Development Health Advice 

Revealed: Inequalities persist in HIV prevention, child treatment services

The final report from the Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free initiative, issued in Geneva on Wednesday, warns that progress on ending AIDS among children, adolescents and young women has stalled and requires urgent action.  Four-fold increase  The five-year framework began in 2015 and followed on from a global plan to reduce new HIV infections among children by that year, while also ensuring those living with HIV have access to antiretroviral therapy. The focus was on 23 countries, mostly in Africa.  The study shows that 150,000 children were newly infected, or…

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Development Health Advice 

WHO’s Tedros backs Tokyo Olympic Games ‘power to inspire’

Speaking in the Japanese capital Tokyo, he said the world must unite with “determination, dedication and discipline” to triumph over the COVID-19 pandemic.  “More than any other event (the Games) have the power to bring the world together; to inspire; to show what is possible,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) told the International Olympic Committee, with the Olympic flame in his hand.  He warned that the world was now in the early stages of another wave of infections and deaths, urging all countries to embark on a “massive global push” to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of their…

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Development Health Advice 

Chess calms nerves, improves mental health throughout pandemic 

Games and sports of all kind, have always helped reduce anxieties, improve mental health, and survive times of crisis.   Over the past few months, the overall interest in chess has reportedly doubled with more players than ever playing in events online.  A combination of strategic and scientific thinking, combined with elements of pure art, chess is one of the most cultural of games handed down over generations, the UN recognizes.  Crossing barriers Affordable and inclusive, chess can be played anywhere and played by all – across the barriers of language, age, gender, physical ability and social status.  Because it is a global game that promotes fairness and mutual respect, it can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among peoples and nations, according to the UN.  And chess also offers important…

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Development Health Advice 

UN deputy chief warns of ‘hurricane of humanitarian crises’ 

Briefing on behalf of the UN chief, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, painted a grim picture of civilian executions, arbitrary arrests, detentions, forced displacement and sexual violence against children, on a massive scale, in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.  She also spoke of “brutal attacks” in Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, where 20 million people are living “face-to-face” with hunger.  “We are in uncharted waters”, she said, with the “sheer scale of humanitarian needs” never greater.   This year the UN and its partners are seeking to assist 160 million people – its highest number ever.  ‘Relentless’ attacks  The “hurricane of humanitarian crises” is compounded by a “relentless wave of attacks” on humanitarian and medical workers, and the imposition of ever narrower constraints on humanitarian space, according to the deputy UN chief.  “The Secretary-General urges this Council to take strong and immediate action to support its numerous resolutions on the protection of civilians, humanitarian and healthcare workers, and humanitarian space”,…

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Development Health Advice 

Decline in routine childhood vaccinations, another pandemic fallout

This is the highest number since 2009, and nearly four million more than recorded in the year preceding the crisis, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.  “Even as countries clamour to get their hands on COVID-19 vaccines, we have gone backwards on other vaccinations, leaving children at risk from devastating but preventable diseases like measles, polio or meningitis,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General.  From bad to worse  The pandemic caused widespread disruption to immunization services, with South East Asia…

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Development Health Advice 

‘Early stages’ of COVID third wave, amid Delta surge: WHO chief

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the recent data in an address to the Emergency Committee on COVID-19, established under the International Health Regulations (IHR), a treaty that guides global response to public health risks. Recalling the sustained decline in COVID-19 cases and deaths that was being driven, in recent months, by increasing vaccination rates in Europe and North America, he sounded alarms over the fresh reversal of that positive trend. “Self-interest is natural, but there is enlightened self-interest. Vaccines can be produced and the world can be opened up. It’s in our hands.…

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Development Health Advice 

‘Tear down inequalities’ to end COVID pandemic: UNAIDS

According to the UNAIDS Global AIDS Update 2021, people living with HIV are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death, yet the vast majority are denied access to life-saving vaccines.   Gender inequality & gender-based violence continue to fuel the HIV epidemic among women & girls. In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls & young women account for 25% of HIV infections despite representing just 10% of the population. Learn more in the new Global AIDS Update 👇🏾 — UNAIDS (@UNAIDS) July 14, 2021 Although key populations and their sexual partners account for 65 per cent of…

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Development Health Advice 

‘Tremendously off track’ to meet 2030 SDGs: UN chief  

“High costs, coupled with persistently high levels of poverty and income inequality, continue to keep healthy diets out of reach for around three billion people, in every region of the world”, added António Guterres, in a statement highlighting the importance of the global Food Systems Summit, due to take place in September.   In a world of plenty, we have no excuse for billions of people to lack access to a healthy diet. This is unacceptable – @antonioguterres. His full statement on the Food Systems Summit: https://t.co/RZcENQgNy1 — UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) July 12, 2021…

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Development Health Advice 

COVID-19 booster strategy as Delta multiplies, highlights ‘disappointing inequality’: WHO

“We’re in the midst of a growing two-track pandemic where the haves and have-nots within and between countries are increasingly divergent”, underscored Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus. He explained that although the Delta variant was spreading quickly in places with high vaccination coverage, in countries with low vaccination coverage, the situation is particularly bad. “Delta and other highly transmissible variants are driving catastrophic waves of cases, which are translating into high numbers of hospitalisations and death. Even countries that successfully managed to ward off the early waves of the virus through public…

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Development Health Advice 

UN reports ‘leap forward’ in regulating DNA-altering technology to benefit all 

“Human genome editing has the potential to advance our ability to treat and cure disease, but the full impact will only be realized if we deploy it for the benefit of all people, instead of fuelling more health inequity between and within countries”, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).  A representative report  The total complement of genes in any organism or cell, is known as its genome.   WHO said in a news release that the forward-looking reports are the result of broad, global consultations on the different types of gene therapies, which involve modifying a patient’s DNA to treat or cure diseases.…

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