News Flash 572: 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

Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)

News Flash 572

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

 

A Human Rights Guide to the 2024 European Elections

Two Futures for Global Development

IBFAN: Invitation to the 77th World Health Assembly Side Event on DIGITAL MARKETING OF BREASTMILK SUBSTITUTES Tuesday 28th May

Register: OXFAM expert panel event, Public Health or Private Wealth? on June 6 at 3pm in The City View Room, George Washington University

How overhead funding rules starve grassroots NGOs

IHPE Manifesto 2024

Pressure from European countries related to the use of TRIPS Flexibilities

Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation meets AbbVie in court, looking to advance its pricing case

On the Pervasiveness of Self-Interest and Careerism in Global Health— and How Greater Literacy in Ethics & Ethical Reasoning Might Help

Can a new government repeal the NHI Act?             

WHO Member States Miss Deadline for Agreement on Pandemic Accord, But Agree to Soldier On in Next Two Weeks

Contribution of vaccination to improved survival and health: modelling 50 years of the Expanded Programme on Immunization

What to Know About the COVID FLiRT Variants

Vigilance needed to avert spread of bird flu to humans

New guidance aims to reduce bloodstream infections from catheter use

Defeating the Double Standard in Diabetes Care

Stroke Awareness and Africa  by Kirubel Workiye Gebretsadik

Tools for Measuring Human Lead Exposure: A Review of Methods and Implications for Future Research and Practice

Upwards of 800 Million People with Vision Impairments Lack Access to Eyeglasses

Better together: Co-creating the future of mental health

Number of internally displaced people reaches record high, again, in 2023

EU agrees on a new migration pact. Mainstream parties hope it will deprive the far right of votes

Webinar registration: Women Community Health Workers: Leading Change | Policy Report Launch May 22, 2024

HRR 723: CLIMATE AND THE RIGHTS OF NATURE ARE NOT JUST ‘OTHER ISSUES’ TO BE ‘MAINSTREAMED’ INTO WHAT ORGANIZATIONS ALREADY DO

Haiti: UNICEF ensures thousands have safe drinking water

Q&A: AI sandbox helping fight hunger – WFP

International Statement: World Bank Out of Land!

Dissenting Voices at Nairobi Soil Health Forum Over Increased Fertilizer Use

The 2024 Europe report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: unprecedented warming demands unprecedented action

ODI Think Change episode 47: how can we deal with the security impacts of the climate crisis?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stroke Awareness and Africa

IN A NUTSHELL
Editor's note Stroke risk awareness should increase in Africa where this disease is the third leading cause of death, accounting for about 9% of all deaths on the continent, due to factors including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and lack of access to healthcare services

By Kirubel Workiye Gebretsadik

Medical Doctor, Ras Desta Damtew Memorial Hospital

                                     Addis Ababa, Ethiopia                                       

Stroke Awareness and Africa

 

Stroke is a medical condition that affects millions of people around the world, including the African population. It is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted(1).

May is Stroke Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increasing awareness about stroke, its causes, and its impact on individuals and families(2).

African countries are facing a growing burden of stroke cases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stroke is the third leading cause of death in Africa, accounting for about 9% of all deaths on the continent. The prevalence of stroke in Africa is higher compared to other regions, and it affects individuals at a younger age. This can be attributed to various factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and lack of access to healthcare services(3).

One of the major challenges in addressing stroke in Africa is the lack of awareness and knowledge about the condition. Many people are unaware of the risk factors and warning signs of stroke, which delays the timely recognition and treatment of the condition. It is crucial to educate the population about stroke, its symptoms, and the importance of seeking immediate medical attention.

Many individuals may not recognize the symptoms of a stroke or may delay seeking medical help, resulting in delayed treatment and poorer outcomes. Therefore, it is crucial to educate the public about the signs and symptoms of a stroke and emphasize the importance of seeking immediate medical attention.

Recognizing the warning signs of stroke is crucial for getting prompt medical attention and preventing long-term damage.

The acronym “BE FAST” is an easy way to remember the signs of stroke:

  • Balance: sudden loss of balance or headache
  • Eyes: Is vision blurry
  • Face drooping: Does one side of the face droop or feel numb?
  • Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.”
  • Time to call: If someone shows any of these symptoms, call to hospital immediately.

Prevention plays a vital role in reducing the burden of stroke in the population. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can significantly lower the risk of stroke. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, and managing underlying conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes(4). Access to quality healthcare services and medications for risk factor control is also crucial in preventing strokes. In conclusion, stroke has a significant impact on the African population, with higher prevalence and younger age of onset compared to other regions. Raising awareness about stroke, recognizing its symptoms, and promoting preventive measures are essential to reduce the burden of stroke in Africa. By working together to educate communities and improve access to healthcare services, we can make a difference in the lives of millions affected by stroke in Africa. Remember, timely action can save lives. Stay informed, stay healthy(5).

Stroke Awareness Month is an opportunity to spread the word about stroke prevention, recognition, and treatment. By raising awareness, we can help more people understand the risk factors, warning signs, and actions to take in the event of a stroke(6).

