareness about the existence of the wide variety of deadly tobacco products. Tobacco addiction is a global epidemic that is increasingly ravaging countries and regions that can least afford its toll of disability, disease, lost productivity and death. more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 08:24 AM

April 24, 2006

Global Monitoring Report Sees Progress on MDGs

Evidence of reduced child deaths in nine out of 10 developing countries surveyed, gains in primary school enrolment, and reduced HIV/AIDS infection rates suggest that strong economic growth, improved policies in developing countries and increased aid, is delivering results.

The third World Bank-IMF annual Global Monitoring Report on the Millennium Development Goals was presented at the World Bank-IMF spring meetings. It highlights economic growth, more and better quality aid, trade reforms and governance as essential elements to achieve the goals. More

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 06:30 PM | Comments (1)

April 19, 2006

Sustainable development grants


The Nordic Council of Ministers is inviting applications for sustainable development grants.The deadline is 1 May and the applications will be processed by the Nordic Committee for Co-operation on 13 June. The strategy 'Sustainable development - A New Course for the Nordic Region' focuses on areas in which joint Nordic approaches are a top priority: climate change, biodiversity and genetic resources, the sea, chemicals, food safety, energy, transport, agriculture, business, fisheries, hunting, aquaculture and forestry. more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 09:51 AM

April 17, 2006

World Ethics Forum Ends at Oxford University

The first "World Ethics Forum" on leadership, ethics, integrity in public life ended at Oxford University. Participants concluded that corruption and poor governance around the world would only be overcome through much greater emphasis on ethics and integrity in leadership. The forum was seen as a step towards moving ethical leadership in public life to the center of the international development agenda.

more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 09:16 AM

April 09, 2006

World Ethics Forum Opens at Oxford University

Strong leadership and ethics are the missing link in governance reform, according to the organizers of the first World Ethics Forum, which opened at Oxford University. The forum focused on leadership, ethics and integrity in public life by bringing together people who have made significant contributions to improving governance in their countries, and have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the public sector, civil society, media, or local communities.

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Posted by Syamak Moattari at 08:25 PM

April 06, 2006

More Aid for Countries Fighting Avian Flu

More than 20 countries are expected to receive assistance this year under the World Bank's global program for avian flu. The funding program, approved by the Bank's Board of Directors, allows for up to US $500 million to help countries deal with avian flu in animals and prepare for a possible human pandemic.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:18 AM

March 20, 2006

Happy Norous


Today is the first official day of spring and the first day of Iranian New Year, Iranian calendar is a solar calendar and has 4 seasons and 365 days.
On Norouz, everyone should wear new clothes, and should have ready the "Ha'ft Seen" that is a table decorated with seven traditional items the names of which in Iranian language begin with "Seen" or the letter "S". Among the most popular are:

1-Vinegar ( Serkeh) the symbol of cleanness and hygiene
2-Coin ( Sekeh ) symbol of wealth
3-Apple ( Seeb ) symbol of healthy food and fruits
4- A Hyacinth ( Son Bol ) symbol of nature
5- Garlic ( Siir ) symbol of nature and natural medicine
6- sumac ( Somagh ) symbol of natural spice
7- Sa ma noo , a sweetmeat to thanks God and mother nature for the food and grains.

Setting the Haftsin (Norouz table) and sitting around it at the turn of the year, wearing new garments, presenting Eidi (gifts of crisp paper money) to children, sprinkling rose-water, eating sweets and celebrating sizdeh-be-dar (13th Farvardin or 2nd April) are practiced by Iranians, even those living abroad.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 04:38 PM

Avian Flu Would Have Short-Lived Global Impact

A severe avian flu pandemic would trigger a "sharp but short-lived impact" on the global economy, according to the
International Monetary Fund. In an assessment of the global economic and financial impact of an avian flu pandemic, the IMF recommends each country prepare their own business plans to counter the risks to their financial infrastructures

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 04:18 PM

March 11, 2006

The impact of war on women and children

women and war.jpg
source of picture


As an Iranian witness and civilian victim of the bloody war between Iran and Iraq in 80s and as a Peace advocator, during these days of Iranian nuclear spotlight and a possibility of another war in my region, I try to learn more about the impact of war on human health and environment.

