Leaders of cities in Asia Pacific commit for united local actions to meet global health goals

#EndTobacco is an essential part of the bedrock for Universal Health Coverage

Can we deliver on the promise of health for all unless we fix the gaping and widening punctures that are causing epidemic-proportion of preventable diseases and untimely deaths? No one needs to suffer from preventable illnesses or die from curable diseases. Tobacco use kills over 8 million people worldwide every year. While ‘Big Tobacco’ industries become richer, it is the governments and the people worldwide who are not only dealing with mountainous health crises but also becoming more vulnerable to fritter away whatever progress they have been able to make towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and targets.

Antimicrobial resistance is threatening global health security

When medicines become resistant, even curable diseases are at risk of becoming incurable

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites no longer respond to medicines. This makes common infections harder to treat and increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. That is why India and other countries worldwide are observing 18-24 November as World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.

When people with HIV can live normal lives then why 680,000 AIDS deaths in 2020?

[हिंदी] When we know how to prevent HIV transmission, and how to keep every person living with HIV healthy, then how can one fathom deaths of at least 680,000 people due to AIDS-related illnesses in 2020 worldwide? And how can one explain, at least 1.5 million new HIV infections occurring globally in 2020?

Can we afford to lose effective drugs?

(published in The Bangkok Post, Thailand | 22 November 2021)

"Antimicrobial resistance is undermining a century of progress in medicine - infections that were previously treatable and curable with drugs, are becoming (or at risk of becoming) incurable" said  Thomas Joseph, head of World Health Organization (WHO)’s Antimicrobial Stewardship and Awareness.

What's the link? Food, human health, livestock, environment, and antimicrobial resistance

Medicines which aim to relieve pain and suffering, may cure us of diseases and avert untimely deaths, are at increasing risk of becoming ineffective against disease-causing microbes. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites no longer respond to medicines. This makes common infections harder to treat, more expensive to treat, more difficult to treat, and increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

Will new scientific breakthroughs spur the #endTB efforts?

Is it not a paradox if a preventable, diagnosable, treatable, and curable disease becomes a top killer? Till Covid-19 struck our world, Tuberculosis (TB) - a disease that can be prevented, diagnosed and treated - was the most deadly infectious disease worldwide. Covid-19 pandemic has also adversely impacted the fight against TB, as well as other diseases. Not surprisingly, the latest Global TB Report 2021 paints a grim picture of the TB disease burden, with the Covid-19 pandemic acting spoilsport and further jeopardising the progress on all fronts of TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and control.

Prioritising tobacco control amidst crisis, Myanmar adopts plain packaging

[हिंदी] Myanmar has adopted standardised packaging (or plain packaging) of all tobacco products. Plain packaging is among the scientifically-backed tobacco control measures which are also enshrined in the global tobacco treaty (formally called the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control or WHO FCTC). Over 180 countries will meet next month at the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC.

Global lung health meet opens with top three science announcements

The global lung health conference opened with not one but at least three major scientific announcements. The 52nd Union World Conference on Lung Health was marked with the announcement of three major scientific developments that can potentially impact the global response to tuberculosis (TB), the world's second deadliest infectious disease after Covid-19.

What if TB, HIV medicines stop working? Experts unite against drug resistance

[हिंदी] One year and 10 months ago when first case of corona virus was reported in Wuhan, China, entire world was terrified because no one knew if we have any medicine that will work against it. Possibly our worst fears came true and we witnessed the horrendous impact of the pandemic. One silver lining in dark Covid cloud is the hard-taught lesson to value the medicines we have, which try to cure and heal us from range of illnesses. We cannot afford to lose these lifesaving medicines. One major threat because of which medicines stop working against bugs that make us ill is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

Malaria vaccine: Vital addition to toolkit for preventing malaria but no magic bullet

Rights-based access to comprehensive health services remains centrestage

[हिंदी] It is indeed a breakthrough scientific achievement that we now have the first-ever and only malaria vaccine to prevent malaria in children. This is an important (and long-awaited) addition to existing range of scientifically proven effective methods to prevent malaria. While we celebrate this moment of yet another milestone scientific feat we must remind ourselves that this new and only vaccine is a complementary malaria control tool which needs to be added to the already proven measures for malaria prevention.

World Lung Day | Think twice, it is not another day in paradise: Air is deadlier than we thought it is!

[हिंदी] While we observe World Lung Day, let us also pay heed to the latest policy guidelines on one of the major preventable risk factors of deadliest of lung diseases: air pollution. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its latest Air Quality Guidelines that after rigorous scientific review has lowered the maximum upper limit of six top deadly air pollutants. After thorough scientific analysis of all data emerging from around the world, the latest WHO Air Quality Guidelines has slashed the maximum upper cap on each of these deadly pollutants, compared to the maximum limit set 16 years ago (as per the 2005 WHO Air Quality Guidelines).

Will global charter help accelerate action on NCDs to prevent untimely deaths?

A report released recently by NCD Alliance during the Annual Global Week for Action on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), calls for integration of NCDs prevention and care into global health initiatives and universal health coverage.

[video] WHO's Dr Elizabeth Tayler shares her message before World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

Rich countries failed the global efforts to stop tobacco smuggling

photo courtesy: WHO

Those nations home to the largest tobacco corporations need to contribute more if countries are to recoup the US$47 billion lost to the illicit tobacco trade each year. That is the message which rang out of talks around the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products last month.