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Dr. Raywat Deonandan

Epidemiologist & Professor, University of Ottawa

Dr Raywat Deonandan, a professor at the University of Ottawa, is an epidemiologist, global health researcher, and novelist. Visit him at www.deonandan.com.
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The World Isn't Facing An Overpopulation Problem

Draconian measures driven by xenophobia are not necessary to slow the expansion of our numbers. Nor do we need pandemics, famines or wars to cull our numbers. So long as we continue to invest in education, public health, access to contraception and global trade, our numbers are likely to decline naturally and painlessly.
04/28/2017 10:55 EDT
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Canada's University Libraries Are In Peril

It's important that all citizens understand the role that libraries and librarians play. Their importance transcends their roles as gatekeepers to books and journals. They are genuinely both the memory vault of scholarship and learned guides that help us navigate the increasingly expansive morass of data, information, copyright, and information technology.
12/13/2016 07:53 EST
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A Plea For Optimism In The Trump Era

A Trump presidency fills many with dread, largely because of the competing forces of his egregious claims and his status as a complete unknown with no policy track record. But in the interests of our mental health, I would like to put forward a brief argument for... optimism. The Trump presidency is going to be a reality. We who opposed him need to accept it. Here's how I'm getting through it.
11/11/2016 01:33 EST
Getty

The Ebola Outbreak Proves the Need for Health Surveillance

The international community was slow to respond to the African ebola outbreak. One reason was a lack of early warning. It comes down to something population health scientists call "surveillance", a word that alarms the lay public, since it conjures images of Big Brother observing our intimate activities. Surveillance systems can be simple or complex. They always cost money. But if they help to identify an outbreak, and thus help to prevent an epidemic, then they save much more money. But poor governments are unlikely to invest in prevention systems when there are immediate health crises that need resources right now: HIV/AIDS, Malaria, maternal and reproductive health issues, etc.
10/09/2014 01:25 EDT
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The World Needed the Return of 'Cosmos'

This past week, the much lauded TV show Cosmos made its return to the small screen. Back in 1980, I was a 13-year-old immigrant kid, youngest in a busy, working class household of seven people, and attending a Toronto inner city middle school that was not exactly a model of academic excellence. Enter into that world Carl Sagan.
03/17/2014 12:19 EDT
Huffington Post

The 10/90 Gap Is Holding Rwanda Back

I was in Kigali this past summer with my colleague to help conduct a one-week course in academic writing for Rwandan public health professionals. In short, the data were mostly of very high quality and the men and women marshaling these data were exceptionally bright, hardworking, and well-educated individuals. So why did they need us?
11/04/2013 05:24 EST
Alamy

Should This Combat Sport Be Illegal?

While several provinces have allowed MMA bouts within their borders, the sport is still disallowed in PEI, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Nunavut, and most parts of New Brunswick. Bill S-209 likely opens the door to the sport in those hold-out regions. This development presents for me personally what I expected would be a curious quandary. On one hand, I am an epidemiologist who is actively engaged in public health activities in Canada, professionally and emotionally committed to supporting actions, institutions and legislations that demonstrably protect Canadians' health. On the other hand, I'm a lifelong student of a variety of martial arts, and a vocal fan of the sport of MMA.
04/22/2013 05:40 EDT
MSNBC

Does Reproductive Tourism Treat Women Like Cattle?

"Reproductive tourism" is the practice of infertile people crossing international borders to receive technologically advanced reproductive services. Indeed, the international fertility trade is now big business, with India having recently emerged as the likely world leader in providing services -- most controversially the hiring of surrogate mothers -- at comparatively low costs. In our recent paper we attempted to elucidate some of the factors that make the maternal surrogacy industry ethically troubling to many people. On one hand, it's hard not to celebrate a poor woman's opportunity to pull herself out of poverty by exercising her autonomy over her body. On the other hand, there's no denying that when the poor and illiterate enter into a commercial relationship with people of greater wealth and power, there's usually more than a soupcon of exploitation involved.
10/29/2012 12:23 EDT