2013 has been another really successful year for us here at RESULTS. This month we are going to be sharing in our successes of the past 12 months and taking time together to look ahead at our opportunities and campaigns for 2014.
On June 8th 2013, RESULTS was celebrating the success of the ‘Nutrition for Growth’ event; world leaders had come together in London and pledged $4.1 billion for tackling the global scourge of undernutrition, with the UK alone promising £655 million in new money.
Health workers are the life blood of a health system. Without them, babies cannot be delivered safely; vaccines cannot be administered; family planning cannot be provided; and TB and HIV testing and treatment cannot be carried out. It is estimated that there is a global shortage of four million health workers.
Tuberculosis is not just a threat to developing countries; nearly every single country in the world has some reported incidence of the disease. This airborne disease doesn't respect national boundaries or discriminate by class, gender or ethnicity. As the old saying goes 'TB anywhere is TB everywhere'. The UK is no more protected against TB than any other country and, in fact, rates of the disease have been rising here year on year since the mid 1970's. With over 9000 new cases of the disease every year, the UK has been described as 'the TB capital of Western Europe'.
We have been campaigning on the issue of TB among Southern Africa's goldminers for the past 18 months, advocating for a strong regional response supported by international actors like the UK and the World Bank. In that time we have seen some amazing progress, with real political will being committed by the heads of the state in the region, the UK announcing new funding for a project to tackle the issue and the World Bank undertaking economic analysis of the issue.
Last year, the UK made us proud by hosting the best Paralympic Games ever. It’s almost a year later, and there are signs of real progress in the UK Government’s efforts to reach disabled children through their education aid programmes.
Over the past 10 years, the UK Government, using money raised through taxation, has giving over £1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.That support has enabled the Global Fund to support over 1000 programs in 151 countries.
Despite the focus on hunger and poverty in the MDGs, under nutrition remains a problem of almost unimaginable proportions. In 2010 it was estimated that 925 people in developing countries were suffering from some form of under nutrition- that’s up from 824 million in 1990.
Every year the rich mines of South Africa produce up to 190,000 kilos of gold.......but at a huge human cost. Due to a combination of social, biological and environmental factors the men that mine this gold have the highest rates of TB in the world. Many of miners are migrant workers, and as they return to their communities in surrounding countries they are bringing with them the deadly TB contracted at the mines, spreading it to between 10-15 people per year.
It is a crucial time for global efforts to end poverty. With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) now fast approaching and mixed progress on the goals, the world is turning its attention to what should replace the MDGs post-2015.