News Flash 506: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

male Parrotfish (Sparisoma Cretense)

News Flash 506

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Thoughts for 2023: Promoting Innovation & New Technologies


Public Health in 2022: A Year of Adversities and Accomplishments

2022: key takeaways for international Geneva

’Tis the season: How to celebrate the holidays waste free


From health systems to systems for health: much more than semantics

US Summit Boosts Africa’s Health Sector, Food Resilience and Climate Response

The US-Africa Leaders Summit hits ‘reset.’ Now what?

The road to equitable access – an end of year message from MPP Director Charles Gore

Three innovative ideas for the right to health

TDR December 2022 Newsletter

Watch our AHEAD video: tackling and preventing medical deserts with the Medical Deserts Diagnostic Tool

The Pandemic Fund

Divided World Trade Organization Presses to Delay Decision on IP Waiver for COVID Treatments

WHO Urges ‘Under-Vaccinated’ China to Include mRNA Vaccines as it Battles Omicron Surge

COVID-19 in 2022: A Year-End Wrap-Up

Indonesia to produce Merck’s HPV vaccines to combat cervical cancer

Big Pharma’s big push into Africa’s cancer market

‘Strong evidence’ thousands of severe malaria cases are misdiagnosed

Smartphone operated tool uses light beam to detect malaria

MSF responds to groundbreaking updated WHO guidelines for drug-resistant tuberculosis

Building a social movement for oral health

People’s Health Dispatch: Bulletin #40: Right to health remains elusive as world marks Human Rights Day

La salute disuguale figlia della guerra


Afghanistan: Taliban ban women from universities amid condemnation

Gender inequalities and discrimination in rare diseases: a double threat to women’s health and wellbeing

Taking the Pulse: Tracking Cancer Inequalities in Europe

Is Organ Transplant equal for everyone?


UN Human Rights report urges re-think of temporary labour migration programmes

“We must do more to protect minorities”

Seeking justice for survivors of sexual violence in Ukraine

Learn more about your country’s commitments to UHC: UHC Data Portal

The world has a new plan to save nature. Here’s how it works — and how it could fail

Cop15 strikes historic deal to protect 30 per cent of Earth – at whose expense?

Sweeping New Global Biodiversity Deal Sets Out Plan for Sharing Gene Sequences

China’s return to wildlife farming ‘a risk to global health and biodiversity’

Mandatory Reporting of Emissions to Achieve Net-Zero Health Care












News Flash 505: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

Elegans Sea Slug (Hypselodoris Elegans)

News Flash 505

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Attacco al SSN. Svegliamoci!

Health Should Remain a Priority in the US-Africa Relationship

Meeting registration: EB TODAY

12.12.22 • International Universal Health Coverage Day – Build the World We Want: A Healthy Future for All

Building global prosperity: Proposals for sustainable growth

Report signals increasing resistance to antibiotics in bacterial infections in humans and need for better data

As Drug Resistance Surges, Experts Call for Antibiotics for Newborns to be Prioritised

Is It Safe to Take a Fourth COVID-19 Vaccine Shot?

A Bleak Winter? Modeling the Next Six Months of COVID, Flu, and RSV

Ebola trial candidate vaccines arrive in Uganda in record 79 days after outbreak declared

Global Progress on AIDS Fight in Danger, UNAIDs Warns

Going tent to tent to stop cholera in Syria

WHO: Substandard and falsified medical products: Advice to patients and consumers

DNDi 2022 Year in Review

Renewed malaria push needed after COVID-19 setback

Why Big Tobacco’s attempts to rehabilitate its image are so dangerous

Healthy lifestyle and life expectancy at age 30 years in the Chinese population: an observational study

Volker Türk: ‘It’s my duty to be the voice of human rights

International Rescue Commission lists emergency hotspots

Her Story: Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment of Women Health Workers

