Summer can be a wonderful mellowing time, taking in the abundance of green nature, enjoying holidays and additional hours spent with family and friends. But each day with many record heat waves, 22 square kilometres of the Amazon deforested, 390 kg of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere from every one of the 94 million barrels of oil being burned, 33,000 tons of plastics dumped into the Ocean, 100 million displaced persons and 870 million living with hunger, it’s getting increasingly hard to even enjoy summer. This is especially so if there’s concern about flying, even road travel, let alone inflation, Russia’s war on Ukraine and Covid-19 still lurking prominently in what most think are the shadows unless, that is, you work in health care.
But summer is summer, and for we who live in the ‘North’ it can’t be missed and not enjoyed. With the warmth of the sun, the long days, our abundance of lakes, rivers, national and provincial parks, great sunrises and sunsets, many garden and roadside flowers, lots of wildlife, music festivals and farmer’s markets all over the place, an abundance of family time together, even vacation, there’s just so much to take in and enjoy. As I heard the other day, we can’t let ourselves be destroyed by our victimhood. Let’s keep fighting big oil, the banks and deniers while enjoying the summer. And for sure, let’s not fall into the trap of the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
I hope this edition of the Planetary Health Weekly
(#31 of 2022) will accompany you on your enjoyment of the season (including those not in summer!). And hoping you’ll have the time to continue on with our stories:
CLIMATE & BIODIVERSITY CRISES UPDATES:
Great Barrier Reef headed for ‘massive death’,
This nation (Greece) is scorching in a heat wave and wildfires, yet it’s returning to planet-baking coal,
After starting New Mexico fire, U.S. asks victims to pay,
El Salvador eyes major renewables push under new partnership with IRENA,
Assam flood reports hundreds of motor and health insurance claims,
Is it safe to travel right now? Experts weigh in on how to mitigate Covid risks on vacation,
Long Covid may now be less common than previously thought (but still bad),
Number of Ontario hospital staff off work due to Covid nearly doubled since May,
Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron lineages BA.4 and BA.5 in South Africa,
(Im)mobilities and life satisfaction in times of Covid-19: the case of older persons in Switzerland,
North Korea reports no new fever cases for first time since Covid outbreak, Austria mourns suicide of doctor targeted by anti-Covid vaccine campaigners,
The fallacy of inducing natural herd immunity, and
MONKEYPOX: ‘Not enough shots’: U.S. faces ‘vaccine cliff’ on monkeypox & Did the U.S. miss the chance to stop Monkeypox? & Biden administration today declares monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency, THEN
Ukraine war pushes global displaced to highest-ever recorded number,
Epstein-Barr virus leading cause of multiple sclerosis & NIH launches clinical trial of Epstein-Barr virus vaccine,
Food Insecurity With Carlos Jimenez - Central America Update; Over 50 Million Face Acute Food Insecurity In East Africa; Poor Winter Cereal Output In The Middle East And In Morocco
A green island turns red: Madagascans struggle through long drought,
Canada adopts UN resolution recognizing the human right to a healthy environment,
How scientists are working for great inclusion of Indigenous knowledge,
As my son choked on bushfire smoke it was clear our most vulnerable are feeling our climate negligence,
City of Ottawa demands action on fossil fuels with call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty,
Pope says genocide took place at Church schools in Canada for Indigenous children & Cree singer reflects on ‘speaking the law’ to Pope Francis,
QUOTE on why settlers stole Indigenous lands,
Call for papers for the special issue on Planetary Health of International Health Trends and Perspectives (a new journal based at Toronto Metropolitan University). See the call and details here: https://bit.ly/3tDixHT
Websites for Fact-Checking,
Behind the thin blue line: meet a secretive arm of the RCMP in B.C.,
Infographic - Ranked: the 20 countries with the fastest declining populations,
Exploring the rich history – and strange depths, of the Black Sea,
New Book: “Hothouse Earth: An Inhabitant's Guide” by Bill McGuire,
Government of Canada invests $3 million to help SMEs adopt low-carbon processes and products, and lastly
ENDSHOTS of Homeside Summer Delights.