 

References

  1. World Stroke Day | American Stroke Association [Internet]. [cited 2024 May 11]. Available from: https://www.stroke.org/en/about-the-american-stroke-association/world-stroke-day
  2. Stroke – Society for Public Health Education – SOPHE [Internet]. [cited 2024 May 11]. Available from: https://www.sophe.org/focus-areas/chronic-conditions/may-national-stroke-awareness-month/
  3. World Stroke Day 2022 [Internet]. [cited 2024 May 11]. Available from: https://www.who.int/srilanka/news/detail/29-10-2022-world-stroke-day-2022
  4. strokeawareness [Internet]. [cited 2024 May 11]. Help Spread Stroke Awareness | Stroke Awareness. Available from: https://www.strokeawareness.com/patient/spread-the-word.html
  5. Elshebiny A, Almuhanna M, AlRamadan M, Aldawood M, Aljomeah Z. Awareness of Stroke Risk Factors, Warning Signs, and Preventive Behaviour Among Diabetic Patients in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia. Cureus. 15(2):e35337.
  6. Stroke Awareness Foundation: Improving Stroke Outcomes [Internet]. [cited 2024 May 11]. Available from: https://www.strokeinfo.org/

 

—-

By the same Author on PEAH

Neglected Tropical Diseases: Lessons for Future Pandemics and Global Health Preparedness

Forgone Health Care Among Patients With Cardiovascular Disease

UNMET HEALTHCARE

  Malaria Eradication and Prevention through Innovation

  ONE HEALTH ONE WORLD

Social Innovation in Healthcare

News Flash 571: 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

Mediterranean moray (Muraena helena)

News Flash 571

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

 

World is Off Track to Meet ‘Triple Billion’ Health Targets

WHO Results Report 2023 shows notable health achievements and calls for concerted drive toward Sustainable Development Goals

One Health: a joint framework for action published by five EU agencies

Why ethics matters in science

EuroHealthNet Annual Seminar 2024: Navigating times of change for public health 3 June, 2024 Register

Disability inclusivity: time to step up

Interprofessional Educational Needs for Shared Governance of Integrated Care

The Medicines Patent Pool Unveils New Version of MedsPaL for Streamlined Access to Global Health Intellectual Property Information

Event registration: MAY 17, 2024 Redefining Multilateralism: Shaping the Future of Global Governance

Reviving Tanzania’s regional leadership and global engagement

Paraguay: Well-being of millions depend on urgently needed improvements to public health system

The rhetoric of “partnership”: Continuing expert-lay divide plagues Comprehensive Primary Health Care discourse (and reality) in Kerala

How To Endure A Pandemic And Learn Almost Nothing

ETF recommends updating COVID-19 vaccines to target new JN.1 variant

Zimbabwe Turns Tide on HIV – Although a Few People Still Refuse Treatment

People’s Health Dispatch Bulletin #75: Hunger and disease rampant in Palestine and Sudan as wars continue

People cut off from vital healthcare as intense violence grips Port-au-Prince

HRR 722: “IF YOU HAVE COME TO HELP ME, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME. BUT IF YOU RECOGNIZE THAT YOUR LIBERATION AND MINE ARE BOUND UP TOGETHER, WE CAN WALK TOGETHER.”

Research Handbook on Inequalities in Later Life. Edited by Catherine Earl, Senior Lecturer, School of Communication and Design, RMIT Vietnam and Philip Taylor, Professor, Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick, UK Publication Date: June 2024

Lack of children’s hospitals: challenge in delivering comprehensive care for children in LMICs

The struggle to provide health care to refugees, migrants in South Africa

An End to Extreme Poverty? (Or at Least the Extreme Poverty Line)

3 in 5 Births at Home? Madagascar Offers Free Maternal Care

Midwives: A Vital Climate Solution

The West Needs to Come to Grips with African Fertilizer Needs

The climate loss and damage fund takes its first steps

Time’s up: The Council of Europe Must Put The Right to a Healthy Environment in Law

Restore Our Planet Podcast #44 Sustaining the Seas: George Clark

We Should Aim to be at Peace with Nature, Says David Cooper of UN Convention on Biological Diversity

The EU’s new ecocide law may still let environmental criminals get away with it

Shift Cattle Subsidies to Help Climate Fight, World Bank Says

LIVE NOW! A roadmap to EU forest resilience – Tackling climate change and forest disturbances

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Flash 570: 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 walnut (Mnemiopsis leidyi)

News Flash 570

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

 

One Health Scholarship 2024 Call for Applicants Submission Deadline July 31, 2024

Meeting registration: Access to medicines in pandemics: what’s the deal? May 21, 2024

Meeting registration: Universal Health Coverage For All: Advancing Gender-Responsive Health Systems for Comprehensive SRHR May 8, 2024

Webinar registration: Why and how civil society can contribute to the 5th round of reporting on the implementation of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel May 15, 2024

What do parties’ health promises mean? We break it down

Analysing governments’ progress on the right to health

Interview: Joan Kembabazi, Gufasha Girls Foundation, Uganda  by Daniele Dionisio

Policy Cures Research: Join us for the launch of our new report on the return on investment of global health R&D. Date: Tuesday 28th May

Building an economy for health and well-being

Global Failures on Healthcare Funding

WHO: Resumed INB negotiations in Working Group & informal discussion to push for consensus

Derrick Sim: funding pandemic response

Financing for pandemic preparedness and response measures: a systematic scoping review

