Process of taking back power is empowerment

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
Rajmila Yadav (39 years) is currently living in her parents' house with her 14 years old daughter and 12 years old son. She hails from a Other Backward Class (OBC) in rural Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India.

No one has the right to dictate over a woman’s body

Swapna Majumdar, CNS Special Correspondent, India
Dr Natalia Kanem
The ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis, referred to as ‘ethnic cleansing’ by some, has divided the world. Women and girls, who account for more than half the 600,000 refugees who crossed over from Myanmar to Bangladesh, have been the worst affected. Reports of abuse and sexual violence against these displaced and vulnerable women and girls have led to outrage and calls for international sanctions against Myanmar. This is not the first time women have borne the brunt of political conflict and, considering the present troubled state in different parts of the world, it may not be the last either.

Have we stepped up to take the TB-HIV duo head on?

Alice SagwidzaTembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
While the world took some time off to commemorate World AIDS Day on the first of December 2017, themed “Right to health” by the World Health Organization it is clear that the strong collaboration between tuberculosis (TB) bacteria and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), is still devastating human lives, and a strongly bonded human response to this deadly duo has not yet been fully-formed.

[Call to register] Webinar: Will Universal Health Coverage accelerate progress to #endTB?

[Click here to register] Governments have committed to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030 by adopting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Also earlier this year in 2017, at the 70th World Health Assembly, governments and other partners, reinforced their promise to work together with renewed urgency to achieve UHC by 2030. UHC means everyone can access the quality health services they need without financial hardship.

Reality check: Is India on track to achieve the 90:90:90 HIV targets by 2020?

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people living with HIV (PLHIV), with over 1.8 million new infections and more than 1 million deaths in 2016. However, only 65% of these PLHIV are aware of their status and 53% (19.5 million) of all PLHIV are on treatment.

Out of step? Promise to end AIDS warrants stronger action!

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
Dr Ishwar Gilada, President, AIDS Society of India
The promise to end AIDS by 2030 needs to be matched by a stronger response for preventing, diagnosing, treating and caring for people living with HIV (PLHIV) as well. The passage of the HIV/AIDS Act 2017 and National Health Policy (NHP 2017) are two major policy measures of the Government of India this year. "We appreciate the government of India for this potentially game-changing law but a lot more action is needed to deliver on the promises to end AIDS" said Dr Ishwar Gilada, President of AIDS Society of India (ASI).

Women with disabilities: Are they nobody's children?

Swapna Majumdar, CNS Correspondent, India
Maria Cresta Anore at APCRSHR
Maria Cresta Anore cannot hear or speak. But her expressive eyes and animated fingers articulate her enthusiasm. Being at the 9th Asia Pacific Conference for Reproductive and Sexual health and Rights (APCRSHR) in Vietnam is a dream come true for her. It is not just the opportunity to engage with health and gender activists from the region that excites her. As a peer facilitator, Anore is keen to learn more about how to advocate for justice in sexual and reproductive health and rights, especially for women with disabilities back home in Philippines.

[Podcast] World AIDS Day: When TB bacteria and HIV virus can work together, why can't we?

[Webinar] When TB bacteria and HIV virus can work together, why can't we? #WorldAIDSday

Breaking the TB-diabetes nexus for a healthier India

Dr Sophia Thomas, CNS Correspondent, India
Source: World Diabetes Foundation
On the occasion of World Diabetes Day  2017 (November 14), Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Deputy Director General and Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), called for a standardised approach to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs) similar to the Indian government’s Revised National  TB control programme (RNTCP). Interestingly, there is a synergistic linkage between the two diseases which share some common risk factors.

Growing call to translate commitment to action for a TB-free world

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
"... Nobody is immune to tuberculosis (TB), including those in the first world countries. More than 20% TB cases are linked to smoking globally. We are aware of our responsibilities and reducing deaths from TB, as well as from CVDs, is one of our country’s priorities. Only with coordinated and concerted action will we be able to defeat TB. I hope this meeting will boost the quality of life and healthcare globally..." so said Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation at the World Health Organization (WHO)'s "Global Ministerial Conference: Ending TB in the sustainable development era: A multi-sectoral response" held in Moscow recently.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
"I suffered for 10 long years. and then one fine day I decided I would not tolerate any more violence. I thought to myself that in a few years’ time my son would get married and will have kids. And I would continue getting thrashed in front of my daughter-in-law and grandchildren. No, I would not suffer anymore," so said Lila who comes from a Dalit community  of Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India.

[Call to register] Webinar: When HIV virus and TB bacteria can work together, why can't we?

[Watch webinar recording] [Listen or download audio podcast] In lead up to World AIDS Day 2017, it is important to review that despite strong scientific evidence-backed policies and programmes, we are still failing to avert every TB related death among people living with HIV (PLHIV). TB continues to be the lead killer of PLHIV.

Research is not a luxury but a necessity to end TB

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
More than 1000 participants, including the President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, ministers from over 75 countries, donors, researchers, civil society representatives, and other stakeholders, had met at the first-ever "WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response" which was held in Moscow on 16-17 November 2017, to forge stronger inter-sectoral partnerships for accelerating action to end TB.