David Zakus, Editor and Publisher
Wild Carrot & Black-eyed Susan - Seguin, Ontario, August 4, 2022
STILL SEEKING PEACE, SOLIDARITY AND VICTORY FOR UKRAINE
In a dusty, secluded corner of the Australian state of Queensland, a septuagenarian scientist is on an urgent mission to raise the alarm about the future of the planet.
John "Charlie" Veron -- widely known as "The Godfather of Coral" -- is a renowned reef expert who has personally discovered nearly a quarter of the world's coral species and has spent the past 45 years diving Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
But after a lifetime trying to make sense of the vast ecosystems that lie beneath the ocean's surface, the 73-year-old is now becoming a prophet of their extinction.
"It's the beginning of a planetary catastrophe. I was too slow to become vocal about it." Read more at CNN
Coal is the most polluting of fossil fuels and is the biggest single contributor to the climate crisis, and Greece had been trying hard to wean off it. But the country -- alongside other European nations -- is delaying those phaseout plans in response to the energy crunch, which has turned into a full-blown crisis since Russia launched its war on Ukraine.
After the U.S. government started the largest wildfire in New Mexico's recorded history in April, it is asking victims to share recovery costs on private land, jeopardizing relief efforts, according to residents and state officials. The blaze was sparked by U.S. Forest Service (USFS) prescribed fires to reduce wildfire risk. The burns went out of control after a series of missteps, torching 432 residences and over 530 square miles (1373 square km) of mostly privately owned forests and meadows, much of it held by members of centuries-old Indo-Hispano ranching communities.
El Salvador has signed a framework agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that will see the two parties work closely to drive the Central American country’s national decarbonization efforts in support of climate and economic development objectives. El Salvador is in the process of implementing a new long-term national energy policy 2020 – 2050, which aims to reduce electricity tariffs in the country by prioritizing renewables over fuel imports and facilitating the removal of subsidies from electricity towards the end of the policy period. El Salvador is increasingly turning to indigenous renewable sources of energy such as hydropower, biomass, solar PV and geothermal energy. In 2019, more than two-thirds of the country’s total energy supply came from imported fossil fuels.
After three months of disastrous floods impacting more than 8.9 million people in the Indian state of Assam, the situation has slightly improved and the insurance claims are being reported in large numbers. India witnessed 729 seasonal flooding which incurred an economic loss of $2.3 bi ..llion in 2021. Despite numerous natural calamities, segments like home insurance have a low penetration of around 1% in India.
Globally, nationally and locally, the pandemic continues in many countries, though many erroneously feel it's over, whereas it just continues at a low level (as compared to previous waves), thanks particularly to Omicron subvariant BA.5 and the lack of any collective action. Over the last week, cases continue at about 1,000,000/day (same as last week); deaths were up about 20% to about 2400/day; and vaccinations are down sharply to about 6 million/day (from 14m last week).
Vaccination, despite ongoing concerns about its effectiveness, along with the various public health measures, remain the best way to keep yourself and others safe from serious consequences, including hospitalization and long Covid which is becoming more understood. Get all the shots/boosters you can and practise the other public health measures especially indoors with crowds.
See below for a few global stats and current hotspots:
At the start of 2022, with pandemic fatigue spreading and the majority of Canadians having received at least two vaccine doses, many were hoping this summer might finally be a return to normal.
The majority of public health restrictions was lifted across Canada in the spring and early summer, including measures such as requirements to mask in public indoor spaces and to be vaccinated to fly within the country.
However, in June and July, new Omicron subvariants spurred a new wave of COVID-19 cases. So is it actually safe to be travelling right now? Read more at CTV News
If anyone tells you that
"getting infected to prevent infection" (herd immunity) is good, and
measures to prevent infection are bad ("immunity debt") it is
incorrect and goes against the principles of public health. And sounds
ridiculous unless you have heard it so many times from so many experts that you
start to believe it. I have explained previously that herd immunity applies to
vaccine programs, and infections do not get rid of themselves without
It is an unscientific and dystopian
twin message of "infection good, prevention bad". Getting reinfected
results in worse outcomes, ongoing immune dysfunction and continued
transmission to others. A vaccine PLUS strategy can substantially reduce
transmission and severe outcomes.
