By: Alanna Shaikh
On Friday November 26, the Second Inter-Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment in Africa came to a close. The 46 countries that attended adopted a declaration – the Luanda declaration that lays out future health and environmental priorities. It looks like good news for the fight against NTDs.
The list of priorities, honestly, looks like pretty much everything that has to do with health and the environment: “…provision of safe drinking water; Provision of sanitation and hygiene services; Management of environmental and health risks related to climate change; Sustainable management of forests and wetland and Management of water, soil and air pollution as well as biodiversity conservation.
Other priorities are Vector Control and management of chemicals, particularly pesticides and wastes; Food safety and security, including the management of genetically-modified organisms in food productions; Childrens health and womens environmental health; Health in the workplace and the Management of natural and human-induced disasters.”
Looking deeper, though, it is very interesting what made the list. We’ve done well, within the limitations of global financial support to NTDs, with the medical approach to eliminating the diseases. Mass drug administration, health care provider training, research into vaccines and better treatments. There has been an impressive amount of progress considering the small funding pool. (But no, that does not mean we can stop calling them neglected. NTD programs are good at making do, but wow they could do a lot more with some serious financial support.)
We’ve done less well on addressing the social and environmental determinants of the NTDs. It’s more complex in a lot of ways, and it’s been simpler to focus on medicine. However, we’re not going to treat our way out of the NTDs. We need to look at transmission and context. That’s where this declaration fits in. It reads like a set of WHO guidelines on battling neglected tropical diseases, and that is a very good thing.
Read more: Adoption of the Luanda Declaration at the Second Inter-Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment
November 24th, 2010
By: Linda Diep
Today, 925 million people in the world are hungry. Between 2005-2007, an estimated 14 percent of the world’s population was undernourished, or did not receive an adequate amount of feed to eat. Two-thirds of children under five years old are malnourished, or do not consume a nutritious diet. The most impoverished groups who are most severely affected by hunger reside in Asia, comprising approximately 578 million out of the 925 million who will go to bed hungry every night.
This past Monday, November 22, 2010, the Bread for the World Institute – part of Bread for the World, which provides policy analysis on hunger and educates opinion leaders, policy makers, and the public about hunger in the United States and abroad – released its 2011 Hunger Report. The report covers the role of the United States in mobilizing global commitments to increase investments in agriculture, food security, and nutrition in developing countries. Following rising food prices in 2007-2008, the U.S. government developed the initiative Feed the Future to provide support for the hungry. This initiative seeks to increase investments to help smallholder farmers and address the nutritional status of mothers and children. Feed the Future will work in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Read more: New 2011 Hunger Report Released by Bread for the World Institute
November 24th, 2010
Last Friday November 19 was World Toilet Day, and many events took place to observe this occasion. One of which took place in DC, an event called Nerd Nite. This event occurs once a month and features intellectual presentations on a variety of topics, with entertainment in between each presentation. The latest Nerd Nite included a presentation by Hope Randall of Path. End the Neglect was there to capture Hope on film (which we will have up shortly), and shes been kind enough to provide us a blog post below:
Reprinted with permission from DefeatDD.org.
By: Hope Randall, Program Assistant for PATH’s diarrheal disease communications and advocacy team
Public speaking doesn’t typically make me nervous, but on Friday, I took advantage of my free drink ticket before taking the stage to talk to a group of young DC professionals about diarrhea. While this topic is familiar enough in global health circles, I’m never quite certain how the public at large will react. Will they laugh without taking the message seriously? Wrinkle their noses in disgust? Lose attention completely?
My concerns were completely unwarranted. As I presented “The Scoop on Poop,” we laughed together at potty humor and edgy communications strategies, then easily segued to the heart of the matter: that while we have the luxury of laughing about toilets and poop jokes, children around the world are dying from a lack of water and sanitation commodities that we consider as basic as air. I was touched by the level of instant engagement and the genuine eagerness of the average person to lend a hand. I felt a sense of camaraderie when I announced that it was World Toilet Day and the crowd whooped and cheered. Read more: Toilets, Nerds, and the Importance of Advocacy
November 22nd, 2010
Last Friday, November 19 was International Mens Day. See what our guest blogger Alanna Shaikh has to say about the role of gender in global health.
By: Alanna Shaikh
In theory, gender is a major factor in designing global health programs. They are gender-sensitive, and gender-balanced. Our monitoring and evaluation data is gender disaggregated. We should have this whole gender issue completely wrapped up.
In practice, though, things look different. “Gender” has turned into just another word for women. We dont think about the complicated aspects of gender-sensitive programming. We just try to make sure that women get a voice in our work. And that’s important. That’s incredibly important. But it’s not thinking about gender. It’s thinking about women.
And when we only think about women, we miss some major points. Here’s one: men die younger than women, pretty much everywhere in the world. But we design most of our health programs around women. Here’s another: gender is a social construct, distinct from biological sex. But we rarely think about transgender people, or their needs, when we think about health programs. Read more: Gender and Global Health
November 19th, 2010
By: Serena O Sullivan, End Water Poverty
Today marks World Toilet Day – and jokes aside – it’s a day to both appreciate the sanitation facilities the majority of the world enjoys, but most importantly take action for the 2.6 billion people still living without safe and adequate sanitation, the 4000 children that die each day as a result, and the millions more whose health is affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
Read more: Schools, sanitation and neglected tropical diseases
November 18th, 2010
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a special adviser at the White House Office of Management and Budget, recently visited Senegal, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. He wanted to personally observe whether or not these recipients of the funds from the Global Health Initiative (GHI) were having a significant impact in these three countries.
The New Republic is featuring some of Emanuel’s notes from the field in a multi-part series. This series hopes to provide readers with views from all sides of how the Presidents Global Health Initiative will impact countries. Here at End the Neglect, we will follow the series closely and highlight it as it unfolds.
In the first installment that came out today, Emanuel states that improving maternal and child health would in turn address the big diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. He also makes the case for global health funding. Read the article in its entirety here.
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is a major advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)--a group of disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases affecting more than 1.4 billion people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day.
Global Network Ambassadors