Cardiovascular diseases: The world’s leading killer

Francis Okoye, CNS Correspondent, Nigeria
In a webinar organised for the media by Citizen News Service, in the lead up to World Heart Day 2016, health experts spoke on cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). They discussed ways and means to protect oneself from them, as they are the world’s leading cause of death, killing 17.5 million people every year.

Cardiovascular diseases: world’s deadliest disease group

Josephine Chinele, CNS Correspondent, Malawi
About 57% of persons who smoked smoking 30 cigarettes per day for 25 years died of some cardiovascular disease (CVD) as compared to only 36% of non-smokers, says the World Health Organisation (WHO). It further says that a long-term study of men aged 40–59 years found a significant connection between tobacco consumption and death by CVD. The WHO information also points out that tobacco use is a universal but avoidable risk factor for many diseases, including CVDs.

[Call to register] Webinar for media: Tobacco industry interference in WHO FCTC

[Watch webinar recording] [Listen to audio podcast] We welcome you to register for an exclusive media webinar on the critically important issue of: tobacco industry interference in the global tobacco treaty (formally called WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control or FCTC). 

Fuel your heart and power your life...

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
This is the message of the World Heart Federation for this year’s World Heart Day, which is observed on September 29 every year to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), which include heart disease and stroke. The CVDs, along with cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, form the 4 major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and together account for 82% of the 38 million deaths caused by NCDs every year.

Are TB and HIV rates declining fast enough to meet SDGs by 2030?

Catherine Mwauyakufa, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
Like a yoyo statistics, new HIV infections show a decline while sexually transmitted infections show an upward trend. This is true of Zimbabwe where new HIV infections are on decline among the general populace, but not in the young females aged 15-24 years, in whom the rate of new infections is worryingly going up. Statistics show that new HIV infections for males of the same age-group stands at 3%. The age group  below 14 years also has a rate of infection of 3%. So there is a tap that is leaking there.

[Podcast] World Heart Day 2016

[Webinar] World Heart Day 2016

[Podcast] Dr Surya Deva shares why legally-binding treaty on business and human rights is important

Are we on the path of eradicating TB by 2030?

Josephine Chinele, CNS Correspondent, Malawi
Each year, leaders from around the world descend on New York City for the United Nations General Assembly. Last year marked the historic adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, which replaced the Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs marked a turning point in the way broad, global issues are addressed. However, it remains to be seen what impact they will have. The SDGs cover a number of important social and developmental areas, including climate change and resilience, global health, and economic empowerment.

Adequate financing for malaria control and elimination is crucial

Urvashi Prasad, CNS Correspondent, India
According to the World Malaria Report 2015, malaria cases and deaths have declined over the last 15 years. However, the disease still claims 400,000 lives every year, primarily in Africa. Malaria control and elimination poses several challenges that need to be addressed in a comprehensive manner.

Malaria in Nepal: Challenges towards elimination

Chhatra Karki, CNS Correspondent, Nepal
Malaria is still a major health problem in Nepal where more than 80% people are at risk, with 4% of them being at high risk. According to the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) of Health Ministry of Nepal, 1 million people (out of Nepal’s current population of 29,000,000) live in malaria high-risk areas with a reported incidence of more than 1 case per 1000 population per year.

Can India be malaria free by 2030?

Dr Richa Sharma, CNS Correspondent, India
Kusum (name changed) shudders at the mere mention of malaria. Last year she was diagnosed with malaria and suffered from weakness, fever, nausea and constant body ache for days. The news of two malaria deaths in the National Capital Region of Delhi is enough to transport her back to the nightmare of enduring it all.

World beating back malaria

Tuyeimo Haidula, CNS Correspondent, Namibia
“Reducing and eliminating malaria is unequivocally one of the best buys in the global health”, said Dr Tim France, Team Leader for External Communications, Asia Pacific Leaders' Malaria Alliance (APLMA) and Managing Director, Inis Communication, while speaking during a webinar last month. The webinar was held on progress made (or lack of) towards ending TB, malaria and Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) by 2030 (or earlier).

Reality check: How are countries taking care of their ageing populations?

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
As fertility rates decline and life expectancy increases, the proportion of people aged 60 and above is growing globally. Global average life expectancy has increased from 48 years in 1950 to 68 years in 2010 and is expected to become 81 years by the end of the century. Nearly 60% of the world’s over 60 population resides in the Asia Pacific region and this number is expected to more than quadruple by 2050. While people living longer is a cause for celebration, this demographic transition towards an ageing society in the Asia-Pacific region brings new challenges with deep social, economic and political ramifications.

[Call to register] Webinar for media in lead up to World Heart Day 2016

[Watch webinar recording] [Listen/ download audio podcast] We welcome you to register for an exclusive media webinar in lead up to this year's World Heart Day. It is almost a year now since our governments committed to reduce mortality related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by one-third by 2030. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) - heart disease and stroke - are top killers - causing over 17 million deaths every year worldwide!