The announcement today comes amid growing case counts and a groundswell of criticism over the way the administration has handled the outbreak. The move comes as news stories chronicle a series of missteps in the administration’s response to the outbreak, from its failure to rapidly divert vaccine stockpiled as a hedge against bioterrorism to combat spread of monkeypox to its slow decision-making, which led to missed opportunities to vaccinate more quickly.
“We’re prepared to take our response to the next level on this virus,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in announcing the declaration.
The public health emergency declaration comes nearly two weeks after the World Health Organization declared the unprecedented international spread of the virus a public health emergency of international concern. The outbreak, first detected in the United Kingdom in mid-May, has now seen more than 26,000 cases recorded by more than 80 countries around the globe. More than 6,600 of those cases have been recorded in the U.S.
Credit: Refugees wait in a crowd for transportation after fleeing from Ukraine and arriving at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, on March 7. (Markus Schreiber/AP)
Russia’s war in Ukraine has pushed global displacement figures to record levels, the U.N. refugee agency said, calling the statistics a “tragic milestone.”
Over the past decade, levels of displacement have increased every year, the United Nations noted in its global trends report — with figures currently at the highest level since record keeping began. At the end of 2021, 89.3 million people were displaced, the agency said, citing war, disasters, violence, persecution and human rights abuses as some of the factors.
As of today, more than 100 million people have been forced to flee their homes — more than 1 percent of humanity.
The invasion of Ukraine triggered the fastest forced-displacement crisis since World War II — which, in conjunction with other emergency situations in Afghanistan, Africa and elsewhere, “pushed the figure over the dramatic milestone,” the agency said. More than 5 million Ukrainian refugees have been recorded across Europe since Russia’s invasion. Read more at Washington Post
Multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive disease that affects 2.8 million people worldwide and for which there is no definitive cure, is likely caused by infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), according to a study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers. Their findings were published online in Science on January 13, 2022.
“The hypothesis that EBV causes MS has been investigated by our group and others for several years, but this is the first study providing compelling evidence of causality,” said Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study. “This is a big step because it suggests that most MS cases could be prevented by stopping EBV infection, and that targeting EBV could lead to the discovery of a cure for MS.” Read more at Harvard
According to the European Science Hub, very high prices for the main staple foods are observed in all countries, particularly in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti. In a day like this (Aug. 4th, 2022) back in the mountains of Nicaragua, the organic beans crops are ready to be harvested. However, since erratic weather patterns are in effect, intense rains are preventing people from getting to their harvesting, putting a big risk in the current production season.
In Central America and the Caribbean, planting of rice in Honduras, and planting of sorghum in El Salvador and Honduras, is being completed under unfavourable conditions. In Nicaragua, aggregate production of rice, maize and sorghum is expected to be above last year. Vegetation conditions remain below average in many cropping areas across Haiti, and a combination of poor rainfall and economic constraints point to poor harvest expectations. Very high prices for the main staple foods are observed in all countries, particularly in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti. Read more at Joint Research Centre (EU)
ANJEKY BEANATARA, Madagascar, March 17 (Reuters) - With precious few trees left to slow the wind in this once fertile corner of southern Madagascar, red sand is blowing everywhere: onto fields, villages and roads, and into the eyes of children waiting for food aid parcels. Four years of drought, the worst in decades, along with deforestation caused by people burning or cutting down trees to make charcoal or to open up land for farming, have transformed the area into a dust bowl. Read more at Reuters
Pakana woman Zoe Rimmer says the rise of scientific racism tied to colonialism resulted in the collection and widespread distribution of Aboriginal remains. Credit: Jillian Mundy
When the second part of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was published earlier this year, it had a notable inclusion. The instalment, which focused on the human and ecological impacts of climate change, featured Indigenous knowledge alongside Western scientific research for the first time.
The Australasian chapter, however, did not include any Indigenous lead authors. Instead, three First Nations scholars were invited to contribute to specific sections of the report through the goodwill of the lead authors, rather than through government selection.