Racism poses public health threat to millions worldwide, finds report

UN anti-racism forum holds first ‘milestone’ meeting

Time to Denounce Antisemitism Worldwide

It’s a banner year for malnutrition funding. But challenges remain

Accelerated action needed to ensure safe drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene for all

UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2022 report

United Nations Biodiversity Conference COP15 / CP-MOP10 / NP-MOP4

Africa Fights Back Against Wildlife Poachers, but Drought is Devastating

Experts Seek Appropriate Circular Solutions to Plastic Pollution


G7 establishes climate club to fight global warming

The 2022 China report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: leveraging climate actions for healthy ageing








News Flash 504: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

Hermit Crab (Dardanus Calidus)

News Flash 504

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Meeting registration: Building a Vision for Global Solidarity [Kampala Initiative] Dec 14, 2022 12:00 PM in London

What is the role of Northern organisations in global justice advocacy?

History RePPPeated II -Why Public-Private Partnerships are not the solution

Kofi Annan Global Health Leadership Programme: How to Apply

WHO Member States agree to develop zero draft of legally binding pandemic accord in early 2023

Keep Momentum on Pandemic ‘Treaty’, Urges Tedros

US Wants WTO to Delay Decision on TRIPS Waiver Extension for COVID-19 Tests and Treatment

WHO: Public health round up

ETF concludes that bivalent original/Omicron BA.4-5 mRNA vaccines may be used for primary vaccination

Saliva-based methods for SARS-CoV-2 testing in low- and middle-income countries

CIOMS Special Newsletter “Fighting antimicrobial resistance”, November 2022

Join The Fight the Fakes Week 5-11 December 2022

Homicide Charges for Those Making Harmful Fake Medicine?

Tuberculosis care models for children and adolescents: a scoping review

Africa’s advances in maternal, infant mortality face setbacks: WHO

Antibiotics needed to treat multidrug-resistant infections in neonates

Drugs companies must address ‘chronic neglect’ of women

The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology: An open letter to Gavi: hepatitis B birth dose vaccine can’t wait

The Global Status of Iodine Deficiency Disorders  by Jan Schultink

More than 1 in 5 worldwide suffering from violence at work: ILO

UN warns of social unrest after ‘striking’ drop in global wages

World Bank warns of ‘intensifying’ debt crisis for poorest nations

UNPRPD: Situational analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities

Five migration solutions for Europe for 2023

Global research priorities for urban health

Planet Sustainability: The Choice Is Ours!

Biodiversity summit: countries gear up for a last chance to protect nature

COP15: Shift in Societal Values Needed to Address Biodiversity Loss

Europe enters global biodiversity conference with big ambitions

Island nation Vanuatu sends climate resolution to UN for court opinion






The Global Status of Iodine Deficiency Disorders

A piece here on global efforts to sustainably address iodine deficiency, looking at the shift in focus from more extreme clinical impact to the large scale efforts to prevent brain damage and loss of school performance in children. The article looks at the history of the public health success and what we need to do now to sustain it

By Jan Werner Schultink

Executive Director, Iodine Global Network


The Global Status of Iodine Deficiency Disorders


A public health success story…

The fortification of salt with iodine across the world has led to a remarkable and unique public health and economic success story which is little recognized. It is estimated that some 720 million clinical cases of iodine deficiency have been cured and prevented. Annually some 20.5 million neonates are prevented from having iodine deficiency. From an economic perspective the biggest impact is through the prevention of brain damage and IQ loss in children (8-15 points) potentially preventing a loss of tens of billions of dollars worldwide due to lost learning ability and thus earning potential.

This achievement came about through a series of steps involving the building of a solid scientific case for action, followed by several United Nations resolutions leading to global recognition of the need to iodize salt. Donor governments supported the United Nations’ work to implement programmes in deficient countries.  A crucial part of the success story was the active involvement and commitment of the salt industry, as well advocacy, engagement and financial support provided by civil society organizations such as Kiwanis International.

