As 2021 nears its end, public health systems worldwide remain severely strained by COVID 19, which is showing no sign of ending. But even as countries battle to control the deadly pandemic, they must also maintain the progress made against other diseases, including leprosy, global leprosy experts and advocates have urged.
Jenifer Kamba, 33, has always loved farming – a love passed on to her by her late husband after they married 14 years ago. The young farmer duo grew maise, pepper and vegetables on their two-acre farm in Kivandini of Kenya’s Machakos county. Even after her husband died five years ago, Kamba didn’t stop farming. However, of late, the soil looks dry, and her production has declined considerably.
If we want to address the great challenges this world is facing, we have to factor in science into all our narratives, according to Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the first woman president of Mauritius and renowned biodiversity scientist.
As the sun sets over the canopy of Albizia amara trees, a thin blanket of fog begins to descend over the forests of the Malai Mahadeshwara Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, which lies roughly 150 km south of the Indian city of Bangalore.
Not so long ago, plumes of smoke would rise from the hamlets dotting the forests as women busily cooked dinner for their families over wood stoves. But tonight, dinner will be a smokeless affair in dozens of villages as communities have opted for the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a clean burning fuel that has given a boost to the health and safety of both the forest and its people thanks to a unique conservation project.
Yangon resident Ni Ni Aye walked to her office yesterday morning. A couple of hours before, the army had staged a coup by seizing power and declaring a state of emergency in Myanmar. Ni Aye, an employee of one of Yangon’s largest technology firms, tried to call her colleagues and family, but phone services were down. So, she decided to walk to the office and see what was happening.
“There were no armoured vehicles or soldiers with heavy weapons, yet everything was extremely quiet. It was very confusing; nobody had a clue on what is really happening. Then we realised, the action is all happening in the capital,” Ni Aye told IPS.
Lilibeth Evarestus of Lagos, Nigeria doesn’t like the concept of handouts — she is against the idea of thinking of leprosy-affected people as weak.
Yet, for several months now, Evarastus – a human rights lawyer and founder of community welfare organisation, Purple Hope Foundation – has been spending a lot of time on the road, distributing food items and hygiene products among the leprosy-affected people in her community.
“This road is my home now and it will decide my future,” Sukhvinder Singh, a 27-year old farmer from the Moga district of Punjab, tells IPS. Last November, weeks after the government of India passed three farm bills he felt were anti-farmer, Singh travelled to Singhu, a village near Delhi, to demand the laws be repealed. Since then, he has been living in a tent he shares with five other fellow farmer-protesters.
As India continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and a growing number of deaths, farmers here have been fighting a battle of their own against volatile pricing, uncertain demand and lack of access to the market. But in the midst of all this uncertainty, one farming couple in a village near Hyderabad are working towards a food-secure future for themselves using eco-friendly farming techniques.
Shabnam*, a young woman from Northern India’s Haryana state, is two years away from becoming a law graduate. She sees parallels between her own rape and that of the 19-year-old Maha Dalit woman whose brutal rape and torture by a group of men from a “dominant” or “higher” caste in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh triggered nationwide protests.
Investing in sustainable land management and land restoration will help build economies post-COVID-19 and help poor people increase their incomes as the destruction of global food chains by the pandemic provides a chance for ensuring diversity in production through ensuring the inclusion of local producers.
Kerry Kennedy has a clear mission – along with Nobel laureates and leading international figures – she wishes to ensure that hard-won gains in children’s rights are not destroyed by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi says that $1 trillion can solve many of the problems the world's most marginalised communities are facing.
Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi warns of the danger that over one million children could die, not because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but because of the economic crisis facing their families.
In an exclusive interview with IPS, Satyarthi said that without prioritising children we could lose an entire generation as evidence mounts that the number of child labourers, child marriages, school dropouts and child slaves has increased as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe.
15-year-old Humaira* sits on the mud floor of her hut in Ukhiya camp, Cox's Bazar, listening as the rain beats down on the tarpaulin roof.
(Eid al-Adha) around the corner, 11-year-old Fatoumata Binta from Terrou Mballing district in M'Bour, western Senegal, wakes up early and joins her brothers Iphrahima Tall and Ismaila to fetch water from a river several miles from home.
Growing up in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, Siny Samba (28) watched with fascination as her grandmother made snacks for her family, using the fresh fruit from their garden. She would often help her grandma make these snacks to feed the neighbourhood children.
Growing up in Senegal’s southern Casamence region — a conflict zone — Fatou Ndiaye, now 43, often heard gunfire and watched fearfully as she saw people flee their villages. But what she dreaded more than a flying bullet was Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Jayashree Parwar has not traveled much outside of her village of Bicholim in the western coastal Indian state of Goa. But the homemaker-turned-social-entrepreneur has been reaching women in dozens of cities across the country with a hygiene product she makes at home along with women from her community.
(friend in Hindi), the plastic-free sanitary pad is Goa’s first menstrual hygiene product made with organic materials.
In the Philippines, May has long been a month of joy when farmers harvest their rice crop and celebrate the Pahiyas harvest festival. But this year, the mood was somber. The food production and supply system also affected, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, and the economy frozen. As a result, millions of Filipinos, especially senior citizens, are now looking at an uncertain future.
Amid the social distancing measures posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, coastal communities in Bangladesh and India face a double threat as the record-breaking Cyclone Amphan made landfall yesterday (May 20).