‘Zero malaria starts with me’: UN health agency
On World Malaria Day, marked on Thursday, the World Health Organization, or WHO, launched a grassroots campaign to emphasize country ownership and community empowerment to improve malaria prevention and care.
After more than a decade of steady advances in fighting the disease, progress has leveled off.
“Every two minutes a child dies from this preventable and treatable disease”, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
According to the UN health agency’s latest World Malaria Report, the estimated number of malaria cases remained virtually unchanged from 2015 to 2017.
There are approximately 219 million cases globally and an estimated 435,000 deaths.
The WHO chief said the campaign “Zero malaria starts with me”, calls on political leaders, the private sector and affected communities to take action to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment, saying “we all have a role to play”.
UN project to aid 140,000 in the Sahel
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and European Union announced on Thursday a new project to strengthen the resilience of agropastoral communities which cross national boundaries in the Sahel.
Targeting several priority zones, including Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, the aim is to improve food security, country-level investments in building resilient livelihoods, and policies to support communities.
“Major investments in rural development and agriculture must be integral to peacebuilding efforts”, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said while visiting Senegal.
The Sahel remains affected by conflict, malnutrition and population displacement rendering millions in need of urgent assistance each year.
The project, which will benefit 140,000 people – many of whom are vulnerable pastoralists – will help to address these crises at their roots, according to FAO.
‘A dark day’ for media freedoms in Myanmar
UN human rights experts said on Thursday that the refusal of Myanmar’s top court to consider a final appeal by two jailed Reuters journalists “represented a dark day for media freedoms and democracy in the country”.
Incarcerated for seven years in connection with their 2017 investigation into the massacre of Rohingya men and boys at Inn Din village in Rakhine State, the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the appeal by Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.
The experts underscored that neither committed a crime, saying: “They were doing their job as investigative journalists, reporting on issues of the upmost concern to the people of Myanmar” and performing an essential “democratic function".
The Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee and Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, David Kaye, called the upholding of their convictions “a grave injustice".
Last week, both journalists were awarded the journalists a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting.
Liz Scaffidi , UN News