Is One Health approach the gateway towards pandemic preparedness?

[हिंदी] Covid pandemic is a grim reminder of what can go wrong when we do not work with an integrated “One Health” approach to human health, animal health, food system and climate. The critical link between these sectors, has only deepened over the years. But will our public health approach pass the litmus test of effective collaboration with other health and non-health sectors? Preventing future pandemics start with recognising links between human health, animal health, food system and climate, and ensuring our health response is socially just and ecologically sustainable.

Think twice: Can we deliver on #HealthForAll without saving lives from viral hepatitis?

[हिंदी] Despite over 350 million people living with hepatitis B and C virus globally, and 3 persons dying every minute, much-needed efforts are yet to be on-track to end viral hepatitis in next 108 months (by 2030) as promised by heads of all countries in UN General Assembly (by adopting the Sustainable Development Goals). More importantly, during the Covid pandemic, efforts to prevent and save lives from viral hepatitis had taken a backseat - which is risking losing the gains made earlier in addressing viral hepatitis across the world.

Capitalizing on the pandemic: Profiteering from human misery must be stopped

International Migrants Day 2021 
special article by
Panudda BoonpalaSarah KnibbsJulien Garsany
photo courtesy: ILO
Migrant workers have made huge changes to their lives and work to adapt to COVID-19. So too have the human traffickers that prey on them.

Stopping antimicrobial resistance is the bedrock for advancing universal health coverage

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day is 12 December

[हिंदी] Stopping antimicrobial resistance by promoting infection prevention, responsible and appropriate use of antimicrobial medicines in human health, livestock and food systems, is the bedrock for promoting universal health coverage. Failing this, the absence of efficacious antimicrobials will effectively return the world to the pre-antibiotic era before the 1920s when lives were lost at a far greater rate due to infection.

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

[हिंदी] 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.

Call to register: Global Media Forum in lead up to World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

Media representatives are welcome to attend the Global Media Forum in lead up to World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) and have a direct interface with senior experts from World Health Organization (WHO) as well as Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Call to register: Asia Pacific Regional Training on Gender Equality and Human Rights

The Asia Pacific Regional Training on Gender Equality and Human Rights will be held during 22nd to 24th November 2021 (virtually). This regional training is being co-hosted by ARROW (Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women) and CNS in lead up to this year's 16 days campaign against sexual and other forms of gender-based violence, World AIDS Day, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and Human Rights Day.

Will India's 1 billion vaccination-dose-milestone be catalytic for vaccinating all?

[हिंदी] On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021). The World Health Organization (WHO) calls upon all countries to ensure that at least 70% of their population must be fully vaccinated by June 2022. India aims to cross 70% goalpost by end of this year - which is indeed a welcome commitment. Currently, over 30% of India's population is fully vaccinated. As vaccination began in January 2021, it is really a compelling public health priority for India to fully vaccinate over 70% of population at the earliest, before protection may begin to decline for some of those who got the jab first.

Science must guide India, UK: Stoking vaccine nationalism will fail us all

One of the seven sins we should not commit as warned by Mahatma Gandhi, is "science without humanity". But are we conscious enough to ensure that the global fight against Covid is mindful of Gandhi ji’s message? 

UK's decision to consider vaccinated Indians as 'unvaccinated' stinks of apartheid, lacks scientific merit

Recent decision of the United Kingdom (UK) to consider fully vaccinated Indians along with some other nationalities as 'unvaccinated' lacks scientific merit and instead stinks of white supremacy and apartheid era. It is important to mention that 90% of the vaccines rolled out in India are Covishield. Covishield vaccine, is Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, whose research was done by UK based agencies but this vaccine under the name of 'Covishield' is being made in India and exported globally by Serum Institute of India. Serum Institute of India is also the world's largest vaccine manufacturer. Will UK also consider those vaccinated with Oxford AstraZeneca in its own nation as 'unvaccinated'?

Step up the pace globally if universal vaccination could lead us out of the pandemic

[हिंदी] The Covid pandemic has hard drilled the lesson why health and social security of each one of us is inter-dependent on health and social security of one another. But do we see more equity (or inequity) in the Covid response, such as the rollout of the vaccination worldwide? Inequitable distribution of vaccine, diagnostics, oxygen, personnel protective equipment, and other necessary essential tools have been plaguing the Covid response due to which we are unable to fully break the chain of infection transmission by prevention measures, and reduce severity of the disease for those who get infected.

