Articles by: Shobha Shukla

 Will global charter help accelerate action on NCDs to prevent untimely deaths?

 Will global charter help accelerate action on NCDs to prevent untimely deaths?

A report released recently by NCD Alliance during the Annual Global Week for Action on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), calls for integration of NCDs prevention and care into global health initiatives and universal health coverage. Jointly produced by the George Institute for Global Health and NCD Alliance, the report makes a call for breaking down the existing silos in global health,[Read More…]

by 20/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Moving HIV prevention and treatment tools from the lab to all those in need

Moving HIV prevention and treatment tools from the lab to all those in need

Recent scientific advancements have brought to the fore the promise of more effective and long-term solutions to help people living with HIV to thrive and not just survive. Today we have a buffet of HIV prevention options (such as, oral daily PrEP, once-a-month vaginal dapivirine ring for women, 2-monthly long-acting injectable) along with a bouquet of improved treatment modalities (monthly[Read More…]

by 08/08/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
A bouquet of novel compounds: New treatment options for HIV

A bouquet of novel compounds: New treatment options for HIV

It was 40 years ago when the first case of HIV infection was diagnosed. Since then, 77.5 million people have been infected with the virus and 34 million people have died from AIDS-related causes. While a lot has been achieved in terms of providing lifesaving antiretroviral treatment to save lives, we still lost 690,000 people living with HIV to AIDS-related[Read More…]

by 31/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Expanding the buffet of choices for preventing HIV

Expanding the buffet of choices for preventing HIV

Great strides have been made in HIV prevention, treatment and care, since the first case of the viral infection was reported 40 years ago. Thanks to the untiring efforts of the HIV community, activists, and medical fraternity, 74% (27.5 million) of the 37.7 million people living with HIV are able to access the lifesaving antiretroviral therapy today. But the governments’[Read More…]

by 26/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 Tale of two pandemics: Follow the science and do not forget one at the cost of the other

 Tale of two pandemics: Follow the science and do not forget one at the cost of the other

Covid-19 has posed innumerable health, economic, and social challenges for all, including people living with HIV. It has exposed the fragility of health systems around the globe and has diverted political attention and funding from other infectious diseases like TB and HIV. The opening session of the 11th International IAS Conference on HIV Science (#IAS2021) held virtually from Berlin, saw[Read More…]

by 20/07/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Are we hungry for change for genuinely transforming food systems?

Are we hungry for change for genuinely transforming food systems?

While the governments chant the mantra of “leaving no one behind”, it is ironic that they are abetting corporate grabbing of land and resources, which is pushing farmers out of agriculture. Corporations are exercising more and more control over food and agriculture and influencing public policies. The forthcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021, tentatively to be held in September[Read More…]

by 12/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Governments must adopt a strong political declaration that the global crisis mandates

Governments must adopt a strong political declaration that the global crisis mandates

Because if they do not, then we are doomed to fail to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 (for which only 104 months are left). The clock is ticking but governments from around the world, who are convening at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) seem to be regurgitating old timid commitments and shying away[Read More…]

by 09/07/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Are some more equal than others?

Are some more equal than others?

By Shobha Shukla, Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey In current times when India, like many other countries, is reeling under a severe economic crisis as well as backbreaking humanitarian crises, we also see ugly lavish (and avoidable) government expenditures, throwing austerity to the winds and jeopardising public interest. While equality is among the key values of the Indian Constitution, there are several[Read More…]

by 07/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Putting people first is a critical cog in the wheel for responsive health systems

Putting people first is a critical cog in the wheel for responsive health systems

Imagine a world where no one was suffering from any of the preventable diseases, be it non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or infectious diseases, or had to die untimely due to diseases that were primarily avoidable! Also imagine a tobacco free world – imagine a world where healthy balanced nutrition for all was a reality – where health for all was not[Read More…]

by 16/06/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Quid Pro Quo System

Quid Pro Quo System

Written by Shobha Shukla, Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey Narendra Modi once said he is a Gujarati and understands business. As time passes his business model is getting exposed and he is becoming more shameless like any ordinary businessman. It is quite clear to the people that he is not withdrawing the three controversial farm laws because all the three laws[Read More…]

by 30/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Will advances in TB treatment outweigh the Covid-19 pushback?

Will advances in TB treatment outweigh the Covid-19 pushback?

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on TB diagnosis and mortality in 2020 has been frightening, to say the least. Recently released WHO data shows that 1.4 million fewer people got TB care in 2020 as compared to 2019- a 21% decrease. Also over 0.5 million people died from TB in 2020 due to lack of diagnosis. Latest data by[Read More…]

by 26/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Are we failing children in the HIV response?

