Tobacco farming should not be an occupational life choice

Alice Sagwidza Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
Life always throws a rock and a hard place and, as individuals, every day we have to make a choice. This week I engaged a colleague, Rutendo Mamba (name changed) on the choices to be made regarding the use of tobacco. In no uncertain terms Rutendo expressed that shutting down the tobacco industry will rob a large population of a source of livelihood.

Tobacco endgame is critical 'cog in the wheel' for sustainable development

[World No Tobacco Day 2017 Webinar recording | Podcast] Although governments have promised sustainable development by 2030 by adopting UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but tobacco triggered pandemics threaten to stall or even reverse the progress made.

[Podcast] Nepal leads the South Asian region with strong tobacco control laws: Enforcement needs more work

[Listen or download this Podcast] In this special World No Tobacco Day 2017 Podcast, let's listen to Ananda Bahadur Chand, Chairperson of Action Nepal, who is devotedly waging a fierce battle against tobacco in Nepal. Every tobacco related death can be averted and saving lives from premature deaths caused by tobacco is what drives Ananda Bahadur Chand. [Listen or download this Podcast]

[Focus] Saving lives from tobacco in Nepal is a human rights imperative

Equal partnerships are crucial to achieve Agenda 2030

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
[Listen or download this audio podcast] [Watch this video interview] The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) had organised a potentially game-changing meet in Bangkok to review the progress made on increasing effectiveness and accountability of civil society organisations (CSOs) since adoption of the Istanbul Principles seven years back and to brainstorm how Istanbul Principles can make Agenda 2030 a transformative one.

Like sand slipping through fingers, anti-TB drug resistance threatens to unwind the progress

There is no doubt that groundbreaking progress has been made in fight against tuberculosis (TB) in the past two decades, but it might be prudent to review if we are winning the fight in order to #endTB by 2030. Do we slip backwards when we fail to prevent every single transmission of new TB infection or when a new person becomes resistant to anti-TB drugs? Are we sliding farther away from our #endTB goalpost, when we fail to ensure early diagnosis, effective treatment and successful cure?

Policy and harm reduction: What about the people?

Dr Ian Hodgson, CNS Correspondent
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 25th Harm Reduction International Conference (#HR17), Montreal, Canada's Minister of Health, Jane Philpott, stated that, “Addiction is not a crime, or a moral failing, and not a bad choice, but a health problem.”

Connecting 'silos': Interdependence is key to #endTB in sustainable development era

When major weak-spots go beyond the purview of health ministry, inter-sectoral programming becomes critical to progress towards ending tuberculosis (TB) by 2030, globally. Indian government has committed to end TB by 2025 - a welcome political commitment indeed - but warrants urgent and unprecedented actions to muscle up the required pace to keep this promise.

Drug checking and harm reduction: It could save lives

Dr Ian Hodgson, CNS Correspondent
At the 25th Harm Reduction International Conference (#HR17)  held in Montreal earlier this week, over 1000 people gathered to address one of the great public health challenges of our time: the lack of adequate support for people who use drugs, and an increasingly hostile and economically austere environment that denies basic services to a vulnerable population. Delegates at the conference include activists, researchers, community workers, and people who use drugs.

Do not leave the migrants behind!

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
Eni Lestari, Chair of International Migrants Alliance (R)
and Shobha Shukla, CNS Managing Editor (L)
[Watch video interview] [Listen or download the podcast] There are an estimated 232 million international migrants (UN DESA, 2013) and740 million internal migrants (UNDP, 2009) in the world. They form a significant part of the world's working class and it is difficult to imagine any country that can stand alone in this global world, without the contribution of migrants. Even though countries' economies have benefited from them, yet they are not recognised as a legitimate workforce by governments and are taken as a threat to their economic stability.

[Podcast] Why is tobacco control critical for development?

[Watch webinar recording] [Listen or download audio podcast]  This webinar in lead up to 2017 World No Tobacco Day Webinar featured experts: Michelle Syonne Reyes Palmones, Technical Advisor (Philippines), International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union); Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, WHO Director General's WNTD Awardee 2005; and Cloe Franko, Senior International Organizer, Challenge Big Tobacco, Corporate Accountability International and Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT) leadership. [Listen or download audio podcast]

[Webinar] Tobacco endgame is an imperative for sustainable development

Legacy of Dominic D'Souza lives on

Last week marked the twenty-fifth death anniversary of Dominic D'Souza, India's first person living with HIV who had waged a brave battle against HIV stigma and discrimination. Dr Ishwar Gilada, President of AIDS Society of India (ASI) who was among the first few doctors who came forward for HIV care when first case got diagnosed in the country, said "The news of Dominic D'Souza who was jailed in Goa, on being found HIV positive, was brought to our [Indian Health Organization, now known as People's Health Organization] notice by his friends Isabel Vaz and Anesia Colaso."

