Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

December 13, 2017

I always get excited about putting together Goats and Soda’s list of most-read stories of the year. To me, it reveals a lot about how our audience feels about the world — what did you find surprising? Share-worthy? Illuminating?

You loved the stories that got you woke: how to ethically take selfies while volunteering abroad; how the Western media visually portrays women and girls in the developing world.

You were intrigued by rare health conditions, like uppgivenhetssyndrom, a coma-like state found in some refugee children in Sweden, and a disease that causes tree-like growths on the skin.

And you were curious about best practices from the developing world: Why are moms in Namibia such great breast-feeders? Why do the Hadza in Tanzania have such healthy diets?

From the 455 global health and development stories we posted on our blog in 2017, here are the top 10, ranked by pageviews.

1. Volunteering Abroad? Read This Before You Post That Selfie

You may think it’s a noble idea to photograph yourself helping poor children. A new campaign has a different perspective.

2. Forbidding Forecast For Lyme Disease In The Northeast

Why has the tick-borne illness surged? The answer traces back to something that newly arrived Europeans did more than 200 years ago.

3. Rare Skin Disease Ruined Gaza Man’s Life — Until Israeli Doctors Stepped In

He was in pain. He could not work. He was ashamed. He’d been told there was no treatment. Then he went to Hadassah Medical Center.

4. Secrets Of Breast-Feeding From Global Moms In The Know

Many American women want to breast-feed — and try to. Only about half keep it up. It’s as if they’ve lost the instinct. One researcher thinks she’s figured out why.

5. In Sweden, Hundreds Of Refugee Children Gave Up On Life

An article in an April issue of the New Yorker described youngsters who fell into a coma-like state in reaction to the news that their family may be deported. We interview the author.

6. Triple Threat: New Pneumonia Is Drug-Resistant, Deadly And Contagious

There are so many “superbugs” appearing in hospitals around the world that we here at Goats and Soda haven’t had the time or resources to report on all of them. But a new type of pneumonia emerging in China seems so important that we dropped what we were doing to write about it.

7. PHOTOS: Peep At The Toilets Of 7 Families Around The World

These pictures show that toilets can come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll never take your toilet for granted again.

8. Is The Secret To A Healthier Microbiome Hidden In The Hadza Diet?

Some species of bacteria in our intestines are disappearing. Can we reverse the microbial die-off? The food eaten by Tanzania’s Hadza tribe could hold the answer.

9. Outcry Over Photo Showing The Face Of A Girl Allegedly Being Raped

A firestorm has erupted over the ethics of using that image on Facebook to promote a photo contest — and the broader issue of how Western media depicts young women and girls in poor countries.

10. Beyond Lyme: New Tick-Borne Diseases On The Rise In U.S.

The world is seeing more and more new diseases, and the U.S. is no exception. We’re living in a hot spot for tick-borne diseases. Some are deadly. The key to stopping them may be an unlikely critter.

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