We Can't Do It Alone , We Need Your Support

We Can't Do It Alone , We Need Your Support
To Provide awareness regarding Girl Child Education , Menstrual Hygiene ,Girls Toilet , Sanitation and Safe Drinking Water , to thousands of families to make there lives Healthy and Happier !!! Please Support Our Fundraising Campaign To Reach Out To 25,000 Targeted Families In 5 States of India PLEASE MAKE THIS PICTURE YOUR COVER PAGE JUST FOR A DAY AT LEAST ! DONATE & SHARE

Monday, 16 December 2013


“Community Health Camp launched in Ghaziabad”

Gurgaon, 4th December 2013

On Saturday 30th November, the Gurgaon based NGO "HEEALS" conducted a free health check-up program in the District Combined Hospital, Ghaziabad. The event was organised to provide access to free health care for school children, orphans and street children, who otherwise do not have the means to acces health care. Following this pilot event, HEEALS intends to extend the health-check ups further afield, to other areas of Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi NCR.
In a joint collaboration with District Combined Hospital, Sanjay Nagar, twenty students from Kaushambi school, Ghaziabad, were brought to the hospital for access to free health check-ups. A team of doctors in the hospital volunteered their time in conducting check-ups for the children. These were conducted by Dr Sandeep Pawar (Chief Medical Officer), Dr Rajesh Kumar (Dental  Surgeon), Dr Mahesh Kumar Tomar (Patheologist), Dr Anita Singh (Eye surgeon) and Dr D.K. Jain (Paediatrician).

In addition to free medical check-ups, HEEALS provided students with sanitation kits, distributed by Dr Sandeep Pawar (CMO Sanjay Nagar Hospital), which included mosquito repellent coils, water purification tablets, sanitary pads for girls and posters promoting hand wash hygiene.

Among the HEEALS team were two volunteers from the UK: Chris Mammone, professional photographer, and Sylvie Hughes. Both have been working on delivering WASH awareness campaigns and presentations on hand washing hygiene and water sanitation, in schools and orphanages around India.
After the success of their pilot event, HEEALS will be planning future health-check ups for children in economically disadvantaged sections of society, and those who live in rural areas. The organization is welcoming any members of these communities who wish to provide free check-ups to children, and are accepting requests from schools, orphanages and villages in need.

"Many children are dropping out of school and becoming sick just because of unhygienic toilets and lack of healthcare, If we provide good healthcare and WASH facilities, this will raise the standard of education of children. In the past we had one Einstein. If we provide good healthcare and WASH facilities, we can provide opportunities for many Einstein’s of the future!" said HEEALS Managing Director-Gaurav Kashyap.

HEEALS (Health, Education, Environment And Livelihood Society) is working on its Free Health Camp pilot project in rural and urban slum areas of Uttar Pradesh, to provide access to free health check-ups in schools and orphanages, as well as providing free water purification tablets, water filtration systems and mosquito nets to families. Through providing health care education and awareness to those in need, HEEALS is working to reduce the number of disease related deaths and school dropout rates.

Press Release Edited By : Sylvie Huges
Email : sylvie@heeals.org
Office Address : 692/22/B/Gurgaon-122015
Website: www.heeals.org

Monday, 9 December 2013

India "missing" 3.75 crore toilets: sanitation activists

 Sanitation activists today observed 'World Toilet Day' and alleged that 3.75 crore lavatories in India as claimed by Ministry for Rural Development did not exist and were "missing".
Activists of Right to Sanitation (RTS) Campaign's India chapter demanded an inquiry into the "huge gap" in the number of toilets existing on the field and the number provided in the data by the Rural Development Ministry and Census 2011.
On the occasion, the activists organised a range of programmes across 14 states around the theme of 'missing toilets' and 'crisis of sanitation' in the country.
Various groups including Action India, Rashtriya Dalit Mahila Andolan, National Confederation of Dalit Organisations, Safai Karmchari Andolan, etc also demanded for the enactment of the law to provide constitutional status to the Right to Sanitation so that it becomes a legal civil right.
They also stressed that special focus should be accorded for the availability of toilets for women, disabled and aged in public spaces. "The socially excluded communities such as Dalits and adivasis should be covered totally as an emergency," the activists said.
Volunteers organised signature campaigns around metro stations in the central part of the city and highlighted the accessibility of toilets by the disabled people.
Representatives from the slums and resettlement colonies demanded the maintenance of existing toilets and construction of new toilets. Women from some colonies also shared that they have just 44 seat public toilets for a population of 29,000.
According to the activists, the women shared with them the "incidents of violence" that they face when they go for open defecation or use public toilets.
"These women demand sanitation services for their dignity, health and development," a sanitation activist said.
A group of children also staged a play on their problems related to availability and accessibility of toilets.
Campaigns were organised in Andhra PradeshBiharChhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu.
India is the global capital in terms of people going for open defecation. Rural sanitation coverage is still around 30 per cent (Census 2011) and the budget allocation is about 0.04 per cent of our GDP