Are we failing children in the HIV response?

The promise was that by 2020, no child will be born with HIV or newly infected with HIV during breastfeeding across the world. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic posed an unprecedented challenge to health systems, the progress towards the HIV-related 2020 goalpost, despite some commendable gains, was not very encouraging. Despite global efforts to prevent HIV transmission, 150,000 children were[Read More…]

by 25/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 ‘Have a seat but shut up please’: Whither equality?

 ‘Have a seat but shut up please’: Whither equality?

‘Dumb dolls’ may soon be adorning board meetings of Japan’s ruling party. As per a news report, in response to criticisms that its board is dominated by men, Japan’s ruling conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has condescended to allow 5 female lawmakers to join its board meetings provided they keep their mouths shut and do not talk during the meetings.[Read More…]

by 21/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
 HIV science has advanced but policies-programmes have been slow to #endAIDS

 HIV science has advanced but policies-programmes have been slow to #endAIDS

HIV science has advanced but policies and programmes have been slow to respond towards ending AIDS, said Mitchell Warren, co-chair of the global conference on HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) and Executive Director of AVAC (Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention). Scientific advances have seen huge gains on HIV prevention and treatment fronts. Sadly, what has not changed is the lack[Read More…]

by 07/02/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
 Expanding range of options to prevent HIV is key as no one size fits all

 Expanding range of options to prevent HIV is key as no one size fits all

While the currently available HIV prevention and treatment tools have helped reduce new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths by 23% and 39% respectively since 2010, we still have a long way to go before ending this epidemic. With 1.7 million new HIV infections and 690,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2019, one cannot but over emphasise the urgent need to have more[Read More…]

by 02/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The ring has finally arrived!

The ring has finally arrived!

You guessed it right. I am talking about the dapivirine vaginal ring (DPV-VR), which is one of the top advances happening in the field of microbicides. It is the first long acting prevention product whose Phase-3 randomised controlled studies have shown that using the dapivirine vaginal ring reduced the risk of HIV infection in women and long-term use was well-tolerated.[Read More…]

by 28/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Get the vaccine shot but do not throw away the mask to fight COVID-19

Get the vaccine shot but do not throw away the mask to fight COVID-19

The message from all scientists is very loud and clear that vaccines alone will not be able to stem the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even after getting vaccinated, we will have to continue to wear masks, maintain physical distancing, wash hands frequently and avoid congregated settings, to break the chain of transmission of the virus. Some leading scientists such[Read More…]

by 25/01/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Break the silence: Ending gender-based violence is a human rights imperative

Break the silence: Ending gender-based violence is a human rights imperative

“There is a global epidemic of violence against women – both within conflict zones and within societies at peace – and it is still treated as a lesser crime and lower priority” had said Angelina Jolie, actress and then UN Ambassador for refugees more than five years ago. With the onslaught of the pandemic and global public health emergency and[Read More…]

by 14/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
Disability is not limited to the body, it is also about mindsets

Disability is not limited to the body, it is also about mindsets

Very often it is our disabling attitudes that make life difficult for people with disabilities, rather than their own physical impairments. More than the disability itself, it is its psychological effects that take a bigger toll on the person, says wheelchair bound Tanzila Khan, a disability rights activist who founded GirlyThings.pk. Tanzila shared her anguish in lead up to the[Read More…]

by 18/11/2020 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Fighting Multi-Drug Resistant TB

Fighting Multi-Drug Resistant TB

“Difficulties in your life do not come to destroy you but to help you release the hidden potential and power”. This quote by the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, a scientist and the 11th President of India, is the dictum for nurse Divya Sojan, who during the 11 years of her nursing career, has battled with tuberculosis (TB) thrice. Here[Read More…]

by 12/11/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Marriage is no child’s play

Marriage is no child’s play

According to a report by UNICEF, India is home to the largest number of child brides in the world, accounting for more than one third of the global total of 650 million women and girls who were married as children. Of the country’s current total of 223 million child brides, 102 million were married before turning 15. Despite a legal[Read More…]

by 01/11/2020 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
 An effective COVID-19 vaccine: Will you take it or will you not?

 An effective COVID-19 vaccine: Will you take it or will you not?