A finance and health collaboration to counter pandemic threats

MSF’s Comments on Selected Provisions of the Proposal for the WHO Pandemic Agreement

Africa Wants Debt Swaps to Support Countries’ Defences Against Pandemics

Research ethics and artificial intelligence for global health: perspectives from the global forum on bioethics in research

TDR: Celebrating 50 years of working alongside the LMIC malaria research community

More African Countries Roll Out Malaria Vaccine, While Babies Get New Treatment Formulation

Webinar registration -When Mycobacterium tuberculosis no longer responds to antibiotics: Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) & Drug Resistant TB (DR-TB) May 7, 2024

How to finance national antimicrobial resistance action plans

National letters to Danaher and Cepheid

Identifying and costing common gaps in Central and West Africa pharmaceutical regulation

Access to Affordable Health: A Care Delivery Model of GNRC Hospitals in North-Eastern India

HRR 721: MEASURED BY THE YARDSTICK OF PROFIT, MORALITY-DIGNITY-ORDER AND-RESPECT FOR SOCIETY DISAPPEAR; AS A RESULT, SOCIETY EXISTS ONLY AS AN OBJECT OF PREDATION

Food Insecurity Affects 282 Million People in 2023

Opinion: Reducing food methane pollution without compromising nutrition

Plastic pollution talks make modest progress but sidestep production curbs

‘Cautious’ optimism after latest UN plastic treaty negotiations

Using Industrial Waste to Fight Pollution in Brazil

Climate finance opportunities for health and health systems

 

 

 

 

Interview: Joan Kembabazi, Gufasha Girls Foundation, Uganda

Gufasha Girls Foundation (GGF) is a non-profit community-based organization whose primary work is to advocate against child marriage and promote girls’ education.  Founded in 2016 and headquartered at the Kayunga District, Uganda, the Foundation is committed to reaching the most vulnerable girl children to change their lives, give them hope and build a generation of empowered girls and women. 

In this connection, PEAH had the pleasure to interview Joan Kembabazi as Gender Equality Activist and Founder & Team Leader of Gufasha Girls Foundation 

 By Daniele Dionisio

PEAH – Policies for Equitable Access to Health

 INTERVIEW 

Joan Kembabazi 

Gender Equality Activist and Founder & Team Leader of Gufasha Girls Foundation (GGF)

…I dream of a world where every girl attains the opportunity to access quality education to be able to be whoever and whatever they want to be, finds and owns her voice and uses it to stand against any form of violence and discrimination… 

(Joan Kembabazi) 

PEAH: As a non-profit organization whose primary work is to advocate against child marriage and promote girls’ education, Gufasha Girls Foundation strives to ensure that all girls in Uganda can stay in school, stay healthy and have the futures they dream of. Can you tell us more about? 

Kembabazi: Gufasha Girls Foundation is a grassroot community–based organization in Uganda dedicated to ending child marriage and promoting girls’ education through a holistic approach that challenges and dismantles barriers, negative social and cultural norms and all challenges facing girls and ensures that they have the opportunity to thrive and build a better future for themselves and their communities. Our approach includes girls’ education advocacy, community engagements, child marriage prevention and intervention and capacity building.

PEAH: Now, let us in on the plight of child marriage, as part of the history of the Foundation and the origin of its name

Kembabazi: The origin of the name of “Gufasha Girls Foundation” traces back on my personal story of the loss of my childhood best friend, Gufasha Moureen who was married off at the age of 13 to a 62 year old man. Gufasha  was denied her right to education and her parents insisted that she was old enough to get married. While in marriage, she lived a life filled with violence, rape, abuse and most times food. At time of child birth, she couldn’t make it and lost her life and the baby too. This hurt me so deep.  And with time, I realized there were so many girls like Gufasha who were being married off even as young as 11 years in my community. This inspired me to start off my advocacy work to raise awareness on the devastating effects of child marriage  and founded a grassroot coomunity-based organization that I named in memory of my best friend. This is how and where Gufasha Girls Foundation originates from.

 PEAHHow many girls is Gufasha Girls Foundation currently looking after? 

Kembabazi: Gufasha Girls Foundation is currently supporting more than 2000 adolescent girls through our grassroot initiatives including Leadership and Empowerment training actvities, Menstrual health and Management products and awareness, Education Sponsorships and SRHR education and services.

PEAHWhat about Gufasha Girls Foundation mission, vision and values?

Kembabazi: Our Mission is to end child marriage and empower girls and young women in Uganda through Advocacy, Capacity building and Education support.

Our Vision is a world in which every girl achieves her fullest potential and contributes to all aspects of life.

Our values are: Community transformation, Passion, Accountability and Transparency.

PEAHYour programs include ‘End Child Marriage, Girl Child Education, Menstrual Health & Hygiene Management’. Can you please detail in depth?

Kembabazi: We work to end Child Marriage because it is a violation of girls’ rights and we believe that girls should and must enjoy their rights including a right to just be a girl/child. We work closely with communities to challenge and change negative traditional and cultural norms and beliefs that force girls into marriage before 18 Years. We do this through community dialogues, collaborating with local, traditional and religious leaders, health workers, social media advocacy, safe spaces and school clubs and various advocacy campaigns.

