Eliminating illicit tobacco trade is a step towards #EndTobacco and SDGs

Ending tobacco use globally is not just a compelling public health imperative but is also key for social justice and corporate accountability. Let us not forget that each of the diseases caused by tobacco could have been prevented, and every tobacco-related death averted. Add to this that every health condition that increases the risk of serious outcomes of Covid-19, also has a common major risk factor - tobacco. With over 8 million deaths worldwide caused by tobacco every year, the writing on the wall is clear: if we are to deliver on sustainable development goals, then one of the essential milestones undoubtedly is to #endtobacco.

Experts demand compulsory licensing for generic production of a drug against Covid-19

Should not a medicine that has shown lifesaving effect in certain cases of Covid-19 be made available to all those who need it without delay? Even if Big Pharma has a patent, there are provisions in the global trade treaties that allow governments to issue compulsory licenses to such a lifesaving drug, and keep people over profit. This is why medical experts are demanding governments to use compulsory licensing for generic production of such a drug to help save lives. 

Unless we end inequities, we will fail to achieve Health For All

“Everyone is trying to apply the human rights lens. But unfortunately on key matters of equity, a lot many communities right now are in the rear-view mirror and not being observed through the lens of equity and human rights. This pandemic is uneven around the world and uneven in its impact. It has peeled away the bandages from old wounds of our society and it has also revealed and driven new equities. We are not doing a good job in ensuring that the basic human rights approaches are being upheld- right to access to health, right to personal dignity. In some cases Covid-19 has been used as a means of denying people their rights. Yes, we have seen great examples of community resilience and people and CSOs coming together in solidarity to fight this epidemic. But, if we are to give grades on how we are doing in leaving no one behind right now we get an F” said Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme, who also leads the team responsible for international containment and treatment of Covid-19.

[video] Food justice from seed to plate is vital for development: Odisha's farmer

Land to the tillers for genuine food system change

The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC)'s observance of 29 March as "Land of the Landless: Land to the Tillers", reminds us of the words of Mahatma Gandhi: "In reality, the toilers is the owner of what he produces. If the toilers intelligently combine, they will become an irresistible power."

[video] Day Of The Landless 2021: Land to the tillers

Will advances in TB treatment outweigh the Covid-19 pushback?

Shobha Shukla - CNS 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on TB diagnosis and mortality in 2020 has been frightening, to say the least. Recently released WHO data shows that 1.4 million fewer people got TB care in 2020 as compared to 2019- a 21% decrease. Also over 0.5 million people died from TB in 2020 due to lack of diagnosis. Latest data by Stop TB Partnership shows that in 9 countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Ukraine) which together account for 60% of the global TB burden, TB diagnosis and treatment enrolment in 2020 declined by 1 million - a drastic reduction of 23%. Globally, in 2020 there was an estimated drop of at least 1 million in TB treatment enrolment, pushing the TB response to 2008 levels in terms of people diagnosed and treated.

[The Dose Podcast] Treatment shortening & TBTC study 31

[video] Is there a link b/w patriarchy, religious fundamentalism and corporate power?

Corporate capture of the United Nations, the negotiations on the proposed treaty on business and human rights

[video] #PeoplesForum​ Workshop: The Power of the 99% to stop #CorporateCapture​

[video] Dr Sandeep Pandey calls for de-militarisation, communal harmony and stopping corporate abuse

[video] Indian farmers' movement is resisting corporate capture of agriculture and figthing anti-farmer laws

[video] Goldman Environment Prize Awardee Prafulla Samantara shares insights on people's struggle against corporate capture

[video] #BreastCancer​ prevention cannot take a backseat while we improve health services

Workshop: No excuse for inaction on health security if we are to deliver on development justice in Asia Pacific

Join us on Sunday, 21st March 2021 (3pm Bangkok/Jakarta/Laos/Vietnam time, find your local time here) in a two-hours workshop on "No excuse for inaction on health security if we are to deliver on development justice in Asia Pacific." Co-hosted by CNS and partners, as part of Asia Pacific People's Forum for Sustainable Development, this workshop will elaborate on why inequalities and injustices that were existing before the pandemic too has failed us to prevent non-communicable diseases and communicable diseases. Failure to prevent every new case of infectious diseases like TB and Covid-19 is defeating us on SDGs. This workshop will also aim to connect the dots between corporate capture and right to health, as well as broader sustainable development.

