Health

Gains and Losses of Irregular Migration

While opening a newspaper or watching a TV program we are every day made aware of the plights of irregular migrants. Some recent examples among many – on 24 October, 39 Chinese nationals were found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex. They had apparently frozen to death within a refrigerator container with temperatures as low as -25C (-13F). This while tragedies occur almost daily on the Mediterranean Sea. On 26 November, a rescue vessel found a boat almost completely sunken. It had three dead bodies aboard. Fifty-five migrants were saved. Three of them were in a critical condition, and one died after reaching Melilla in Spain, where the migrants were brought in. Three children were among the survivors, though a further ten individuals were reported missing. Nowadays, such news items pass by almost imperceptibly. Every day, thousands of unfortunate human beings are trafficked all over the world to suffer underpaid, hazardous work, or prostitution.

Indigenous Knowledge, a Lesson for a Sustainable Food Future

Local knowledge systems rooted in traditional practices and culture passed down generations provide sustainable solutions to food and nutritional insecurity on the back of climate change, a conference heard this week.

Fixing the Business of Food

Milan is the city where Leonardo da Vinci painted his iconic Last Supper. Frozen in time is the moment Christ told his disciples there was a traitor among them. Visitors to the painting can examine the expressions on the faces of the disciples and look the food they might have eaten – the bread and wine, and of course the spilt salt. As one delegate to the 10th International Forum on Food and Nutrition noted, the diet did not seem varied or healthy.

Zimbabwe Food Crisis: Time to Act Is Now, Says UN Special Rapporteur

Global food systems are ripe for transformation if people are to be nourished and the planet sustainable, says Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur of the Right to Food of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Tradition and Technology Take Centre Stage at BCFN Food Forum

A coffee producer will receive a cent and a half from a $2.50 cup of coffee. This one stark fact stood out as scientists, researchers, activists and grappled with solutions for change in food and nutrition practises, which would benefit the greater community.

Case Against Tobacco Giant Could Protect Children

Legal action against British American Tobacco (BAT), one of the world’s largest tobacco firms, could see the company punished for profiting from child labor and force the industry to finally confront its treatment of vulnerable workers.

Biofortified Food, a Business Boost for Smallholder Farmers

A start-up in Zimbabwe is producing high nutrition foods using biofortified crops in a bid to fight micronutrient deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) leads to night blindness, illness and death from childhood infections. In Zimbabwe, 36 percent of children under five years of age suffer from Vitamin A deficiency, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Care for Economic Development, Then Care for Food Nutrition, Food Researcher Tells Africa’s Politicians

More than 2 billion people in the world are suffering from malnutrition. This is the result of diets lacking essential micronutrients such as vitamins, iron and zinc, which are vital for the body to function, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Community Efforts are Key When Addressing HIV/AIDS

Three years ago, I led an evaluation of an HIV project that focused on increasing access to quality care and supporting services for people living with HIV in Nigeria. It also aimed to reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Four Ways to Prevent Deaths from Lassa Fever

Dr. Wouter, a Dutch doctor who helped perform surgeries and train colleagues in surgical skills in underserved areas of Sierra Leone died of Lassa Fever. He was infected as a result of performing a Caesarean section on an infected pregnant woman. 

Catalysing Change for Gender Equality

Great strides have been taken to empower women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing adopted an ambitious global agenda to achieve gender equality twenty-five years ago. Gender parity has been achieved in primary education. Maternal mortality has been halved. Today, the region’s governments are committed to overcoming the persistent challenges of discrimination, gender-based violence and women’s unequal access to resources and decision-making.

UN Warns of ‘Screen Teens’ not Getting Enough Exercise

It is a common complaint of parents globally that their children and teenagers spend far too many hours sprawled on couches playing video games, sharing selfies with online friends and giggling over TikTok videos.

Social Protection Necessary to Quickly End Poverty, Hunger

Historically, most social security systems have developed in the formal sector of rich economies. However, most of the poor and hungry in the world live in rural areas, surviving in the informal economy.

Statistics and Stories – Time to Change the Refugee Narrative?

Statistics and stories. When aid agencies appeal for funding to tackle the latest refugee crisis and journalists do their reporting, then these are the two narratives most chosen -- one impersonal and the other upfront and individual. The sheer numbers can feel overwhelming. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says more than 70 million people are currently displaced by conflict, the most since the Second World War. Among them are nearly 26 million who have fled their countries (over half under the age of 18) and 3.5 million more are registered as asylum seekers.

Science & Policy Must Remain Partners in Mercury Challenge

It has been more than two years since the Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force. The global treaty protects humans and the environment from the toxic metal, but countries are still stuck on how to measure the agreement’s effectiveness.

More Austerity for Developing Countries: It’s Bad News, and It’s Avoidable

After years of austerity, a number of Eurozone countries are now considering expansionary fiscal policies. And in the UK, government spending is set to return to levels last seen in the 1970s. But austerity abounds elsewhere in the world, including in some of the poorest countries.

80 Percent of Adolescents Do Less than 60 Minutes of Activity per Day, UN Health Agency Warns

An alarming lack of exercise among adolescents across the world risks seriously compromising their health into adulthood, the UN said on Thursday.

Evo Morales: Hero or Villain?

To be president in a country like Bolivia might be like a precarious act performed by a tightrope-dancer between “the Devil and the deep blue sea”. After 23 years as Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales finally lost his foothold and ended up as political refugee in Mexico, adding his name to a long list of previous revolutionary exiles, like Augusto Sandino, Fidel Castro, and most prominently – Leon Trotsky. The last one was murdered, though the others came back, something Evo Morales has promised to do:

Winning the ‘No Food Loss’ Battle: The Case of Japan

Humankind since almost the time that there is recorded history has grappled with the question of ‘how many is too many?’ The response is expectedly complex as it varies across time and space. The pace of population growth was slow till about approximately 250 years or so. It is only since the middle of the eighteenth century that there has been a palpable acceleration in population growth.

As Donors Ramp up Polio Funding, Worries of Comeback Persist

Efforts to wipe polio off the face of the planet took a step forward this week, with a multibillion-dollar fundraiser in the Middle East helping eradication schemes tackle a virus that disproportionately kills and cripples children in poor countries.

Climate Change and Loss of Species: Our Greatest Challenges

Mottled and reddish, the Lake Oku puddle frog has made its tragic debut on the Red List, a rapidly expanding roll call of threatened species. It was once abundant in the Kilum-Ijim rainforest of Cameroon but has not been seen since 2010 and is now listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct.

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