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

World Toilet Day: Celebrating a basic human right

By: Sylvie Hughes
Gurgaon, India
19th November 2013

The figures provided by World Toilet Day reveal that 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to clean toilets. India has the largest number of people defecating in the open in the world. A staggering 638 million still practice open defecation, and less than half of India’s population are using  toilets.  Lack of hygiene awareness, lack of access to facilities, and social and behavioral patterns are the main causes of high disease rates, lack of education opportunities and deaths across the country.


By viewing statistics of toilet access in schools, one can gain an idea of the condition of the country as a whole regarding access to toilet facilities: Of all of India’s rural primary schools, only 1 in 6 have toilet facilities. Often the children have to walk home just to use the toilet, or walk further away to defecate in the open. The amount of time that children have to spend walking a distance to relieve themselves severely disrupts productivity in schools.

In girl’s schools in particular, the problem is graver: 66 % of girls’ schools do not have functioning toilets. Around 23 % of girls drop out of school every year in India due to lack of proper toilet facilities. Many school toilets are not gender segregated, making trips to the toilet uncomfortable or intimidating experiences for girls. Many toilets also do not provide adequate menstrual hygiene facilities such a bins to dispose sanitary pads. Girls are either forced to return home to use the toilet or change pads, or decide to drop out of school completely.

The female population are particularly suffering due to these conditions, becoming victims of health problems due to economic disparity. They are unable to grow to find a good career if they drop out of schools with poor sanitation facilities. This in turn leads to a lower living standard, where women face problems of sexual harassment and abuse.
1 in 3 women worldwide risk shame, sexual harassment and attacks due to lack of toilet facilities. In rural areas, where women have to defecate in the open, they face the risk of sexual assault if they have to walk further out to a remote area to defecate, particularly during the night time. As a result, many women are facing health problems caused by waiting until the morning to relieve themselves.  For other women, the only time to relieve themselves would be at night time, to avoid being seen by others. In rural areas, incidents of rape are commonly caused by lack of toilet facilities.

In addition to lack of clean toilets, there is a lack in proper sanitation facilities, such as clean running water and soap. In India over 1600 children die every day due to diarrhea related diseases. This is because more than half the population do not wash their hands after defecation, making diseases such as respiratory and gastrointestinal infections major killers among children and adults alike.

A key element to breaking the practice of open defecation is changing the behavior of people who have practiced open defecation for generations. Many rural communities have not had access to education on hygiene practices, therefore are unaware of the serious health risks caused by open defecation. Installing toilet facilities in the area is not sufficient, as they still may not be used by the majority of people who are not used to using toilets. Therefore, providing hand washing and toilet hygiene awareness is crucial to changing the toilet practices of the population.

To those who have lived their whole lives using clean, safe toilets, the figures provided by World Toilet Day would be shocking. The lives of 2.5 billion people are severely affected and even cut short because they have no toilets. Access to toilets should not be a privilege but a basic right for every person.

Let’s celebrate our toilets on World Toilet Day!  Join HEEALS in our mission to provide clean toilet facilities to schools and rural and urban slum areas across India.

HEEALS (Health, Education, Environment And Livelihood Society), is working on Water Sanitation, Menstrual Hygiene and Toilet Building projects in five states: Delhi (National Capital Region), Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Leh Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
HEEALS works in slum schools, schools in unauthorised colonies, orphanages and refugee camps.  Through spreading education on Sanitation and  Menstrual Hygiene and building clean safe, toilets HEEALS is working to increase the attendance rates of pupils in schools, reduce the number of diseases and deaths and improve the health of people across Indian society. Find out more about its projects at http://www.heeals.org and support our work!

