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Do we have a lack of political will to end TB?

24 March 2017

Today is World TB Day 2017. In the past decade, every World TB Day press release or statement could have been exactly the same, only changing one number – the number of deaths – and it’s going in the wrong direction.

Figures from a recent report highlight the staggering future human and economic cost of failing to address TB: 75 million lives lost by 2050 and cumulative economic costs of $16.7 trillion. This very clearly shows that we are not winning the fight. If we do not act now...

The stories behind the statistics

24 March 2017

We are often told about how difficult and arduous treatments for TB are. Nobody knows this better than those affected by TB or those working on the frontline providing treatment. At the end of last year I met with three TB advocates at the Union World Conference on Lung Health in Liverpool – the annual meeting point for the TB community - to find out more about their experiences. Here’s what they had to say.

It’s Tough Taking Tuberculosis Medication

Meet Timpiyian Leseni, a...

Why the G7 must do more on food security and nutrition

16 March 2017

Lunch hour at work officially starts at 1pm. Unfortunately, I don’t think the stomach and brain understand time. Despite having breakfast this morning, hunger pangs set in around 12:00pm itself. I cave in. No harm in bringing lunch forward by an hour if it means I can work the rest of the afternoon in peace – energized, focused, and functioning at 100%.

Then I think of the 795 million people going hungry who have to get on with their day-to-day activities (including strenuous manual...

ICAI: The UK Aid Spending Watchdog

13 March 2017

If you’ve been following news on international development lately, you’ll be aware that aid spending outside of DFID is set to rise. By 2020, it is expected that around 30% of the UK’s aid budget will be spent by other government departments.

With this in mind, it is increasingly important that UK aid remains transparent and accountable, no matter who is spending it. Recognising this, the last Government established an independent body to scrutinise aid spending in 2011, called the...

March conference call recording now available

10 March 2017

A recording of the March grassroots conference call is now available to download here .

In recent years, the UK government has played an important role in raising the global focus of malnutrition.

Yet around 3 million children still die each year from malnutrition, and the world is way off track to meet global targets for ensuring good nutrition. There is a serious risk that progress in tackling malnutrition will...

Are we doing enough on women's nutrition?

8 March 2017

NO, is the indisputable answer to the question.

Poor nutrition, ill-health, reduced potential, and poverty trap women in a vicious cycle which threatens their survival and blocks the progress they are capable of achieving for themselves, and for society.

Women constitute over 40% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, but less than 20% of the world’s landholders are women (in some parts of Africa, less than 5%)...

‘The beautiful girl – inside and out – who makes good decisions’

7 March 2017

In a school playing-field outside Musanze in Rwanda’s volcano-dotted Northern Province, a circle of girls in handmade wooden glasses and headdresses are dancing, passing around energetic high-fives and chanting ‘arasobanutse’, ‘she’s smart’ in Kinyarwanda, the local language in Rwanda. It is a lively introduction to 12+, a safe space programme that I was lucky enough to visit at the beginning of last year. The programme is run by Girl Effect and works to help vulnerable 10-12 year old girls...

The International Development Committee and why it matters

1 March 2017

Parliament is often thought of as an antiquated institution, but one of its bodies we engage with most often is even younger than most of our staff and campaigners: 2017 marks the twentieth anniversary of the creation of the International Development Committee (IDC).

While there had been a government minister...

Political Leadership for Immunisation: The Addis Declaration on Immunisation One Year On

27 February 2017

Conferences. How many have you been to which were boring and pointless? All too often you will meet like-minded people, maybe make some useful connections through networking, have some nice chats, and drink a lot of tea and coffee.

Attending a conference can be a useful way to develop your own knowledge, but in development (and I’m sure with many other things) learning and talking to those with similar interests and views doesn’t necessarily have an impact.

But when Ministers...

The rise of the resistant bug

6 February 2017

The discovery of penicillin changed the world. Alexander Fleming revolutionised the way we see microbial infections by discovering the first antibiotic, a feat that ultimately awarded him joint Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Florey & Chain in 1945. The World Health Organisation estimates antimicrobials, on average, add on 20 years to everyone’s life. Not only do they offer quick relief from that troublesome tooth infection or earache but they also underpin modern medicine as...

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