Health

Ending Inequality is Everyone’s Business

The UNAIDS 2020 Global AIDS Update gave us a clear indication why the world did not meet the Fast-Track targets by 2020. Inequality, perpetuated by structural oppression such as gender inequality; economic disparity; including human rights abuses and violations. For most of us living in sub-Saharan Africa, we don’t need a report to tell us this. Our lives are a litany of inequality we know deep in our guts.

Drug Use is a Health Issue – We Need to Decriminalize

Earlier this month, and in December 2020 the Government of Samoa conducted operations that resulted in the confiscation of a total of 1,400 grams of methamphetamine at the border, smuggled from the US. The law enforcement officials (from the Ministry of Customs and Revenue and the Ministry of Police and Prisons) that intercepted these drugs deserve congratulations for their professionalism and skill. Meth is destructive and harmful - and it is good to see this potential threat removed from the community.

Mexico to Ban Glyphosate, GM Corn
Presidential Decree Comes Despite Intense Pressure from Industry, U.S. Authorities

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador quietly rocked the agribusiness world with his New Year’s Eve decree to phase out use of the herbicide glyphosate and the cultivation of genetically modified corn. His administration sent an even stronger aftershock two weeks later, clarifying that the government would also phase out GM corn imports in three years and the ban would include not just corn for human consumption but yellow corn destined primarily for livestock. Under NAFTA, the United States has seen a 400% increase in corn exports to Mexico, the vast majority genetically modified yellow dent corn.

Developing Countries Struggling To Cope With COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is adversely impacting most developing countries disproportionately, especially the United Nations’ least developed countries (LDCs) and the World Bank’s low-income countries (LICs). Years of implementing neoliberal policy conditionalities and advice have made most developing countries much more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic by undermining their health systems and fiscal capacities to respond adequately.

Sustainable Energy Key to COVID-19 Recovery in Asia and the Pacific

The past year is one that few of us will forget. While the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have played out unevenly across Asia and the Pacific, the region has been spared many of the worst effects seen in other parts of the world. The pandemic has reminded us that a reliable and uninterrupted energy supply is critical to managing this crisis.

The Boon and Bane of LDC Graduation: The Bangladesh Experience

Bangladeshis at the present time share a modicum of justifiable pride in the fact that the world merits this country worth watching in terms of its economic potentials. To my mind , we have reached this stage for the following reasons: First, effective utilization of early foreign assistance; second a steady ,albeit sustained, move away from a near -socialistic to an open and liberal economy; third , a shift from agriculture to manufacturing as land-space shrank to accommodate urbanization; fourth , an unleashing of remarkable entrepreneurial spirit among private sector captains of industry, as evidenced in the Ready Made Garments industry: fifth, the prevalence of a vibrant civil society intellectually aiding the social transformation with its focus on health, education, and gender issues: and finally ,a long period of political stability notwithstanding the traditional predilections of Bengali socio-political activism.

Money vs. Happiness

The question whether the rich are more satisfied with their lives is often taken for granted, even though surveys, like the Gallup World Poll, show that the relationship between subjective well-being and income is often weak, except in low-income countries in Africa and South Asia. Researcher Daniel Kahneman and his collaborators, for example, report that the correlation between household income and reported life satisfaction or happiness with life typically ranges from 0.15 to 0.30. There are a few plausible reasons. First, growth in income mostly has a transitory effect on individuals’ reported life satisfaction, as they adapt to material goods. Second, relative income, rather than the level of income, affects well-being — earning more or less than others looms larger than how much one earns. Third, though average life satisfaction in countries tends to rise with GDP per capita at low levels of income, there is little increase in life satisfaction once GDP per capita exceeds $10,000 (in purchasing power parity). This article studies the relationships between subjective well-being, which is narrowly defined to focus on economic well-being in India, and variants of income, based on the only panel survey in India Human Development Survey (IHDS).

Overcoming the Learning Divide: Assessing What Students Missed During School Closings for COVID-19

School closings and the varied impacts of remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic are a global challenge. Educators worldwide have been struggling to meet contemporary educational standards in this environment. But this challenge is followed by yet another: how to assess the readiness of students to resume in-school education when schools open. At BRAC, the international nongovernmental organization that operates 25,000 schools in Bangladesh, serving 750,000 students, we have developed an approach that could be helpful.