A new study reveals that a large percentage of people globally are hesitant to take a COVID 19 vaccine if and when it is made available. Researchers from The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) conducted a survey in 19 countries that have been hard-hit by the virus, in June 2020 to determine potential acceptance rates and factors influencing acceptance[Read More…]

by 20/10/2020 Comments are Disabled World
Building resilience is critical to minimise the impact of humanitarian crises

Building resilience is critical to minimise the impact of humanitarian crises

The number of people affected and displaced by conflicts and natural disasters has almost doubled over the past decade and continues to rise. Climate crisis is a major driver and amplifier of disaster risks and losses, even as armed conflicts compel hordes of people to flee their homes in search of safety. Slow onset disasters, like extreme temperatures and droughts,[Read More…]

by 18/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
 ‘May you be the mother of many sons…’

 ‘May you be the mother of many sons…’

…so goes an old common blessing given to an Indian bride, talks of gender equality notwithstanding. While the small family norm slogan of ‘hum do, hamare do’ (we two, ours two) has rubbed in well the penchant for begetting at least one son has not waned. Many modern Indian women find their womanhood incomplete without begetting a son. I know[Read More…]

by 04/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
Lifecycle approach: A panacea for population ageing and gender equality

Lifecycle approach: A panacea for population ageing and gender equality

The world celebrated International Day of Older Persons on 1st of October. Sri Lanka also celebrates its Children’s Day on the same day. What a beautiful coincidence, even though perhaps purely by chance (and not by design). Indeed, this celebration of the young and old age alike is a symbolic representation of the lifecycle approach and intergenerational engagement that is[Read More…]

by 02/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 “We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing”

 “We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing”

…So said the famous playwright and political activist George Bernard Shaw. Alas, instead of being celebrated, older age is feared and looked down upon by many and ageism fuels this fear. Ageing is a natural process and begins the moment one is born. But ageism is not. The World Health Organisation defines ageism as “the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against[Read More…]

by 19/09/2020 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Ensuring women have a rights-based access to emergency contraceptives is vital

Ensuring women have a rights-based access to emergency contraceptives is vital

Many women and girls around the world have experienced contraception failure, missed taking oral contraceptive pills, or been forced to have sex against their will. For these women, emergency contraception is a safe and effective method that reduces the risk of pregnancy. Expanding the range of choices for girls and women to prevent unintended pregnancies, depending upon their specific realities[Read More…]

by 08/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 Innovative financing for women’s health becomes vital when purse strings tighten

 Innovative financing for women’s health becomes vital when purse strings tighten

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of weak health systems that were ill prepared to withstand the onslaught of the pandemic. As documented by the Pulse survey of the WHO, the pandemic has resulted in disruption of essential health services, including sexual and reproductive health services, in most countries. Weak and perpetually poorly resourced health systems have escalated the[Read More…]

by 05/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Climate change under gender lens

Climate change under gender lens

Countries in the Asia Pacific region are in the forefront of bearing the onslaught of climate change. During the last three decades 45% of the world’s natural disasters have occurred in this region, which is vulnerable to floods, cyclones, earthquakes, droughts, storms and tsunamis. While climate change affects everyone but impacts of climate change related events are not gender neutral.[Read More…]

by 22/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
It is all in the game: Sports, gender equality and human rights

It is all in the game: Sports, gender equality and human rights

Undoubtedly, sports and physical activities are essential for our mental and physical wellbeing. But how can a sport help in addressing sexual and reproductive health issues of the youth, and social ills like sexual and other forms of gender-based violence? It looks somewhat incredible. Well Grassroot Soccer, an adolescent health organization, seems to be doing exactly that. It has leveraged[Read More…]

by 13/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Growing up as a girl in rural India: What does it mean?

Growing up as a girl in rural India: What does it mean?

  Adolescence or teenage is that critical phase when one transitions from childhood to adulthood. It is marked by important biological changes and the onset of puberty. This ‘growing up’ is also about experiencing the joys and challenges of youth. However, for many girls especially those living in rural India, growing up in patriarchal socio-cultural set ups also signifies the[Read More…]

by 09/08/2020 1 comment Patriarchy
Gender stereotypes plaguing the pandemic response

Gender stereotypes plaguing the pandemic response

As per a recent news, a senior bureaucrat in Lucknow said, “The increase in female infection (of COVID-19) ratio is a clear indication that women are going out in the market and not following the precautions [for COVID-19 prevention]”. This statement is not only devoid of any scientific evidence but also reeks of a deep-rooted patriarchal mindset. It also assumes[Read More…]

by 31/07/2020 Comments are Disabled India
 Until the Rich and Poor alike use the same Public Health Services we cannot beat the Pandemic

 Until the Rich and Poor alike use the same Public Health Services we cannot beat the Pandemic