One of the IPCC contributors was Bradley Moggridge, a Kamilaroi man and an associate professor in Indigenous water science at the University of Canberra. “We’re always advisory, we’re never decisionmakers,” he says. “We should be having a voice.”
It is well recognised that Indigenous communities around the world contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions but are disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
“In the Torres Strait, they have been experiencing climate change for a number of years,” Moggridge says, citing the 2016 extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys. The demise of the rodent, which lived on a small island in the eastern Torres Strait, was the first mammal extinction in the world thought to be caused by anthropogenic climate change. Read more at The Guardian
The fact that older Australians are bequeathing this deep ecological debt to younger and future generations should trouble us all deeply.’ Credit: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images
I’ve never felt more helpless as a parent than I did during the black summer bushfires (of 2021). Rushing my two-year-old son to hospital, I was overwhelmed with worry: there was no escape from the toxic smoke, even where we lived in inner-city Sydney. It went on and on. As any parents would be, we were terrified about what the next few days would hold.
The call came from his childcare centre. Our baby boy had been choking on the air. For months we felt as though we had nowhere safe to go and no way to adequately protect him.
Our son was just one of more than 4,000 people who ended up in hospital due to the smoke from bushfires that summer – almost 450 people died from smoke inhalation and I’ll be forever grateful that he was not one of them.
I was reminded of just how disempowered I felt at that time when news of the latest state of the environment report came last week. The report confirmed what we already knew from experience: climate change is having a real impact on the environment and we are seeing the effects now.
Extreme weather events including bushfires are only getting more frequent and more intense – and the health impacts of future bushfire smoke and heatwaves are among my biggest concerns for my children.
The environment we live in and that we are raising our children in is in decline because we have neglected it for generations. That trend is set to continue without substantial nature restoration and ambitious climate action. Read more at The Guardian
The City of Ottawa passed its motion to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a global initiative that aims to address the source of 86% of CO2 emissions that cause climate change: fossil fuels.
The Canadian capital is the 12th municipality in the nation to endorse the Treaty, underscoring the stark contrast between local action on fossil fuels while Provincial and Federal governments are still subsiding and approving expansion of oil and gas.
Councillor Catherine McKenney, who put forward the motion, said: "By signing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, Ottawa will join dozens of cities around the world making the commitment to move away from fossil fuel extraction and towards a just transition. Endorsing the treaty sends a strong message that our city is serious about climate action and we remain committed to reducing our city-wide GHG emissions through Energy Evolution. Cities across the world are already feeling the effects of climate change, with Ottawa experiencing more frequent and significant flooding, hotter summers, and increased major storm events. Now is the time to reaffirm our commitment to move away from GHGs and transition to renewable energy."
A 2020 study commissioned by the city showed that climate change will cause Ottawa's seasons to shift noticeably, with shorter winters, less snow and a heightened risk of extreme weather including tornadoes. This would put huge pressure on everything from emergency services to the foundations of buildings.
Although the science is clear that fossil fuels are the main driver of the climate crisis, the Canadian government recently approved a $12bn offshore oil project to drill an estimated 300 million barrels of light crude oil in the Atlantic Ocean. This adds to the country’s ongoing and contradictory rhetoric on climate leadership such as looking to increase their price on carbon but also providing approximately $17bn in public finance to three fossil fuel pipelines between 2018 and 2020. Read more at Fossil Fuel Treaty
SPOTLIGHT ON INDIGENOUS WELLNESS
Pope Says Genocide Took Place At Church Schools In Canada
A person holds a protest sign during a community event for Pope Francis in the square outside Nakasuk Elementary School in Iqaluit. Credit: Evan Mitsui/CBC
While the word genocide wasn't heard in any of Pope Francis's addresses during a week-long trip to Canada, on his flight back to Rome, he said everything he described about the residential school system and its forced assimilation of Indigenous children amounts to genocide.
"I didn't use the word genocide because it didn't come to mind but I described genocide," Pope Francis told reporters on the papal flight from Iqaluit to Rome on Friday.