“Why Was I Ever Born”– Righting the Wrong

The bombing continues unabated. The explosions are heard in the distance. A family with seven children is cowering in fear in a corner of their shack, not daring to step out, dreading instant death from shrapnel or a sniper’s bullet.

Successful Crop Innovation Is Mitigating Climate Crisis Impact in Africa

17 February - African smallholder farmers have no choice but to adapt to climate change: 2020 was the second hottest year on record, while prolonged droughts and explosive floods are directly threatening the livelihoods of millions. By the 2030s, lack of rainfall and rising temperatures could render 40 percent of Africa’s maize-growing area unsuitable for climate-vulnerable varieties grown by farmers, while maize remains the preferred and affordable staple food for millions of Africans who survive on less than a few dollars of income a day.

IP, Vaccine Imperialism Cause Death and Suffering, Delay Recovery

Vaccine developers’ refusal to share publicly funded vaccine research findings is stalling broader, affordable vaccinations which would more rapidly contain COVID-19 contagion. The pandemic had infected at least 109 million people worldwide, causing over 2.4 million deaths as of mid-February.

Peace in Yemen, But not Without Women’s Role in Peacebuilding

The armed conflict in Yemen which has lasted six years, has killed and injured over thousands of civilians, displaced more than one million people and given rise to cholera outbreaks, medicine shortages and threats of famine. By the end of 2019, it is estimated that over 233,000 Yemenies have been killed as a result of fighting and the humanitarian crisis. With nearly two-thirds of its population requiring food assistance, Yemen is also experiencing the world's worst food security crisis. The United Nations has called the humanitarian crisis in Yemen “the worst in the world”.

Argentina’s Abortion Legislation Sparks Hope in Caribbean Region

It was a joyful, tearful celebration in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, 2020 for countless Argentinians when they heard the news: the senate had legalized terminations up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Prior to this, activists have said that more than 3,000 women died of botched, illegal abortions since 1983. And across the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, this renewed sense of optimism was compounded after President Joe Biden rescinded what is known as the “global gag rule,” which essentially denied funding to international non-profit organizations that provided abortion counseling or referrals.

COVID-19 Pandemic has Shown Humanity at its Best– & at its Worst

WHO and UNICEF have a long, deep and very special relationship. Neither of us could do what we do without the other. UNICEF’s success is WHO’s success, and we are proud to be your partner on so many issues: Ebola, polio, maternal health, nutrition, infection prevention and control, primary health care – the list is long.

Intellectual Property Cause of Death, Genocide

Refusal to temporarily suspend several World Trade Organization (WTO) intellectual property (IP) provisions to enable much faster and broader progress in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic should be grounds for International Criminal Court prosecution for genocide.

The Struggle to End Female Genital Mutilation: A Dark Secret No More

Survivors of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), are determined to share their stories to end this practice – even though they face ostracisation by their communities. Masooma Ranalvi, an FGM/C survivor and founder of ‘WeSpeakOut’, an organisation committed to eliminating FGM/C or khafd/khafz/khatna explains that FGM/C is practised by various communities in India but is prominently practised among the Dawoodi Bohras.

Q&A: Documenting COVID-19 Effect on Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health

With the COVID-19 pandemic adding complex layers of challenges to the issue of sexual and reproductive health for the youth, governments should prioritise documenting these effects for data collection purposes, Dr. Simon Binezero Mambo co-founder and team leader of the Youth Alliance for Reproductive Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, told IPS in an interview.


Why it’s Crucial Not to Limit the Youth’s Access and Use of Family Planning

With the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affecting access to Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH) services, it’s imperative governments employ community-based initiatives and peer educators to ensure these services are still available to them.

Revoke Patents, Defeat the Pandemic & Deliver Global Justice

As the pandemic spills into its second year, the WHO tracker lists eight Covid-19 vaccines already in public use. Several others are awaiting regulatory approval. This is unprecedented in vaccine history and with effective international coordination, it presents the global community with a real chance for both pandemic and economic recovery in 2021.

Water Graves: Nightmare for Mexican Fishermen

All of Erizo's nightmares are the same. Since his return from the ocean - almost unrecognizable - every bad dream is identical. A wave punches his little boat and throws him into the deep sea where everything is so dark that he can't even see his own hands.

Road to Hell Paved with Good Intentions

Access to COVID-19 vaccines for many developing countries and most of their people will have to wait as the powerful and better off secure earlier access regardless of need or urgency. More profits, by manufacturing scarcity, will surely cause even more loss of both lives and livelihoods.

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