[Podcast] Will Kibera in Kenya be able to end malaria by 2030?

India’s huge burden of TB is treated in the private sector

Aarti Dhar, CNS Correspondent, India
[First published in]
India’s private sector is treating an enormous number of patients for TB, almost double the number than has been previously recognized and requires re-doubled efforts to address this burden and strengthen surveillance, a latest Lancet report has said. TB burden estimates in India and worldwide require revision, the report added. There were 17·793 million patient-months of anti TB treatment in the private sector in 2014, which was twice as many as in the public sector. If 40–60% of private-sector TB diagnoses are correct, and if private-sector TB treatment lasts on an average 2–6 months, this implies that 1.19—5.34 million TB cases were treated in the private sector  alone in 2014.

How to fight TB, malaria and AMR to meet the SDGs by 2030

Francis  Okoye, CNS Correspondent, Nigeria
[First published in Nigeria politics magazine]
The current plans to fight and put an end to TB, Malaria and AMR By 2030, thereby meeting the SDG goals, seem to be in doubt, and may not become a reality. Health experts gathered together in a webinar organized by Citizen News Service recently to discuss the issue of ‘Are TB, malaria and anti microbial resistance (AMR) declining fast enough to meet SDGS by 2030?’

India needs to do much more to eliminate malaria by 2030

Aarti Dhar, CNS Correspondent, India
[First published in]
With two malaria deaths and several patients being treated for the disease in its capital city New Delhi, India needs to do much more if it is to eliminate Malaria by the year 2030. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set a goal of eliminating the disease from 35 countries across the world including from India and Indonesia.

Sustainable Development Goals: On the road to 2030

Alice Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
In September 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly, the global leadership marked the historic adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, which replaced the Millennium Development Goals. The 3rd Goal within these 17 SDGs specifically targets the global epidemics of HIV-AIDS, TB, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and commits to end these epidemics by the year 2030. It has been a year since this commitment and there have been notable successes. However, it is still a few years to 2030 and there is still work to be done.

For age is opportunity no less than youth itself...

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
"…As the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars invisible by day" are the immortal words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Alas! this does not hold ground for many people in countries of Asia Pacific (and maybe elsewhere too). The elderly are getting pushed more into a dark night devoid of stars.

Colombo declaration demands increased focus on maternal health to deal with diabetes in South Asia

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Delegates at the ‘1st Asia Pacific Congress on Diabetes, Hypertension & Metabolic Syndrome in Pregnancy’, which was jointly hosted in Colombo by the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka, the World Health Organization (Sri Lanka Country Office) and the World Diabetes Foundation, endorsed the Colombo Declaration demanding urgent action to address the link between maternal health and diabetes as a public health priority.

Moving beyond stereotypes: Responding to unheeded needs of the ageing populations

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
[Listen/download the podcast] Dr John Roland Beard, Director of Department of Ageing and Life-Course at the World Health Organization (WHO) was one of the key speakers at the HelpAge Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Economic Implications of Ageing in Hanoi, Viet Nam. He spoke to Citizen News Service (CNS) in an exclusive interview on how to effectively advance the agenda of the ageing populations.

[Podcast] Thelma Kay speaks on ageing under gender lens

Female face of ageing in Asia Pacific

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
With declining fertility rates and increasing life expectancy, the proportion of people aged 60 and over is growing globally. There are currently 868 million people aged 60 or over worldwide (12.5% of the global population). Nearly two-thirds (533 million) of them are in the Asia Pacific region and this region is at the forefront of the global phenomenon of population ageing. Due to their longer life expectancy, women constitute the majority (53.5%) of the population aged 60 or older in this region. In 2013, there were 229 million older men and 261 million women above 60 in the Asia-Pacific region.

Sri Lanka declared free of malaria - must remain vigilant

The perseverance and tenacity of Sri Lanka’s Anti-Malaria Campaign today received international acclaim, as the country received official ‘malaria-free’ certification from the World Health Organization (WHO) for successfully eliminating the disease.

[Podcast] Interview with Dr John Beard, Director, WHO Dept of Ageing and Life-course

Diabetes, hypertension & metabolic syndrome in pregnancy in spotlight

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Over 350 delegates from the South Asia and Asia Pacific Region and other countries are expected to gather in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo between 8th -10th September 2016 to attend the 1st ‘Asia Pacific Congress on Diabetes, Hypertension & Metabolic Syndrome in Pregnancy’, organized by the South Asia Initiative for Diabetes in Pregnancy (SAIDIP) and the DIP Asia-Pacific Symposium on Diabetes, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome and Pregnancy (DIPAP).

NCDs: A major public health challenge in India

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have emerged as a major public health threat worldwide. They accounted for 38 million deaths in 2012, and this number is expected to rise to 52 million by 2030. NCDs are a major threat to economic growth too. NCDs and mental health conditions could cost the world $47 trillion in lost economic output from 2010 to 2030 if urgent action is not taken to prevent and treat them.