Over the last week, the Pope visited Edmonton, Quebec City and Iqaluit on a "penitential pilgrimage" of healing, reconciliation and hope between the Catholic Church and Indigenous people.
While addressing residential school survivors and their families in Maskwacis, Alberta, Francis expressed deep sorrow for harms suffered at the church-run schools and asked for forgiveness "for the wrong done by so many Christians to the Indigenous peoples."
The Catholic Church ran over half of the residential schools in Canada. More than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were forced to attend the government-funded schools between the 1870s and 1997. Read more at CBC
Credit: Adam Scotti/Prime Minister's Office/Handout via REUTERS
Quote Of The Week:
Gabrielle Fayant, from the Fishing Lake Métis Settlement in Alberta. Credit: Natasha Bulowski
“Through the experience of colonization and assimilation, and also capitalism, something that was stolen from almost all Indigenous Peoples was our connection to the land,” says Gabrielle Fayant, one of the co-founders of A7G (the Assembly of Seven Generations, an Indigenous owned and youth-led, non-profit organization focused on cultural support and empowerment).
“If you look at how these policies were enacted, and what they were intended to do, it was to remove us from the land so that settlers could have more access to resources, such as lumber, gas, coal, you name it ... It's a lot easier for someone to steal the land if the original inhabitants don't have that strong connection anymore.”
Having a connection to the land, plants, animals, water and people around you surrounds you with strong support systems and gives you purpose “because you're giving back to all of those things that you care about,” she says.
“It's like saying to all these systems of oppression and all these
oppressors that no matter what, you couldn't take this away from us, and we're
gonna come back even stronger and with more purpose and with so many more
teachings of how to overcome these struggles.”
International Health Trends and Perspectives (a new journal based at Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly Ryerson University, Toronto) is dedicating a special issue to the topic of Planetary Health to highlight research, theoretical and community based contributions of scientists, scholars and activists globally. It is inviting manuscripts that are solutions and equity-focused. See the call for papers and details here: https://bit.ly/3tDixHT
November 21-23, 2022: Canadian Conference on Global HealthJoin us in Toronto for the 28th Canadian Conference on Global Health (CCGH). This year's hybrid event will explore the theme of: "Inclusive Global Health in Uncertain Times: Research and Practice".
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C-IRG founding gold commander, now-retired, Chief Supt. Dave Attfield (right) speaks with community members on Wet'suwet'en territory alongside current gold commander, Chief Supt. John Brewer (left). Photo courtesy: Michael Toledano
The Mountie (RCMP, Canada's national police force) with the red can of mace bats a guitar away as a colleague flings it past him. The instrument lands in the dirt. Another officer instantly smashes it to bits with a stomp before a fourth officer, with the word “MEDIC” etched on his back, kicks it into the bush.
A few metres away, Mounties douse protesters with streams of pepper spray. They rip surgical masks off faces in the crowd, knock off their hats and rub the burning chemical agent in their eyes. The self-styled forest defenders, protesters against old-growth logging on Vancouver Island’s Fairy Creek watershed, absorb dose after dose on this warm August 2021 morning.
An observer weeps as Mounties threaten to arrest reporters.
“You do one more thing and I’ll dose you, bitch,” a Mountie allegedly told independent media producer Kristy Grear, according to court files. “There was no name tag or badge number displayed on the officer’s uniform,” the documents claim. “However I did observe a so-called ‘thin-blue line’ patch on the officer’s uniform.”
This is how the Mounties of the Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG), a secretive industry defence arm of the B.C. RCMP arrive to dismantle blockades: armed with guns and mace, name tags ripped off, faces hidden, thin blue line patches emblazoned on their chests.
Police arrive with howling dogs, helicopters, drones, chainsaws, axes, an excavator, jackhammers, angle grinders and fancier gadgets like thermal imaging cameras.
“I was shocked to see those officers,” said Virginia McNab, a server and mother of three, in an affidavit. She claimed she planned to peacefully protest at Fairy Creek last summer but, instead, ran into a dozen Mounties deployed by the C-IRG.
