Why is tobacco still an issue ?

Diana Wangari, CNS Correspondent, Kenya 
(First published in The Star, Kenya) 
I must confess, there are health concerns that amaze me – not because they are complex or a rare find, but because I simply cannot understand how they are still an issue. These often fall under lifestyle choices, and a good example is cigarette smoking. When in primary school, we used to have a drug awareness week and the last day would be dedicated to tobacco. The reason behind it was that the session utilized what many would refer to as graphic images of the effects of smoking – from yellowing of teeth to a darkened lung in the late stages of lung cancer.

Call to register: Webinar for media - Is detecting drug resistance at the time of TB diagnosis important?

We welcome you to register for an exclusive media webinar in wake of largest-study published recently to guide us on: Is detecting drug resistance at the time of TB diagnosis important? Get connected with study author(s) and lead TB experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), who will present and respond to questions live!

"A woman of substance": Kalawati

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Photo credit: Rahul/ CNS

[CNS Images] Kalawati comes from a family of small farmers. Hers is a ‘joint and happy family’ where she lives with her husband, 1 daughter, 2 sons, 1 daughter-in-law and 1 granddaughter. Her postgraduate sons working outside the village are doing fairly well and have helped her construct their own house in the village. Kalawati has been into farming for the last 30-35 years since her early childhood.

Parliamentarians on 'world we want beyond 2015': Sexual and reproductive health and rights in focus

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs are a new, universal set of 17 proposed goals, with 169 targets that 193 countries (who are members of the UN) will be expected to use to frame their post-2015 development agendas and policies over the next 15 years, once the MDGs expire at the end of this year. 

Periyar is no Ambedkar

Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee and CNS Columnist 
The Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani coerced the IIT Madras Dean into banning the Ambedkar Pariyar Students Circle, which has now been lifted after a nationwide outcry from progressive organizations and individuals. The group was charged with spreading hatred against Narendra Modi and Hindus as it had criticised the decisions by some state governments to ban beef, make use of Hindi compulsory and the 'ghar wapsi' programme of RSS affiliated organisations.

Call for applications for CNS Young Correspondents Programme

Citizen News Service (CNS) is pleased to announce that it is currently accepting applications for CNS Young Correspondents Programme. CNS Young, is a network of under-30 correspondents sharing their viewpoints, perspectives and opinions on issues related to health, gender and development justice. This programme offers mentorship, peer support, networking opportunities, and capacity-building to under-30 writers. Last date to apply is Sunday, 28th June 2015.

Turning tables: Growing support against corporate capture of climate policy-making

In the final days of the Bonn Climate Change Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Corporate Accountability International delivered a resounding call to the governments who have ratified the UNFCCC: protect the treaty and climate policymaking from the undue influence of the globe’s biggest polluters. The call endorsed by over 224,000 sends a strong message to kick big polluters out of climate policy.

People are living longer but sicker and unhealthier lives

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Photo credit: CNS: citizen-news.org
So says a report published recently in the Lancet by an international consortium of researchers and led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. "Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013" is the first of its kind study to examine the extent, pattern, and trends of nonfatal health losses across countries and provides a comprehensive description of morbidity levels and patterns worldwide.

"Be the change you want to see in the world": Pushpa Devi

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Photo credit: Rahul/CNS
[CNS images] Pushpa lives with her skilled-worker husband and four children—2 girls and 2 boys. Apart from being a woman farmer, she also doubles up as an ASHA bahu (Accredited Social Health Activist worker). Pushpa was born in a family of farmers in a village of Jalaun district. They were 6 siblings. Her father passed away when she was very young, and her mother and brothers took up to farming so that family sustenance could be maintained. She studied till class 8 and then marriage brought an end to her education.

Cannabis smoking-a risk factor for lung cancer

Zehru Nissa, Jammu and Kashmir
(First published in The Greater Kashmir
Cannabis abuse is reaching alarming levels across Kashmir. According to data maintained by De-addiction Centre at SMHS Hospital, 71% of people being treated for substance abuse are using multiple drugs, of which cannabis is the most commonly abused.

Road Safety Bill: Dying due to slow drive

Alka Pande, CNS Correspondent
Photo credit: CNS: citizen-news.org
On June 3, 2014, the Indian Minister for Rural Development, Gopinath Munde died in a car accident. Reacting swiftly, the Indian government assured the nation to bring a stringent Road Safety Law to curtail road accidents. Since then, in the last one year, road accidents have reportedly killed nearly 500 people, including women and children, and have left almost double the number with serious injuries. The alarming part is that this number represents only those accidents which were major and which were reported in the media.

Stop illicit trade of tobacco products

Carolyn Kavita Tauro, CNS Special Correspondent
Tobacco kills 6 million people annually of whom more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from passive smoking. More than 80% of these preventable deaths in the future will be among people living in low-and middle-income countries. According to 5th edition of The Tobacco Atlas 2015, compared to other higher tobacco consumers, India has 106 million (>20%) adult males smoking daily (2013). India and China have 12.2 million daily females smokers, second only to US, which has 17.7 million.

Hitting roadblocks to tobacco endgame

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS 
With one person dying every six seconds from a tobacco-related disease -- almost 5.4 million deaths per year of which more than 600,000 are of non-smokers due to secondhand smoke-- the tobacco epidemic is a global public health threat. If current trends continue, by 2030 nearly 8 million people are expected to die annually from tobacco-related illnesses. More than 80% of these preventable deaths will be among people living in low-and middle-income countries.

Will countries 'walk the talk' to end the tobacco epidemic?

Despite unprecedented pressure from tobacco industry to delay, dilute or thwart progress on a range of tobacco control measures globally, considerable achievements have been made by governments over the past years to protect public health. The global tobacco treaty, which was the first corporate-accountability and public health internationally binding treaty of the World Health Organization (WHO), is one major leap forward to move the world towards ending game of tobacco.