We advocate for advocating for gender transformative education in schools and communities to break stereotypes around girls’ education.Through our #SheThrives Education Sponsorship program, we currently support education of 13 girls.

Proper Menstrual Health and Management is a fundamental right for girls and we educate girls about MHM and support  them with sanitary products to enable them stay in school and menstruate with pride and dignity.

PEAHAs for the results achieved by Gufasha so far?

Kembabazi: Gufasha Girls Foundation has successfully raised awareness about the harmful effects of child marriage within local communities of Uganda leading to a shift in attitudes and perceptions towards the practice.

We have been able to implement child marriage prevention and response programs in communities which has led to the decline in the practice rates.

Our Leadership and Empowerment sessions for adolescent girls  has enabled girls to assert their rights, resist pressure to marry early, and pursue their educational and career aspirations.

We have provided age-appropriate Sexual Reproductive Health Rights information and services to adolescent girls which has recorded a decline in teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDs contraction, STIs and school dropouts among girls.

PEAHDoes Gufasha work together with national and/or international partners? 

Kembabazi: Yes, we work with both national and international partners that we share the same vision with. Our partners include: Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) which is hosted by the World Health Organization, Tranform Education (TE) which is hosted by the UN Girls Education Intitiative; and grassroot partners that share the same vision of transforming communities include Joy for Children, Raising Teenagers and Tard Foundation.

PEAHWhat are your own duties and tasks in Gufasha Girls Foundation?

Kembabazi: – I lead the Team at Gufasha Girls Foundation.

I work with the team to set goals and strategies for the organisation, ensuring they align with the needs of the communities we work for and with.

I represent the organisation in public forums and media.

I secure funding and resources to sustain and expand the organisations programs and initiatives

I build networks, partnerships and collaborations with different organizations and stakeholders for the organization.

PEAHThanks to you and the Gufasha team for the excellent, very commendable work

 

 

News Flash 569: 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

Green wrasse (Labrus viridis)

News Flash 569

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

 

Restoring Broken Human Deal  by Juan Garay 

IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings 2024 – Piecemeal ‘solutions’ to shore up countries hit by crises will not help in the long run

People’s Health Dispatch Bulletin #74: People’s Health Assembly rallies for peace as a means to Health for All

Dominica joins other Caribbean islands in striking down laws prohibiting gay sex

29 June 2024 conference: International movement building to combat the global health workforce crisis

Public–Private engagement and health systems resilience in times of health worker strikes: a Ghanaian case study

HRR 720 Human rights: Food for a unifying thought ‘Coalescing for HR’

Think Change episode 45: the politics of hunger – can famine in Gaza and Sudan be stopped?

UK passes law to send asylum seekers to Rwanda after months of wrangling

Afghan Women’s Voices Stifled as Taliban Tightens Media Controls

EU adopts first directive combatting violence against women

Commission’s recommendation calls for better protection of children from violence

It’s all connected: Gender Justice for Planetary Health – including at national and local level

European Medicines Agency makes recommendations to improve supply of critical medicines

As Danaher reports quarterly earnings and increased market share for Cepheid’s GeneXpert medical tests, MSF calls on corporation to drop all test prices to $5 for low- and middle-income countries

Colombia issues first-ever compulsory license, a landmark step for expanding access to affordable HIV treatment

The Kissing Bug Doctors of Florida

WHO prequalifies new oral simplified vaccine for cholera

Study Finds Adult Vaccination Programs Deliver 19x Returns

The response to substandard and falsified medical products in francophone sub-Saharan African countries: weaknesses and opportunities

Reviving use of local seeds in African farming

Microplastics are everywhere — we need to understand how they affect human health

Negotiations on global plastic treaty to resume in Canada

Urgent Global Action Is Essential To Stop Wave of Plastic Pollution

To Protect Human Health, We Must Protect the Earth’s Health

Climate change to wreck global income by 2050, study shows

Asia Is Warming Faster Than the Global Average, Warns WMO

Rich Nation Hypocrisy Accelerating Global Heating

Climate change: A driver of increasing vector-borne disease transmission in non-endemic areas

Quakes do not kill people, bad buildings do

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restoring Broken Human Deal

IN A NUTSHELL
Editor's Note

How can the present ‘broken deal’ within humanity and with nature be restored? With this in mind, this far-reaching reflection piece takes into most account the global political and economic governance failure, increasingly evident during the first two decades of the 21st century, as the root, driven by greed, cause of global human injustice and nature destruction. And this occurs at a time when unempathetic (between humans and much lower with other forms of life), maniputaled and/or passive societies continue to play a negative role.

Against this backdrop, aside from implicitly advocating for decision makers worldwide to overturn the evidence that public interest almost regularly succumbs to the interest of the powerful, this analysis also suggests that a potential solution “lies in fostering a new societal paradigm rooted in empathetic local governance, ecosystem-friendly production and consumption of essential needs, and collaborative digital innovation to advance human knowledge and create global benefits”

By Juan Garay

Professor of Global Health Equity Ethics and Metrics in Spain (ENS), Mexico (UNAChiapas), and Cuba (ELAM, UCLV, and UNAH)

Co-founder of the Sustainable Health Equity movement

 Restoring Broken Human Deal

 

It appeared that the ending of the wars of the 20th century, referred to in China as “European” wars, led to a collective effort in establishing the United Nations, despite the devastating US nuclear bombing of Japan. However, one might argue that it was more of an arrangement among the victorious powers, centered around the Security Council’s authority, with the human rights charter serving as a superficial facade lacking enforceability. Historical evidence seems to support this perspective.

