This project will profile efforts to wipe out Rh disease and explore why this important public health issue — with a ready-made cure — continues to persist beyond our borders. Rh disease is a deadly affliction caused by a blood incompatibility between mother and fetus that can have serious consequences for newborns such as brain damage or even death.
Rh disease is the public health success story many Canadians under 50 have never heard of — likely because they’ve never had to worry about the deadly affliction. Today, Rh disease can be easily prevented, thanks to a prophylactic injection that Canadian scientists helped develop.
While Rh disease has been eradicated in wealthy nations, it persists in lower-income countries, where health infrastructure is poor and an estimated 100,000 newborns are killed every year.
GRC collaborator Jennifer Yang received a fellowship from the Aga Khan Foundation to develop this project. For her fellowship project, Jennifer will collaborate with the Global Reporting Centre in British Columbia to profile efforts to wipe out Rh disease and explore why this important public health issue — with a ready-made cure — continues to persist beyond our borders.
Jennifer Yang is an award-winning journalist with the Toronto Star, where she currently writes about identity and inequality. Previously, Jennifer covered the global health beat for four years, writing from Bhutan, Iceland, Japan, Geneva, Malawi and Sierra Leone, where she was the first Canadian journalist to cover the 2014 Ebola outbreak from West Africa. Jennifer is a two-time UN Foundation press fellow and won a National Newspaper Award for her explanatory feature on the 2010 Chilean mining disaster. She was also part of the Star’s breaking news team that won a National Newspaper Award in 2011 for its coverage of the G20 summit. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Jennifer speaks Mandarin Chinese and has previously reported for the Globe and Mail, Edmonton Journal and Metro Toronto.