Sources: UNICEF, RTE Forum

Monday, 18 November 2013

Health care access in India

By: Sylvie Hughes 
Gurgaon, India
18th November 2013

Despite improvements in healthcare in India, accessibility to quality health care remains a challenge for a large number of the population.


The provisional census of 2011 reveals that 68.84% of India’s population live in rural areas. However, according to the National Commission on Macroeconomics & Health (NCMH), 80% of of health infrastructure and resources are situated in urban  areas, where only 31% of the population live. This shows a clear imbalance in access to health care facilities. Half of the rural population of India live below the poverty line. They do not have the means of access to hospitals due to lack of proximity to their homes.

Those living in urban slum areas also face problems accessing quality health care. Even at government hospitals, it is necessary to pay fees for general health check-ups, which many families cannot afford to pay. Despite living in closer proximity to hospitals, many people lack sanitation and health care awareness. In Uttar Pradesh, the most common reason for not getting vaccinations for children was lack of awareness about vaccines.

India is the open defecation capital of the world, with 638 million people defecating in the open. Every day in India over 1600 children die due to diarrhea-related diseases. This is because more than half the population do not wash their hands after defecation, making diseases such as respiratory and gastrointestinal infections major killers among children and adults alike.
These figures give only a glimpse of the problems faced by lack of hygiene awareness and sanitation facilities.

HEEALS (Health, Education, Environment And Livelihood Society), is working on its Free Health Camp pilot project in rural and urban slum areas of Uttar Pradesh, to provide access to free health check-ups in schools and orphanages, as well as providing free water purification tablets, water filtration systems and mosquito nets to families. Through providing health care education and awareness to those in need, HEEALS is working to reduce the number of disease related deaths and school dropout rates. We need your help – find out more about HEEALS projects and what we do at http://www.heeals.org and support our work!

Sources: Government of India Ministry of Health & Family Welfare;  UNICEF;  NCMH;  Provisional Census of India (2011)

Friday, 15 November 2013

HEEALS Report On Water Sanitation Menstrual Hygiene & Girl Education

In August 2013, HEEALS carried out a monitoring and evaluation  exercise on its Water Sanitation Menstrual Hygiene and Girl Education projects in three schools following the delivery of previous awareness training. Results of the monitoring and evaluation are now available to view in our HEEALS report.

One issue to consider is that despite many girls having a good awareness and knowledge of Menstrual Hygiene, they are unable to practice what they know due to lack of facilities available in school.  The bad conditions of toilet facilities were reported by most participants, who stated that there was nowhere to place sanitary pads and no soap or water for hand washing. Similarly, many girls displayed an awareness of the importance of hand washing, yet were unable to put this into practice at school.

Schools greatly influence the behavior and mentality of children – they look to school as a source of knowledge. Yet through lack of sanitation facilities, schools are contributing to creating the mentality that hand washing and hygiene practices are not necessary. Lack of Menstrual Hygiene facilities  lead to menstrual hygiene becoming an invisible issue which is not addressed, increasing the  embarrassment  of young girls to discuss Menstrual Hygiene.

Another key point to consider is that most girls reported being treated differently by their family during menstruation, and cited parental choice as the main factor in the girl’s education. Parents need to be included in Menstrual Hygiene and Water Sanitation awareness projects as well as teachers and male students, to develop understanding surrounding these issues and to support girls in obtaining a good education.

Read the full report here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3-sg3TTDoppTmdYdW0yWUVEc3M/edit