It is easy to stay at home, turn on the news and listen and see the toll of death in Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan.. After a while according to the Psychological Defence Mechanisms in which operate on an unconscious level, our mind automatically delete these awful news. Repression is the primary ego defense that makes all other psychological defensiveness possible. It prevents anxiety-provoking thoughts from entering consciousness.

Repression helps us cope with everyday problems. It can act in response to conflict and pain of one's past.
However, repressed memories do not disappear. Repression can drain creative energy, create a stiffness of character and may lead to more serious psychological problems.
It is shameful that most of us forget the pain of people in the wars; women and children have been the primary victims of all of wars in the world.

Lucinda Marshall in a report Published on Sunday, December 18, 2004 by CommonDreams.org says:
It is one of the unspoken facts of militarism that women often become the spoils of war, their deaths are considered collateral damage and their bodies are frequently used as battlegrounds and as commodities that can be traded.
"Women and girls are not just killed, they are raped, sexually attacked, mutilated and humiliated. Custom, culture and religion have built an image of women as bearing the 'honour' of their communities. Disparaging a woman's sexuality and destroying her physical integrity have become a means by which to terrorize, demean and 'defeat' entire communities, as well as to punish, intimidate and humiliate women," according to Irene Khan of Amnesty International.

Sexual violence as a tool of war has left hundreds of thousands of women raped, brutalized, impregnated and infected with HIV/AIDS. And hundreds of thousands of women are trafficked annually for forced labor and sexual slavery. Much of this trafficking is to service western troops in brothels near military bases. Even women serving in the military are subjected to sexual violence. U.S. servicewomen have reported hundreds of assaults in military academies and while serving on active duty. The perpetrators of these assaults have rarely been prosecuted or punished.

The impact of war on children is also profound. In the last decade, two million of our children have been killed in wars and conflicts. 4.5 million children have been disabled and 12 million have been left homeless. Today there are 300,000 child soldiers, including many girls who are forced to 'service' the troops.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 10:58 AM

March 06, 2006

International Women's Day


March 8 - Global -- In 1975, during International Women's Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women's Day on 8 March. The day is now celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political divisions. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women,

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Posted by Syamak Moattari at 10:03 AM

February 28, 2006

Ashgabat hosts regional forum on sustainable development

The forum was organized by the Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan within the framework of the Interstate Commission on the Sustainable Development of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. Representatives of state institutions on nature management and environment protection of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as of international and public organizations participate in the forum.

As the Ashgabat correspondent of Turkmenistan.ru reports, issues related to application of the Regional Plan of Actions on environment protection and sub-regional process on sustainable development of Central Asian countries are key issues on the agenda of the regular working meeting of the Interstate Commission.

The meeting participants will also discuss the project on establishing Global Information Systems Centre and issues of preparations for the International Year of Deserts and Desertification in 2006.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:53 PM

February 14, 2006

World Information and Communication for Development Report 2006

Information and communication technologies are rapidly evolving, changing rich and poor societies alike. They have become a powerful tool for participating in the global economy and offering new opportunities for development efforts. This report examines the ICT-related roles of the public and private sectors in both developed and developing countries, identifying the challenges and benefits of adopting and expanding ICT use. The report assesses topics essential to building an information society, such as investment and access.

more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 08:45 PM

February 09, 2006

GLOBAL WARMING A HEALTH RISK

Global warming is already causing death and disease across the world through flooding, environmental destruction, heat-waves and other extreme events according to Australian scientists. And the scientists say it’s likely to get worse. In a review published in The Lancet medical journal, the scientists said there was now a near-unanimous scientific consensus that rising levels of greenhouse gases would cause global warming and other climate changes. The review said climate change would bring changes in temperature, sea levels, rainfall, humidity and winds. This would lead to an increase in death rates from heat-waves, infectious diseases, allergies, cholera as well as starvation due to failing crops.