Co-Written  by Shobha Shukla, Bobby Ramakant and Sandeep Pandey “COVID-19 has exposed the lie that free markets can deliver healthcare for all, the fiction that unpaid care work isn’t work, the delusion that we live in a post-racist world.We are all floating on the same sea, but some are in super-yachts and others clinging to drifting debris” said Antonio Guterres,[Read More…]

by 27/07/2020 Comments are Disabled India
A vaccine for COVID-19: So near and yet so far

A vaccine for COVID-19: So near and yet so far

With the numbers of those infected with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) escalating everyday globally we are indeed wading through turbulent waters with no end at sight. Scientists around the world are literally burning the midnight oil, searching frantically for a treatment to rid the world of this pandemic. It is a race between humans and the virus. And although it is too[Read More…]

by 23/07/2020 Comments are Disabled World
Never say die: Disability is not about inability

Never say die: Disability is not about inability

They may be differently abled, but they do not lack in ability. Yes, I am talking about the more than one billion people in the world who live with some form of disability. They could be persons with impaired functions of the senses, mobility, cognition or with psychosocial difficulties. Out of these, an estimated 690 million live in the Asia[Read More…]

by 17/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Is bad politics overshadowing science of COVID-19 vaccine research?

Is bad politics overshadowing science of COVID-19 vaccine research?

Co-Written by Shobha Shukla, Bobby Ramakant and Sandeep Pandey The letter dated 2 July 2020 by Indian government’s apex medical research body ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) with a directive to begin and finish all human clinical trials of COVAXIN- an indigenously developed vaccine for COVID-19- by 15 August 2020 (India’s Independence Day) so that the vaccine can be[Read More…]

by 15/07/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Beyond tokenism: Accelerating rights of women and girls in a post-COVID era

Beyond tokenism: Accelerating rights of women and girls in a post-COVID era

I am tempted to share this very recent photograph of a newly done up mural in a very prominent area of my city barely a stone-throw distance from the state parliament. It is a clear depiction of what our patriarchal society wants its women to be-meek submissive, docile, their colourless faces devoid of any hope or desires. I fervently hope[Read More…]

by 15/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
 Women bear the brunt of humanitarian disasters, including COVID-19

 Women bear the brunt of humanitarian disasters, including COVID-19

The United Nations (UN) data estimates that 168 million people worldwide will need assistance in 2020 to deal with humanitarian crises, including natural disasters, extreme climate events, conflicts and infectious disease outbreaks. 25% of these will be women and girls of reproductive age. And they are the ones who are disproportionately affected during any humanitarian disaster – from being more[Read More…]

by 04/05/2020 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
Reproductive health services are essential services, including during pandemics like COVID-19

Reproductive health services are essential services, including during pandemics like COVID-19

The recently released Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report 2020 shows that Asia and the Pacific region is not on track to achieve any of the 169 targets of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), including those around ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services. Despite commitments made by governments, inequality in the region is growing and[Read More…]

by 07/04/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Universal access to sexual and reproductive health services is a human rights imperative

Universal access to sexual and reproductive health services is a human rights imperative

The Asia Pacific region is home to more than half of the global population and many low-income countries. While the region is witnessing rapid economic growth, gender inequalities persist and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services are far from being available to all. In the lead up to this year’s International Women’s Day and the forthcoming 10th Asia Pacific Conference[Read More…]

by 06/03/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Gender equity and human rights are pivotal for advancing progress on SDGs

Gender equity and human rights are pivotal for advancing progress on SDGs

  The Nairobi Statement endorsed to mark 25 years of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) gives renewed hope and stronger thrust to gender equity and human rights. Achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights as a part of universal health coverage; zero unmet need for family planning information and services, and universal availability[Read More…]

by 24/02/2020 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
Cost of inaction to prevent and treat TB is (very) high

Cost of inaction to prevent and treat TB is (very) high

Prevention of TB was the focus of many a sessions at the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Hyderabad, India, on the theme of ‘Ending the Emergency: Science, Leadership, Action.’ This conference comes one year after the first ever United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB. One of the commitments made in the political declaration of the UNHLM[Read More…]

by 02/11/2019 Comments are Disabled India
Ground zero: Frontline champions lead the fight to #endTB as global meet opens in India

Ground zero: Frontline champions lead the fight to #endTB as global meet opens in India

It was indeed a humbling experience for me to interact with a few frontline healthcare workers who are courageously fighting the #endTB battle on the ground in Hyderabad, India (the venue for the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health). My day began with meeting G Swamy Reddy, project officer at Lepra Society in Hyderabad. He has been involved with[Read More…]

by 29/10/2019 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Are we forgetting that TB prevention is better than cure?

Are we forgetting that TB prevention is better than cure?