Friday, 8 November 2013

It’s Not About Size… It’s About Sanitation

In 2012, India was home to six of the 25 largest metropolitan regions in the world. Delhi and Mumbai actually made it to the top 10. Normally this would be worth publicising, except that it isn’t always about size. Not a single Indian city made it into the top 50 of Mercer Consulting’s 2012 global ranking of cities offering the highest quality of life. In fact, Delhi and Mumbai actually made it to Mercer’s list of the 25 dirtiest cities in the world, with the lowest sanitation and health scores. This is the sad reality every urban Indian resident wakes up to each stinking, smoggy morning, and goes back to bed with.
Copyright: All rights reserved by Louhan http://www.flickr.com/photos/johanpics/2958133966/sizes/z/in/gallery-karmadude-72157623844824948/
Copyright: All rights reserved by Louhan
India’s cities have much to offer—a diversity of opportunities, experiences, people, food… They are fascinating places, but the slow rot makes me wonder whether they’re worth staying for. A recent study that used 20 years of data to compare life expectancy in more and less polluted parts of China highlighted that residents in more polluted cities died approximately six years earlier than those in less polluted ones. On a base of 500 million people, that translates to 2.5 billion lost years. A study of this scale and intent in Indian cities would likely lead to very similar results. Work funded by the Blacksmith Institute and the Global Alliance on Health and Pollutionhave also highlighted the heavy toll that unsanitary conditions and environmental toxins take on the brains and bodies of children. Rich or poor, we breathe the same air and even if we’re sipping from bottles of Evian in our Maybachs in Mumbai, we’re no better off. In essence we’re leaving cities in India and large swathes of the developing world to a generation that will live shorter, unhealthier and less productive lives for no fault of their own.
It’s a cultural cop out in South Asia to apportion responsibility for all that goes wrong to some higher power. I doubt one of the many Gods that pepper the collective conscience had anything to do with untreated industrial effluent being dumped in an open sewer, or a very full bag of garbage being tossed out of a tenth storey window. We’re quick to point to corrupt, morally bankrupt governments and municipal administrations as the root of our problems, but the real culprits are likely pointing back at us in the mirror. Every plastic wrapper tossed on the street, every paan spat out on a wall, every plastic water bottle used and discarded add up to an enormous mountain of shit!
photo credit: Sharad Haksar http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharadhaksar/3832170847/sizes/z/in/gallery-karmadude-72157623844824948/
photo credit: Sharad Haksar
In the midst of this gloom, there is always a sliver of hope. A small group of motivated Indians decided they wanted change. Under the banner of The Ugly Indian, with the slogan “Kaam chalu mooh bandh. Stop Talking, Start Doing”, they are cleaning up their neighbourhood one eyesore at a time. I came across them a few years ago when a friend posted pictures of their work on Facebook. Driven by a few motivated individuals who believe that only “we can save us from ourselves”, they turned cleaning up neighbourhoods into a very effective community engagement exercise. Using just a little bit of money to buy paint and potted plants, and armed with brooms, groups of people mobilise to blitz a neighbourhood or intersection and clean it up.
Before photo credit: http://www.theuglyindian.com
photo credit: http://www.theuglyindian.com
After photo credit: http://www.theuglyindian.com
photo credit: http://www.theuglyindian.com
Even though they clearly state on their website that they will not “moralize”, this is public shaming at its most effective. The group’s core base of well-intentioned youngsters, through these acts, support each other in stepping out of their comfort zones, their economic privileges, and class and caste clans to make a difference. Though small, this is significant for a part of the world so concerned about status.
Margaret Mead famously said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” In beautifying their neighbourhoods, in making such a strong public comment on the state of their environments, in establishing this new social order and precedent, they are, in Gandhi’s words, being the change that they want to see in the world.

Read more: http://forbesindia.com/blog/economy-policy/its-not-about-size-its-about-sanitation/#ixzz2k1wKc7qX

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Fighting Child Marriage Through Hygiene Awareness

by Sylvie Hughes
5th November 2013

Child marriage in India affects a large portion of adolescent girls in the country.  With 47% of girls in India marrying below the legal minimum age of 18,  India has the highest number of child brides than any other nation in the world. 
However, despite its huge  number of illegal marriages, in October India refused to sign the first ever UN resolution against the practice of child marriage – an initiative which is being supported by 107 other countries worldwide.