[video] Women in farmers movement and struggle to achieve food sovereignty

Workshop: The Power of the 99% to Stop Corporate Capture

watch the recording (YouTube, Facebook)

Join us on Friday, 19th March 2021 (3pm Bangkok/Jakarta/Laos/Vietnam time, find your local time here) in a two-hours workshop on The Power of the 99% to Stop Corporate Capture. Co-hosted by ESCR Net, ALTSEAN Burma and CNS as part of Asia Pacific People's Forum for Sustainable Development, this workshop will elaborate on different manifestations of Corporate Capture and experiences of people's movements in Asia Pacific to combat corporate capture in order to advance development justice. This workshop will also focus on the link between corporate capture, religious fundamentalism, militarisation and patriarchy.

Embarrassment of riches: Are we doing enough to avert tobacco deaths in Indonesia?

Tobacco kills over 8 million people every year worldwide, with over 235,000 deaths occuring in Indonesia alone. Each of these untimely deaths could have been averted because we have evidence-backed measures to not only control tobacco use, but also to accelerate progress towards ending the tobacco-caused multiple epidemics of several preventable diseases. Tobacco use is a major common risk factor for not only the biggest cause of death worldwide- cardiovascular diseases (heart diseases and stroke)- but also for a range of other non-communicable diseases (such as, cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, among others) as well as for communicable diseases (such as tuberculosis and Covid-19).

Instead of reducing maximum speed limit, Thailand increases it to 120 kph

Thailand was among the countries globally that promised last year to reduce the maximum speed limit to 30 kilometre per hour (30 kph) to reduce road traffic crashes, and thus, save lives. More importantly, the government of Thailand played a major role last year as part of the International Advisory Committee to 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety held in Stockholm during 19-20 February 2020.

[video] Are those supporting farmers' movement facing threat of fabricated charges?

Sri Lankan groups express solidarity with people of Burma and call for federal democracy in Myanmar

join us on Zoom
Zoom meeting ID: 896 8418 8083, passcode: 872963

As part of the South Asian Solidarity Forum for Federal Democracy in Myanmar, this week on Friday, 26th February 2021, the third session will focus on the theme: "Sri Lankan groups express solidarity with people of Burma and call for federal democracy in Myanmar."

[video] Farmers' protests have reinforced democracy: says Pankaj Pushkar, former MLA

Are we failing children in the HIV response?

The promise was that by 2020, no child will be born with HIV or newly infected with HIV during breastfeeding across the world. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic posed an unprecedented challenge to health systems, the progress towards the HIV-related 2020 goalpost, despite some commendable gains, was not very encouraging. 

[video] United against the Burma Army: Ethnic nationalities call for federalism

'Have a seat but shut up please': Whither equality?

Shobha Shukla - CNS

 'Dumb dolls' may soon be adorning board meetings of Japan's ruling party. As per a news report, in response to criticisms that its board is dominated by men, Japan's ruling conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has condescended to allow 5 female lawmakers to join its board meetings provided they keep their mouths shut and do not talk during the meetings. Their status will be that of observers to see how decisions were being made. They would not be able to speak during the meetings, but could submit their opinions later to the secretariat office. According to the party's 82-year-old secretary general, this move would allow more female LDP members to see how decisions were being made.

United Against the Burma Army: Ethnic Nationalities Call for Federalism

As part of the South Asian Solidarity Forum for Federal Democracy in Myanmar, this week on Friday, 19th February 2021, the session will focus on the theme: "United Against the Burma Army: Ethnic Nationalities Call for Federalism."

Is pandemic policing different than policing for maintaining law and order?

Among the first responders in times of emergencies or crises is often expected to be the police. This was no different when Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a grinding halt. The public health emergency arising due to the pandemic, as well as cascading humanitarian crises in several countries and communities, only made the job of the police even more challenging.

Maximum travel speed of 30 km/hour: Are we walking-the-talk on road safety?

[हिंदी] Not just motorised vehicle riders but every person has a human right for safe commuting. But over 50 million people get injured and 1.35 million die every year due to road traffic crashes worldwide. More alarming is the fact that 90 per cent of these injuries and deaths occur in developing countries. Road traffic crashes are also the leading cause of death around the world for children and young people between 15 and 29 years of age. Over-speeding is identified as a major cause of almost 70% of these road traffic crashes in countries like India.

Growing call for federal democracy in Myanmar

Constanze Ruprecht and Bobby Ramakant

[हिंदी, watch the recording, endorse the joint statement condemning the Coup d'état in Burma] Growing number of civil society networks for peace, health and human rights from around the world are unifying their call for federal democracy in Myanmar. In a joint statement condemning the Coup d'état in Burma (after an online South Asia Solidarity Forum for federal democracy in Myanmar), over a hundred of these individuals, groups and networks from South Asia and other parts of the world united in solidarity with the people of Burma to strongly denounce the military coup d'état on 1 February 2021.

