MRSA, Typhoon, USAID

Typhoon Haiyan from space

Books – I have a review copy of Ben Ramalingan’s new book, Aid on the Edge of Chaos. I am very, very excited to read it. Earlier this summer, I read Reinventing Philanthropy: A Framework for More Effective Giving and was really impressed. It’s a drab looking book, but it’s a highly readable summary of a lot of good ideas on how to be a better donor. It won’t be new information for aid experts, but it would be an excellent resource for someone new to global philanthropy.

Global Health – My mother was diagnosed with MRSA, and is now struggling through her course of clindamycin. It’s like a tiny at-home lesson on the side-effects that people with TB face. If my science-educated mother has to steel herself to face all the miseries that go with it for the 40 doses she’s been prescribed, small wonder people with TB tend to abandon their drugs once their symptoms go away. Clindamycin’s not a TB drug, by the way, but its side effects area similar to those of some TB antibiotics. (My helpful commentary that clindamycin has survived as a useful drug because of the unpleasant side-effects and she should be grateful she’s not facing amputation leaves Mom unimpressed.)

Disaster Relief – The Center for High-Impact Philanthropy has a good set of basics up on how to give in response to Typhoon Haiyan. If you want my take on it, Nobody Wants Your Old Shoes still applies. The short version: give money (as much as you can), give it to the organization’s unrestricted fund instead of earmarked for the typhoon, don’t adopt an orphan, and don’t fly over to help. USAID has a useful page on the typhoon, too.

Me – Speaking of USAID, I work for them now. Those of you who’ve connected on LinkedIn already know, but I’ve taken a job as a USPSC health officer for Kyrgyzstan. I am really excited – USAID has been my donor agency for a lot of my career, and I think it’s going to be fascinating to work directly for them. That being said, here’s the important disclaimer:

NOTHING I SAY ON THIS BLOG REPRESENTS THE VIEWS OF USAID OR THE US GOVERNMENT. Everything written here is purely my personal opinion. The contents of this blog are the responsibility of me, Alanna Shaikh, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of USAID or the U.S. Government.

Photo credit: NASA Goddard