Child brides face a multitude of serious mental and physical health problems.  Young married  girls face problems of sexual and domestic abuse, causing high rates of severe depression.  Girls as young as 13 drop out of school once they get married, and as a result they are unable to continue their education or seek help. The section of society who are the most in need of education, health and hygiene awareness are unable to access  it. This leads to  an increase in serious health risks caused by early childbirth and lack of menstrual hygiene awareness.
Girls below the age of 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. With over 50% of adolescent girls in India suffering from anaemia, the increased blood supply demand during pregnancy causes even more of a strain on their health. According to the  National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), early marriage and adolescent pregnancies are one of the main causes of anaemia amongst girls in India.
Adolescent pregnancies are also one of the main reasons for infant deaths in hospitals. Children born to adolescent mothers are twice more at risk of neonatal mortality (death within the first month) than those born to older mothers, and the younger the mother, the higher the risk.  Many infants are born underweight due to the mother suffering from malnutrition and anaemia, which further increases the risk of health problems and death for the infant.
Educating girls in Menstrual Hygiene and healthcare can be a crucial element in reducing the number of child marriages in India. Access to Menstrual Hygiene awareness projects provide girls with knowledge on proper nutrition and hygiene practices to avoid suffering from anaemia on the onset of menstruation, as well as educating girls about the numerous health risks that are caused by early marriage. Increased awareness decreases not only the 23% school drop out rate from menstruation-related problems, but  also the number of girls entering into child marriage.
Preventing adolescent births have been proven to significantly lower population growth rates, improving the health of adolescent girls and potentially generating large economic and social benefits for the country as a whole.
HEEALS (Health, Education, Environment And Livelihood Society), is working on a Menstrual Hygiene awareness and Girl Education project in five states: Delhi (National Capital Region), Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Leh Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. HEEALS works in slum schools, schools in unauthorised colonies, orphanages and refugee camps.  Through spreading education on Menstrual Hygiene and providing iron supplement tablets through our Free Health Camp initiative, HEEALS is working to eradicate the practice of child marriage and provide better futures for girls across India’s society. Find out more about its Menstrual Hygiene and Girl Education Project at www.heeals.org and support our work!
Stats Sources: UNICEF, PLAN India, NCPCR, UNFPA

Thursday, 3 October 2013


What is Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD)

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a human syndrome caused by intestinal viruses of the picornaviridae family. The most common strains causing HFMD are coxsackie A virus and enterovirus 71 EV-71 .
HFMD is a contagious illness caused by different viruses . Although older children & adults affected by the disease but children below 5 year age are more likely to get affected .
HFMD usually affects infants and children, and is quite common. It is moderately contagious and is spread through direct contact with the mucus, saliva, or feces of an infected person. It typically occurs in small epidemics in nursery schools or kindergartens, usually during the summer and autumn months. The usual incubation period is 3–7 days.
It is less common in adults; however, it is still possible to catch it especially if never exposed to the virus previously. HFMD is not to be confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), a separate disease affecting sheep, cattle, and swine (both are caused by members of the picornaviridae family, but are not trans-communicable between humans and livestock).

Symptoms of HFMD
Fever,Fatigue,Malaise,Sore throat,
Painful oral, nasal, or facial lesionsulcers or blisters
Body rash, followed by sores with blisters on palms of hand, soles of feet, and sometimes on the lips. The rash is rarely itchy for children, but can be extremely itchy for adults.Sores or blisters may be present on the buttocks of small children and infants Irritability in infants and toddlers
Loss of appetite

There is no specific treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease.

Treament of  HFMD
The only way to ease from this disease is adopting hygiene practices .People should always maintain good hygiene practices . The only way to avoid this disease is to adopt good hygiene and sanitation practices.


Picture Source: http://heeals.org/

Friday, 27 September 2013

"WASH Biasness"

In Today’s world working women plays an important role in the economic growth of a country. National sample survey organization NSSO rounds confirm their increased participation in all sectors of the economy. Number of girls/ women staying out of home for extended hour and regularly travelling long distances, whether for work & education has increased.  In informal sector women workers are out for an average of 16 hours in a day. One of the biggest difficulties women encounter is that of access to a toilet. Even if there is a public toilet, women were afraid to use it because they are dirty stinking, without running water & there is no electricity. Lack of cleaning staff creates nightmarish experience for those who are forced to visit such a facilities. There is an urgent need for women’s toilets besides relieving are themselves they need to use toilet facilities for changing sanitary napkins during menstruation. Lack of toilets puts them at a risk of bladder infections, reproductive tract infection.Last census showed that there are about 26 lakh unhygienic toilets still in use.