Will inclusion and accountability take centrestage at the Generation Equality Forum?

Undoubtedly, the Generation Equality Forum which took place earlier this year, was a milestone to galvanize US$ 40 billion financial commitments for gender equality and human rights worldwide. This is the largest amount of investment to advance gender equality and women’s rights ever. It also launched a 5-year action journey (till 2026) "to achieve irreversible progress towards gender equality, founded on a series of concrete, ambitious and transformative actions, as well as ambitious policy and programme commitments from governments, philanthropy, civil society, youth organizations and the private sector."

[video] Failing on the basics: Are we able to #BreakTheChain of infection transmission?

[video] Why so less people have received their 2nd dose of Covid vaccine?

[video] Omicron is less severe than delta but NOT mild, it is also hospitalising and killing people: WHO

[video] Omicron is less severe but must not be called 'mild': It is hospitalizing & killing people too: WHO

[video] Clamping night curfew has no scientific rationale for Covid control, says WHO expert

[video] #SouthKorea did commendable COVID control, very high vaccination, yet it sees an alarming Wave rise

[video] Preventing disease and strengthening health system are key while we open up economies

[video] Indian media under the gender lens | speaker: Maitri Porecha, noted journalist | #GenderMatters

[video] Media is a key cog-in-the-wheel for development justice and democracy | Speaker: Kalpana Acharya

[video] Why media should think gender? | Speaker: Rita Widiadana

[video] #GenderMatters: Glass ceiling in media

[video] 10+ billion vaccines given, global population is 7+ billion. Why 3+ billion people did not get any?

[video] 85% deaths in road traffic accidents occurred among pedestrians and bikers, during 8pm-1am in Delhi

[video] Herd immunity through natural infection is foolish idea. Heavy cost of unnecessary human suffering!!

[video] Fake vaccines, fake testing kits even in times of #publichealth emergency: Where have we gone wrong?

[video] Gender-sensitive & responsible reporting in media: 1st-do-no-harm principle: Faculty: Rita Widiadana

[video] Adding value to social media engagement re: gender equality & human rights | Faculty: Sumita Thapar

[video] More than half Indians do not do enough physical activity to keep them healthy

[video] 32% people above 65 years of age developed at least 1 new health condition 21 days after COVID-19

[video] Pandemic is not over yet by a long shot: Deaths rose every week in 2022

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

[video] Why holding businesses liable for human rights abuses & environmental harms is vital? UN BHR Treaty

[video] Corbevax vaccine: To what extent will it be helpful in equitable vaccination of all those eligible?

[video] DYK which are the 2 countries that have highest fully Covid-vaccinated populations in the world?

[video] Why is genome sequencing so important for infectious disease control and surveillance?

[video] Fake patients in private hospital Versus long waiting-list in govt-run public hospitals in Lucknow

[video] #MaskUp: Why masks are an important cog-in-the-wheel along with equitable vaccination of all?

[video] Indians died in road traffic accident in Canada: Grim reminder to enforce 30 km/hour max speed limit

[video] When deadliest road accidents happen due to overspending, why cannot we reduce max speed limit?

[video] Perils of not knowing our epidemic: Could reducing testing be counter-productive?

[video] Is blindness causing Trachoma reemerging in India after country reported its elimination in 2018?

[video] The Lancet estimates highest COVID-19 deaths took place in India worldwide, over 4 million died

[video] No #HealthForAll without peace: Attack on hospitals is war crime, must stop | #UkraineRussia #endWar

[video] Only 2 ways to reduce tobacco use: prevent young people to begin tobacco use & help users to quit!

[video] When 1 out of every 2 #tobacco user dies of tobacco-related diseases, then why is #BigTobacco legal?

[video] Weight gain concerns hover around the preferred antiretroviral dolutegravir, may increase risk of NCDs

[video] #Russia attacks #Ukraine: Can we get a good night sleep when our neighbours house is on fire? #peace

[video] Ever heard of funding gap for war or religion? Why funding gap is always there for SDGs?

[video] UN sounds alert on oxygen shortage in Ukraine but why did it happen in first place? #EndWar #Peace

[video] Several government funds including #PMcaresFund for COVID-19 relief, took money from tobacco industry

[video] Is One Health approach the gateway towards pandemic preparedness?

