Universal health coverage gains momentum in 2016
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day, December 12th, focusses on achieving Health for All by expanding UHC, a key SDG, to low and middle-income countries and ensuring that it also reaches the poorest in wealthy countries. Everyone should have access to basic health services without suffering financial hardship. The G7 Ise-shima meeting linked it to achieving better health systems and the global health security agenda. WE discuss what LMIC provide as basic health services and what NGOs and the public health community would like to further include (neglected tropical diseases and provision for refugees and migrant workers in host countries).
The recognition of Mycetoma: much needed attention finally given to long neglected tropical disease (NTD)
In May 2016 at the 69th World Health Assembly, mycetoma was added to the World Health Organization's list of neglected tropical diseases. I did not know that mycetoma is a destructive fungal (eumycetoma) or bacterial infection (actinomycetes) of the foot that results in disfigurement and social stigma, and is linked to poverty. I did not know there was a mycetoma belt with most cases reported from India, Mexico, Sudan, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Somalia and Yemen. If mycetoma was unfamiliar to me, how many other people had never heard of this disease?
The sugar industry and the World Health Organization – still at odds
I recently attended the International Sugar Organization’s annual conference in London, hoping to hear Dr. Francesco Branca of the World Health Organization explaining the rationale for the WHO’s recommendations on how much sugar people should eat, and see what response he got from the assembled sugar industry representatives and how he responded to that. As…