With rapid growth of urbanization in India, economic growth of the country increased in a phased manner. Opening door of FDI in many areas raise the global trade. Women had great participation in the over all of our country growth. We are growing, our problem are also growing .one of the biggest problem in the current scenario is lack of Water, Sanitation, Menstrual hygiene and Girl Education. Lack of toilet brings numerous problems to Girl/Women. When they step out from their home, there biggest obstacle is to find Toilets. We can see the gender biasness everywhere whether in employment, wages, services or in Toilet. Preference always given to male. One can see WASH(water sanitation hygiene)Biasness everywhere, Rich people have more access to WASH facilities then poor people, Areas where rich people lives have more toilets then areas where poor lives . Why there is discrimination in providing WASH services?  There are more toilets for males than females. In school there is lack of toilets for girls. They have to share it with Boys which gives a question mark on their security. We can end this discrimination by creating awareness about their rights. When women go out to work, they hardly find any toilet. Even if they find they are dirty, unhygienic & unusable. Some of the toilet are illuminated which became the reason for sexual assault, harassment & rape. Social progress is only possible, if women get their rights.

By : Gaurav Kashyap

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Multi-Level Strategy To Fight Malaria

The United Nations and a coalition of partners today launched a comprehensive approach to fighting malaria, a disease which – despite tremendous advances – still kills an estimated 660,000 people each year and poses a major challenge to development.
With the participation of world leaders gathered in New York for the 68th General Assembly, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched the Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria, which calls for greater coordinated action among different development sectors to tackle the disease, which exacts its deadliest toll in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Framework identifies actions to address the social and environmental determinants of malaria, and calls for current malaria strategies to be complemented by a broader development approach, according to a UNDP news release.
“Malaria is a disease associated with lack of socio-economic development, poverty, marginalization and exploitation. Each of these dimensions has roots beyond the health sector – so a multi-sectoral response is essential if we are to free the world from the burden of malaria,” said Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP Associate Administrator.
According to UNDP, stronger global health partnerships and greater funding in recent years have already resulted in unprecedented progress, with a 25 per cent decrease in global malaria deaths. Forty-three countries have seen malaria cases decrease by more than 50 per cent.
Factors that increase vulnerability to malaria infection, however, often lie outside the health sector, involving housing, education, urban planning, agriculture, transportation and other areas, UNDP said.
For that reason, the RBM coalition and UNDP conducted consultations among more than 70 experts from a variety of sectors to develop an operational roadmap for identifying key steps, expected outcomes, and capacities needed to integrate malaria control into broader development processes.
“The Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria will guide the global response to malaria in coming years as we develop the next phase of the Global Malaria Action Plan as well as the post-2015 agenda,” said Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
Targeted by the current development framework, the Millennium Development Goals and identified by UNSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a top priority under his second mandate, malaria affects all aspects of development, costing Africa alone some $12 billion in lost productivity each year, according to UNDP

World Saved Some 90 Million Children But Likely To Miss Global Target

Photo: ©UNICEF/NYHQ2012-2093/Noah Friedman-Rudovsky
13 September 2013 – Global and national efforts to end preventable deaths of children under-five years of age saved some 90 million lives in the past two decades, but at the current rate, a universal promise to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015 will not be reached, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported today.
“Yes, we should celebrate the progress,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. “But how can we celebrate when there is so much more to do before we reach the goal? And we can speed up the progress – we know how, but we need to act with a renewed sense of urgency.”
The number of deaths fell to 6.6 million in 2012 from 12.6 million in 1990, according the report released today, 2013 Progress Report on Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed.
The reductions are due to more effective and affordable treatments, improvements in mothers’ nutrition and education, innovations in bringing critical services to poor and excluded people and sustained political commitment.
Unless progress is sped up, however, it will take until 2028 before the world meets the target set by the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) to reduce overall child mortality by two-thirds by 2015.
During that time, as many as 35 million more children would have died, UNICEF cautioned.
Some of the world’s poorest countries have made the strongest gains in child survival since 1990.
A few high-mortality, low-income countries - Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, Timor Leste and Tanzania - have already reduced their under-five mortality rates by two-thirds or more since 1990, according to the figures in the report.
East Asia and Asia Pacific leads the global trend in reductions in child mortality, UNICEF reported. Since 1990, the region reduced its under-five mortality by over 60 per cent.
In contrast, West and Central Africa has seen a drop of just 39 per cent in its under-five mortality, the lowest among all the regions with almost one in every eight children dying before the age of five.
The UN agency reported that there are a number of reasons to account for the challenges in the region – including low social benefits, lack of sanitation facilities, and poor education rates.
The Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States, together with the UN agency, launched last year ‘Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed’, a global effort to accelerate efforts to stop young children from dying from preventable causes. Some 176 governments have signed on, including those making some of the greatest strides in under-five mortality.
The effort seeks to advance Every Woman Every Child, a strategy launched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to mobilize and intensify global action to improve the health of women and children through action and advocacy to accelerate reductions in preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths.
“When sound strategies, adequate resources and strong political will are harnessed in support of child and maternal survival, dramatic reductions in child mortality aren’t just feasible, they are morally imperative,” said Mr. Lake.
The report highlighted that pneumonia, diarrhoea, and malaria remain the leading causes of child deaths globally, claiming the lives of around 6,000 children under five each day. Undernutrition contributes to almost half of all under-five deaths.
The first month of life is the most precarious for a young child, according to the report. In 2012, close to three million babies died during the first month of life, mostly from easily preventable causes.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