Without infection there is no disease: Nip the TB infection Prevention of new infections of TB bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and their progression to active TB disease is critical to reduce the burden of TB disease and to achieve the goal of ending TB by 2030. Around 587 million (35%) of the total estimated 1.7 billion people infected with latent TB[Read More…]

by 28/10/2019 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Local solutions, local actions for #GlobalGoals to control tobacco and NCDs

Local solutions, local actions for #GlobalGoals to control tobacco and NCDs

The 4th Summit of Asia Pacific Cities Alliance for Tobacco Control and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Prevention (APCAT) will open in Bogor, Indonesia, on 25th September 2019, which also happens to be World Lung Day. This two-days regional meet is jointly organized by APCAT, Ministry of Health Indonesia, Republic of Indonesia, Bogor City, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The[Read More…]

by 24/09/2019 Comments are Disabled World
Inside out: Climate change induced migration

Inside out: Climate change induced migration

Climate change greatly impacts the lives of migrants in different parts of the world. According to the United Nations, by 2050, up to 1 billion people could be driven away from their homes due to the worsening impacts of climate change. Both, sudden and slow onset weather events, affect the migrants. Migrants face numerous challenges around their livelihood, safety, mobility[Read More…]

by 21/09/2019 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
Despite odds, determination of women climate migrants is writ large

Despite odds, determination of women climate migrants is writ large

The Baseco reclamation project is one of the 22 reclamation projects planned by the Philippines government along the Manila Bay. It is being opposed tooth and nail by the 70,000 settlers (mostly fisher folks) of Baseco Compound, Tondo, a reclaimed section of the Manila Port Area, who fear losing their livelihood due to forced evacuation and displacement. #BeyondLabelsBeyondBorders I met[Read More…]

by 18/09/2019 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
A tale of two positives attracting each other

A tale of two positives attracting each other

I met the two of them at the Clinica Condesa Iztapalapa, in Mexico City, where I had gone to attend the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019). Was it a mere coincidence that they had many things in common – they share the same surname; they speak fluent English; they neither drink nor smoke nor are on drugs;[Read More…]

by 29/07/2019 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Writing’s on the wall: No #endAIDS without #endTB

Writing’s on the wall: No #endAIDS without #endTB

TB and HIV both are preventable, but cutting the chain of transmission of HIV and TB is proving to be a daunting task. Treatment exists for both TB and HIV but disease-burden and deaths every year are indeed alarming. With countdown on towards TB and AIDS elimination targets for 2030, the writing on the wall is clear: business as usual[Read More…]

by 27/07/2019 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Achieving 100:100:100 + zero HIV transmission is must to #endAIDS

Achieving 100:100:100 + zero HIV transmission is must to #endAIDS

It has been 38 years and 1 month since the first case of HIV infection was detected in 1981, reminded Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (#IAS2019) taking place in Mexico City. Dr Fauci is a recipient of Robert Koch Award and US Presidential[Read More…]

by 24/07/2019 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
New milestone for improved treatment for children with TB

New milestone for improved treatment for children with TB

(CNS): More and more children around the world are now benefitting from fixed dose combination (FDC) of child-friendly medicines to treat drug-sensitive TB, thanks to the untiring efforts of TB Alliance (Global Alliance for TB Drug Development) and its partners including World Health Organization (WHO), for making these drugs go from development to delivery stage. TB Alliance proudly announced at[Read More…]

by 18/06/2019 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
It’s Time to bend the curve sharply to #endTB

It’s Time to bend the curve sharply to #endTB

Co-Written by Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant Although governments of 193 countries had promised way back in 2015 to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030, the global annual rate of TB decline since then has been much less than what is required. The rate of TB decline which is currently hovering around 1.5%, should catapult to over 10% by 2025 globally,[Read More…]

by 22/03/2019 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 Women speak: To be a woman and to be in India

 Women speak: To be a woman and to be in India

Is the situation dismal? In a survey of experts done in 2018, India ranks as the world’s most dangerous country for women. It had ranked 4th in the same survey done 7 years ago. The Global Gender Gap Index 2017 by the World Economic Forum placed India at 108 position out of 144 countries benchmarked on the basis of gender[Read More…]

by 07/03/2019 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
Complacency kills: Prevention cannot take a backseat while we scale up treatment coverage to #endAIDS

Complacency kills: Prevention cannot take a backseat while we scale up treatment coverage to #endAIDS

“The global health system is only as strong as its weakest parts” had said UNDP’s Mandeep Dhaliwal in her article around last year’s World AIDS Day. The context has only deepened over the year, not only for ending AIDS but also for health security in general. With Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) on 12th December this year, time is[Read More…]

by 11/12/2018 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Paid leave for domestic violence survivors can help break the cycle of violence against women

