Canada to host global conference on women and girls health

Tags

, ,

New York – Denmark has symbolically passed the baton to Canada to serve as host country for the next Women Deliver Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women in 2019.

Denmark’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs (Left), symbolically passed the baton – a Women Deliver ceramic arrow – to Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau (Right). The ministers were joined by Gender Equality Advocate and Deliver for Good Influencer Ms. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Women Deliver’s President/CEO Katja Iversen in New York, US on 19 September 2017. Photo/COURTESY.

Denmark’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs (Left), symbolically passed the baton – a Women Deliver ceramic arrow – to Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau (Right) with Gender Equality Advocate and Deliver for Good Influencer Ms. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Women Deliver’s President/CEO Katja Iversen in New York, US on 19 September 2017. Photo/COURTESY.

This was announced during the 72nd annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) where Denmark’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs, symbolically passed the baton – a Women Deliver ceramic arrow – to Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau.

The ministers were joined by Gender Equality Advocate and Deliver for Good Influencer Ms. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Women Deliver’s President/CEO Katja Iversen, and Women Deliver Young Leaders Olaoluwa Abagun and Dakshitha Wickremarathne.

The conference will bring over 6,000 world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists from more than 160 countries to Vancouver from 3-6 June 2019. Women Deliver – a leading, global advocate for girls and women – has been hosting the Women Deliver Conference every three years, since 2007.

“Both Canada and Denmark are some of the world’s leaders when it comes to investing in and empowering girls and women,” said Katja Iversen, President/CEO of Women Deliver.

“Today doesn’t just mark the passing of host country duties, but also serves as an important moment to double down on their commitment to women’s rights, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights – at home and in their foreign policy and development assistant.”

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will present new knowledge, promote world class solutions, and serve as a fueling station for action, energy, investment and policy change. It will continue the momentum generated at the Women Deliver 2016 Conference, held in Copenhagen, Denmark – one of the first major global conferences following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During Women Deliver 2016 – more than 100 solutions were presented to improve the lives of girls and women, and spur action across the globe.

“Denmark is already looking forward to WD2019 in Vancouver. We will play our part in making it a success. We will be there to continue the fight for women’s health, rights and wellbeing. We will continue to deliver!” – Denmark’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will engage a broad spectrum of voices, including indigenous populations, youth, and those impacted by conflict, with an additional 100,000 participants anticipated to be joining virtually or in satellite events.

“Women Deliver 2019 is not just a one-off conference. It is a movement to empower women and girls and build a better world. It is an honour and an opportunity for Canada to be the next host!” – Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau

Patrick Robison of Elkhart Lake, WI and Marilyn Windau of Sheboygan Falls, WI collaborated to design and create the golden ceramic arrow for Women Deliver that the two ministers exchanged. Robison has over 40 years of teaching experience in ceramics with middle school, college, and adult students. He creates garden sculptures and owns a gallery and sculpture garden in Elkhart Lake. Windau taught elementary and middle school art for 25 years, makes books ceramic covers and other ceramic functional pieces, and is a published poet of three manuscripts, one self-illustrated.

Women Deliver is seeking suggestions on topics to be covered and speakers to be featured at the conference. People can submit their ideas or learn more about Women Deliver 2019 at wd2019.org.

###

About Women Deliver: As a leading, global advocate for the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women, Women Deliver brings together diverse voices and interests to drive progress for gender equality, with a particular focus on maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights. We build capacity, share solutions, and forge partnerships, together creating coalitions, communication, and action that spark political commitment and investment in girls and women.

Advertisements

Remarkable progress against global poverty and disease, but future progress in jeopardy

Tags

, , , , ,

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today launched an inaugural annual report showcasing the remarkable progress that has been made in reducing extreme poverty and disease in recent decades, but issuing a stern warning to the world that future progress is in jeopardy.

Goalkeepers: The Stories Behind the Data, co-authored and edited by Bill and Melinda Gates and produced in partnership with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, highlights past progress against some of the most devastating issues facing poor countries and uses breakthrough data projections to forecast good and bad future scenarios – with millions of lives hanging in the balance.

In all, the report tracks 18 data points from the UN Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals, including child and maternal deaths, stunting, access to contraceptives, HIV, malaria, extreme poverty, financial inclusion and sanitation. The report looks beneath the numbers to pinpoint the leaders, approaches and innovations that made a difference.

Through the data and first-person accounts from six contributors, the report showcases the stunning progress the world has made in the past generation: cutting extreme poverty and child deaths in half and reducing HIV deaths and maternal deaths by nearly half, among many other accomplishments. But as the report shows, serious challenges remain – including deep disparities between countries – and future progress is not inevitable.