“Dealing effectively with the water and sanitation crisis is fundamental to fighting disease and poverty.”

Now is the time for accelerated, energized and concerted action on water and sanitation, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today urged, calling for renewed cooperation on water management and access to adequate sanitation for the more than 2.5 billion people around the world without it.
In a keynote address to the World Water Week plenary session in Stockholm, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said:“Dealing effectively with the water and sanitation crisis is fundamental to fighting disease and poverty.”
“In a world of population growth and pressures on water resources within and among nations, sound and fair water management is a huge task and a clear imperative for all of us,” Mr. Eliasson added.
He urged the hundreds of delegates gathered for the session entitled “Building partnerships for Sanitation and Water for All” to work towards sustainable solutions and measures among actors, including national governments, local administrations, development partners, international organizations, the private sector, the research and science community and civil society.
Water and sanitation are included in the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which world leaders agreed to meet by the end of 2015.
The deputy noted last year's announcement that the world had reached the target for access to improved sources of water, but water quality to a large degree still fails to meet basic UN World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
Roughly 80 per cent of global wastewater from human settlements or industrial sources is discharged untreated, contaminating oceans, lakes and rivers.
Inadequate water supply and sanitation around the world lead to an economic loss of $260 billion in health costs and diminished work productivity, WHO reported. Meanwhile, meeting the MDG target on water and sanitation amount to $60 billion annually, according to studies Mr. Eliasson cited.
Sanitation is the most lagging of the MDGs. Meeting the target would involve reducing the proportion of people without access to sanitation from more than half to 25 per cent by 2015.
“We must continue to break taboos. As was the case for the word 'toilets' a few years ago, it is time to incorporate 'open defecation' in the diplomatic discourse today,” Mr. Eliasson urged.
Currently, one out of every four people in the least developed countries defecates in the open. Ending the practice could, for instance, lead to a 36 per cent reduction in diarrhoea, the deputy UN chief noted, and enhance the personal safety of women and girls who risk sexual assaults when venturing from their homes to isolated places for basic needs.
Open defecation is part of the “Call to Action” that Mr. Eliasson launched in March on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It aims to improve hygiene, change social norms, better managing human waste and waste-water, and completely eliminate the practice of open defecation by 2025. The General Assembly furthered that aim last month, declaring 19 November as World Toilet Day.
Noting examples of international cooperation on these issues, Mr. Eliasson noted the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) initiative comprised of governments, donors, civil society organizations, development partners and several UN agencies.
In its latest report, the SWA partnership said that political leadership and concrete action have led to good progress on creating universal and sustainable access to decent sanitation and drinking water, but additional efforts are needed.
High-level members of the group are due to meet again next April, in a meeting led by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank.
Turning to his experiences in Darfur, Sudan, where Mr. Eliasson had been a Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, the UN deputy chief cautioned that water scarcity is an increasing reason for conflict.
“I have seen it in Darfur where poisoning of water wells was a way for forcing people to leave their villages for the overcrowded camps,” he noted, as well as in strained relations between States related to cross-border river and waterways management, agriculture and energy.
“If competition for resources turns into open conflict, invariably all sides, all involved, will suffer,” Mr. Eliasson said. “Our aim must be to make scarce resources, in particular water, a reason for cooperation rather than conflict.”