Paid leave for domestic violence survivors can help break the cycle of violence against women

To mark the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and 16 Days of Activism (25 November to 10 December), public sector unions launched a campaign to demand paid leave for all survivors of domestic violence. This is a part of efforts to strengthen labour laws and policies that can help stop violence and harassment. “While the #MeToo movement[Read More…]

by 26/11/2018 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
We want the ring…

We want the ring…

That seemed to be the resonating refrain of women at the HIV Research for Prevention Conference (HIVR4P2018) held recently in Madrid, Spain. And no, they were not talking about the engagement ring. Their focus of interest was the intra-vaginal dapivirine vaginal ring – a long acting female-initiated, self-administered product that has been found to be highly effective in reducing the[Read More…]

by 07/11/2018 1 comment Life/Philosophy
HIV prevention: Bridging the gap between research and impact

HIV prevention: Bridging the gap between research and impact

   We are at an incredible moment in the history of the HIV/AIDS response, which reflected in the vibrancy of the HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2018) – the only global scientific conference focused on the fast-growing field of biomedical HIV prevention research. Today, the latest research in different areas of biomedical HIV prevention, including vaccines, rings, microbicides and other[Read More…]

by 29/10/2018 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Ending antimicobial resistance is the lynchpin to #endTB as well as health security

Ending antimicobial resistance is the lynchpin to #endTB as well as health security

(CNS): While reaffirming their commitment to end TB by 2030, the draft Political Declaration in the fight against tuberculosis by governments at the first UN High-Level Meeting on TB (#UNHLM to #endTB) acknowledges that “TB, including its drug-resistant forms, is a critical challenge and the leading infectious disease cause of death, the most common form of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) globally.”[Read More…]

by 28/09/2018 Comments are Disabled India
Is it the final countdown to #endTB?

Is it the final countdown to #endTB?

  (CNS): The world’s eyes and ears are expectantly focussed on the forthcoming first-ever UN High Level Meeting (UNHLM) to #endTB: “United to End TB: An Urgent Global Response to a Global Epidemic.” The global TB community is hailing this as a landmark opportunity to marshal political will and resources to end TB by 2030. Will this meeting actually turn[Read More…]

by 24/09/2018 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Ending AIDS, the Dutch way

Ending AIDS, the Dutch way

Photograph of Alphonsus Stoelinga, Netherlands Ambassador to India (CNS): We are all very familiar with the phrase ‘going Dutch’ (meaning each person of a group pays one’s own expenses in an outing), but are we also aware of dealing with HIV/AIDS the Dutch way? Perhaps very few of us know that “Amsterdam, which is currently hosting the 22nd International AIDS[Read More…]

by 24/07/2018 Comments are Disabled World
Social entrepreneurship: Partnership platforms for sustainable societies

Social entrepreneurship: Partnership platforms for sustainable societies

(CNS): Dr Marie Lisa Dacanay, President of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia, defines social entrepreneurship as ‘a game changing strategy to mainstream social enterprises to help the poor/ marginalized and women at the grassroots become key partners in multi-stakeholder innovation platforms for developing inclusive, sustainable economies; and to partake of the value and wealth created in ways that[Read More…]

by 22/06/2018 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Misun Woo

Climate justice is integral to development justice

  Climate justice is integral to development justice, as it is essential for building a brave feminist future sans power and wealth inequalities. This is the dream of feminists in the Asia Pacific region, including Misun Woo, who recently took over charge as the Regional Coordinator for APWLD (Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development). A law graduate from[Read More…]

by 07/06/2018 1 comment Climate Change
Air pollution is an invisible killer: Denial will cost lives!

Air pollution is an invisible killer: Denial will cost lives!

Co-Written Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant World Health Day 2018 special A senior editor in Thailand is being victimized for putting spotlight on an issue that the World Health Organization (WHO) refers to as “invisible killer” of over 6.5 million people globally every year. Air pollution warrants much more urgency to save lives and help people breathe life, and not[Read More…]

Razia: A Tale With A Difference

Razia: A Tale With A Difference

  (CNS): This is the story of Razia, a girl from village Bahpur in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh. It has all the ingredients of a fairy tale, but with a difference. Razia might not be a run-of the-mill princess depicted in fairy tales, rather she represents a brave and mighty character in her own right. Razia comes from a[Read More…]

by 06/03/2018 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Stop This Shaming Of Menstruation