more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 09:33 PM

February 06, 2006

Globalization for Development

This book identifies ways in which globalization can either overcome poverty or make it worse. It defines historical trends, identifies principal global flows such as trade, finance, aid, migration and ideas, and examines how each can contribute to undermining economic development. By considering what helps and what does not, the book presents policy recommendations to make globalization more effective as a vehicle for shared growth and prosperity. more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:24 AM

February 03, 2006

Cumulative Risk Assessment


The public is exposed to multiple contaminants fiom a variety of sources, and tools are needed to understand the resulting combined risks. The Framework for Cumulative Risk Assessment represents an important milestone for EPA in expanding our focus from an individual chemical-based approach to a community or population-based approach for multiple stressors.

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Posted by Syamak Moattari at 04:51 PM

February 01, 2006

The US renews push for AIDS research and care

The US health policy has a direct effect of the International Health Policy and each new statement especially on the International Health issue by US government can affect on the Global movement on Health Issues. One of the most important statement of American Government is delivered by president annually and it 's called State of Union speech, Last Night President Bush Delivered his speech to the House of Representative members and Senate ,to the American Nation and of course to the World.

President Bush is calling for more spending to fight AIDS and to care for H-I-V patients.
In his State of the Union speech, the president pledged to work to fight the spread of AIDS, make H-I-V tests more available and "end the stigma of AIDS."
He called on Congress to provide new funding to states to "end waiting lists for AIDS medicine in America."
Saying "Americans believe in the God-given dignity" of people everywhere, Bush also promoted continued health care aid to other countries.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 09:14 AM

January 30, 2006

Reforms in Developing Countries Can Boost Exports, Study Says

A study from the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, entitled "Trading on Time," says that delaying
exports hurts developing countries' economies. In some countries, an export container requires 116 days to move from the factory or farm to the nearest port and to fulfill all the customs, administrative and port requirements to load the cargo onto a ship.It takes only 20 days in China, Malaysia or Chile. Long delays also make it impossible to export perishable agricultural products such as meat, fruits and vegetables. The study determines how time delays affect international trade, comparing newly collected data on the days it takes to move standard cargo from the factory gate to the ship in 126 countries.

more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 09:41 AM

January 27, 2006

A Dream

My Mother in Low loves this poem, you can see the clip of this song in Persian with English subtitle here

Imagine " Even if it is hard " the world in which each person is so blest .
the world in which the Money , Descent and Power are not values.
the answer of Unisons is not Muitiny Opponent Police !

the world that won,t have Nuclear Bomb , No Bomber , No Mortar!
so no child will mispalce his foot on Verily !
All people will be free , they will be Painless .
you won,t read in a newsletter that " the whales Suicided near the beach " !

Imagine a world without hate and gunpowder ,
Without Injustices of Tyrannies !
without panic and Coffin !

Imagine a world which is full of smile and freedom,
repleted with flower and kiss,
full of frequency of Reclamation .

Imagine " Even if it,s Imagination is a crime " ,
if by saying it,s name the gullet will become full of Antimony !
Imagine the world in which the prisons are Legendary!
all of the wars of the world are inclusived by cease fire !

No one is the Esquire of the world ,
the people are Equal,
so the body of each wheat seed is shared between all humans .

without boundary and confine , the Home is all of the world !
Imagine , " you can do " , you can become the construing of this Dream !

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poem by : Siavash Ghomeishi
Year : 2005
Title : Imagine
Translated by : unique33

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:13 PM

January 25, 2006

Avian Flu Pledging Conference Beats Target

Global efforts to fight avian flu were given a boost in Beijing when donors surpassed initial targets and raised $1.9 billion for developing countries at a funding conference co-sponsored by the World Bank. Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, in a videotaped statement, said that without the support of the international community for avian flu control measures, the potential cost to the world will be much higher in the long-term. Donors and recipient countries asked the Bank and the UN to take on the role of a "best practice" hub for avian flu knowledge.

more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 03:45 PM

January 23, 2006

Whose turn? Iran

Iran is going to experience the very hard days in near future, there is no hope for avoiding of a worse situation, I really scared and I don't know what we can do. I wish some of policy makers in my country have more grey cellules in their skulls; it seems wisdom is very rare thing in these days.
When I was a high school student I was a witness of bloody war between Iran and Iraq in my home town in the west part of my country.
After war I quit to watch on war action movies, I never collected the pictures of Air Plains and weapons, the stuff usually young guys like. I never touched a gun and I started to advocate the voice of peace and calm.