South Asia solidarity forum for federal democracy in Myanmar

watch recording on YouTube, Facebook

South Asia solidarity forum for federal democracy in Myanmar will be organized on 10th February, 2021, Wednesday (6pm India/ Sri Lanka, 5:30pm Pakistan, 6:15pm Nepal, 6:30pm Bangladesh, 7pm Myanmar, 7:30pm Thailand).

[video] Sri Lankan groups express solidarity to Indian farmers' movement

[video] Growing strength of farmers' movement gives hope for stronger democracy

HIV science has advanced but policies-programmes have been slow to #endAIDS

Shobha Shukla - CNS

[watch the interview with Mitchell Warren] HIV science has advanced but policies and programmes have been slow to respond towards ending AIDS, said Mitchell Warren, co-chair of the global conference on HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) and Executive Director of AVAC (Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention).

Market solutions will make roads unsafe for everyone

[हिंदी] India along with 193 countries had promised to halve deaths and serious injuries on the roads by 2020 (as part of UN Sustainable Development Goals). But we have failed to keep this promise as the year 2020 passed by. In 2015, number of road traffic accident deaths in India were 146,133. In 2019, instead of declining (by half), the number of people who died in road traffic accidents had increased to 154,000 in India. Moreover, a lot more people were injured or left with disabilities. More shockingly, most of these accidents were due to over-speeding (almost 60%). It is high time we recognize the writing on the wall: every single injury or death due to road traffic accident is preventable and untimely, and could have been averted. 

Expanding range of options to prevent HIV is key as no one size fits all

Shobha Shukla - CNS

While the currently available HIV prevention and treatment tools have helped reduce new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths by 23% and 39% respectively since 2010, we still have a long way to go before ending this epidemic. With 1.7 million new HIV infections and 690,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2019, one cannot but over emphasise the urgent need to have more HIV prevention options, including long-acting HIV prevention strategies that might prove to be more acceptable and user friendly to people from diverse communities.

[podcast] HIV science has advanced but politics, policies & human rights have been slow to adapt to #endAIDS

This podcast features Mitchell Warren, who is among the most respected voices on human rights-based responses to #endAIDS. He is in conversation with CNS founder and Executive Director Shobha Shukla. He shares insights on range of issues spanning over two decades on HIV prevention research, ethics and human rights as scientific studies go forward, learnings from COVID-19 vaccine research, dire need to engage all stakeholders (political will and leadership, funders/ donors, regulators, manufacturers, communities among others) and a lot more! He is also the co-chair of ongoing 4th HIV Research For Prevention global conference, and Executive Director of AVAC.

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

[video] HIV science has advanced but politics, policies and human rights have been far too slow to adapt to #endAIDS

The ring has finally arrived!

Shobha Shukla - CNS

You guessed it right. I am talking about the dapivirine vaginal ring (DPV-VR), which is one of the top advances happening in the field of microbicides. It is the first long acting prevention product whose Phase-3 randomised controlled studies have shown that using the dapivirine vaginal ring reduced the risk of HIV infection in women and long-term use was well-tolerated. 

Get the vaccine shot but do not throw away the mask to fight COVID-19

Shobha Shukla - CNS

The message from all scientists is very loud and clear that vaccines alone will not be able to stem the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even after getting vaccinated, we will have to continue to wear masks, maintain physical distancing, wash hands frequently and avoid congregated settings, to break the chain of transmission of the virus. 

[video] Voices from Punjab and Haryana in support of Farmers' Protest and Tractor Rally

[video] Tractor rally, farmers' protest and democracy: Listen to people's voices

[video] Dissent & protests in democracy; Readiness of Tractor rally on 26th January

Asia Pacific Solidarity Forum in support of farmers' movement in India

[register on Zoom] Join us on Friday, 8th January 2021 from 7pm to 8:30pm India time (click here for your local time), in Asia Pacific Solidarity Forum in support of farmers' movement in India (as part of ongoing 'Satyagraha' series of daily online discussions on farmers' struggles).

Government needs to hold big polluters liable for air pollution, preventable diseases, and untimely deaths

published in The Indian Express, 1 January 2020
16.7 lakh people died in India in 2019 because of air pollution accounting for 17·8% of the total deaths in the country (source: The Lancet Planetary Health). Air pollution was the 4th leading risk factor for premature death globally, accounting for nearly 12% of all deaths, with more than 6.67 million in 2019 alone, shows the State of Global Air Report 2020. Each of these deaths could have been averted – and every disease caused by air pollution could have been prevented.