The result of this work was a significant drop in the number of countries with insufficient iodine intake, from 110 countries in 1993, to 54 in 2003, to 47 in 2007, 32 in 2012, 25 in 2015, and to 19 countries in 2017.

 …not to be taken for granted

However, WHO reported that in 2020, the number of deficient countries rose to 21.  Furthermore, just 23 countries with recent data had coverage of 90% or higher, and WHO noted that status among other population groups, such as pregnant women, is uncertain, with implications for the brain development of their children during pregnancy and early childhood. And while in many countries salt iodization is well regulated, and salt producers continue to provide adequately iodized salt, there are also countries where production is slipping or where it never reached the desired level. In some countries monitoring systems are not functioning, and data are lacking to take informed action, or resources to support national programs are insufficient.

But it’s clear that the rise in the number of deficient countries, as well as the lack of data, mean we must continue to be watchful and not forget about the problem.

A changed environment

The reasons for the global success were clear – as are the causes of the decline.  Nutrition programs have a broader focus – the issue of stunting, the problems with food systems, the rise of non-communicable diseases.  Changing dietary patterns such as the increased global consumption of processed food, and the push to reduce salt consumption affect iodine consumption.  Government management systems for the control of salt iodization are often outdated and ineffective.

So while the approach has been successful, some 20 countries – or perhaps even more – are still deficient.  Some 80 countries have no recent data, and often no data at all on disparity; national iodine surveys are costly and there are other health priorities.

What do we do?

The illustration above shows how looking at a programme since its inception can help us to track down the bottleneck areas hampering national availability of iodized salt.  These include problems relating to programme management structures and monitoring; differences in product quality and supply chain issues; the importance of cross-border trade; and the need for government and public awareness as well as resource allocation.

Our focus of attention and action should include support for the 21 countries where iodine intake is insufficient, identifying and removing obstacles to salt iodization. Broadly, we must improve data availability on iodine status as well on key components of national salt iodization efforts (e.g., management, import and production control) so that countries can take appropriate action with a focus on continuity. And we must strengthen advocacy and communication efforts to increase and maintain awareness among policymakers, salt producers and traders, and the general population.

More specifically, we need to Improve national salt iodization efforts using systematic analysis and approach while strengthening national ownership; adapt regional trade networks and regulations to facilitate trade of iodized salt; provide realistic regulations for salt producers and support them where required; monitor and enforce to ensure iodization, and recognize change in consumption patterns, efforts to reduce salt consumption and adapt accordingly.

Where are the world’s deficient countries?

  • Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan
  • Cambodia, DPRK, Samoa, Vanuatu, Vietnam
  • Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine
  • Haiti, Nicaragua
  • Iraq, Israel, Lebanon

News Flash 503: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

Sea Slug (Aplysia Dactylomela)

News Flash 503

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Webinar registration: Make pooling work to end pandemics: reactions on the C-TAP report Dec 2, 2022 03:00 PM in Amsterdam

WHO: World AIDS Day 2022


Why Don’t We Have an HIV Vaccine?

HIV Prevention: New Injection Could Boost the Fight, But Some Hurdles Remain

Pharmaceutical corporation ViiV must make ground-breaking HIV prevention injection affordable and available

Y+ Global | Work With Us – Call for applications: Young Emerging Leaders (YEL)

The Pandemic Accord: A pivotal opportunity to build resilient health systems and realise children’s right to health

The Pandemic Fund: a blueprint for success

Available therapeutics may be ineffective against new COVID sub-variants

Lifting Universal Masking in Schools — Covid-19 Incidence among Students and Staff

Audio Interview: Five Disease Outbreaks beyond Covid-19

Building Africa’s capacity for vaccine production

Monkeypox: Single dose of smallpox vaccine offers 78% protection, UKHSA reports

WHO recommends new name for monkeypox disease

Quadripartite welcomes new political commitments in fight against antimicrobial resistance