I am so angry when I see some untrained politicians run this country with thousands of years of culture and civilization with a history of tolerance and peace with the other nations and religions, now the picture of my kind people in the world is an angry and undecorated picture. I am so sorry for my nation, because they have to pay the price of sanction and even military attack


Ferdowsi a great poet of Iran in more than one thousand years ago said:
It is pity if Iran is destroyed and if it would be the home of evil.


Posted by Syamak Moattari at 09:09 PM

January 11, 2006

Health and sanitation: a crucial determinant?

The goal of water and sanitation intrinsically links up with many other MDGs and particularly has strong links with poverty, hunger, health, and environmental sustainability. 1.1 billion people worldwide currently lack access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion do not have access to basic sanitation facilities. Coverage of sanitation remains low in the investment priority in most developing countries and this, in turn, has overwhelming impact on health and human well-being. Well-targeted investments at providing services to the poor and unserved can help meet the MDGs for water and sanitation. At the WSSD, several partnerships were launched. Have these partnerships addressed this crucial issue and is there adequate support for strengthening public sector institutions, involving community to seek solutions to this crucial issue?

Source :DSDS 2006

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 10:30 AM

January 09, 2006

Health, Nutrition, and Population Services for the Poor


A World's Bank study titled "Reaching the Poor with Health, Nutrition, and Population Services" concludes that delivering health services coverage can be difficult, and that the rich are often better able to take advantage of these services although their needs are lower. In this panel discussion, the study's authors and other experts examine how new measurements may be able to evaluate health programs for effectiveness across levels of affluence.

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Posted by Syamak Moattari at 06:16 PM

January 05, 2006

The World Development Corporation (WDC)

At the today's publication of theYale Global Online a publication of Yale center for study Globalization, you may find an article with the title" Multinational Corporations: A Key to Global Poverty Reduction " by George C. Lodge and Craig Wilson.
To facilitate investment by Multinational corporations in poor regions by minimizing risk, and by making the investment profitable and thus sustainable. To address this challenge, the article propose a new institution, the World Development Corporation (WDC).

The authors argue that business – the creation of profitable enterprise – is essential to global poverty reduction. Multinational corporations reduce poverty by connecting local business with world markets and bringing access to credit and technology. As efficient engines of change, MNCs also alter the conditions that create poverty. Yet MNCs are absent from some of the poorest regions in the world. The risks of investment are too high. So, the potential benefits of MNCs are not reaching the world’s neediest places. There is a gap between need and investment. The challenge is to close that gap, so for closing the gap ,the idea of proposing the World Development Corporation (WDC) comes out.

more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 01:25 PM

December 19, 2005

Global Integration and Technology Transfer

Developing countries have long sought to use both national policies and international agreements to stimulate
international technology diffusion. Now, new technologies may be embodied in goods and transferred through imports of new varieties of differentiated products or capital goods and equipment or they may be acquired through trade in intellectual property such as licensing contracts. This volume uses cross-country and firm level panel data sets to analyze how specific activities impact on productivity performance.

more

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:30 PM

December 13, 2005

Trade Reforms Would Reduce Poverty More Quickly


A World Bank study shows that an agreement in the WTO's Doha Development Round of trade talks would reduce poverty more quickly in some countries than others. The study, entitled "Poverty and the WTO -- Impacts of the Doha Development Agenda," says that countries such as Brazil and China would make immediate gains, while others would need help to achieve the projected long-term poverty reduction a trade deal offers them. Of 10 countries analyzed in the research study, countries with agricultural export potential to the markets that liberalize the most -- East Asia and Europe -- are identified as obvious winners from trade reform, in both the short- and
long-term.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 04:01 PM

December 06, 2005

Bad NEWS from Tehran,

According to the Sever Air Inversion in Tehran, all schools would be closed in 4 coming days. It seems nobody in Iran can solve this problem; the point is that the new administration under President Ahmadi Nejad claimed last week that the leaders of the other countries ask us to solve their problems, I ask them please help yourself and think about some routine problems like Air Pollution.

