The Shay Rebellion | Christopher Shay

Hong Kong’s Expanding Obesity Problem

by Christopher Shay

A note to Hong Kongers for the new year: Watch your waistlines.

Obesity rates among men and children in Hong Kong are on the rise, and researchers say it’s related to the usual suspects: lack of exercise, poor diet and stress. Read the rest of this entry »

Eating Sustainably, Mission Impossible?

by Christopher Shay

The idea of eating local and organic food has gone mainstream in the United States. But in Hong Kong, where most food is imported and agriculture space is limited, the sustainable-food movement has struggled to gain momentum. Read the rest of this entry »

Bone Marrow Transplants: When Race Is an Issue

by Christopher Shay

It started out as an average April day, but as Dermot Tatlow drove home, he received a call that would lead to a global campaign to save his son’s life. When he heard the bad news, he knew immediately what his family was up against. “I pulled over and took a deep breath,” Tatlow says. “We thought we were out of the woods.” Tatlow’s 4½-year-old son, Devan, had relapsed. After 17 months without needing any treatment, a routine biopsy showed Devan’s cancer had returned. “Our worst fears were realized,” says Tatlow. Read the rest of this entry »

Cambodia: Making Heroin Addicts Use Herbal Remedy

by Christopher Shay

About 100 people — mostly local drug addicts — gathered at a pagoda in Phnom Penh in mid-February. A few drug users had brought their families for support, and they sat together on woven mats before a Buddhist shrine. The crowd put their hands together, bowed their heads and prayed. In a country where many drug addicts report being beaten, electrocuted and forced into military-style camps, the group prayer was organized to raise public awareness of their plight. In one prayer, Cambodia’s drug users and monks chanted together, “We pray for drug users to have access to proper, community-based, voluntary drug treatment.” Read the rest of this entry »

In a Malaria Hot Spot, Resistance to a Key Drug

by Christopher Shay

Every year, hundreds of migrant workers arrive at makeshift sapphire and ruby mines near Pailin, Cambodia, risking their lives to unearth gems in the landmine-ridden territory. Soon, however, they could be the ones to put millions of others at risk. On the Thai-Cambodian border, a rogue strain of malaria has started to resist artemisinin, the only remaining effective drug in the world’s arsenal against malaria’s most deadly strain, Plasmodium falciparum. For six decades, malaria drugs like chloroquine and mefloquine have fallen impotent in this Southeast Asian border area, allowing stronger strains to spread to Burma, India and Africa. But this time there’s no new wonder drug waiting in the wings. “It would be unspeakably dire if resistance formed to artemisinin,” says Amir Attaran, a professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa who has written extensively on malaria issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Cleaning Up Polluted Harbors with Greener Ships

by Christopher Shay

The image of an old wooden junk with orange sails is ubiquitous in Hong Kong lore. It’s on matchbooks, advertisements and postcards in this famous port city, but the traditional wind-powered Chinese boat cruising Victoria Harbor is a rare site these days. The reality is a bit less picturesque: the second busiest port in the world is filled with diesel-powered ships, ferries and fishing boats that belch toxins into the infamously polluted Hong Kong skyline. Read the rest of this entry »