Asia-Pacific

Q&A: Leprosy-affected People Live Not at the Bottom, but Outside the Social Pyramid

Takahiro Nanri is the Executive Director of Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation which has been supporting the global fight against leprosy for almost five decades. Since 2014, Nanri has been leading the foundation’s leprosy projects across the world and has deep insights into the challenges faced by the people affected by leprosy as well as the organisations that work with them.

Healthy Oceans, Healthy Societies

Over recent years, there have been shocking reports of marine endangerment and plastic pollution. The threats are clear, and now urgent action is needed more than ever.

Individual Empowerment Still Important in Leprosy Groups’ Strategies

The tragic tale of Thobias Alexander Manas’s personal experience with leprosy is all too typical.

Living with Leprosy on the Climate-Vulnerable Kiribati Island Atolls

Kurarenga Kaitire lives in Kiribati—one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations. Already vulnerable to nature, the 29-year-old mother of five has faced a series of vulnerabilities over the past decade, including facing social stigma and domestic abuse.

Building Successful Social Enterprises

Marie Lisa Dacanay is the president of Manila–based Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia. With 20 years of experience in development management, social entrepreneurship and enterprise development, Dacanay is also a university professor and an acclaimed author with several books on social entrepreneurship in Asia.

Leprosy Survivor Creates Hope and Support for Others Affected by Disease

When Ariel Lazarte from Quezon City, Philippines, was first diagnosed with leprosy in 2014, his life seemed as if it were falling apart. But now more than four years later Lazarte’s life is a huge contrast from the poverty and isolation he experienced as a person affected by leprosy.

Q& A: We Need a Holistic Approach to Eradicate Leprosy

Dr. Maria Francia Laxamana is the Assistant Secretary in the Philippines ministry of health. With nearly two decades of  work both as a senior government official and also as an expert in several non-government organisations, Laxamana has deep insight into the issue of leprosy in this Southeast Asian nation and the challenges faced by those who are affected by the disease.

A Leprosy-free Philippines by 2020?

Dr Maria Francia Laxamana, assistant secretary of health in the Department of Health, Philippines outlines her recommendations for a leprosy country by 2020.

Capacity Building the Key to Fighting Leprosy

Strengthening the participation of persons affected by leprosy, or SPP, has proven to be an effective strategy in reaching out to often isolated sufferers in local communities throughout Asia. A significant challenge to civil society organisations, however, is finding enough management talent to maintain and expand the programmes.

Leprosy Detection With a Personal Touch

Jennifer Quimno could put anyone at ease. So when she travels across the Philippines as part of peer to peer programme that helps identify new leprosy cases, people generally allow her to examine them.

First Asian Leprosy Assembly Calls for Greater Social Inclusion for the Affected

Growing up in Kathmandu, Nepal, Amar Bahadur Timalsina wasn’t allowed to attend school as a young boy because he was affected by leprosy. But decades later, after treatment and being able to re-integrate into his community, the boy who was once denied an education is now inspiringly the principal of a school of 400 students.

Leprosy Remains a Stubborn, Unseen Problem in the Philippines

The stubborn challenge of diagnosis and treatment of leprosy among difficult to reach populations in the Philippines should soon become easier with the rollout of a mobile app connecting field health workers with physicians and clinics.

Why West Craves Materialism & East Sticks To Religion

My generation grew up at a time when colonial hang up was at its peak. Our older generation had been slaves and had a huge inferiority complex of the British. The school I went to was similar to all elite schools in Pakistan.

The Future of Urbanism: Is the UAE Pioneering it?

According to data from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Arab world is one of the most urbanised areas in the world, with more than 70 per cent of the population of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)--- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-- living in urban areas.

The Unwanted People of Myanmar: A Tropical Srebrenica in the Land of the Golden Pagodas

The massacre of Srebrenica will enter human history as one of our darkest chapters. From 11 to 22 July 1995, Bosnian Serb military forces massacred approximately 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks. It became the largest massacre committed on European soil since the end of the Second World War. In November last year, the Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic was convicted of war crimes and of genocide. This constituted relief for the victims of the Srebrenica genocide and a victory for international justice after 22 years.

How Development Excludes Adivasi Peoples

Failing to understand the Adivasi world view and imposing the dominant development paradigm on Adivasi peoples is affecting their identity and well-being. The mainstream development paradigm has aggravated discontent among Adivasi communities. The reasons are not difficult to recognise—it encourages the siege of native resources, drives competition, is surplus-driven, instils private ownership, and consequently, is affecting the cultural identity of Adivasi peoples.

Maldives Reiterates Commitment to ‘Free, Open Indo-Pacific Region’ & Democracy

Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has reiterated his nation's commitment to a “free and open” Indo-Pacific region and to democracy. During his meeting with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in Washington Feb 20, Shahid “underscored the importance of his government's reform efforts to (ensure) the vitality of Maldives' democracy,” the department's Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said.

Dismantling Sexual Health Stigma in India

Results from a survey with young and unmarried women suggest that as low as 1% of women have received information on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) from their mothers, doctors or government campaigns. And 53% of these women feel unsure if the sexual health problems they faced were severe enough to visit a gynaecologist. Within the Indian context and patriarchal system, any conversation around young women’s sexuality is limited and stigmatised.

Bringing #MeToo to the Fashion Industry

The global #MeToo movement has put a spotlight on sexual harassment and violence in various industries including the film and music industries. Is it now time for the fashion industry to address these issues within their supply chains, one organisation says.

Back to the Future: Vietnam Now and Then

In 1989 I watched Back to the Future, Part II by Robert Zemickis, a complicated story about a youngster who from 1985 time travelled to 2015. Within the movie I spotted a poster from the imaginary 2015: US AIR Surf Vietnam. Back in 1989 I associated Vietnam with the war that lasted from 1955 to the fall of Saigon in 1975 and by different media was brought into the homes of millions, radicalizing and engaging youngsters, not the least me.

Asia’s Expanding Illicit Market: Brides

Paradoxically, the world’s most populated countries are facing a population crisis: a woman shortage. And it’s women who are paying a brutal price for it.

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