Category Archives: National Security

The Neglected Egyptian Protest

About two years ago around this time, crowds of protest movements were enveloping the Middle East and North Africa. Protestors were coming together to work towards better representation of people that had the capacity to serve the larger population, rather than the upper elite. In Egypt, particularly about two years ago around this time, the former President of Egypt of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, was forced to step down.

The Middle East region includes about 20 countries, with almost 400 million people living within its span. Of this population, about 65 million people live on less than $2 US dollars a day. Egypt has the largest number of people living in poverty in the Middle East, with 18 percent out of 80.4 million living on less than US$2 per day. Loose labor laws, a lack of strong physical infrastructure and a weakened sense of social justice amounted to an overwhelming amount of unsatisfied civilians that took to Tahrir Square in 2011 and have since been fighting for their just representation by government officials.

Economic burdens and restraints, like those that have affected a large portion of Egypt’s population, not only lead to inequality of employment, resources and infrastructure, but they can also eventually lead to the regression of physical health. When you have such a large population living in under-privileged circumstances, people walk a very thin line of safety when it comes to health services. It may not have stood out as a single issue that raised headlines during the protests, but the lack of policy that suppressed the spread of diseases is also a result of government neglect.

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The Vaccine Veteran: Albert Sabin

By: Jennifer Segal

Today is Veteran’s Day!  A day to honor U.S .veterans for their patriotism and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Sabin Archive U Cincinnati

The Sabin Vaccine Institute was founded in honor of Dr. Albert Sabin, a renowned scientist and a great American veteran. Dr. Sabin was in the midst of his polio research in Ohio, when he joined the U.S. Army Epidemiological Board’s Virus Committee and accepted assignments all over the world at the start of World War II. During his time serving abroad, he developed vaccines for encephalitis (sleeping sickness), sand-fly fever, and dengue fever. Continue reading

International Day of Nonviolence and NTDs!

By: Jennifer Segal

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

That famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi really helps define what today is–The International Day of Nonviolence (IDN) celebrated each year on October 2nd in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. IDN was established to help educate and spread awareness of nonviolence in order to promote a global environment of peace, tolerance and understanding.  Unfortunately, there is a strong connection between violence and poverty; we often see a trend of high rates of violence in areas with low income and little to no access to health care.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) summary report on world health and non- violence published in 2002, discusses the implications and priority of violence and its impact on global health. In 1979, the U.S. Surgeon General produced the first of several reports linking violence and health.In the report, the U.S. Surgeon General states that “the consequences of violent behavior could not be ignored in the effort to improve the nation’s health and made tackling the roots of violence a top priority for the health community.” The same goes for other nations too; if we want to make nonviolence a priority, we need to tackle one of its effecting contributors, and that is global health. Solutions to promoting nonviolence are based in education and awareness much like the recommendations for controlling and eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

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The 2010 G8/G20 Summits: Looking Forward

By: Genevieve Luippold

Today, Friday, June 25, 2010 the historic G8 and G20 summit meetings begin in Huntsville, Canada.  The G8, held from June 25-26, brings together eight heads of states from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States to discuss and address critical global challenges in areas such as international development, food security and global health.  Leaders from the G20, a summit with a narrower focus on global trade and economics, will immediately follow the G8 in Toronto June 26-27.  Global health is to be a major part of this year’s agenda.

One recent development in the global health sector is the new maternal and child health initiative, for more than $1 billion dollars, unveiled  by Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.  This initiative aims to improve the health and livelihood of women and children (MCH) in the world’s poorest regions.   The G8’s Muskoka Report, released earlier this week, provides insight into the progress of the Gleneagle Commitments made by G8 members in 2005 to increase global Organizational Development Assistance (ODA) significantly.  These ODA committmetns  were set to rise to $130 billion by 2010. Of this increase, $25 billion would go to Africa alone.  G8 expenditures in the last five years include assistance to the African Action Plan, billions of dollars in debt cancellation from G8 countries, improvement of market access for goods from Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and as well as major health sector contributions including the formation and support of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Yet, as the G8 and G20 leaders meet to discuss solutions to pressing global concerns, 1.4 billion of the world’s poorest, most marginalized people remain in the devastating impacts of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This group of seven disabling, disfiguring and deadly diseases impair physical and cognitive development, cause adverse pregnancy outcomes and limit adult workforce productivity.  As a result, the affected communities remain anchored into poverty by these endemic parasitic infections.

The Global Network, a major initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, is a partnership dedicated to eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).  The Global Network applauds the G8 in their inclusion of NTD, control, and elimination as a major channel of global development, yet reminds G8 leaders that there is still much work to be done. 

The Global Network is calling on members of the G8 to:

  • Fulfill promises made at the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles to increase ODA by $130 by 2010
  • Recommit to statement made in 2009 G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy that “no poor country with a credible plan for reducing infectious disease and newborn, child and maternal mortality should fail to achieve its objectives because of a lack of donor resources.”
  • Ensure that accountability is an integral and permanent component of both the G8 and G20 process
  • Continue to raise the profile of NTDs around the world
  • End the neglect of neglected tropical diseases