The post-war era saw a surge in global cooperation, centered on the US Marshall Plan and the interlinking of Western market economies. It also witnessed the formation of alliances among former adversaries in Europe and the emergence of independence movements in African nations, which were still under colonial subjugation. However, alongside these developments, the United States supported fascist regimes in the Americas and engaged in unsuccessful conflicts against communism in Asia and elsewhere. The Cold War intensified nuclear threats and polarized the world until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Meanwhile, China quietly pursued a strategy of combining global trade with communist single-party national development plans, resulting in the fastest GDP and life expectancy growth rates recorded (1). This approach represents one of the most successful blends of market and centralized economies in terms of human lifespan, albeit at the cost of restrictions on freedom and environmental degradation.

During the first two decades of the 21st century, the Cold War appeared to transition into a multipolar landscape, notably with the decline of Russia and the economic and geopolitical ascendance of China.

Meanwhile, humanity witnessed the diminishing impact of two major death tolls by the close of the 20th century: the AIDS pandemic (2) and the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse (3). Globally, under-five and adult mortality rates decreased, and life expectancy continued its upward trajectory (4), increasing by approximately 0.5% annually. Concurrently, advancements in digital technology, particularly in understanding the human genome (5), as well as in applied technologies, nanotechnologies (6), and 3D protein mapping and engineering (7), pushed the boundaries of knowledge.

However, despite these advancements, the two primary global health challenges since the 1980s persisted: intra- and inter-generational inequities (sustainable equity) (8). The World Health Organization (WHO) continued to grapple with the elusive task of estimating inequities through inequalities across relevant stratifying variables (9), failing, even after 75 years, to adequately measure the only common health objective among nations (best feasible level of health) (10). Consequently, the burden of health inequity (11), representing the gap to the universality of the right to health, remained unmeasured.

Efforts to identify such a target faced challenges from UN development models (12) (with the best Human Development Indexes largely unreplicable and unsustainable), World Bank poverty thresholds (13) (falling short of enabling the aforementioned feasible health levels), and the OECD-DAC cooperation target of 0.7% from 1970, which stood at only 0.37% over 50 years later, in any case significantly below the redistribution rates necessary for economic equity and thus global health equity (14).

Why does such persistent reluctance exist to measure global health progress and challenge the persistence of anachronistic development, economic, and cooperation concepts?

While the transition from MDGs to SDGs aimed to standardize targets across all countries, bridging the gap between intra (MDGs and SDGs 1-11) and inter (SDGs 12-16, COP, and Biodiversity targets), and overcoming north-south polarization (15), it fell short of fully translating rhetoric into action, to put it diplomatically.

Meanwhile, global political and economic governance remained entrenched in the hands of the Security Council, dominated by World War II victors, and international financial institutions revolving around the US dollar, thus perpetuating US economic supremacy (16).

The low commitment to global fair governance does reflect the meager overall UN regular budget (17): less than 0.00002% of the world’s GDP. It is supplemented by ad hoc and earmarked funding primarily from Western development agencies and “philanthropy” linked to economic powers and vested interests. In the case of global health governance, under the World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization, regular contributions to the WHO’s budget do not reach 20% (18), with a growing influence of ad hoc contributions of mainly Western development agencies, philanthropic endowments or direct influence from pharmaceutical companies (19) whose profits primarily stem from patent monopolies (20).

Against this backdrop, Humanity grappled with three intertwined challenges: the economic speculative crisis of 2008-2010, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2022, and ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza. Though seemingly disparate, these challenges share common roots that have hindered sustainable health equity progress since the 1980s and also contribute to the escalating existential threat of anthropogenic global warming:

