In 1956, the Caribbean held its first major scientific meeting, organised by the Standing Advisory Committee for Medical Research in the British Caribbean. At the time, the Mayaro Virus, a dengue-like viral disease often called ‘jungle flu’ had just been identified as a new human disease agent by W.G Downs and G.H Wattley in Trinidad.
Science and medicine were not subjects of dinnertime conversations in the Norton household in Christchurch, New Zealand, but Professor Robyn Norton grew up observing her parents’ commitment to equity and social justice in improving people’s lives. It left an indelible impression on her young mind.
Governments are in the midst of tough talks in New York over the text of the Addis Ababa Accord, which is scheduled to be adopted at the end of the Third Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) , to be held in Ethiopia in July.
In the last half-century, people’s lifestyles have changed dramatically. Life expectancy has risen almost everywhere, but this has been accompanied by an increase of so-called non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases, and diabetes – causing more and more deaths in all corners of the world.
The numbers are in, and there’s not much to celebrate: every year, about six million people die as a result of tobacco use, including 600,000 who succumb to the effects of second-hand smoke.
The rapid rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Pacific Islands, which now cause 75 percent of all deaths, is one of the greatest impediments to post-2015 development, health ministers in the region claim.
Women now face a better chance of surviving breast cancer in the Solomon Islands, a developing island state in the southwest Pacific Ocean, following the recent acquisition of the country’s first mammogram machine.
Undeniably, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) helped lift specific health concerns onto the global agenda.
A tsunami is looming on the horizon and the world is unprepared for it. This one won’t be a massive wall of water but a tidal wave of disease – and experts say the international community needs to act fast to keep it from crashing.