Link: Slums in Cape Town and Mumbai

An interestig article by Shinjini Mondal on the International Health Policies Network’s website discusses the numerous challenges of informal settlements and the burden of rapid and often problematic urbanisation: Slums in Cape Town and Mumbai have far more in common than I thought – and that was even before I had heard about complexity!

Shinjini Mondal participated in the Emerging Voices for Global Health -program, which aims at empowering health researchers from the Global South by providing an intensive skills training and facilitate their participation in a global health conference.

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Lancet Commission’s report ‘Culture and health’

Lancet Commission’s report ‘Culture and health‘ is excellent background reading for the Seminar on Immigrant Health in Denmark that takes place at the University of Copenhagen on Wednesday 26 November 2014, 14.00-17.00.

The reports states:

‘Planned and unplanned migrations, diverse social practices, and emerging disease vectors transform how health and wellbeing are understood and negotiated. Simultaneously, familiar illnesses—both communicable and non-communicable—continue to affect individual health and household, community, and state economies. Together, these forces shape medical knowledge and how it is understood, how it comes to be valued, and when and how it is adopted and applied.’

You can download the report here (pdf) or on The Lancet’s website.

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Lancet group’s report on Swedish development assistance to health

Based on the Lancet report’s optimistic message a bout the ‘grand convergence’, the Swedish Expert Group for Aid Studies invited a group from the Lancet team to study the Swedish development assistance to health. The idea was to have a closer look at what Sweden currently does in the field of development assistance to health, what Sweden is good at and what Sweden could focus on over the next decade.

The analysis, a “policy options” paper, is intended to stimulate discussion and debate, rather than to be a prescriptive document for what Sweden should do or not. The analysis has 7 key messages:

  1. Classifying development assistance for health by its functions helps to articulate the roles of health aid in the post-2015 era;
  2. Swedish bilateral development assistance for health and multilateral development assistance for health mostly target local functions;
  3. Economic growth means some countries may graduate from Swedish development assistance for health by 2035;
  4. There are likely to be five key global health challenges for the period 2015-2035;
  5. Sweden can play a key role in tackling these challenges, given its impacts and strengths in global health;
  6. Significant additional Swedish development assistance for health is likely to be available from 2015 to 2035;
  7. Investing this additional Swedish development assistance for health in specific global, local and “glocal” functions could help reach the Global Health 2035 goals.

Download the report Sweden’s Development Assistance for Health – Policy Options to Support the Global Health 2035 Goals at Sida’s website.

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Link: Factsheet on HIV and failing states

The factsheet on HIV and failing states, authored by Plan UK for STOPAIDS following a thematic meeting held by STOPAIDS in April 2014, states:

“Poor infrastructure and limited resources in developing countries create challenging environments for provision of key services such as voluntary testing and counselling, CD4 and viral load testing and provision of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Maintaining provision of these services is even more difficult within failing states.”

Find the factsheet at

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Denmark and Netherlands launch fund for SRHR

The Danish Minister for Trade and Development, Mr. Mogens Jensen and HRH Crown Princess Mary launched a new initiative Amplify Change – a new fund advocating for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The launch took place in New York earlier this week in connection to the UN General Assembly. The Danish government has allocated 82m Danish krone to the fund.

“The launch of the Amplify Change fund marks an important event,” said Mogens Jensen, Denmark’s minister for trade and development cooperation. “Despite progress, there is a still a huge unfinished agenda in front of us; the right for women and girls to be able to decide freely about their own bodies and live without fear of violence so they can achieve their full potential”.

Read more on ministry’s homepage (in Danish) or Amplify Change Fund’s homepage.

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WHO report mentions the positive effects of e-cigs

According to WHO, the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing nearly six million people a year. Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths. In the recent report, WHO ‘accepts’ that e-cigarettes might help people on their attempts to quit smoking and they may be able to downsize the negative effects of smoking.

By Apostolos Vardangalos, Global Health Minders’ intern

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Prof Peter Piot about 21th century challenges

Professor Peter Piot from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine underlines that the solutions for the Global Health challenges in the 21th century go beyond the medical field. Listen his talk at the 21st Century Challenge event ‘Global Heath in the 21st Century’ — exploring whether societies can strike a balance between combating the dangers of viral outbreaks and pandemics, while maintaining the hopes of eradicating established diseases, such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, which continue to claim millions of lives each year?

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