Health

US Policies Slowing World Economy

Few policymakers ever claim credit for causing stagnation and recessions. Yet, they do so all the time, justifying their actions by some supposedly higher purpose.

Senior UN Leaders Show Their Support to Afghan Women and Girls, Urge Taliban to Reverse Their Bans

Recent visits to Afghanistan by senior-led UN delegations underscore the urgency to protect the rights of women and girls, including their access to humanitarian aid and their right to work.

“I Was Blind, But Now I See” – Celebrating Malawi’s Progress on World NTD Day

“I was blind, but now I see.” This is what Vainesi, from Salima District in Central Malawi, said after surgery to treat trachoma. A mother of three, Vainesi had been unable to work or provide for her family once the disease began to affect her eyesight.

Destruction of Ukraine’s Healthcare Facilities Violates International Humanitarian Law – Report

While recent reports highlight the growing list of human rights abuses and war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine, new research has laid bare the massive scale of arguably Russia’s most systematic and deadly campaign of rights violations in the country – the targeting and almost complete destruction of healthcare facilities.

The Year of Debt Distress and Damaging Development Trade-Off

As the year 2022 drew to an end, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned, “Developing countries face ‘impossible trade-off’ on debt”, that spiralling debt in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) has compromised their chances of sustainable development.

New Business Technology Transfer Provides Benefits for African Pharmaceutical Industry

A few months after German biotechnology company BioNTech announced the establishment of the first-ever local vaccine manufacturing in Rwanda, experts believe the successful implementation of such initiatives across the continent will require countries to acquire know-how while encouraging potential industrial partners in the pharmaceutical industry.

Digital Politics: “Disconnected Citizens Are Kept Away from Opportunities”

In 2022, Saudi Arabia “quietly” sentenced Salma al-Shehab to 34 years in prison over her Twitter activity, marking the longest Saudi sentence ever for a peaceful activist. Fast forward and award-winning Ugandan author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was charged with two counts of "offensive communication" after making unflattering remarks about the president and his son on Twitter. The message is clear: your well-crafted 280 characters can land you in jail.

Pope, Sasakawa in Global Appeal for a Leprosy Free World

In the four years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic, the spread of leprosy or Hansen’s disease, seemed to be losing steam. Between 2016 and early 2020, new case numbers remained more or less constant.

The Climate Conversations

Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. However, negotiating a solution has been challenging due to several factors. One of the main reasons that recent COP Climate summits and other international climate talks have not been able to resolve climate change is that there is a lack of consensus among countries on how to address the issue. Developed countries, which have historically been the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, are often unwilling to take on significant emissions reductions or to provide financial assistance to developing countries to help them adapt to the effects of climate change.

The Year of Inflation Exposes Dogma and Class Bias

Inflation worries topped Ipsos’s What Worries the World survey in 2022 overtaking COVID concerns. The return of inflation caught major central banks, e.g., the US Federal Reserve (Fed), Bank of England, European Central Bank “off guard”. The persistence of inflation also surprised the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The return of inflation and its persistence exposed the poverty of the economics profession, unable to agree on its causes and required policy responses. It also exposed the profession’s anti-working class biases.

More Austerity in 2023 Will Fuel Protests

This week world leaders meet in Davos to discuss cooperation to address multiple crises, from COVID-19 and escalating inflation to slowing economic growth, debt distress and climate shocks.

Malawi Suffers Worst Cholera Outbreak in Decades

On March 3, 2022, Malawi declared a cholera outbreak after a district hospital in the southern region reported a case. This was the first case in the 2021 to 2022 cholera season.

China: From Zero-Covid to Zero-Control

Three years after the coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the Chinese government began in December to abruptly scrap its harsh containment policy known as "zero-Covid."

Africa’s Maternal Deaths Need Urgent Action to Meet SDG Goals

As the effects of COVID-19 on Africa’s health sector become clearer, it looks the continent will need to take urgent steps to overcome the disruptions suffered in the breakdown in antenatal and postnatal care for women and newborns and neonatal intensive care units. The pandemic brought some setbacks to the gains achieved in maternal mortality over the past decade.

Living Another Year Dangerously

2022 has been a year of great uncertainty when it seemed the world perilously reached the brink of self-destruction – be it human-induced climate change or military conflict. Welcoming 2022, we had enough reasons to be optimistic; but it was another ‘year of living dangerously’ – Tahun vivere pericoloso in the words of Soekarno, or an annus horribilis in the words of the late Queen Elizabeth.

War, Famine, Disease, Disasters – 2022 – a Year Staring at Apocalypse

A year that started with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is ending with famine in Africa, while still spreading death and misery through an enduring pandemic and a deteriorating climate crisis -- 2022 has been an apocalyptic warning of the frailty of our planet and the woeful shortcomings of humankind.

Thoughts for 2023: Promoting Innovation & New Technologies

Promoting innovation and technology to promote inclusive development means using new technologies to enhance equal access to services, eliminate discrimination, increase transparency, and create a stable and just future for all – especially the most vulnerable and marginalized.

Universal Health Coverage: Think of Health Workers, not just Health Services

Health services don’t deliver themselves. It is the nurse who triages in the emergency department, the midwife who delivers babies and cares for mothers, the community health worker who gives babies vaccines, the care assistant who bathes someone at home, the surgeon who performs the operation, the anesthetist who blocks the pain, the pharmacist who matches the script to the medication, and the physiotherapist who restores movement.

Russia’s LGBTQI ‘Propaganda’ Law Imperils HIV Prevention

A new law banning LGBTQI ‘propaganda’ in Russia will further stigmatise LGBTQI people in the country and could worsen what is already one of the world’s worst HIV/AIDS epidemics, critics have warned.

Europe and the Refugee Crisis: It’s all About Tackling Racism & Discrimination

In 2019, when the President-elect of the European Union (EU) Ursula von der Leyen had presented a list for her soon-to-be European Commission, and on that list was a portfolio called “Protecting the European way of life”, a lot of noise was made questioning what that meant. “Protection” was later changed to the “Promotion” of the European Way of Life. It’s been over three years since this very controversial, much debated and widely criticised portfolio as many continue to question what uniquely is the ‘European way of life’?

Battling the Twin Challenge of HIV and Cervical Cancer

Damaris Anyango* was recently discharged from Kenyatta National Hospital, battling the twin challenge of cervical cancer and HIV. She is 50 years old and was diagnosed with HIV nearly ten years ago.

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