The projections are showcased in charts and explore three potential 2030 scenarios for each indicator. The first is what could happen if we continue along the current path, based on past trends – without significant changes to approaches or current spending levels. Two additional scenarios provide a glimpse at a better and worse future: what could happen with strong leadership, innovation and investment and, starkly, what could happen if attention and funding waned. For example, a mere 10 percent cut in global donor funding for HIV treatment could result in more than 5 million more deaths by 2030.

In their introduction, Bill and Melinda Gates express concern that shifting priorities, instability and potential budget cuts could lead the world to turn away from its commitments, jeopardizing the positive trajectory needed to end extreme poverty and wipe out diseases by 2030.

“This report comes at a time when there is more doubt than usual about the world’s commitment to development,” Bill and Melinda Gates state in the report. “Take it from the point of view of justice, or take it from the point of view of creating a secure and stable world: development deserves our attention.”

Bill and Melinda Gates will produce the Goalkeepers report every year through 2030, timed for the annual gathering of world leaders in New York City for the UN General Assembly. In 2015, world leaders committed to the Global Goals, which are focused on ending extreme poverty and fighting inequalities. The Goalkeepers report focuses on a subset of the indicators in the Global Goals and is designed to highlight best practices and help hold the Gates Foundation, its partners and leaders around the world accountable. It will document not just what is working, but where the world is falling short.

The report includes first-person accounts from leaders whose innovations and policies have already made a difference – from tackling stunting in Peru to increasing uptake of modern contraceptives in Senegal to bringing more women in India into the formal financial sector.

It is clear from the report that decisions the world collectively makes in the next couple of years will have a significant impact on the futures of millions, if not billions, of people. Leadership, Bill and Melinda Gates argue, will make the difference in which path the world takes:

“Poverty and disease in poor countries are the clearest examples we know of solvable human misery. It is a fact that this misery is solvable and we have it within our power to decide how much of it actually gets solved. Let’s be ambitious. Let’s lead.”

In conjunction with the report, the Gates Foundation will be hosting two Goalkeepers Events in New York City around the UN General Assembly. Former President Barack Obama, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, Malala Yousafzai, Richard Curtis, screenwriter, producer and film director, and Stephen Fry, actor, writer and presenter will join events on Sept. 19 and 20. Participants will celebrate progress toward eliminating disease, inequality and poverty around the world, and inspire a new generation of advocates to work towards sustainable development. On the evening of Sept.19 the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards dinner will honor outstanding activists and groups who have demonstrated a positive impact on people’s lives and are inspiring others to accelerate progress and leave no one behind. The Gates Foundation will livestream the Sept. 19 and 20 Goalkeepers events.

 

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

About Goalkeepers

Goalkeepers is the foundation’s first annual report and global event dedicated to accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals). By sharing stories and data behind the Goals, we hope to inspire a new generation of leaders – Goalkeepers who raise awareness of progress, hold their leaders accountable and drive action to achieve the Goals.

About the Global Goals

On September 25th 2015, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, 193 world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals). These are a series of ambitious targets to achieve three extraordinary things in the next 15 years: end extreme poverty; fight inequality and injustice; and fix climate change.

NYT: Hunting a Killer: Sex, Drugs and the Return of Syphilis

For months, health officials in this socially conservative state capital have been staggered by a fast-spreading outbreak of a disease that, for nearly two decades, was considered all but extinguished.

Syphilis, the deadly sexually transmitted infection that can lead to blindness, paralysis and dementia, is returning here and around the country, another consequence of the heroin and methamphetamine epidemics, as users trade sex for drugs.

To locate possible patients and draw their blood for testing, Oklahoma’s syphilis detectives have been knocking on doors in dilapidated apartment complexes and dingy motels, driving down lonely rural roads and interviewing prison inmates. Syphilis has led them to members of 17 gangs; to drug dealers; to prostitutes, pimps and johns; and to their spouses and lovers, all caught in the disease’s undertow.

via Hunting a Killer: Sex, Drugs and the Return of Syphilis – The New York Times

Why the number of people with more than one chronic condition is rising in Africa: The Conversation Africa

Tags

, , , ,

 

File 20170712 19675 kuyyv0
Scientists estimate that by 2020, non-communicable disease will account for almost 70% of the total disease burden.
Shutterstock

Tolullah Oni, University of Cape Town and Natacha Berkowitz, University of Cape Town

More and more people around the world are getting sick with two or more health conditions at the same time. For example, people are increasingly coping with two chronic non-infectious diseases, like hypertension and diabetes. Or they will have a chronic infectious disease like HIV and a chronic non-infectious disease like asthma.

The co-existing conditions could include diseases, disorders, illnesses or other chronic health problems. The concept of having two or more chronic health conditions at the same time is called multimorbidity.

