Who doesn’t love a good map? This week, we start off our global health news roundup with interactive maps from the BBC showing how different countries are faring when it comes to childhood immunization. The maps tell a story that overall is positive—more coverage, more places—but there is still plenty of room for improvement.
Also, don’t miss Denise Grady’s affecting New York Times piece on the rise of cancer in low-income countries, which focuses on women with breast cancer in Uganda.
The growth of global immunization
BBC, October 16, 2013
Immunization has been one of the great success stories of global health. It is estimated to prevent the deaths of two to three million children each year. But another 1.5 million children still die from diseases that could be prevented by routine vaccines. . .These maps chart the growth of global vaccine coverage from 1980 and show which countries are doing best—and worst—at protecting their population.
Uganda fights stigma and poverty to take on breast cancer
The New York Times, October 15, 2013
Cancer has long been neglected in developing countries, overshadowed by the struggle against more acute threats like malaria and AIDS. But as nations across the continent have made remarkable progress against infectious diseases once thought too daunting to tackle, more people are living long enough to develop cancer, and the disease is coming to the forefront. Given the strides poor countries have made against other health problems, they should also be able to improve the treatment of cancer, public health experts increasingly say.
Waste not, want not
Project Syndicate, October 15, 2013
Every year, we waste or lose 1.3 billion metric tons of food—one-third of the world’s annual food production. The sheer scale of the number makes it almost impossible to grasp, no matter how one approaches it. Try to imagine 143,000 Eiffel Towers stacked one on top of another, or a pile of 10 trillion bananas.
24 hours in Bucharest
Huffington Post, October 14, 2013
Last week I went on a short visit to Bucharest to understand the origin of the recent outbreak of HIV among people who use drugs in the city. I am disheartened to say that the fears that many of us working in global health held about the potential negative impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemic caused by the withdrawal of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria from a number of countries, including Romania, have been realized.