[The Dose Podcast] PAN-TB and Novel Regimen Development

Moving HIV prevention and treatment tools from the lab to all those in need

Shobha Shukla - CNS

Recent scientific advancements have brought to the fore the promise of more effective and long term solutions to help people living with HIV to thrive and not just survive. Today we have a buffet of HIV prevention options (such as, oral daily PrEP, once-a-month vaginal dapivirine ring for women, 2-monthly long-acting injectable) along with a bouquet of improved treatment modalities (monthly and 2-monthly long-acting injectables) adorning the HIV/AIDS arena, thanks to the untiring efforts of the scientific community. Many others are in the pipeline in different stages of research and development.

Shobha Shukla's exclusive trilogy (3 article-series) from #IAS2021

Why is public transport not good enough to make private vehicle ownership unnecessary?

[watch CNS Viewpoint] If the goal is to protect environment from automobile pollution, improve road safety, and end economic disparities in the society, then vehicle scrappage policy is not likely to deliver on these tall promises. Rather such a policy could be counter-productive if we look closely at the aforementioned goals. Such a policy is another example of promoting market-based solutions to benefit few industries at the plight of the people and the planet. If governments are serious to deliver on the goals listed above, then the only way forward is to improve public transport to an extent that private ownership of motor vehicles, becomes unnecessary and cumbersome.

Shaping responsive health systems for people living with NCDs

Dr Tin Maung Htwe, Editor-in-Chief, Health Digest Journal, Myanmar

There are two major groups of diseases in the world: (i) Communicable or infectious diseases and (ii) Non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Communicable diseases are caused by pathogenic or disease-causing microorganisms (such as bacteria, viruses, etc.) that infect the human body and make it sick- for example malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS (Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Some of them can spread from one infected human to another. On the other hand NCDs on the other hand are not caused by microbes and are not transmissible directly from one person to another.

[video] Prioritising tobacco control amidst crisis, Myanmar adopts plain packaging

[video] What if drugs that heal us, stop working?

[video] In 2009 rich nations had bought all stocks of H1N1 vaccines. Only later they 'donated' few to others

[video] New Zealand has fully vaccinated 94% people, 56% got #booster dose too

[video] Car at 100 km/hr met fatal accident at 1090 crossing Lucknow where 40 km/hr is maximum speed limit

[video] Out of 4 vaccine shots, 1 is given as booster dose | Science+evidence based vaccine equity is key!

[video] Booster dose given in 120+ countries despite less than 30% people fully vaccinated in many nations

[video] Will antibodies of common cold corona virus infection, help protect us against COVID-19?

[video] Road traffic crashes + deaths INCREASED in Uttar Pradesh in 2021: Roads more UNSAFE | #BrokenPromise

[video] Zika virus in Kanpur: So far, 3 cases of Zika virus reported from Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh

[video] Only 46% elderly people in Lucknow have received full vaccination in 9+ months: Very low in UP

[video] Sivananthi Thanenthiran's welcome address | Asia Pacific Training on #GenderEquality & #HumanRights

[video] International Conf. on Population and Development #ICPD + #NairobiStatement #ICPD25: Galanne Deressa

[video] Convention for Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) | Doreen Buettner

[video] Agenda 2030 & Sustainable Development Goals | Universal Periodic Review: Shamala Chandrasekaran

[video] Development Justice model | Wardarina, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)

[video] Connecting the dots: Religious fundamentalism, gender justice, capitalism, and militarisation

[video] Taking Stock: What has been the progress on gender equality & human rights in Asia Pacific?

[video] Higher Covid antibodies + lower full vaccination rates imply failure to break chain of transmission

[video] Which is the 1st country globally to fully vaccinate 80% of its population?

[video] India allowed 6 Covid vaccines but only 3 are being used in vaccination programme. Why the delay?

[video] DYK why tuberculosis monitoring missions must not neglect tobacco control?

[video] India jabbed 1 billion vaccine doses in 278 days, now gearing to jab 1.22 billion in next 70 days

[video] New hospital without nurses, doctors & other staff: Will public health take primacy over profits?

[video] #AirPollution reducing average life expectancy of 40% Indians by 9 years

[video] Why so low rates of full Covid vaccination for healthcare and frontline workers in India?