  1. Economic speculation, primarily driven by bargaining economic interests rather than creativity or production, has evolved into increasingly complex layers and holds greater power, particularly in the hands of massive asset managers (21). This system has been hoarding roughly 20-30% of GDP (22) and a significant portion of GDP growth over the past four decades, diverting resources away from global human justice and decoupling from global human wellbeing (23). Such speculative economy is a major part of what we earlier called “hoarding threshold” (24) and has been recently called “wasted GDP” (25). Furthermore, it exacerbates both economic intra (correlated with increasing GINI) and inter-generational (linked to climate change through global-scale production, trade, and consumption) inequity (26). Therefore, a more appropriate term for it would be “toxic GDP,” behaving akin to a cancer in the global economy and human harmony with nature. This dynamic continues to propel and dominate not only the global economy and lifestyles but also, linked to power-driven mass media and artificial intelligence, global human thinking. It perpetuates a biased economic governance that shields the primary speculative powers, often resulting in diminished or even nonexistent fiscal revenues (27). Western positions have opposed the development of a UN Tax Treaty aimed at addressing the unmentioned undermining effects of financial speculation (28).
  2. The COVID pandemic exposed how global governance prioritizes capital over humanity. Despite significant scientific and economic investments in urgent global goods such as effective vaccines, the response was heavily biased in favor of big pharma, accelerating the rollout of their new patent-protected technologies, such as mRNA, (with remaining mid-long germ safety uncertainty) (29) primarily benefiting high-income countries and communities. This unequal access to vaccines exacerbated disparities and polarized humanity, reminiscent of the AIDS gap in the 1990s (30). In this instance, the disparity between those protected from the pandemic and those exposed correlates with individuals “working” behind screens, often closely associated with a speculative or toxic economy, versus those fulfilling essential needs such as food, water, energy, transportation, and vital public services. Global governance failed to establish binding frameworks for global goods, and exemptions to patent laws for public health purposes proved slow and ineffective, prioritizing profits over the health and lives of the majority (31).
  3. Ongoing wars are related to a growing West-East and North-South divide and tension. The “north and west” has approximately one sixth of the world population, yet two thirds of the world’s GDP, of the military spending, of global carbon and ecological footprint and also two thirds of the veto power in the security council. Their oligarchic role in global economy and politics, as mentioned above, is progressively challenged (32). The most recent wars on Ucraine and Gaza, reflect reactions to the rupture of fragile balances of a NATO vs. Russia and its growing alliances with China, and the Arab league vs. Israel and its US Big brother. Western double standards (33) confronting Russia’s invasion while being supportive or complacent with Israel alleged genocide (34) undermine its former -at least intentional-multilateralism and human rights discourse. Meanwhile, the tension grows between the two major powers, the US and China, over the sovereignty of Taiwan (35), where also most chips (the neurons of global economy and communication) come from. Global political and military governance proved weak and biased as anachronic security council permanent members’ veto power (36) overruled the global cry to stop bombing innocent civilians, notably in Gaza.

The abovementioned crisis revealed an enhanced Humanity’s “broken deal”, unable to collectively limit toxic GDP and its impact on nature, develop global goods to confront increasing natural disasters and pandemics due to human’s destruction of nature and to prevent military, including nuclear threats, abuse by some. Economic, ecologic, knowledge, political and military global governance are either biased, void and/or broken.

As a result, human wellbeing, as gauged by life expectancy, dropped for the first time after the post war humankind (rhetoric?) deal (37) and is not picking up after the pandemic in many regions (38). Intragenerational health inequity, with a burden of some 16 million excess and unfair and preventable deaths per year remained high (39) while we expect comparable international demographic data to assess the post-pandemic trend in the present 2020-2025 period. The prospects of excess intergenerational mortality surpass 220 million excess deaths in the remains of the century, mainly in low polluting countries, communities and age groups (40).

These root causes of global human injustice and nature destruction have a common root: unempathetic (between humans and much lower with other forms of life), maniputaled and/or passive societies (41). The combination of economic, knowledge and military powers driven by greed, with passive and submissive societies fuels speculative and ecologically destructive global economic powers through blind consumption and savings, selfish protection of unfair individual, corporate and national privileges, unequitable access to what should be global public goods, and power market and media-driven voting, forced tax contributions to maintains the status quo and even military recruitment to kill unknown-others mandates by power greed far from the battlefields.

How can the present broken deal within Humanity and with nature, be restored?

If governments have proven incapable or unwilling to build human justice for the last 75 years, can individuals and societies roll back the rising intra and intergenerational gaps and restore the “broken deal”?

Interestingly, as biased governance frameworks interrelate so do the counter dynamics societies may put in motion. Enhanced conscience of our present largely collective blind consumption, savings, taxes and votes may trigger a new philosophy beyond anthroposophism towards biosophism, of simplicity, solidarity and respect for human and nature biodiversity (42).

Digital means can help know the individual (43) and collective economic (preventing toxic GDP/consumption) and ecological (preventing excess carbon and ecological footprint) ethical thresholds.

If “toxic GDP” shrinks and eventually collapses, political and military powers may follow.

A growing number, particularly among younger generations, seeks to break free from the relentless global urban rat race of excessive production and consumption (44, 45). A potential solution lies in fostering a new societal paradigm rooted in empathetic local governance, ecosystem-friendly production and consumption of essential needs, and collaborative digital innovation to advance human knowledge and create global benefits.

This transformative system could result in a significant reduction (around 40%) in GDP (considered as toxic share), while simultaneously narrowing the gap in inequality from the current international GINI coefficient of 0.6 and average national coefficient of 0.45 to a more equitable range between the thresholds of dignity and excess (below 0.15 GINI); while keeping carbon emissions and ecological footprints below ethical thresholds (approximately 1 metric ton and 1 hectare annually per capita, respectively). (39)

By ensuring that living standards exceed the dignity threshold (greater than $10 per person per day) (39) for all individuals and providing universal access to preventive and treatment services, as well as essential global goods such as life-saving knowledge, products, and devices, this approach could help achieve the elusive and often overlooked global health objective of attaining the best feasible level of health for all, thereby averting an estimated 16 million unjust deaths annually.

This global, peaceful revolution aimed at restoring sustainable equity has the potential to reverse the current troubling trends and steer humanity toward brighter horizons.

 

References

1)https://www.statista.com/statistics/1041350/life-expectancy-china-all-time/

2)https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/fact-sheet

3)https://academic.oup.com/book/10210/chapter/157873288

4)https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)31833-0/fulltext

5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23284016/

6)https://www.iinano.org/frontiers/

7)https://deepmind.google/technologies/alphafold/

8)http://www.peah.it/2021/04/9658/

9)https://health-inequalities.eu/jwddb/who-health-equity-monitor/#:~:text=The%20WHO%20Health%20Equity%20Monitor,resources%20for%20health%20inequality%20monitoring.

