“Clearly, there is no room for complacency” in India’s efforts to eradicate polio, defined by the WHO as no recorded case of the disease for three years, because “[t]he goal of complete eradication is within reach,” Deepak Gupta, a senior U.N. professional in Strategic Health/Development Communication, writes in an Asia Sentinel opinion piece. “[T]he next three years — till 2014 — will be crucial,” he writes, meaning experts should focus on “intense communication and preventive work, especially with regard to critical risk-factors like poor routine immunization and lack of proper sanitation,” he states, concluding, “The challenge is to ensure the sustainability of the success achieved so far” (10/19).
Noting advances in bednet, mosquito repellent and malaria vaccine technologies, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in a post on the foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, “People used to say eradication was impossible, but we remain optimistic because human beings have a spectacular ability to innovate.”…
“Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective health investments in history,” Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance, writes in this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. Because vaccines have saved millions of lives, “donors, the global health community and developing countries themselves [must] stay focused on immunization,” he writes.
In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Marcelo Giugale, director of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programs for Africa at the World Bank, examines the issue of universal health coverage in developing nations and writes that while the social health care debate rages in the U.S. and Europe, “successful developing countries like Brazil, Chile, China, India and Indonesia have figured out a way forward, and are moving ahead.”
Though emergency humanitarian assistance has helped keep people alive in the Horn of Africa, “this effort is not sustainable,” David Morley, president and CEO of UNICEF Canada, writes in a Globe and Mail opinion piece. “Trucking in water and flying in food and medicine save lives, but we must rethink the way aid agencies operate in the region. We need to blend the immediate life-saving effort with creative longer-term community development … and involve everyone affected by the crisis. Farmers, herders, refugees and displaced people, local communities and government officials have valuable insights that a massive humanitarian response all too often overlooks,” he continues.
In this Guardian opinion piece, the newspaper’s health editor, Sarah Boseley, responds to the positive results of a large-scale clinical trial of an experimental malaria vaccine reported on Tuesday and recaps other strides made against the disease in recent years, writing that “there is a way to go yet, with more results from the trial to come, and many uncertainties, including how much this vaccine will cost and who will be persuaded to pay.”
In this post in the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, William Savedoff, a senior fellow at the center, writes that while the World Bank has “spoken strongly” on the issue of raising tobacco taxes in an effort to “generate revenue, cut health costs and save lives,” it…
The world’s population is expected to reach seven billion this month, which is “cause for profound global concern” and begs the question of “can we enjoy ‘sustainable development’ on a very crowded planet?” Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, writes in a CNN opinion piece.
“Americans are among the most generous people in the world, giving more money to charities than citizens of any other nation in the world,” but “[m]uch of our charity goes to disaster relief,” entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila Johnson writes in an opinion piece in the Huffington Post’s “Black Voices.” She adds, “I believe we can do more. We need to think long-term and become true partners in reshaping history. We need to boldly invest in innovative responses to Africa’s problems that are relevant locally, and that put Africans in the driver’s seat of determining the future of their continent.”
As the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hosts the second international Malaria Forum in Seattle this week, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, in this entry in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog reflects on the advances made in the fight against malaria since the first Malaria Forum four years ago. She writes that “we’re seeing great promise using communications technologies in malaria endemic countries” and highlights social media campaigns conducted by Malaria No More and the U.N.’s social media advocacy group, Social Media Envoys. She concludes, “We have seen that everyone can make a difference, no matter their location. … The rest is up to you” (10/17).