[video] 30 km/hour maximum speed limit is necessary if we are to reduce road traffic crash & death majorly

[video] Allowing private companies to mint profit from Covid vaccine vs bank loans from ADB, Chinese AIIB

[video] Badly planned decentralization failed us in ensuring uninterrupted supply of TB test cartridges

[video] World's oldest person passed away at 135: Population ageing, balanced diet, lifestyles matters a lot

[video] WHO gives Emergency Use Listing to 9th vaccine, #Covovax: Will it go to Covax or as booster shots?

[video] 20% additional #TB deaths,10% HIV deaths due to Covid in India

[video] Rich countries have given 200+ vaccines per 100 people, while 3+ billion people have not got ANY!

[video] 100 times higher COVID-19 testing done in rich nations than low-income countries

[video] Stop use of Kanamycin for treating tuberculosis (TB) instead use better non-injectable medicines

[video] Reporting and documentation during emergency and humanitarian crisis situations | #FirstDoNoHarm

[video] CDC early study results: Covid vaccines prevent infection + protect against serious Covid outcomes

[video] Do we need a velodrome cycle racing track in Lucknow OR safer roads for all cyclists?

[video] 85% people in Africa yet to get 1st dose of Covid vaccine but 85% in rich nations are fully jabbed

[video] Can COVID-19 be decimated as a vaccine-preventable disease?

[video] Rich become richer during the pandemic while 99% people face economic hardships | #InequalityKills

[video] 30.4% children still not getting routine vaccination/ immunisation in Uttar Pradesh

[video] Import of medical devices & tech ↑ by 75% (not ↓), reality check of #AtmaNirbharBharat

[video] 70% of healthcare workers giving Covid vaccines & other services, are female. Labour rights?

[video] 13 out of 75 districts in UP had more males than females getting Covid vaccine

[video] BMJ: Risk of blood related complications higher for those who get infected after vaccination

[video] Why I had to learn the skill to repair cycle puncture?

[video] If old motor vehicles are fit+safe for use as per standards then why Govt forcing us to buy new one?

[video] India has crossed 1 billion Covid vaccine dose goalpost, but only 1/4th fully jabbed in 9+ months

Eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products

It is well known that the World Health Organization (WHO) is taking the lead in controlling the use of tobacco and tobacco products as they are harmful to the health, economy and social well-being of the people of the world. The WHO FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) has established guidelines, protocols and strategies for member states to adhere to. One of the many follow-up guidelines is to end the illicit trade in tobacco and tobacco products.

[video] More booster vaccine doses given daily than first-vaccine shots in low-income nations

[video] Lifesaving #cancer #surgery delayed by 5.3 months due to Covid lockdown and impact on #healthsystems

[video] 7+ billion vaccine doses given (~world's population): Inequitable rollout and coverage is appalling

Uncovering asthma misconceptions

Asthma is one of the major global health problems, with Low and Low-Middle SDI (Socio-Economic and Demographic Index) countries being the most affected. We know that people who suffer from sudden shortness of breath due to their asthma have to urgently use an inhaler or even go to a hospital in case of severity of the attack.With asthma is affecting more and more children and adults today, experts categorise it as a public health problem.

[video] 2.3 billion people have no access to water and soap for hand-washing globally: UNICEF

[video] Malaria vaccine: Vital addition to toolkit for preventing malaria but no magic bullet | #endMalaria

[video] Along with Covid health services, non-Covid services are also equally essential

[video] Air is deadlier than we previously thought it is! New 2021 WHO Air Quality Guidelines released

[video] Covid resources used for malaria/ dengue? Earlier all health system was diverted for Covid!

[video] All tobacco products cause preventable diseases, avoidable deaths | US FDA bans 55000 e-cigarettes

A bouquet of novel compounds: New treatment options for HIV

Shobha Shukla - CNS

It was 40 years ago when the first case of HIV infection was diagnosed. Since then, 77.5 million people have been infected with the virus and 34 million people have died from AIDS-related causes. While a lot has been achieved in terms of providing lifesaving antiretroviral treatment to save lives, we still lost 690,000 people living with HIV to AIDS-related illnesses in 2020. Even today more than 10 million (27%) of the 37.6 million people living with HIV are not on treatment. Moreover, "we are getting signals of HIV drug resistance, which means we need to strengthen our surveillance efforts and continue to invest in long-acting prevention and treatment tools, in the absence of an HIV vaccine, and also remember that solutions we find may not be one size that fits all", said Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, President of the International AIDS Society (IAS), during the closing session of the recently concluded 11th International IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2021).