Today my day started with tragic news about an Air Crash in south west of Tehran; An Iranian military transport plane crash into a 10-storey block of flats has killed at least 119 people. The aircraft smashed a hole in the top of the building, setting it ablaze, as it tried to make an emergency landing. All 94 people on the plane were killed. Most of the passengers were Iranian journalists, heading to cover military maneuvers in the south. Twenty-five people in the block of flats also died, and 15 were injured.

Because of the US sanction, the safety of Air travel in Iran is low and the flights are dangerous.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 04:41 PM

December 05, 2005

HIV/AIDS Global Plan Launched

The World Bank's global plan to fight HIV/AIDS, launched on the eve of World AIDS Day, aims to strengthen its response to the epidemic at country, regional and global levels, through no-interest lending, grants, analysis, technical support and policy dialogues.آ "The Global Program of Action"آ reflects the advice of developing and middle-income countries, international agencies, NGOs and other groups within the worldwide AIDS community, and would help spur more effective action in several areas. The plan says that the pandemic has entered a new phase, with a greater need for international donors and developing countries to mobilize around common national strategies to fight the disease.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 12:26 PM | Comments (1)

December 02, 2005

Conference of the Parties


Canada is currently hosting the first Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in North America. Combining the Eleventh Conference of the Parties and the first Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, the Montreal 2005: United Nations Climate Change Conference has attracted over 10,000 delegates from 189 countries. Along side the official UN negotiations, a diversity of side events and parallel events are providing opportunities for the sharing of new ideas, experiences and actions being taken to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 10:46 PM

December 01, 2005

I will never waste my food

image002.jpg
This was found in Kevi's diary
Dear God,
I promise I will never waste my food no matter how bad it can taste and how full I may be. I pray that He will protect this little boy, guide and deliver him away from his misery. I pray that we will be more sensitive towards the world around us and not be blinded by our own selfish nature and interests.

I hope this picture will always serve as a reminder to us that how fortunate we are and that we must never ever take things for granted.

Please don't break.. keep on forwarding to our friends On this good day. Let's make a prayer for the suffering in anywhere anyplace around the globe and send this friendly reminder to others Think & look at this...when you complain about your food and the food we wasted daily....... .

MAKE YOUR PROMISE TODAY ..... " I WILL NEVER WASTE MY FOOD "

Posted by Syamak Moattari at 11:13 AM | Comments (1)

November 28, 2005

Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development

"Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development : A Strategy for Large Scale Action" is a report that recently has published by World Bank,this report makes the case for development partners and developing countries to focus on nutrition, and to fund nutrition investments much more heavily than in the past. This case is based on evidence that such programs are excellent economic investments and essential for faster progress in reducing poverty. It is also based on program experience showing that they can improve nutrition much faster than relying on economic growth alone. The report sets out a global strategy for stepped-up action in nutrition, for discussion in the international development community.

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Posted by Syamak Moattari at 03:02 PM

November 21, 2005

Medical Ecology

Medical Ecology is an emerging science that defines those aspects of the environment that have a direct bearing on human health. The concept of ecosystem functions and services helps to describe global processes that contribute to our well-being, helping to cleanse the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Environmental degradation often leads to alterations in these aspects, leading to various states of ill health.

The term Medical Ecology was first coined by the eminent microbiologist, Rene Dubos, who intended it to embrace the concept that natural systems, if explored fully, would provide for many of our needs, as for example, quinine did regarding the treatment of malaria. Dubos discovered gramicidin in 1939, a powerful topical anti-microbial agent. Together with Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin in 1928, these findings led the way into the modern era of anti-microbial therapy, in which soil organisms played a dominant role.

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Posted by Syamak Moattari at 12:26 PM