10)https://treaties.un.org/doc/Treaties/1948/04/19480407%2010-51%20PM/Ch_IX_01p.pdf

11)https://www.peah.it/2015/10/understanding-measuring-and-acting-on-health-equity/

12)http://scielo.sld.cu/pdf/rnp/v18n36/1817-4078-rnp-18-36-87.pdf

13)https://www.binasss.sa.cr/eng.pdf

14)https://sdgpulse.unctad.org/development-financing/

15)https://www.undp.org/publications/transitioning-mdgs-sdgs

16)https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=fr&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=us+dollar+global.economic+governance+biased&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&t=1713263714000&u=%23p%3DK7uNOI1zKk8J

17)https://betterworldcampaign.org/resources/briefing-book-2022/united-nations-budget

18)https://www.who.int/about/funding

19)https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2020-002335_EN.html

20)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0954349X23000048

21)https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/how-asset-managers-came-to-rule-the-world-20230428-p5d3zk

22)https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/030515/what-percentage-global-economy-comprised-financial-services-sector.asp

23)https://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

24)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033350617301610

25)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-023-02210-y

26)https://earth.org/gdp-climate-change/

27)https://www.cristianismeijusticia.net/sites/default/files/pdf/en170.pdf

28)https://taxjustice.net/press/un-adopts-plans-for-historic-tax-reform/

29)https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/24/2/1404

30)https://www.peah.it/2022/01/10563/

31)https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/04/19/proper-pandemic-treaty-would-value-universal-access-over-profit

32)https://geopoliticaleconomy.com/2024/02/26/western-dominance-ended-eu-josep-borrell/

33)https://mondediplo.com/2024/01/01editorial

34)https://news.un.org/en/story/2024/01/1145937

35)https://www.researchgate.net/publication/375000050_Will_the_US_and_China_Go_to_War_over_Taiwan

36)https://press.un.org/en/2022/ga12473.doc.htm

37)https://www.thinkglobalhealth.org/article/global-life-expectancy-declines-first-time-30-years

38)https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-life-expectancy-keeps-dropping-in-the-u-s-as-other-countries-bounce-back1/

39)http://www.peah.it/2021/04/9658/

40)https://www.peah.it/2018/07/5498/

41)https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0169796X211068451

42)https://www.peah.it/2023/12/12800/

43) https://g.co/kgs/MoYB7vQ

44)https://www.pas.va/content/dam/casinapioiv/pas/pdf-volumi/extra-series/es41pas-acta19pass.pdf

45)https://apnews.com/article/china-youth-lifestyle-nomad-thailand-086c064470a11365acfafbd4457ba166

 

By the same Author on PEAH

Towards a WISE – Wellbeing in Sustainable Equity – New Paradigm for Humanity 

A Renewed International Cooperation/Partnership Framework in the XXIst Century

COVID-19 IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL HEALTH EQUITY

Global Health Inequity 1960-2020

Health and Climate Change: a Third World War with No Guns

Understanding, Measuring and Acting on Health Equity

 

 

 

News Flash 568: 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

Saddled seabream (Oblada melanura)

News Flash 568

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

 

Strategic Disinvestments in Health: Panacea or Mirage?

An Introduction to the Impact Disclosure Guidance

Inflated and distorted: preliminary 2023 aid figures show failure to address global challenges

Poorest countries continue to lose out as wealthy donors pocket their own aid, according to latest OECD data

Meeting registration: Nyeleni Dialouge on Food Sovereignty and Health Apr 24, 2024

India’s elections: why data and transparency matter

Dialogues and Episodes from TDR Global Health Matters podcast

African-led clinical research needs pharma buy-in

Is brain drain limiting Africa’s genomics potential?

In world first, Nigeria introduces new 5-in-1 vaccine against meningitis

As Gavi plans next five-year strategy, it must do more to get vaccines to people excluded from vaccination

COVID-19 vaccine strain updates: Global regulators agree on timing and data requirements

Long-Acting Drugs May Revolutionize H.I.V. Prevention and Treatment

To End AIDS, We Must Reclaim Our Unyielding Pursuit of Equity

Peru’s dengue deaths triple as climate change swells mosquito population

TDR: Join our 22 April 2024 symposium at the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Society’s 8th Pan-African Malaria Conference

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR THE UN MULTI-STAKEHOLDER HEARING ON ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

At least four African nations withdraw child cough syrup over toxicity fears

MPP and Ferring sign Memorandum of Understanding that includes a conditional licence agreement for heat-stable carbetocin

HRR 719: OUR TOLERANCE FOR POVERTY IS SIMPLY TOO HIGH, PARTICULARLY BECAUSE POVERTY IS ALSO ABOUT EXPLOITATION

After a year of war in Sudan, a rapid scale up of response is needed to avoid catastrophe

Ultra-processed food, a “corporate diet”

Nearly 55 million face hunger in West and Central Africa, UN warns

Conflict’s Long Shadow Has a Name: It’s Hunger

World Bank, AfDB aim to bring electricity to 300 million Africans

Climate Shocks, Adaptation, and Well-Being in Ghana: A Mixed Methods Study

Clean Air Makes Economic Sense, Says Influential Group Ahead of World Bank Spring Meetings