Stop This Shaming Of Menstruation

(CNS): The photograph accompanying this article, was clicked on Chinese New Year (16th February 2018) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is a signpost/ notice written in Thai, English and Chinese (in that order) in a temple, having a statue of Ganesha, situated in the heart of the city in front of Maya Mall. I reproduce the English version: “1. Women[Read More…]

by 01/03/2018 1 comment Patriarchy
Listening To The Unheard Voices Of India

Listening To The Unheard Voices Of India

(CNS): It is a common practice to interview celebrities and share their success stories. But the real grass roots heroines and heroes rarely get heard. So, for a change, let us listen to what our 13 year old Raveena has to say on girls’ education. It is high time our policy makers paid heed to the experiential knowledge of people[Read More…]

by 21/02/2018 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Is Global Development Agenda Rooted In Local Realities?

Is Global Development Agenda Rooted In Local Realities?

(CNS): Global processes for development should be rooted in and informed by the grassroots movements. But is there a gap or disconnection? Can we do better to ensure that development discourses at all levels are plugged in affected communities on the frontlines? Governments often fail to, meaningfully and centrally, engage the people on the ground, in processes around global agendas[Read More…]

by 04/09/2017 Comments are Disabled Globalisation
Private Public Partnership And Sustainable Development: In Harmony or In Conflict With Each Other?

Private Public Partnership And Sustainable Development: In Harmony or In Conflict With Each Other?

Are public private partnerships helpful or harmful to increase progress on sustainable development? CNS spoke with Gerifel Cerillo, the coordinator of ‘Tanggol Bayi’ – an association of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in the Philippines on this issue. Gerifel will also be a key participant at the forthcoming 3rd Asia Pacific Feminist Forum (APFF 2017), to be held in Chiang[Read More…]

by 29/08/2017 1 comment Globalisation
Women Should Not Live In Fear, But Act With Courage

Women Should Not Live In Fear, But Act With Courage

“One day, when my first child was barely 6 months old, my husband kicked away the water and food I had served him. On asking him the reason, he started pulling my hair and thrashing me. I was stunned at his sudden violent behaviour. But this was just the start of a never-ending saga of domestic violence that continues till[Read More…]

by 08/08/2017 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
Caste Inequity Fuels Gender Injustice

Caste Inequity Fuels Gender Injustice

It is important to recognize how gender injustices underpin the caste, class and social inequities. “I did start going to school. But as I am a Dalit (untouchable), I was made to sit away from the rest of the children. If I touched some upper caste child, even by mistake, I would be thrashed by the teachers – who were[Read More…]

Domestic Violence Survivor Faced Challenges Headlong And Reclaimed Her Power Back

Domestic Violence Survivor Faced Challenges Headlong And Reclaimed Her Power Back

  “Earlier my husband would taunt me for not conceiving and said that I was barren. Then he became angry when I gave birth to a daughter. He warned me that if I ever produced a girl again, he would kill me. My in-laws would instigate him and he would thrash me. Father and son both used very abusive language[Read More…]

by 13/07/2017 1 comment Life/Philosophy
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Cleaning Up The Air We Breathe

(CNS): My first personal brush with the severity of asthma was several years ago, when one of my students suddenly started gasping for breath in the middle of her Physics Practical final examination of Class 12. We were clueless about the cause of her sudden affliction. Other than making her sit in the open air and force her to drink[Read More…]

by 21/05/2017 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Insights Of A Cancer Survivor With Indomitable Spirit

Insights Of A Cancer Survivor With Indomitable Spirit

“One night, in the summer of 2013, I felt a twitch in my breast. It was something like if you hurt your toenail. Having a family history of cancer, I did not want to take any chance, and promptly saw my doctor the very next day. He reassured me that there was nothing to worry, more so because there was[Read More…]

by 02/04/2017 1 comment Life/Philosophy
North-South Perspepctives On Istanbul Principles And Agenda 2030 For Sustainable Development

North-South Perspepctives On Istanbul Principles And Agenda 2030 For Sustainable Development

  (CNS): The eight Istanbul Principles, adopted in 2010 by over two hundred civil society organisations (CSOs) from 82 countries, constitute a statement of common values and approaches to guide CSOs’ work. Seven years down the line, civil society has made strides in improving their effectiveness and accountability. However, progress in realizing Istanbul Principles in CSO practice, depends largely on[Read More…]

by 01/04/2017 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
SDGs Should Not Be The Icing On Business-As-Usual ‘Cake’

SDGs Should Not Be The Icing On Business-As-Usual ‘Cake’