The value of international pharmacovigilance databases to help contain antibiotic resistance from a ‘One Health’ perspective

Rapid diagnostics in the fight against antimicrobial resistance: ERS and VALUE-Dx project event roundup

Uganda Extends Lockdowns in Bid to End Ebola Outbreak

Malawi starts landmark malaria vaccination drive

Africa’s New Approach to Public Health


State of Big Tech 2022: Dismantling Digital Enclosures

UN warns 500,000 more people will need aid in South Sudan


Push Forward – Act Now to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Is no space safe? Working to end gender-based violence in the public sphere

Key features of an uplifting global health collaboration and work environment: From two mid-career African health experts

CIWF Italia Guida al Consumo Consapevole: come fare scelte più giuste per gli animali e l’ambiente

Curbing the aid carbon footprint: how an Africa-based NGO is leading the charge

Plastic vs fuel? Experts warn of biomass limits

Mediterranean region aims to lead the way in circular economy push

Africa: New Fund to Help African Cities Build Water Resilience #AfricaClimateHope

Effective Reduction of Antibiotic Use in Dairy Farming through Ethnovet Medicine as Part of an Integrated Livestock Health Approach  by Katrien van’t Hooft


Effective Reduction of Antibiotic Use in Dairy Farming through Ethnovet Medicine as Part of an Integrated Livestock Health Approach

The international network organized within the Natural Livestock Farming Foundation has developed an effective methodology to support farmers to reduce their use of antibiotics and other veterinary drugs, in both smallholder and large-scale dairy systems. It is now clear that this does not only improve milk quality, but also the quantity of milk, farm income, environment, and an up to 87% reduced antibiotic use  

By Katrien van’t Hooft

Executive Director Foundation for Natural Livestock Farming (NLF) 

Director Dutch Farm Experience

Effective Reduction of Antibiotic Use in Dairy Farming through Ethnovet Medicine as Part of an Integrated Livestock Health Approach


In the world-wide quest for dairy modernization the focus on crossbreeding and productivity increase of dairy cattle has, besides enhanced milk production, also resulted in high use of agro-chemicals. The use of antibiotics for common cattle diseases, such as udder infection and diarrhoea, is widespread. This contributes to the global threat of anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

Natural Livestock Farming approach

Since 2014 farmers, livestock scientists and veterinarians from Ethiopia, Uganda, India and the Netherlands have joined forces under the umbrella of the Natural Livestock Farming foundation (NLF).

This international network on knowledge development for livestock health is re-valuing time-tested methods, such as use of medicinal plants and strategic use of local breeds, to be applied in a modern context. NLF combines knowledges from various backgrounds including farmer knowledge, western veterinary science and Indian Ayurveda science.

The NLF Foundation improves cattle health on basis of the NLF 5-layered approach (van’t Hooft et al., 2017) comprising of:

  • Appropriate management of animals, farm and soils
  • Strategic use of local breeds, strategic crossbreeding
  • Ethnovet Medicine: use of herbs and natural products
  • Food quality improvement and control
  • Better farm income through cost reduction and direct marketing

NLF core activities are action research, exchange of best practices, and training. The combination of bottom-up experimentation and international peer to peer exchange is additional to existing initiatives in the field of AMR control. This opens up opportunities that more conventional livestock development programs fail to unlock, providing opportunity for increased farm income, better child nutrition, food safety & security, as well as improved environment. 

Results in smallholder dairy system

Ethnovet medicine as part of the NLF 5-layer approach is gradually being adopted, especially within countries with smallholder dairy farmers. The main example being India, the largest dairy producer in the world, based on 98% zero-grazing smallholder dairy farmers with 2-5 cows.