One size does not fit all: Expanding the buffet of choices for preventing HIV

Shobha Shukla - CNS

Great strides have been made in HIV prevention, treatment and care, since the first case of the viral infection was reported 40 years ago. Thanks to the untiring efforts of the HIV community, activists, and medical fraternity, 74% (27.5 million) of the 37.7 million people living with HIV are able to access the lifesaving antiretroviral therapy today. But the governments' promise of ending AIDS by 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals) is still far from our sight.

[video] 46% rise in crime & violence against women in 2021 in India. Over half reported from Uttar Pradesh!

Tale of two pandemics: Follow the science and do not forget one at the cost of the other

Shobha Shukla - CNS

Covid-19 has posed innumerable health, economic, and social challenges for all, including people living with HIV. It has exposed the fragility of health systems around the globe and has diverted political attention and funding from other infectious diseases like TB and HIV. The opening session of the 11th International IAS Conference on HIV Science (#IAS2021) held virtually from Berlin, saw a lively panel discussing the tale of the two most horrendous recent pandemics in the history of our civilisation: Covid-19 and HIV/AIDS.

Are we hungry for change for genuinely transforming food systems?

Shobha Shukla - CNS

While the governments chant the mantra of "leaving no one behind", it is ironic that they are abetting corporate grabbing of land and resources, which is pushing farmers out of agriculture. Corporations are exercising more and more control over food and agriculture and influencing public policies. The forthcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021, tentatively to be held in September 2021 and convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, purports to transform the way the world produces and consumes food, and leverage these actions to deliver progress on all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Governments must adopt a strong political declaration that the global crisis mandates

Shobha Shukla - CNS

Because if they do not, then we are doomed to fail to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 (for which only 113 months are left). The clock is ticking but governments from around the world, who are convening at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) seem to be regurgitating old timid commitments and shying away from taking bold decisions. The Covid-19 pandemic and cascading humanitarian crises warrant governments to adopt a strong enough Ministerial Declaration at HLPF 2021 which is critical for progressing towards a resilient recovery post-pandemic as well as for SDGs. The Ministerial Declaration is a major outcome of the HLPF, but sadly our governments failed to adopt one last year. The price of inaction for not taking genuinely transformative actions globally will not only be regressive, but will also worsen the already existing inequalities and injustices for the majority of the people.

Are some more equal than others?

In current times when India, like many other countries, is reeling under a severe economic crisis as well as backbreaking humanitarian crises, we also see ugly lavish (and avoidable) government expenditures, throwing austerity to the winds and jeopardising public interest. While equality is among the key values of the Indian Constitution, there are several instances that remind us of George Orwell’s famous quote: “All are equal, but some are more equal than others”, even during the pandemic. 

[video] Nothing without us: Civil society solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic

Who should be held responsible for deaths due to negligence?

When India was reeling under the severest impact of the Covid pandemic, and the peak of around 450,000 new cases was reported in 24 hours around mid April 2021, then an interesting chronology of events were taking place regarding the Covid vaccination programme (along with Kumbh in Uttarakhand and elections in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh). 

Were people the missing link in Covid response?

Highest level of political leadership in Covid response is indeed unprecedented if we look at other health responses such as those for HIV, non-communicable diseases, TB or other communicable diseases that affect our lives. But were people having any voice in helping shape the response to the corona virus pandemic? To what extent did governments adapt important game-changing learnings over the past decades from several other health and development struggles? 

Putting people first is a critical cog in the wheel for responsive health systems


Shobha Shukla - CNS

Imagine a world where no one was suffering from any of the preventable diseases, be it non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or infectious diseases, or had to die untimely due to diseases that were primarily avoidable! Also imagine a tobacco free world - imagine a world where healthy balanced nutrition for all was a reality - where health for all was not just a chant but a reality for everyone where no one was truly left behind.

#WorldLocalizationDay: Peasants rise up to demand genuine food-system reforms

Food nourishes life. Our farmers produce more than enough food to feed all the people on the planet but due to socially unjust and ecologically unsustainable food systems, many people are forced to go hungry. Moreover farmers who help nurture life, continue to struggle for their livelihoods and human rights. In lead up to 2021 World Localization Day, farmers from all continents worldwide are uniting to demand genuine reforms in our food system that also localize supply-chains and help recover people’s connections to nature and community.

