Stop water privatisation and strengthen public water supply

Dr Sandeep Pandey
Photo credit: Jittima J/CNS
A new report by Corporate Accountability International uncovers how the World Bank uses ponzi-style marketing tactics to sell privatization projects around the globe that it is also positioned to profit from. "Water privatization has been a disaster,” said Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee and national vice president of Socialist Party (India). "We must prevent the World Bank and corporations like Veolia from expanding their reach and block any potential project."

Human Rights Day: What is wrong with a rights-based approach to TB care?

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
panel discussion on TB & Human rights
Photo credit: S Shukla/ CNS
Well nothing! In fact it is the most correct approach to deal with the global TB crisis of epidemic proportions. And yet everything, as we are a long distance away from putting it to good use.
In 2013, TB killed 1.5 million people, out of the estimated 9.0 million people who developed it. Many social, economic and structural barriers drive the TB epidemic in high TB burden countries including India, which accounts for 24% of its global incidence. TB is not just a medical problem but a social problem as well, and yet ethical and legal issues around TB have been neglected for just too long. Vulnerable and marginalized groups are still not the focus of healthcare systems even though the 'International Standards for TB Care' rightly favours a patient-centred approach that individualizes treatment support measures (but not the treatment regimen), to suit the unique needs of the patient.

Thalassaemia on the blind spot? Call to improve prevention, treatment and care

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Dr Michael Angastiniotis
(CNS image library)
"It is not only about preventing new births of thalassemic infants; about chelation, about blood transfusion and about availability of services needed; but also about preventing complications related to Thalassaemia. We cannot take half baked measures. Because if the patient dies prematurely, it will be a huge waste of national resources—10-15 years worth of investment just goes down the drain. Inadequate chelation and blood transfusion can result in hospitalization in intensive care and cost a lot. Patients should not only be kept alive but also grow up to be productive members of society. Besides the expertise, we also need experienced and enthusiatic physicians, and cooperative patients who are willing to take treatment as they grow up" said Dr Michael Angastiniotis, Medical Advisor to Thalassaemia International Federation.

Breaking taboos, reaping dividends

Swapna Majumdar, CNS Special Correspondent
Photo credit: CNS Image Library
Consider these statistics: Globally, 370,000 million children are married every day. By 2020, an additional 142 million girls will be married before their 18th  birthday. 6 million adolescent pregnancies occur in South Asia-- 90% of them inside marriage. Further, 34% of all unsafe abortions in the Asia Pacific region happen to women below the age of 25.

'Studies underway for possible ebola treatment option '

Diana Wangari, Special Correspondent, Kenya
(First published in The Star News, Kenya)
Recently, on a flight in Europe, I was seated next to a charming French lady who was all smiles and ‘Bonjour’ when taking her seat. Satisfied that the old lady was all charm and good manners, I took my nap. You can imagine my surprise when I woke up, only to find that the lady was now wearing a facemask.

When will we overcome gender injustice?

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA) is 20 years old now. It was adopted by consensus in 1995 by 189 countries during the Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing, China. Although not a binding treaty, it affirms that issues of women’s rights and equality must be part of any government’s agenda. The 20th anniversary of BPFA has opened new opportunities to regenerate commitment, charge up political will and mobilize the public. 

Reaching the unreached: ENGAGE TB initiative

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
(CNS image library, Mandalay 2013)
Leaflets on reproductive,
maternal, neonatal & child health, HIV/AIDS
and TB in a clinic in Myanmar

Despite great strides made in TB care and control over the last few years, the latest data shows that 1/3 of all TB cases are still either not detected or not reported to public health systems. These are people who either seek treatment in the private sector and are not notified to the National TB programmes (NTPs) or have not been diagnosed at all. Some of them would die and all of them would continue to spread TB to others, unless treated. Communities affected by TB are often marginalized--poor people, migrants, injecting drug users, prisoners, refugees, sex workers—and face challenges in securing TB services from public healthcare facilities. Then there are women and children, for whom also it is not easy to access healthcare.

Pneumonia and Children

Chhatra Karki, CNS Correspondent, Nepal
Developing countries have a major share in the number of deaths of children due to pneumonia which is considered the most dangerous and infectious disease in children below five years of age. Even though pneumonia affects the children in most of the countries in the world, child mortality rate is negligible in the developed countries due to the effective prevention and treatment procedures.

Pneumonia: 'If only I knew better'

Alice Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
Photo credit: CNS:
“Only if I knew better, my child will still be alive”, these were the words of a weeping mother of two years old *Buhle Matsenjwa who had left for another world. She told me, “Buhle started getting sick- coughing, losing weight and was not eating well. Buhle was taking some kind of medicine that I would get from the local clinic or pharmacy most of the time. Friends and family looked at me with accusing eyes and I did not understand at first until a friend from church asked if I had him tested for HIV and screened for TB.

Young women demand governments to fulfill promises on women rights and gender equality

Aileen Familara, CNS Columnist
Young women from civil society called on governments attending the United Nations High Level Ministerial Meeting to fulfill their promises to advance women’s rights and gender equality. The governments were gathering from 17 to 21 November to report and review the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) that came into being 20 years ago. The BPFA is a document agreed upon in 1995 for governments to develop and ensure policies on 12 critical areas: Women and Poverty, Education and Training of Women, Women and Health, Violence against Women, Women and Armed Conflict, Women and the Economy, Women in Power and Decision Making, Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women, Human Rights of Women, Women and the Media, Women and Environment, The Girl Child.

Promise of gender justice is not enough: Make governments accountable

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Photo source: Flickr
More than 500 women of the Asia Pacific region gathered in Bangkok from 14 to 16 November 2014 for an Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum on Beijing Plus 20, (organized by 14 civil society organizations with Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development--APWLD as  co-secretariat), preceding the high-level intergovernmental meeting to review and take stock of the progress made in the region for implementing the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA), a landmark agreement made in 1995 to promote and advance the status of women.

Long road to justice: Human rights of female migrant workers

Erwiana, Indonesia
Photo credit: Shobha S/CNS
Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
In her opening address at the Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum on Beijing+20, being held in Bangkok, Kate Lappin, Regional Coordinator, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) mentioned that, "Migration into exploitative work is continually on the rise, living wages and decent work conditions are being denied and with deadly consequences. The cheap, exploitable labour of women is underwriting the so-called 'Asian Century' and is used to attract investors to the region."

Beijing to Bangkok: 20 years journey of triumphs and defeats

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
There are political, economic and cultural constructs that have marred the realisation of the promises made 20 years ago in Beijing around gender justice. The tall tree of injustice and oppression that shades gender justice and equality, has thick foliage and deep roots according to Kamala Chandrakirana of Asia Pacific Women's Alliance For Peace And Security. But there are warm, though feeble, rays of hope, thawing the ice of extraordinary barriers that women face in full enjoyment of their human rights.

East Asia Summit adopts unprecedented regional malaria goal

Photo credit: APLMA
[हिन्दी] Leaders of the 18 East Asia Summit countries have committed to an ambitious goal of eliminating malaria from the entire Asia Pacific region in the next 15 years. The bold move shows strong leadership on health security and responds head-on to concerns about growing resistance to the drug artemisinin, the mainstay of worldwide treatment for the most dangerous form of the disease.