Martina Merten works as a specialized journalist and health consultant in Berlin, Germany. Her articles have been published by various trade and consumer publishers [British Medical Journal Group/BMJ; Deutscher Ärzteverlag/Deutsches Ärzteblatt, Springer Medizin Verlag/Ärzte Zeitung, taz Verlags und Vertriebs GmbH/taz, Axel Springer/Welt and Deutsche Welle].
Merten has done on the ground research in more than 16 countries – with a focus on developing countries and emerging nations like China, Philippines, Vietnam, India and Pakistan – most of them thanks to grants of “The European Journalism Center”, “The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting”, “The Kellen Fellowships”, “The International Journalists’ Programmes”, “The Heinz-Kühn Foundation” and “Journalists.Network”.
From 2014 to 2017 Merten worked as a correspondent in the Berlin office of the German Medical Daily. Beforehand she was filling the position as a social and health editor at the German Medical Journal – the largest specialized Medical Journal (circulation: 400.000) in Germany.
Since 2013 she also teaches global health at the Institute for Social Medicine,
Epidemiology and Health Economics at the Charité University Medical Center and comparative healthcare systems and global health at the CIEE Global Institute Berlin. Every now and then she supports the German International Cooperation (GIZ) as a health expert and gives media support to various companies in Berlin.
Merten holds a Master in political science, constitutional-, social- and economic history and in public
international law from Friedrich-Wilhelms University, Bonn.
The story explores the consequences of the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), notably dementia, in India. The country massively lacks affordable health-care facilities for those patients.
Intermarriages are still common tradition in rural Pakistan. According to a latest UK study, high levels of cousin marriages within Pakistani communities doubled the risk of birth defects.