Tobacco use: Sucking the youth from the youngsters

Dr Sophia Thomas, CNS Correspondent, India
I met Somu (name changed) during one of my dental outreach camps in the outskirts of Bengaluru city. He was a bright 14-year-old boy, who wanted to grow up to be a police officer. Upon examination, Somu was found to have stains on his teeth, suggestive of smoking tobacco.

Killer Tobacco: A production or a consumption problem?

Beryl Osindo, CNS Correspondent, Kenya
Ending tobacco consumption and production is imperative to the attainment of health justice. It is probably the only solution to the reduction of tobacco-related illnesses that kill a whopping 8 million people annually.

Implementing tobacco control laws in Nigeria is a necessity

Ekwi Ajide, CNS Correspondent, Nigeria
Despite being a major risk factor for many non-communicable and other diseases tobacco use has been on the rise in Nigeria. Also, as tobacco consumption is socially accepted in the country, it makes matters worse.

End tobacco is imperative for health justice

Manjari Peiris, Sri Lanka
(First Published in Asian Tribune, Sri Lanka/Thailand on June 5, 2019)
The Citizen News Service (CNS) hosted a webinar on ‘End Tobacco is an imperative for health justice’ with a panel of experts to celebrate the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2019. The panel of experts included, Dr. Kerstin Schotte of the WHO, Professor Rama Kant, President Lucknow College of Surgeons, Professor Surya Kant, Head of Respiratory Medicine Department, King George's Medical University, and noted cardiologist Professor Rishi Sethi.

Family support is crucial for diabetes care

Dr Amitava Acharrya, CNS Correspondent, India
Photo credit: CNS (Durban, South Africa: 2017)
Human health is an equilibrium condition of physical, mental and social health. Traditionally, human beings are a group of socially dependent mammals where family and society have a major role in the development of human behavior, morality, ethics and the way of life. This becomes all the more pronounced in countries like India, where a strong traditional and cultural bond runs in its milieu.

World No Tobacco Day Webinar: #EndTobacco is an imperative for health justice

[Watch webinar recording] [listen to Podcast] More than 7 million people die due to tobacco use every year. Every tobacco-related, untimely death could have been averted, and every tobacco-related disease, prevented. Tobacco is also a common risk factor for major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as world's biggest killer cardiovascular diseases (CVDs including heart disease and stroke), cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, etc, which account for over 70% of deaths worldwide.

Greater Mekong Subregion multicountry grant to eliminate malaria focuses on artemisinin resistance

Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant
(First published in Aidspan on April 16, 2019)

Civil society’s role is crucial in hard to reach areas, and needs strengthening

This year’s World Malaria Day theme, “Zero Malaria Starts With Me,” re-energizes the fight to eliminate malaria, which, though preventable and treatable, still kills more than half a million people every year.

Real talk: Are we on track to #endmalaria?

This year’s World Malaria Day theme, "Zero Malaria Starts With Me" re-energizes the fight to eliminate malaria which, despite being preventable and treatable, still kills over half a million people every year. While incredible progress has been made in the past 15 years (with over 7 million malaria deaths averted and about 40% reduction in malaria globally), the fight against the disease is now inching towards a tipping point - progress has slowed down in some parts of the world and reversed in a few.

Research and development: The gateway for a TB free world

Ronel Sewpaul, CNS Correspondent, South Africa
The fight against TB necessitates innovative new strategies to keep pace with the changing face of the epidemic and to capitalise on technological advancements. The first ever United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB in September 2018 called on world leaders to commit to and be accountable for ending TB.

Ending tuberculosis now is timelier than ever

Ekwi Ajide, CNS Correspondent, Nigeria
Nearly 4500 people die daily from tuberculosis (TB), the world’s deadliest infectious killer, and about 10 million people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease every year, which can infect any part of the body, but, more often than not, attacks the lungs. The symptoms of pulmonary TB include a cough that lasts for more than 2 to 3 weeks, weight loss, fever, night sweats, loss of appetite and coughing up blood, among others.

Unfortunately, UN agencies have never put TB as their top priority, said Dr. Mario Raviglione

Manjari Peiris, Sri Lanka 
Dr Mario Raviglione
[First published in Asian Tribune, Sri Lanka/Thailand on March 30, 2019]
“There is no single country in the world which has ever eliminated tuberculosis (TB)- the number one infectious disease killer in the world. Asia and Africa respectively account for 60% and 25% of the global TB cases. Every year 10 million patients with TB are reported in the world and 1.6 million die of it, which amounts to nearly 4000 deaths per day. So we need to move fast to achieve elimination targets set by the World Health Assembly as part of the End TB Strategy”, stated Dr. Mario Raviglione, Director, Global Health Centre, University of Milan, and former Director, Global TB Program of the WHO, while speaking at a webinar organized by Citizen News Service (CNS) in the lead up to World TB Day 2019.

India Health Fund provides platform for domestic financing and innovation to combat TB and malaria

Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant
(First published in Aidspan on March 19, 2019)

The collaborative initiative, seeded by Tata Trusts, comes to the co-financing table

With an acute need to increase health budgets, innovative financing, especially mobilized within nations, is increasingly in the spotlight. At the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s 39th Board Meeting in May last year, the Fund stated that given the changing financing landscape and existing financial and programmatic gaps, the Fund should leverage opportunities to use innovative finance to increase funding flows for itself and other actors, as well as to increase the efficiency of its investments and national programs.

[CNS Live eConversation] It's TIME to end latent TB too!