To Boost Clean Development Efforts

The United Nations climate change secretariat has signed an agreement with the Latin American Development Bank to increase participation in clean development projects in the region, it was today announced.
The agreement, signed by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, will establish a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) regional collaboration centre (RCC) in Bogotá, Colombia.
“The CDM has demonstrated what can be achieved when we use markets to incentivize action on climate change and development,” UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, said in a statement.
“The RCC in Bogotá will help tap the potential for CDM projects in Latin America and serve as a working example of the kind of inter-agency cooperation necessary to tackle climate change,” she added.
The CDM RCCs are part of an effort to bring the benefits of the Kyoto Protocol’s emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reductions – or CERs – which can then be traded, sold and used by industrialized countries to meet environmental targets. Each CER is equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide.
This is the fourth regional collaboration centre established by the UNFCCC and a regional development bank. The first centre was established in 2012 in Lomé, Togo, in collaboration with the Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement and provides assistance in the development of CDM projects in Francophone Africa.

Monday, 19 August 2013

"Social,Economic&Political Will Is The Key To Ensuring Water And Sanitation For All"

Political leadership and concrete action have led to good progress on creating universal and sustainable access to decent sanitation and drinking water, but additional efforts are needed to fulfil commitments by the 2014 deadline, a United Nations-backed partnership reported today.

The 15 developing countries that made specific commitments to tackle open defecation have made notable progress in scaling up community-based approaches to sanitation, according to the report. UN figures show that some 1.1 billion people still defecate in the open, leading the UN General Assembly this year to designate 19 November as World Toilet Day.
Nine countries reported significant budget increases for sanitation and water and many leaders have given the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector higher political visibility
According to the findings, more effort must also be made to include multiple stakeholders in the progress review process. While two-thirds of developing countries consulted with development partners, only 10 per cent solicited inputs from civil society and 10 per cent included the ministry of finance. Meanwhile, civil society has been engaged indirectly by donors in connection with the review.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Health Organization (WHO) announced last March that the world had met the MDG target for improved drinking water sources, but that many still lack safe water, and that the target for improved sanitation is lagging and will not be met at current rates of progress.

"Social,Economic&Political Will Is The Key To Ensuring Water And Sanitation For All"We need combined efforts of social,economic and political institution to eliminate the barrier in providing WASH SERVICES to the people.

Edited By: Sonika


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

"India school deaths highlight need to phase out toxic pesticides "

Highly hazardous pesticides should be phased out because it has proven very difficult to ensure proper handling. Photo: FAO/Asim Hafee

30 July 2013 – The tragic incident in India in which nearly two dozen children died after eating a contaminated school meal is a stark reminder that highly hazardous pesticides should be phased out in developing countries, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.
On 17 July, 23 children in the village of Dharmasati Gandawa in the eastern state of Bihar died after eating a free school lunch that was made with cooking oil tainted with the monocrotophos pesticide. This substance is widely used in India in spite of being described as having “high acute toxicity” by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO).
In a news release, FAO stressed that the distribution and use of highly toxic pesticides in many developing countries poses a serious risk to human health and the environment, and measures to put safeguards in place to protect the population must be implemented.
“The incident in Bihar underscores that secure storage of pesticide products and safe disposal of empty pesticide containers are risk reduction measures which are just as crucial as more prominent field-oriented steps like wearing proper protective masks and clothing,” FAO said.
For monocrotophos, many governments have concluded that prohibition is the only effective option to prevent harm to people and the environment. This pesticide has been banned in Australia, China, the European Union and the United States, and in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“There is consensus that highly hazardous products should not be available to small-scale farmers who lack knowledge and the proper sprayers, protective gear and storage facilities to manage such products appropriately,” FAO said, recommending that governments in developing countries speed up the withdrawal of highly hazardous pesticides from their markets and switch to non-chemical and less toxic alternatives.
FAO also recalled the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management, which was adopted by its member countries and establishes voluntary standards for public and private entities involved in pesticide management.
The Code, which has been broadly accepted as the main reference for responsible pesticide management, states that prohibiting the importation, distribution, sale and purchase of highly hazardous pesticides may be considered if risk mitigation measures or good marketing practices cannot ensure that the product can be handled without unacceptable risk to humans and the environment.