Protests mark the 18th meeting of the regional comprehensive economic partnership

Amid growing opposition against the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Philippines, and across Asia Pacific, held actions and demonstrations to protest against this regional trade deal currently under negotiation between 16 participating countries.

People with asthma can lead a normal life

Pritha Roy Choudhury, CNS Correspondent, India
Oh No! Not another attack again! Keshav (name changed) felt a tightness in his chest that pulled him down to the chair. It was 7:45 in the morning and by this time he should have been at the metro station to reach office by time for a meeting scheduled for 10:45 am. The intensity of the attacks are increasing these days, he murmured. Keshav had missed taking his inhalation as the drug that he uses to control the asthma attack is not easily available.

You may not cure but control your asthma

Tuyeimo Haidula, CNS Correspondent, Namibia
Asthma is a neglected tropical disease which cannot be cured but it can be treated and controlled. Good asthma control means a person can live life normally with no or very minimal symptoms. These were the sentiments shared by experts during a recently organised webinar by Citizen News Service (CNS) for media in lead up to World Asthma Day 2017.

Cleaning up the air we breathe

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
My first personal brush with the severity of asthma was several years ago, when  one of my students suddenly started gasping for breath in the middle of her Physics Practical final examination of Class 12. We were clueless about the cause of her sudden affliction. Other than making her sit in the open air and force her to drink water, we did not know what to do. A frantic phone call to her parents elicited that it was an attack of asthma as she had forgotten her inhaler at home. Thankfully she normalized after a while. But the memory of those agonizing 15 minutes still remains etched in my mind.

Webinar: Tobacco endgame is imperative for sustainable development

[Watch webinar recording] [Listen or download audio podcast] The theme of 2017 World No Tobacco Day could not have been better: Tobacco is a threat to development. The World Health Organization (WHO) too believes that this theme will demonstrate the threat the tobacco industry poses to the sustainable development of all countries, including the health and economic well-being of their citizens.

Bringing TB out of the shadows

So said Jose Luis Castro, Executive Director of the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union). TB related stigma and discrimination still lurks in our communities and blocks access to existing care services. Jose shared several examples where TB patients felt isolated, frustrated and cornered enough to resort to extreme acts of desperation like suicide.

Winning the war against asthma

Francis Okoye, CNS Correspondent, Nigeria
Asthma affects more than 300 million people world wide. The Global Asthma report 2014 says that asthma is a major global health problem. Although there is no permanent cure for it, it can be treated and controlled. Good asthma control means no or very minimal symptoms, and a low risk of asthma attacks or other poor outcomes. More importantly, good asthma control means that a person can live life normally.

#IndiaVsTB: Keeping workforce healthy is also a smart business strategy

Later this month, health ministers of our governments will convene for World Health Assembly (WHA) to shape the agenda of the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as elect its new leader as Dr Margaret Chan's tenure as WHO Director-General comes to an end. During Dr Chan's leadership of WHO, adoption of the WHO End TB Strategy in WHA 2014 and world leaders coming together to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at UN General Assembly 2016, are among the key milestone moments.

[Podcast] Environment, lung health, spirituality: Linked?

[Listen or download this audio podcast] Emeritus Director Professor (Dr) Kishore Chandra Mohanty is widely acclaimed not only as a senior chest physician but also highly respected as a medical teacher, physician, social worker, educationist and spiritualist. His contribution on lung health, and linking lung health to environment, life influencing work with tribal communities in Maharashtra, leadership in engaging medical experts in north-eastern states or Jammu and Kashmir for instance, needs a special mention. [Listen or download this audio podcast]

[Focus] Prof KC Mohanty linking the dots: Lung health, environment, teaching and spirituality

Lung health and environment are integral to life: says Professor (Dr) KC Mohanty

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
(L to R) Film star Anil Kapoor, Dr Ishwar Gilada,
and Professor Dr KC Mohanty
[Watch video interview] [Listen or download podcast] Lung health and environment are both integral to sustainable living, said Emeritus Professor (Dr) Kishore Chandra Mohanty, who is a globally acclaimed lung health expert as well as devoted environment crusader. His living is the best example of what he teaches. A senior medical teacher, who has mentored many generations of chest physicians and doctors, and widely respected expert, Prof KC Mohanty shared his insights in lung health, environment, social development and spirituality at the recently convened National Conference on Pulmonary Diseases (NAPCON 2016).