[Watch video recording] [Listen or download podcast] Between a quarter and a third of the world’s population are estimated to be infected with latent tuberculosis (TB). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), on average, 5-10% of those who are infected with latent TB, will develop active TB disease over their lifetime. Because “reactivated” TB is contagious, eradicating latent infection is a cornerstone of global TB control and achieving a better understanding of latent infection is deemed a research priority (read more).

Mobile App launched to digitally strengthen fight against TB in Himachal Pradesh (India)

With more mobile connections (8.4 billion) than human population, it is indeed wise to optimally tap the potential of information and communication technologies to bolster public health campaigns. However, electronic health (eHealth) and mobile health (mHealth) technologies are yet to be fully utilized in global health.

Women speak: To be a woman & to be in India

Is the situation dismal? In a survey of experts done in 2018, India ranks as the world’s most dangerous country for women. It had ranked 4th in the same survey done 7 years ago. The Global Gender Gap Index 2017 by the World Economic Forum placed India at 108 position out of 144 countries benchmarked on the basis of gender parity in the fields of economic participation, education, health and political empowerment. India ranked 131 out of 153 countries in the global Women, Peace, and Security Index 2017-18, that is based upon 11 indicators incorporating inclusion, justice, and security. Despite women accounting for 49% of India’s population, only 12% of the seats in the national legislature are held by them. The female labour force participation rate in India fell from 37% in 2006 to 27% in 2017, as per World Bank report, ranking India at 163 out of 181 countries.

International Women's Day 2019 unites different medical specialities and gender advocates

[हिंदी] Over 100 years ago, Socialist Party began mass mobilization around the first-ever International Women's Day to demand women's equality and voting rights in the United States of America (USA). This year's campaign theme around International Women's Day is #BalanceForBetter.

[CNS Live] eConversation with Charles Gore of Medicines Patent Pool

[Watch the recording] [Listen to podcast] CNS Managing Editor and Executive Director Shobha Shukla, will be in conversation in CNS LIVE with Charles Gore, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). Be welcome to join us on Tuesday, 5th March 2019, at 1pm Geneva time (5:30pm India/ 7pm Thailand).

Healing is different from cure, conveys Pirates Of Chemotherapy

[Watch play's recording] When we first heard of a dramatic comedy theatre play on breast cancer, it was difficult to comprehend as to how the three - comedy, theatre and the poignant theme of breast cancer - will go together. Glad we went for the preview show of this play because it did justice to comedy, theatre and breast cancer issue in a very compelling way. One of the most throbbing messages, that resonates within me, is: healing is different from cure. It is important to mention that this play was staged by outstanding artists, few of whom are breast cancer survivors (including one male actor) themselves.

Live streaming of dramatic comedy theatre play: Pirates Of Chemotherapy

[Watch recording of Live streaming] Pirates of Chemotherapy (dramatic comedy theatre play) by Paul Schutte and directed by Toni Cacioppo, of The Gate Theater, will be staged during February 14-17 at Kad Studio Theatre, 7th floor, Kad Suan Kaew, #ChiangMai, #Thailand. For those who are NOT in Thailand, we bring it LIVE streamed to you TODAY on Friday, 15th February 2019 at 12:45pm Geneva time
5:30pm India, 7pm Thailand/ Indonesia/ Vietnam time).

Pirates of chemotherapy comedy drama: Early #breastcancer diagnosis improves survival outcomes

Pirates of chemotherapy: A powerful comedy theatre play on breast cancer (Chiang Mai, Thailand, 14-17 February 2019)

We are together in the fight against cancer

Beryl Osindo, CNS Correspondent, Kenya
Non communicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer, continue to claim lives in a way that is frightening, to say the least. We are dealing with a tragedy whose signs and symptoms are well known, precautions are shared, and possible causes are subjects of continued research. World Cancer Day 2019 came and passed. But it is important to carry on the discourse around this still dreaded disease.

Poverty is a big damper for timely treatment of cancer

Catherine Mwauyakufa, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
Wadzanayi Michele Mayiseni - A cancer survivor   
Cancer treatment and care remains a challenge in Zimbabwe with most cases getting diagnosed in the late stages. Currently, over 5000 new cancer cases are diagnosed in the country annually. This is just the tip of the iceberg as many cases are not captured and registered. The majority seek medical help when in an advanced stage of the disease. The large number of people living with HIV (1.3 million) results in an even higher number of people who develop cancer.

"India spending three times more money to treat tobacco-related diseases than revenue from tobacco": Prof Surya Kant

Manjari Peiris, Sri Lanka 
[First published in Asian Tribune, on February 7, 2019]
Worldwide tobacco industry's so-called claim that they are revenue earners for governments and are good for the country's' economy is a totally baseless one.

Business as usual will fail us on cancer control, SDGs

[हिंदी] [Watch #WorldCancerDay Webinar recording] [Listen to Podcast] 193 governments including those of India, committed to reducing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancers by 25% by 2025 and one-third by 2030 (UN Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs), but many cancer rates are rising, not declining, especially in several high burden countries.

[#WorldCancerDay Webinar] Are we on track to reduce cancer disease burden and prevent untimely deaths?

[Click here to watch Webinar recording] [Listen or download Podcast] In the lead up to the World Cancer Day 2019, let us review if we are on track to reduce cancer disease burden and prevent premature deaths? 193 countries had committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among which is to reduce disease and death burden due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer by one-third by 2030 (and 25% by 2025).