Over the past decade NLF India (a collaboration between GLOHMSIWA and Trans Disciplinary University TDU) has trained a total 30.000 farmers and 2000 veterinarians on efficient use of herbs for cattle health, also known as ethno-veterinary practices. (M.N.B. Nair, 2019)

Since 2017 the method is adopted by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). Through an on-line reporting system[1] the empirical data of more than 556,000 cases of 30 bovine diseases cured with herbal medicine were recorded. An overall average cure rate of 82% was registered, as well as an 87% reduction of antibiotic use within two years after the training.

NLF in Ethiopia (headed by Ethiopian Society of Animal Production ESAP), implemented an action research based on the NLF approach in two zero-grazing smallholder dairy communities. Experts from NLF India headed a training on the use of medicinal plants (mainly kitchen herbs), while organizations collaborating with NLF Netherlands guided training on laboratory skills and calf management. In two years, the approach has shown significant improvement in milk quality (8% antibiotic residue reduction) and quantity (over 50% increase), farm income (33% increase), while calf mortality was reduced by 60%. Average costs for cattle health were reduced by 20%. The outcomes of this pilot will have a bearing in supporting the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture in improving milk quality and to scale up the strategy into various dairy programs.

The initial focus of NLF in Uganda (headed by the Lake Mburo Farmers Cooperative Society) was on natural control of ticks and tick-borne diseases amongst smallholder ranging cattle. An herbal recipe based on local plants was developed by experts from NLF India and tried out in 2017-2018. In recent years the society has also focused on diversifying farm activities including value addition and local marketing of dairy products. 

Results in large-scale dairy

Since the start of NLF in the Netherlands in 2015, around 400 farmers and 50 veterinarians have joined the activities. The antibiotic use for mastitis in the dairy sector used to be high, with dry cow treatment a common practice. Since 2014 a one-to-one relationship between farmers and veterinarians on the use of antibiotics was enforced by the government, with mandatory (national) registration of antibiotic use. As a result, the use of antibiotics in the total livestock production systems was reduced to around 70% compared to 2009, though the decrease is now stagnating.

In the Dutch dairy sector increased use by farmers of ready-made natural products was one of the major changes for mastitis prevention and cure. Moreover, farmers started to re-introduce herbs in the cattle feed and ray-grass monoculture grasslands. This exposed the lack of knowledge amongst farmers and veterinarians, both about herbal grassland management and the safety of herbal products. Since 2018 NLF in the Netherlands has trained farmers and veterinarians on the safe use of herbal products and herbal grassland management. The Dutch government has invested in the spread of knowledge on natural remedies via so-called Barn-books (Groot et al., 2021). 

Ethnovet medicine for improving milk quality

In dairy development the main focus has been on maximising cattle productivity and milk quantity. At this point in time the crisis with AMR obliges the sector to look beyond this, and focus on both milk quantity and milk quality. Meanwhile, knowledge and skills about practical ways to reduce the use of antibiotics at farm level without harming cattle health and wellbeing are lacking.

The strategic collaboration headed by NLF has brought about a road map on improving cattle health and milk quality. Now that proof of concept about the NLF approach including ethnovet medicine is available it is time for upscaling it into mainstream dairy policies, extension and education. For this, NLF is reaching out to NGO’s, government, research institutes and funding agencies, while organizing webinars, field level pilots and international exchanges.



M N Balakrishnan Nair. “Ethno-Veterinary Sciences and Practices for Reducing the use of Antimicrobial and Other Veterinary Drugs in Veterinary Practices”. EC Veterinary Science RCO.01 (2019): 16-17.

Katrien van’t Hooft, Maria Groot and Getachew Gebru 2017. Natural Livestock Farming: Piloting a Strategy to Improve Milk Quality and Reduce Anti-Microbial Resistance. Appro Poult Dairy & Vet Sci. 1(3). APDV.000514

Groot, M.J., Berendsen, B.J.A., Cleton, N.B.2021. The Next Step to Further Decrease Veterinary Antibiotic Applications: Phytogenic Alternatives and Effective Monitoring; the Dutch Approach. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8,709750


[1] Information Network for Animal Productivity & Health (INAPH),


News Flash 502: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

Purple Sea-Star (Ophidiaster Ophidianus)

News Flash 502

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Do we need a European Health Union?