Our ocean is bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. Greater protection is urgently needed

World leaders call on nations to swiftly ratify U.N. ocean treaty

How rainwater harvesting has become a lifesaver in Bangladesh

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Flash 567: 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

Conger eel (Conger conger)

News Flash 567

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

 

Webinar registration: No Treaty Without Equity: Drawing Red Lines to the Pandemic Instrument Apr 16, 2024

Applications open for ODI’s Fellowship Scheme. Applications close on 30 April

WHO: Public health round-up

Three decades of progress and setbacks since the first international conference on population and development

People’s Health Dispatch Bulletin #73: 5th People’s Health Assembly focuses on war’s toll amidst Gaza crisis

Kwibuka30: Learning from the Past, Safeguarding the Future Against Genocide

IFIC ANNUAL SURVEY 2024: Position paper on person and people centred care in the context of integrated care

Uganda tweaked its anti-gay law just to get donor cash, activists say

EU’s historic migration pact passes amidst divisions and far-right fears

Pushing Forward for Gender Equity in Health

Surviving sexual violence in the camps of Benue

Consensus in times of disagreement: Vienna resolution on children’s pain relief

Tanzania Merges HIV and Diabetes Care to Tackle NCD Crisis

Future HIV epidemic trajectories in South Africa and projected long-term consequences of reductions in general population HIV testing: a mathematical modelling study

Why is cholera killing thousands in southern Africa?

Hospital infections kill hundreds of thousands in sub-Saharan Africa, research shows

WHO sounds alarm on viral hepatitis infections claiming 3500 lives each day

Stigma Prevents Europeans Living with Hepatitis B and C From Telling Families and Getting Care

Message by the Director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals at WHO – March 2024

Beyond the “Gavi-Eligible”: High-Leverage Opportunities for Gavi to Enhance Vaccine Access and Uptake in Ineligible Middle-Income Countries

New Dengue Vaccine Trials Show Promise in Brazil as Cases Continue to Rise

Decisive Action Needed to Stop Cervical Cancer Deaths

De Wet Swanepoel: using digital technologies to improve access to hearing health

Inside the push to make intellectual property work for African pharma

Houses made of waste changing lives in South America

The Triple Impact of Cleanliness: Environmental, Mental, and Societal Health

UN officials in Zambia to assess worst drought in 20 years

Unwrapping Africa’s food packaging problems

Countering the influence of tobacco

International court rules Switzerland violated human rights in landmark climate case brought by 2,000 women

Global rainforest loss continues at rate of 10 football pitches a minute

Just 57 companies linked to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions since 2016

Over 80% of the EU’s farming subsidies support emissions-intensive animal products – new study

 

 

 

 

 

News Flash 566: 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

Salema (Sarpa salpa)

News Flash 566

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

 

Webinar registration: High-level dialogue between the WHO Director-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Realizing the Right to Health in a world in turmoil’ Apr 8, 2024

Meeting registration: A stronger role for the World Health Organization in addressing climate and health justice? Apr 25, 2024

WHO unveils a digital health promoter harnessing generative AI for public health

Statement: African and European CSOs on key issues in the AU-EU Partnership

Pandemic (Dis) Agreement Talks Limp into Extra Time

Financing Our Future In The Pandemic Agreement And International Health Regulations

Local doesn’t mean low cost: Serum Institute shares global scale-up plans

High risk, high reward: Gavi’s investment in Africa vaccine production

Mpox: Is the World Failing the Next Pandemic Preparedness Litmus Test?

Continued Mpox Outbreak Leads US to Re-examine Smallpox Readiness

DNDi R&D Portfolio in Review

Sierra Leone: National TB Programme letter to Danaher to reduce the price of GeneXpert test

Belarus: National TB Programme letter to Danaher to reduce the price of GeneXpert test

Diabetes – a marker of health inequities

Mental and physical health morbidity among people in prisons: an umbrella review

Impact of the UK soft drinks industry levy on health and health inequalities in children and adolescents in England: An interrupted time series analysis and population health modelling study

The Hidden Costs of War in Syria: Assessing the Impact on Children’s Development and Mental Health

Maximizing the Benefits of Health Worker Mobility: Lessons from New WHO Guidance

HRR 718: IF YOU DO NOT STAND FOR SOMETHING, YOU WILL FALL FOR ANYTHING

Eastern DRC ‘at breaking point’ as security, humanitarian crises worsen

DR Congo appoints 1st female prime minister

Humanitarian aid needs more focus on tackling gender based violence, urges UNFPA director

Why EU information campaigns are failing to deter migrants from leaving

UN report says households waste 1 billion meals daily

Equity for thought: the power of food environments

Recipes for sustainable food systems

The Omnipresence of PFAS—and What We Can Do About Them

Climate adaptation research applied ‘in real-time’

The Impact of Climate Change on a Biodiversity Hot Spot

European Environment Agency publishes a first EU Climate Risk Assessment Report

Zimbabwe Declares Drought a National Disaster, Millions Face Hunger

Putting the ‘just’ in Just Energy Transition Partnerships: What role for the multilateral development banks?