Health

Leprosy Re-emerges as a Global Health Challenge

Fifteen years ago, Sattamma – a daily labourer in the Rangareddy district of southern India’s Telangana state – was abandoned by her husband after she was diagnosed with Hansen’s Disease.

Why the Coronavirus Should Worry Us All

The coronavirus outbreak -- which began in Wuhan, China, and causes a pneumonia-like illness -- is raging across Asia, infecting close to 300 people and killing four. It was initially known to be transmitted from animals to human, and was just confirmed to be transmitted from human to human.

Ending Bullying and Humiliation over Menstruation as Girls and Boys in Conservative Eswatini are Educated about Reproductive Health

When 14-year-old Nomcebo Mkhaliphi first noticed the blood discharged from her vagina, she was shocked. Confused, she turned to her older sisters for advice. “My sisters told me that they were experiencing the same every month and that they used fabric, toilet paper and newspapers as sanitary wear,” recalls the now 45-year-old Mkhaliphi. She had to follow suit and use these materials because she had no money to buy sanitary pads.

School Lunch Programmes for Progress

If well planned, coordinated and implemented, a government funded school feeding programme for all primary school children can be progressively transformative. Such a programme, involving government departments and agencies working together, can benefit schoolchildren, their families, farmers and public health, now and in the future.

Women Activists Escalate Demand for “Bodily Autonomy” as 19 Nations Dissent

The United States and 18 other UN member states have come under fire for denying a woman’s legitimate right to “bodily autonomy”—the right to self-governance over one’s own body without coercion or external pressure.

In the Elusive Grip of an Abusive Partner: A Migrant’s Story

To live in a home with family, to have a safe environment, food and basic human necessities, are some of the essentials that most people expect to have without giving it all much thought. When a child is born, parents or caregivers are likely to provide these things. These expectations get renewed whenever someone gets married and moves to a new home, a different neighborhood, or a city. We can hardly find someone who will say that they were not expecting happiness and safety when stepping into a new relationship, or starting a new chapter of life. But these expectations of a better life turn disastrous for millions of people when they step into another country as a dependent.

The United Nations Reforms-From Ideas to Actions

One of the highlight activities as the United Nations commemorates its 75th anniversary this year will be the launch of an “annual temperature check” on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), progress. With only ten years left to the final whistle for the Goals, this activity that will take place each September will provide a snapshot of what’s working, and where countries need more action.

India and Japan’s MPs Act Quickly to Implement Sexual and Reproductive Health Plans after ICPD25

Parliamentarians from India and Japan have hit the ground running by acting soon after the recent Nairobi Summit on International Conference on Population Development (ICPD25).

2020: a Year Full of Danger

Let’s face what lies ahead with open eyes: 2020 is going to be a very tough year for the world, and developing countries in particular. The infant decade has already begun with the harbingers of climate disaster as thousands fled to beaches in Australia from raging bush fires, and the Middle East braced for more conflict after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed Iran’s top general.

Reflections for a New Year

In a world shaken by so many problems, it is difficult to look at 2020 and not make some kind of holistic analysis. While enormous progress has been made on many fronts, it is clear that the tide has turned, and we are now entering – or have already entered – a new low point in the history of humankind..

A Tribute to Sir Fazle Hasan Abed (1936 – 2019)

“When I think about Bangladesh, I think about everybody. Not everybody is enjoying Rabindranath and the great literature and culture that Bangladesh has. But I think everybody has got the right to have this experience”, deeply felt by late Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of BRAC (Building Resources Across Communities), a unique, integrated development organization that many have hailed as the most effective anti-poverty organization in the world; who passed away December 20, 2019at the age of 83.

A Leprosy-Free World Is Possible

From Dec 11-12 the plight of people with Leprosy took centre stage during the National Conference on Zero Leprosy Initiative 2030 and at the historic and the first-ever the Conference of Organizations of persons affected by Leprosy- in partnership with the Nippon Foundation and Sasakawa Health Foundation.

Q&A: Initiative Starts Mental Health Sessions for Bangladeshi Garment Workers

Nearly seven years ago, garment workers in Bangladesh were victims of one of the gravest man-made disasters in history -- a factory collapse that left more than 1,100 workers dead, and rendered thousands with injuries -- in many cases lifelong ones.  For many of the workers from Rana Plaza, the trauma remains real even to this day.

Billionaires’ Existential Threats to Humanity?

The social utility of billionaires’ existence has come under increased scrutiny, especially during the Democratic Party primaries for the 2020 US Presidential election. Leading newspapers, such as The New York Times, published opinion pieces arguing to abolish billionaires and reflecting on why billionaires engage in illegal insider trading.

Address Malnutrition, Not Just Food Security

Malnutrition remains a formidable challenge in most societies, with less than a tenth of countries in the world not experiencing at least one major malnutrition problem. In relatively more food secure countries, where almost everyone has enough to eat, and few live in fear of a sudden loss of access to food, micronutrient deficiencies and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) often still loom large.

2019 – A Devastating Year in Review

By any measure this has been a devastating year: fires across the Amazon, the Arctic and beyond; floods and drought in Africa; rising temperatures, carbon emissions and sea levels; accelerating loss of species, and mass forced migrations of people.

Four Lessons to Reverse Inequity in the Global Health Workforce

Recently, Madhukar Pai, the Director of McGill University Global Health Program wrote about the inequity in global health research. He observed that researches are skewed in favor of the global north. We agree that this inequity exists. However, we also have found that global fellowships such as the Atlantic Fellowship, of which we are both Senior Fellows, are platforms to reverse this inequity, foster international partnerships and amplify voices of development practitioners from the global south. 

AUDIO: If We Are to Achieve Zero-leprosy by 2030, This Is the Best Time and Opportunity

Dr Rahat Chawdhury is the Deputy Program Manager at the National Leprosy Program of Bangladesh. His is the umbrella organization of hundreds of doctors, technical experts, counsellors, strategists, health advocates, field workers and thousands of leprosy-affected people as the beneficiaries.

AUDIO: “We Cannot Achieve Zero-Leprosy by 2030 Without a Vaccine” – WHO Team Leader

Dr Erwin Cooreman is the Team Leader of WHO's Global Leprosy Programme. This week, he is in Dhaka to attend the National Conference on Leprosy, which was inaugurated by the prime minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina. In her speech, she reiterated her commitment to make the country Zero-Leprosy by 2030.

Mainstreaming Leprosy-affected People a Big Challenge in Bangladesh

When Feroza Begum was first diagnosed with leprosy in 2006, it felt as though she had been struck by a thunderbolt due to the deep-seated prejudice in her society that the disease is a curse from Allah (God).

Fighting for a Leprosy-Free World

The Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, Yohei Sasakawa is passionate about ensuring the world does not forget Leprosy and reminding us of the discrimination that people living with Leprosy still face. Sasakawa who is also a WHO Goodwill Ambassador is in Bangladesh where his Foundation held the first-ever meeting of organizations working in the leprosy field.

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