The 2022 Europe report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: towards a climate resilient future

Africa: COP27’s ‘Loss and Damage’ Fund for Developing Countries Could Be a Breakthrough – or Another Empty Climate Promise

COP27: Diplomatic baby steps amid mounting humanitarian crises

At COP 27, joy over ‘loss and damage’ fund is tempered by reality

COP27 Agrees to Create a ‘Loss and Damage’ Fund; but Falls Short on Mitigation Ambition

Letter: Climate change is the biggest market failure ever experienced

Q&A: TV contest winner’s microplastics innovation

WHO: World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 18 – 24 November 2022

WHO Afro: Resist the Resistance

Best practices to fight antimicrobial resistance

One in Three People Use Antibiotics Without Prescription: WHO Study of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia

WAAW 2022 Events

Estimating antimicrobial resistance burden in Europe—what are the next steps?

As WTO Considers Patent Waiver on COVID Treatments, Some Say it is Too Late

Experimental Covid Pill Wins Emergency Approval in Japan

Is the first malaria vaccine worth the cost?

The HPV vaccine market is changing. But there are other access threats


Oral Health Neglect: The Overlooked Crisis Affecting 3.5 Billion People

Diagnostics Not Just Insulin Needed to Fight Diabetes


What about Debt Cancellation to Help Prevent Future Pandemics?

Webinar registration: Make pooling work to end pandemics: reactions on the C-TAP report Dec 2, 2022 03:00 PM in Amsterdam

MSF publishes first Clinical Trial Transparency Policy

How can disclosing clinical trial costs increase access to medical products? A discussion to explore practical implementation of disclosing clinical trial costs: why should this be done and how?

Mega-project to detect missing clinical trial results across five European countries

Safeguarding research staff “in the field”: a blind spot in ethics guidelines

People’s Health Dispatch Bulletin #38: Health workers and patients demand strong primary health care

A Looming Crisis of Public Finances Spells Trouble for Universal Health Coverage in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Crimes Against Children

How Providing Childcare Affects the Grandparents (and Everyone Else in the Family): Evidence from Brazil

Bridging the global health divide: reflections of scholars in the global south

Africa: Pan-African Approach Needed to Tackle Food Insecurity Arising From Conflict and Climate Shocks




News Flash 501: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

Bass (Dicentrarchus Labrax)

News Flash 501

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Civil Society Organisations Say: EU trade deals must not undermine democratic rights

Aussie companies to lose right to sue under free trade pacts

Webinar registration: Tackling and preventing medical deserts with the Medical Deserts Diagnostic Tool Monday November 21st, 2022 Time: 12:00 – 13:00 (CET)

WHO, WIPO, WTO to hold technical symposium on response, preparedness to future pandemics

How to end pandemics

EMA recommends approval of VidPrevtyn Beta as a COVID 19 booster vaccine

Sustaining gains made in the HIV response as we fight Ebola

Trials of Three Ebola Candidate Vaccines Set for Uganda; India’s Covaxin Vaccine Still Suspended by WHO

Who killed the COVID vaccine waiver?

The Waiver that Wasn’t: Is the pharma lobby responsible?

How Do You Spell Deadlock? T-R-I-P-S

WHO Biosimilar Guidelines Are a Tepid Attempt to Improve Access and Affordability

Detecting falsified oral contraceptives by visual assessment and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (350–2500 nm): the need for supplementing traditional pharmacopeia techniques and the public health implications

The World Needs New Antibiotics. A Proposed US Program to Develop Them Would Pay Off 28:1

Uppsala Monitoring Center: Are you wondering how reporting side effects can help make medicines safer?