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is convening the 4th session of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD 2017) from 29 to 31 March 2017, in Bangkok, Thailand. The APFSD is expected to define a regional roadmap to support member States’ implementation of the 2030 Agenda over the next 15 years. The conclusions[Read More…]

by 28/03/2017 1 comment World
World Cancer Day: Ensure The Right Treatment At The Right Time To Every Patient

World Cancer Day: Ensure The Right Treatment At The Right Time To Every Patient

(CNS): Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide. In 2012, there were an estimated 1.8 million new lung cancer cases (13% of all cancers diagnosed), and 1.59 million deaths (19.4% of the total cancer deaths). According to the latest cancer registry data released by the Indian Council of Medical Research, 0.114 million new lung cancer cases (83,000 in males[Read More…]

by 01/02/2017 1 comment Life/Philosophy
#BeTheChange: It Is About Growing In Years, Not About Getting Old!

#BeTheChange: It Is About Growing In Years, Not About Getting Old!

 (CNS): As fertility rates decline and life expectancy increases, the number of senior citizens is growing globally. Among the 7.3 billion people worldwide in 2015, an estimated 617.1 million, were aged 65 years or more. The Asia Pacific region is ageing rapidly and South-East Asia’s elderly numbers are growing fast at around 5% a year – between now and 2030[Read More…]

by 27/01/2017 1 comment Life/Philosophy
For Age Is Opportunity No Less Than Youth Itself…

For Age Is Opportunity No Less Than Youth Itself…

“…As the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars invisible by day” are the immortal words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Alas! this does not hold ground for many people in countries of Asia Pacific (and maybe elsewhere too). The elderly are getting pushed more into a dark night devoid of stars. The erosion of traditional livelihoods and[Read More…]

by 13/09/2016 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Integrated TB-HIV Responses Are A Must To Meet Sustainable Development Goals

Integrated TB-HIV Responses Are A Must To Meet Sustainable Development Goals

(CNS): At the 2015 United Nations General Assembly, governments committed to achieve SDGs by 2030, one of which is to end AIDS and TB by 2030. If people living with HIV continue to die of TB, we will not only fail to achieve SDGs but also lose gains made in the fights against HIV and TB. Keeping in mind the[Read More…]

by 27/07/2016 1 comment Life/Philosophy
 Self-Stigma: Let Us Do More Than Just ‘Talk About It’

 Self-Stigma: Let Us Do More Than Just ‘Talk About It’

Senior HIV activists who have not only helped shape HIV responses on the ground over the years, but also have been living with the virus for several years, shared their personal battle against self-stigma at a press conference session hosted by The Work For Change (www.theworkforchange.org) and partners at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) held in Durban, South[Read More…]

by 25/07/2016 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Battling With Three Diseases And Still Going Strong

Battling With Three Diseases And Still Going Strong

(Based on an exclusive interview given by Nqobile Zungu, and her doctor Dr Samele Madela to CNS – Citizen News Service) I met 37 years old Nqobile Zungu, at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) that is being held in Durban. And yes, her looks were deceptive in the sense that one could never guess that her outwardly healthy[Read More…]

by 23/07/2016 1 comment Life/Philosophy
International AIDS Conferences: From Durban To Durban – Has Anything Changed In 16 Years?

International AIDS Conferences: From Durban To Durban – Has Anything Changed In 16 Years?

  AIDS 2016, the XXI International AIDS Conference – (with the theme of ‘Access Equity Rights Now’) which will be held in Durban, South Africa, from 18 to 22 July 2016, marks a dramatic change in the country’s AIDS response in the 16 years since XIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2000), which was also held in Durban “When Nelson Mandela[Read More…]

by 14/07/2016 1 comment Life/Philosophy
MDR-TB Treatment Regimen: Short Indeed Is Effective

MDR-TB Treatment Regimen: Short Indeed Is Effective

    WHO recently announced new recommendations to speed up diagnosis and improve treatment outcomes for multi drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) through the use of a novel rapid diagnostic test called MTBDRsl, and a shorter, cheaper 9-12 month treatment regimen. The new treatment regimen can be completed in 9-12 months— less than half the time required by the current 24-month[Read More…]

by 08/07/2016 1 comment Uncategorized
Towards A TB Free India: It Cannot Be A Lone Battle

Towards A TB Free India: It Cannot Be A Lone Battle

  (CNS): India carries the highest global burden of TB – a curable disease that kills one Indian every 90 seconds. There are 2.2 million new cases of TB in the country every year, out of which an estimated 71,000 cases are of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). This curable disease kills 110,000 HIV-associated TB cases also emerging annually in India,[Read More…]

by 25/06/2016 Comments are Disabled Uncategorized