Traditionally, developed countries have a high prevalence of non-communicable diseases – like hypertension – and due to this, a high rate of multimorbidity.

Now the tables seem to be turning. Due to the rise in the cases of non-communicable diseases in developing countries, there is an increasing emerging pattern of high levels of multimorbidity. This includes cases of hypertension which is now the most common co-morbid chronic non-communicable disease in the world.

The prevalence of non-communicable diseases is increasing at an alarming rate. In 2000, non-communicable diseases accounted for only 56% of the total disease burden. Scientists estimate that by 2020, they will account for almost 70% of the total disease burden in developing countries.

The increase has been driven by urbanisation and changing dietary and behavioural patterns with people eating more processed food and sugar and exercising less.

But alongside this, many developing nations, especially in Africa, have the additional burden of chronic infectious diseases.

Non-communicable diseases and chronic communicable diseases co-occur, and the risk factors, such as alcohol and tobacco use, associated with them are often shared. This further increases the likelihood of multimorbidity.

In Africa, the concern is that populations who are already socially and economically vulnerable also face the highest risk of multimorbidity. These include the elderly, people who have a lower socio-economic status and those who are not as educated. An intersectoral approach to address these vulnerable groups is needed. This remains challenging for developing health services in many African countries.

Affecting the patient and the system

The impact of multimorbidity is three-fold: it affects the patient, the health care provider and the health system as a whole.

Multimorbid patients have a decreased quality of life and tend to access health services more frequently. This often results in loss of potential income. And it places an extraordinary financial and psychological burden on the patient. The psychological burden often manifests as depression with mental health conditions frequently being associated with multimorbidity, which are often neglected or poorly managed.

More generally, the high self-management requirements and multiple drug prescriptions associated with multimorbidity can lead to poorer health outcomes for patients.

From the provider perspective, multimorbid patients are complex to treat. This can lead to increased workloads. In addition, they need an in-depth understanding of multiple drug and disease interactions. With each additional comorbidity consultation, time and individual patient cost increase dramatically.

But providers often find themselves in systems which are inadequately prepared to deal with this level of complexity due to their vertical nature. Vertical systems are based on the one disease model of care, which focuses on individual diseases, rather than holistic patient care.

Innovative models of integrated care are required to appropriately manage the multimorbid patient. This is a challenging task as integrated models need to be context specific. A “one size fits all” isn’t enough to address patients’ needs.

Tackling the problem

To tackle the problem, solutions need to focus on what’s causing multimorbidity. This means that policymakers must look beyond the health sector – they must engage with multiple sectors. This is necessary as most risk factors relating to multimorbidity are driven by factors that lie outside the health care system. Risk factors such as obesity, alcohol use and smoking can all be influenced by policies outside the health sector.

In South Africa, a well known example of this has been the reduction of secondary smoking as a result of a range of anti-smoking initiatives. These included using the media to run campaigns warning about the health risks of smoking, to limiting smoking areas in the hospitality industries alongside the establishment of an excise tax on tobacco products.

More recently, to address the rising burden of diabetes and associated risk factors, South Africa has proposed a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. A similar tax was successful in reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in Mexico.

One of the challenges in creating these policies lies in opposing powerful industry actors whose interests don’t lie with health issues, but with making profits. This requires advocacy from several key public health role players such as academics, civil society, and governmental departments.

Next steps

In Africa, multimorbidity will impose increasing strain on vulnerable people and already stretched health systems.

The ConversationA structured collaborative approach is needed to manage the problem. This should include developing a good understanding of Africa’s unique patterns of multimorbidity, its causes, and focus on prevention.

Tolullah Oni, Associate Professor at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town and Natacha Berkowitz, Global Health Clinical Research Fellow Imperial College London and Honorary Research Officer, University of Cape Town

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The New York Times: We Can’t Bomb Ebola

Tags

, ,

By 

Before he became defense secretary, Gen. Jim Mattis once pleaded with Congress to invest more in State Department diplomacy.

“If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition,” he explained. Alas, President Trump took him literally, but not seriously.

The administration plans a $54 billion increase in military spending, financed in part by a 37 percent cut in the budgets of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

That reflects a misunderstanding about the world — that security is assured only when we’re blowing things up. It’s sometimes true that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, as Chairman Mao said, but it also emerges from diplomacy, foreign aid and carefully cultivated good will.

Military power is especially limited when threats come from new directions. More than four times as many Americans now die each year from opioids as have died in the Iraq and Afghan wars combined, but warships can’t defeat drug traffickers. To beat traffickers, we need diplomacy and the good will of countries like Mexico and Afghanistan.

And we certainly can’t bomb Ebola or climate change.

Via However Much Trump Spends on Arms, We Can’t Bomb Ebola