Diabetes challenges

Déjà Vu: Within Our Grasp by Sharman Apt Russell

Colombia Votes to Tax Junk Food and Sugary Drinks

East Africa food crisis – Breaking the cycle of drought, hunger and famine


#HealthToo as a research project established by Women in Global Health to document the stories of women health workers who have experienced Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH) in their place of work

Are we really ‘one’ in ‘One Health’?

India’s rapid urbanization demands healthy urban planning: an opportunity to revive the WHO healthy cities approach?

COP27 Fiddling as World Warms

At COP27 climate talks, slow progress stokes worry over final deal

African female farmers clamour to be heard at COP27

Climate Change is No ‘Future Scenario’ for Pacific Island Nations; Climate Change is ‘Real’

Rethinking Humanitarianism | Will countries hit by climate change finally get payouts at COP27?

Planet Health — climate crisis and the future of health care

Wild ambitions: countries meet in Panama to discuss future of planet’s species

Plastics on Track to Account for 20% of Oil and Gas Consumption by 2050

The Niger Delta’s Harsh Lessons: Fossil Fuels’ Harm to People and the Planet

Biggest rainforest nations form triple alliance to save jungle

Launch of EBRD Climate Adaptation Action Plan at COP27

Confronting the climate emergency with climate, trade and development policy in sync










Déjà Vu: Within Our Grasp

As of today, in eight Americans is still food-insecure. One in six American children do not always know when their next meal will be or where that meal will come from. Recently, President Biden’s administration has also come up with a plan to end hunger in America by 2030. Much of that is exactly what hunger groups wanted to do nearly two decades ago...

By Sharman Apt Russell


Sharman Apt Russell has published some dozen books translated into nine languages. Her Diary of a Citizen Scientist won the 2016 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Natural History Writing and her Hunger: An Unnatural History (Basic Books, 2005) was written with the help of a Rockefeller Fellowship. Her Within Our Grasp: Childhood Malnutrition Worldwide and the Revolution Taking Place to End It (Pantheon Books, 2021) highlights the alignment of environmental and humanitarian goals.  Sharman lives in the magical realism of the American Southwest. She teaches in the MFA program of Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a professor emeritus at Western New Mexico University in Silver City. For more information, go to

Déjà Vu: Within Our Grasp


In 2004, I was writing a book about the science of hunger, how our bodies respond to both voluntary fasting and involuntary malnutrition and starvation. I talked to a lot of people about this subject. The coalition National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO) had just come up with a blueprint to end hunger in America, one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and as they were the first to admit—this wasn’t rocket science. “The solution to hunger in America is not a secret,” the NAHO said. “We have both the knowledge and the tools.”

Eighteen years later, one in eight Americans is still food-insecure. One in six American children do not always know when their next meal will be or where that meal will come from.

Recently, President Biden’s administration has also come up with a plan to end hunger in America by 2030. Much of that is exactly what hunger groups wanted to do nearly two decades ago.

The first step is to expand existing programs. Reach out to the people who are eligible for food assistance but do not receive it because the process of applying is so difficult and humiliating. Increase the benefits of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children). Extend healthy school meals into the summers and holidays. Provide more nutritious healthy food to food banks and food pantries. Focus on supporting vulnerable groups such as seniors, children, and immigrants.

The second step is to reduce poverty. Return the child tax credit used in the pandemic, which was shown to reduce child poverty by almost half. Raise the minimum wage. Lower health care costs. Help provide quality child care and safe, affordable housing.

It’s not rocket science.

At the same time, the 2022 plan does have some remarkable differences from what was proposed in 2004.

When I was writing about malnutrition then, statistics from the World Health Organization did not include the problem of overnutrition. Today, being overweight or obese is considered a form of malnutrition which can result in serious chronic disease. Some 42 percent of adults in America are obese. Almost 20 percent of children ages 2 to 19 are obese. What does this mean for their future? We don’t really know. America has never had so many obese children.