When the health system became the cause of death

Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhushan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs. 1.5 lakhs for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week. Madhurima Kundu, a Ph.D. student at Jawaharlal Nehru University was admitted for four days at Sultanpuri Government Isolation Centre for Covid patients in Delhi and has described the pathetic conditions related to availability and behavior of doctors, medical and para-medical staff, sanitation, food, medicines, linen and monitoring of oxygen in a petition filed in High Court. The ill patients had to go down to the reception to ask for every basic thing and stand in queues in scorching sun to get medicines. 

Peasants Rise Up: The oppression of small milk farmers

watch full episode of Peasants Rise Up here

Aside from the pasteurisation law, the government has already introduced the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act in 2016 and the Seed (Amendment) Act in 2015. Pakistan, as a member of the WTO, is bound by the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and is compelled to pass legislation that would protect the interests of intellectual property rights holders, which are mostly transnational corporations. 

[video] Covid and TB, HIV and other infections or chronic diseases

Save Lakshadweep: Stop 'reform' which is not socially just and ecologically sustainable

There is a growing call to save Lakshadweep islands from attempts to destroy them socially, culturally and ecologically. One of the key demands is for the government of India to recall the Administrator appointed in Lakshadweep immediately and ensure democratic rights to decision-making are held by the islanders.

Tobacco race: where quitters and non-runners are the real winners

Shobha Shukla - CNS

According to a recent study published in the The Lancet smoking killed 7.69 million people globally in 2019, while the number of smokers rose to 1.14 billion as the habit was picked up by young people around the globe. It was also the leading risk factor for death among males (over 20% of male deaths). Another worrisome finding is that 89% of new smokers are addicted by the age of 25, thanks to the continuous nefarious tactics of Big Tobacco, which is working round the clock to addict a new generation of customers.

Scaling-up interventions for non-communicable diseases in south-east Asia

The human cost of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is high with the World Health Organization (WHO) attributing over 71% of the annual global deaths to NCDs. The burden of NCDs is also unevenly increasing among low-income populations. Three-quarters of all deaths due to NCDs are in low- and middle-income countries.

Why reduce speed limit to 30 km/h? “Answer is blowin’ in the wind”

Due to the Covid lockdown in 2020, though the number of road traffic accidents declined yet deaths did not decline in the same proportion because people drive at higher speeds which continued to result in fatal accidents. Every year, more than 1.3 million people die in road traffic crashes – that’s one person every 24 seconds. Excessive speed is at the core of the road traffic injury problem, with 1 in 3 deaths on the roads in high-income countries attributed to speed. It is estimated that 40-50% of people drive above the speed limit, with every 1 km/h increase in speed resulting in a 4-5% increase in fatal crashes. The risk of death and injury reduces considerably when speeds are lowered.

[podcast] Lessons learnt: What the COVID-19 experience in India can teach us about HIV vaccine research, delivery and access

Today is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day! IAVI and CNS bring to you a very special podcast, Lessons Learnt: What the COVID-19 experience in India can teach us about HIV vaccine research, delivery and access, where three experts discuss the past, present and future of HIV research in the current COVID context, and the implications of this research on scientific and clinical practice, and community participation.

Listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, aCast, Podtail, BluBrry, Himalaya, ListenNotes, American Podcasts, CastBox FM, Ivy FM, and other podcast streaming platforms.

Do not miss the writing on the wall: Managing asthma well is key to living life normally

If essential and lifesaving medicines and proper care are available, accessible and affordable for all people with asthma, they can manage their asthma properly and lead a normal life. On this year’s World Asthma Day, Dr Guy Marks, Professor of Respiratory Medicine, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia and President of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) reminded us that even as asthma continues to be the most common chronic illness in children globally, it affects adults as well.

Peasants Rise Up (Sri Lanka): Women struggle to break free from sugar company’s control

 (you may also read it here on Asian Peaseant Coalition)

The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) and PAN Asia Pacific’s No Land, No Life! Campaign, has launched the Peasants Rise Up broadcast series. The series, hosted by Bobby Ramakant of CNS and Christina Sayson, tackles landlessness, corporate control of agriculture, human rights, and other issues currently faced by the peasantry across Asia. The Peasant Rise Up series is part of the Global People's Summit for a Just, Equitable, Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems. It celebrates the success stories of the peasant movement and highlights the call for land to the tillers as necessary for a truly radical food systems transformation.