World Diabetes Day 2017: A special focus on women

Dr Amitava Acharyya, CNS Correspondent, India
Worldwide World Diabetes Day (WDD) is held on the 14th of November. The theme of this year’s World Diabetes Day campaign is ‘Women and diabetes - our right to a healthy future’. This theme is aimed at increasing awareness around diabetes in women at risk of or living with diabetes around the world.

Breaking the shackles of patriarchy

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
“Men always suppress women. It is for women to think that if they want to live their lives they have to be strong enough and step out of their homes. They should not be scared of ‘what society would say!’. If we are in the right, we do not have to be afraid of anyone. There is no shame in raising your voice against injustice, no matter what others say. Keep your spirits high.”

Latent TB deserves more attention

Dr Amitava Acharyya, CNS Correspondent, India
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major infectious disease globally. After initial contact with viable TB bacilli, hosts who fail to clear all Mycobacterium TB (M.TB) can progress to the status of latent TB infection (LTBI) and have a life-time risk of 5%–15% to further progress into active disease.

Applied health research for making systems work for all is vital to #endTB

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
[Watch video interview] [Listen/ download podcast] "Excellence in health means devoting your life to ending poverty" said physician and comedian Patch Adams many years ago, but these words have gained even more relevance in the current context and development paradigm.

Time to manage diabetes and latent TB

Roger Paul Kamugasha, CNS Correspondent, Uganda
Research has proved that people with diabetes are at high risk of developing active TB disease. This calls for global attention to focus on specific action in order to shift the paradigm of the escalating TB-diabetes burden. These actions should focus on earmarking resources for investment into research, advocacy communication and social mobilization.

Link between diabetes and TB

Dr P S Sarma, CNS Correspondent, India
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is one disease that can have an adverse affect on many organs of the body. Like wise, it has a great impact on all forms of TB—whether latent or active . People with DM have a high risk of getting TB, more so if they are having  poor diabetes control. Diabetes prevalence is increasing especially is low income settings where TB is already endemic.

Domestic violence failed to bring her to her knees, it brought her to her feet

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
"I blame the administration and parents for most cases of gender violence in our society- administration, because there are hardly any schools for girls in remote areas; and parents because they marry off their daughters at a very young age. So girls like me are not only deprived of education but also have no opportunities to work. This, coupled with an early marriage, leaves them helpless in the face of injustices meted to them by a patriarchal society". Words of wisdom indeed from Gayatri Devi, who could study only till Class 5 as there was no girls' school in her village, located in a forest area.

Driving out stigma will make it easier for people to talk and heal

Despite growing attention to range of multi-faceted stigma related to HIV and TB, it still not only jeopardizes lives of affected communities but also blocks access to care. At the recently convened 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Guadalajara, Mexico, CNS (Citizen News Service) spoke with few leaders from affected communities to listen to their insights on how to improve TB and HIV care as well as address stigma.

Linked? Mental health, palliative care and treatment of drug-resistant TB

Diverse range of mental health needs need proper attention and care from healthcare providers if are to improve treatment outcomes for people with drug resistant forms of TB or people living with HIV (PLHIV). When treatments span over years or lifetime, and drugs used can be very toxic and may have serious side effects, mental health needs become even more acute. But despite guidelines for palliative care for patients with drug-resistant TB, we are not ‘walking the talk’ on the ground.

TB, HIV and diabetes: Voices from the field

Scientific evidence, policy and programmatic linkages between TB and HIV as well as TB and diabetes (and HIV and NCDs) have been getting more attention in recent years, but still lot more synergy between different 'silos' is warranted for optimal public health outcomes. At the 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health, several experts from range of countries presented their studies looking at these connections between diseases. If governments are to deliver on the promises of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) integrated responses from grounds up are indeed an imperative!

Back to basics to #endTB: Do it right the first time, every time!

[Watch video interview] [Listen to podcast] Are we losing grip on the evidence-based basic principles that were in the core of fighting tuberculosis? Challenges like drug resistance which are posing a threat to global health security warrant a review. Also, the #endTB dream will continue to remain a mirage if we fail to address social influencers that increase TB risk for a large majority of our populations, severely impacting the most disadvantaged. These were some of the insights shared by Dr Anne Fanning, who has dedicatedly worked for fighting infectious diseases especially TB, and was instrumental in bringing issues of less heard populations such as indigenous peoples to the fore.