Obesity, of course, is also connected to poverty. When people do not know when their next meal will be, they may tend to overcompensate or develop unhealthy eating habits. When people live in food deserts, with access mainly to highly processed and inexpensive fast food, they may tend to gain weight. When city parks and green spaces are unsafe or far away, healthy daily exercise like walking and bicycling is hard to develop as a routine.

President Biden’s plan to end hunger is sensitive to the new realities of malnutrition and includes an emphasis on making nutritious food more available in poor communities and creating more opportunities for physical recreation.

The plan also welcomes the crucial role of business in America, with a long list of companies and organizations that have pledged real money—some eight billion dollars—in the effort to provide better access to better food. That list includes Albertsons, Door Dash, Instacart, Walgreens, Chobani, Tyson Foods, Google, Sysco, Warner Brothers, The Food Industry Association, The National Grocers Association, and National Restaurant Association. Their programs will range from nutrition labeling and nutrition counseling to financing healthier school breakfasts and lunches.

These efforts may be particularly important in a time when government in America becomes more partisan and paralyzed.

It’s not rocket science. We know what to do. And we have the resources.

I hope it doesn’t take another twenty years.




By the same Author recently on PEAH

The Strategy of Hope






News Flash 500: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

White Seabream (Diplodus Sargus Sargus)

News Flash 500

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Online and in-person event: HEALTHCARE AND CLIMATE CHANGE: VICTIM OR PERPETRATOR? INTERNATIONAL GENEVA GLOBAL HEALTH PLATFORM 14 November 2022, 18:30 – 20:00 Auditorium Ivan Pictet, Maison de la Paix, Geneva Graduate Institute

Webinar registration: Financial Justice for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Tuesday, 15 November 2022 at Geneva Press Club

Webinar registration: Tackling and preventing medical deserts with the Medical Deserts Diagnostic Tool Monday November 21st, 2022


COP27: World Bank, IRENA Pledge $1 Billion for Solar Electrification of Health Facilities, Food Storage and Agriculture

Developing Nations Clamour for New Deal on Debt and Climate Finance

Cop27: world on ‘highway to climate hell’, says UN chief

COP27 Climate Change Conference: urgent action needed for Africa and the world

COP27: EU launches Forest Partnerships with five partner countries

Why COP27 needs radical ideas and a shift of paradigm

COP27: What is ‘Loss and Damage’ compensation, and who should pay?

Carbon Billionaires: The investment emissions of the world’s richest people

Europe rapidly losing its forest carbon sink, study shows

Cop27: ‘Water-related risks keep me up at night’:, says UN’s disaster risk reduction boss

UN unveils global ‘early warning’ system for disasters at $3 billion

Fossil Fuel Companies Are Continuing the Scramble for Africa & We Need to Talk About It

Brazil’s Lula vows to prioritise climate, science amid crisis

Debt-for-Nature Swaps Gain Traction Among Developing Countries

Oh FFS: A guide to climate change acronyms

WHO: Public Health round-up

COVID vaccine hoarding might have cost more than a million lives

WEMOS report: Make pooling work to end pandemics: A qualitative analysis of the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool

Keeping Track of COVID-19 Omicron Variants

Audio Interview: Masking and Covid-19

World-first vaccine campaign brings hope in fighting deadly hepatitis E

Uganda to close schools early after eight children die of Ebola

New MSF report warns that major opportunity to increase access to newer, safer DR-TB drugs is at risk

DR-TB Drugs Under the Microscope, 8th Edition

Progress on Tuberculosis Can Be Achieved in Africa

Success Stories: SUCCESS ARK by Tukashaba Felix


Bulletin #37: No to austerity, yes to strong health systems People’s Health Dispatch Nov 5, 2022 

The Sustainable Livelihoods Handbook: An asset based approach to poverty

Book: Patient involvement in the development, regulation and safe use of medicines

Health systems and policy research needed to strengthen the rehabilitation workforce