Headlines

Without Universal Health Coverage We Are Sitting Ducks When the next Pandemic Strikes

We live in a different world to the one we inhabited six short months ago. With more than 4 million people infected and over 280,000 dead globally by mid May 2020, Covid-19 has ruthlessly exposed the vulnerability of a globalised world to pandemic disease. People are slowly coming to terms with the frightening and heartbreaking death toll, and we are still not out of the danger.

Could BCG, a 100-year-old Vaccine for Tuberculosis, Protect Against Coronavirus?

This week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced it will donate A$10 million to help fund an Australian trial testing whether a very old vaccine, BCG, can be used against a new threat, COVID-19. So what is the BCG vaccine and what might its place be in the fight against coronavirus?

Beyond Trump— US, UN & Global Health Governance

US President Donald Trump’s battle with the World Health Organization (WHO) hides two important issues. One, the long running love-hate relationship between the US and the UN, and two, a better understanding of how global public health is governed and in the overall context of global governance.

The UN Is Hunting for a New Medical Director, Based in New York City

“Are you a senior medical executive with expertise in healthcare management with oversight of clinical services and occupational health at a facility, state, national or international level? The United Nations Secretariat is seeking a Medical Director at the D-2 level in the Department of Operational Support,” an ad posting on the UN’s job portal reads.

The Commonwealth’s Response to COVID-19

The Coronovirus pandemic has been an unforgiving test of advanced economies. Health systems in the United States, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK have been put under immense pressure, with shortages of doctors, ventilators, personal protective equipment and the capacity to test for the virus. Their economies have been battered and the consequences are spoken of in terms of the Great Depression.

We Cannot Let the Education Gap Widen at the Start of the Decade of Action

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we estimated that 75 million children and youth - of whom 39 million are girls - were not able to access a quality education in countries impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and climate change-induced emergencies. The impact of COVID-19 has both globally and exponentially deepened the already existing critical education crisis.

On the Agenda of Iraq’s New Government: An Empty Treasury, Low Revenue, and COVID-19

Iraq’s newly-announced leader has brought hope to a country embroiled in a 17-year-long conflict, but authorities must ensure that issues such as swift and rapid response to COVID-19, security concerns, and corruption among others are addressed with urgency, experts said on Tuesday. 

Malawi’s Vulnerable Shortchanged in Human Trafficking Prevention Efforts

Malawi is not doing enough to enforce its laws on human trafficking, resulting in a number of cases against perpetrators being dismissed by the courts, according to a local rights group. But local officials say that this Southern African nation — one of the poorest countries in the world — just doesn’t have the financial resources to do so.

Healthy Oceans: Keeping Asia and the Pacific Afloat

Memories of idyllic beaches and sonorous waves may seem far away while we remain at home. Yet, we need not look far to appreciate the enduring history of the ocean in Asia and the Pacific. For generations, the region has thrived on our seas. Our namesake bears a nod to the Pacific Ocean, a body of water tethered to the well-being of billions in our region. The seas provide food, livelihoods and a sense of identity, especially for coastal communities in the Pacific island States.

Why Some National Health Care Systems Do Better than Others

In public health discussions, it is generally recognized that the social returns to health care investments are greater than the private returns, and much of such investments should be financed by the state.

Housing is Both a Prevention & Cure for COVID-19

Public health officials are calling the “stay home” policy the sacrifice of our generation. To flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, this call of duty is now emblazoned on t-shirts, in street art and a celebrity hashtag.

Protecting Women’s Reproductive Health During the Pandemic

“When I was 13… I got pregnant from my older brother… He raped me starting when I was 11,” a girl from Guatemala told one of us in 2015. She was one of the 2 million girls under 15 worldwide who give birth each year, often due to sexual violence.

COVID-19: Zimbabwe’s Smallholder Farmers Step into the Food Supply Gap

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe' second city of some 700,000 people, has experienced a shortage of vegetables this year, with major producers citing a range of challenges from poor rains to the inability to access to bank loans to finance their operations. But this shortage has created a market gap that Zimbabwe smallholders — some 1.5 million people according to government figures — have an opportunity to fill. 

COVID-19: Why We Must Reset Our Thinking

Covid-19 is the most significant event since the Second World War. It changes everything. It brings great sadness to many of us as we lose loved ones, as we see people losing their jobs, and as we see people around the world suffering immensely.

US Pulls the Plug on a UN Global Cease-Fire Resolution

After six weeks of negotiations, the United States shot down hopes for a resolution to be approved in the United Nations Security Council on May 8, refusing to back worldwide cease-fires as the US continues to castigate China and the World Health Organization for the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, momentum behind tenuous cease-fires is vanishing, experts say.

Finding Money for Public Health, Green Economic Recovery & SDGs

The coronavirus pandemic underscores the profound fragility and unsustainability of today’s world. It exposes the chronic underinvestment in human health and well-being and the consequences of a relentless exploitation of biodiversity and the natural environment.

‘Passing the Buck’ Becomes Reckless ‘Conspiracy Blame Game’

Although Wuhan local authorities undoubtedly ostracized local medical whistle-blowers, notably Dr Li Wenliang, who suspected a new virus was responsible for flu-like infections in Wuhan in late 2019, official responses were apparently not delayed, and possibly even expedited, as the novel character of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for Covid-19 infections, was not immediately self-evident.

Africa’s Health Dilemma: Protecting People from COVID-19 While Four Times as Many Could Die of Malaria

Experts across Africa are warning that as hospitals and health facilities focus on COVID-19, less attention is being given to the management of other deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which affect millions more people.

NGOs – with Local Groups in the Lead – are on COVID-19 Frontlines

NGOs, at the international, national - and most of all local - level are on the frontlines every day. I just heard from Oxfam staff in Bangladesh, that when asked whether they were scared to continue our response with the Rohingya communities in Cox’s Bazar, they replied: “They are now my relatives. I care about them — and this is the time they need us most.’”

VE Day Marks the End of the Second World War-But the World is Still at War

The world commemorated the 75th Anniversary to mark the end of the 2nd World War also called VE Day on 08 May 2020. With her nation, and much of the world still in lockdown due to COVID 19, England’s Queen marked 75 years since the allied victory in Europe with a poignant televised address. From Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth said, “the wartime generation knew that the best way to honour those who did not come back from the war, was to ensure that it didn’t happen again”.

Women Taking Charge during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 mayhem carries on in most countries, the role of mothers, daughters, and female caregivers have been affected the most. Besides looking after the household and home schooling children, they are also working on the front lines, actively or passively caring for their respective communities.

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