“They were in blue and black, had facemasks, were in full combat gear, wearing sunglasses so you could not see their faces, had guns on their hips and had handcuffs,” she claimed. “It was clear that they were there to enforce an injunction by any means necessary.
“We were very clearly peaceful and they seemed not. As a woman facing a number of faceless men, I was terrified.”
Ranked: The 20 Countries With the Fastest Declining Populations
Credit: Visual Capitalist
Since the mid-1900s, the global population has followed a steep upwards trajectory.
While much of this growth has been concentrated in China and India, researchers expect the next wave of growth to occur in Africa. As of 2019, for example, the average woman in Niger is having over six children in her lifetime.
At the opposite end of this spectrum are a number of countries that appear to be shrinking from a population perspective. To shed some light on this somewhat surprising trend, we’ve visualized the top 20 countries by population decline.
Exploring The Rich History — And Strange Depths — Of The Black Sea
People relax on a beach of the Black Sea in Sevastopol, the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula and its most important port and naval base, with a Russian warship seen in the background on July 15, 2022. Credit: Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images
When Ukrainian forces sunk Russia’s Black Sea flagship, the Moskva, in April, they sent it to join a veritable fleet of ghost ships stranded below. The Black Sea — bordered by Turkey, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania and, of course, Russia and Ukraine — has been central to the conflict between the last two of those nations. But the region has also borne witness to centuries of other struggles, many of which resonate with the battles being fought on its shores today.
This kind of “historical simultaneity” fascinates the German journalist and travel writer Jens Mühling, whose book “Troubled Water: A Journey Around the Black Sea” was published in the United States this year in translation by Simon Pare. Though it recounts a journey made in late 2018 and early 2019, its English-language release this year is timely, appearing just as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has underlined the sea’s importance for its own region and for the wider world. The blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast has crippled the ability of one of the world’s largest grain exporters to ship wheat and other products to the rest of the world, contributing to a growing global hunger crisis, particularly in parts of the Middle East and Africa. A deal to resume shipping through the sea, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey this month, brought some hope of a resolution to the crisis, but subsequent Russian attacks on the key port of Odessa have dampened expectations.
New Book “Hothouse Earth: An Inhabitant's Guide” by Bill McGuire
Credit: Book Cover The publication of Bill McGuire’s latest book, Hothouse Earth, could not be more timely. Appearing in the shops this week, it will be perused by sweltering customers who have just endured record high temperatures and now face the prospect of weeks of drought to add to their discomfort.
And this is just the beginning, insists McGuire, who is emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London. As he makes clear in his uncompromising depiction of the coming climatic catastrophe, we have – for far too long – ignored explicit warnings that rising carbon emissions are dangerously heating the Earth. Now we are going to pay the price for our complacency in the form of storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves that will easily surpass current extremes.
The crucial point, he argues, is that there is now no chance of us avoiding a perilous, all-pervasive climate breakdown. We have passed the point of no return and can expect a future in which lethal heatwaves and temperatures in excess of 50C (120F) are common in the tropics; where summers at temperate latitudes will invariably be baking hot, and where our oceans are destined to become warm and acidic. “A child born in 2020 will face a far more hostile world that its grandparents did,” McGuire insists.
CBARN will provide research, technical, and commercialization support to over 60 southern Ontario-based early-stage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the bio-clean tech sector. This will lead to the development of 80 technologies, processes, or products and will help support more than 110 jobs, the announcement revealed.
During the announcement, Peter Fragiskatos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for London North Centre, noted that participating firms will focus on producing new low carbon products and innovations in greenhouse gas reduction. Additionally, college partners will provide advice, access to lab equipment, entrepreneurial and networking support, and also assist in the development of commercial prototypes.
Publisher and Editor: Dr. David Zakus Production: Julia Chalmers & Aisha Saleem Social Media: Mahdia Abidi, Shalini Kainth and Ishneer Mankoo Website, Index and Advisory: Eunice Anteh, Gaël Chetaille, Carlos Jimenez, Evans Oppong, Jonathan Zakus, Dr. Aimée-Angélique Bouka & Elisabeth Huang
Bloggers: Edward Milner, Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, Aisha Saleem and Dr. Jay Kravitz