By Martin Khor*, Geneva, October 2014 — The growing crisis of antibiotic resistance is catching the attention of policy makers, but not at a rate enough to tackle it.
**Antibiotic resistance tests; the bacteria in the culture on the left are sensitive to the antibiotics contained in the white paper discs. The bacteria on the right are resistant to most of the antibiotics. | Author: Dr Graham Beards | Wikimedia Commns.
More diseases are affected by resistance, meaning the bacteria cannot be killed even if different drugs are used on some patients, who then succumb.
We are staring at a future in which antibiotics don’t work, and many of us or our children will not be saved from TB, cholera, deadly forms of dysentery, and germs contracted during surgery.
The World Health Organization discussed a resolution in May at its annual assembly of Health Ministers on antimicrobial resistance, including a global action plan. There have been such resolutions before but little action.
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By Helena Meresman* – 17 October, 2014, Greenpeace – Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers, students, farmers, and 92-year old veterans – people just like you.
1. Canoes vs. coal
The People of the Pacific refuse to allow themselves to drown, they are fighting back against climate change! Residents of the Pacific islands, among the countries most vulnerable to rising sea levels, are taking the fight to save their homes directly to the fossil fuel industry. Using traditional canoes, 30 Pacific Climate Warriors from 12 Pacific islands paddled into the oncoming path of coal ships in an effort to shut down the world’s biggest coal port for a day.
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Amid pronounced increases in global inequality, the United Nations marked the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October 2014 with calls to accelerate efforts in eliminating poverty in all its forms.
A scavenger picks through garbage in a low-income neighbourhood of Jakarta, Indonesia. World Bank/Farhana Asnap
“Entrenched poverty and prejudice, and vast gulfs between wealth and destitution, can undermine the fabric of societies and lead to instability,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day, which is commemorated annually on 17 October.*
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‘After losing her mother to the Ebola virus, a girl in Sierra Leone must raise her younger brother and sister on her own – and hold on to her own hope of returning to school.’
© UNICEF Sierra Leone/2014/Bindra | Amadou and his sister, Awa, at the family’s home in Kenema, Sierra Leone
By Anne Boher, Kenema, Sierra Leone, 16 October 2014 – Four-year-old Amadou wakes up his sister, Mary, at 4:30 a.m. He has a headache and can’t sleep. He asks her where their mother is. It is the same question he has asked almost daily since he was discharged from the Ebola Treatment Unit in Kenema, almost two months ago.
Mary, 15, ignores her initial annoyance at being woken up and becomes gentle. She brings him into her bed and drapes her thinning bedcloth over him, smoothing it over his fragile body.
“I don’t know what to tell him,” Mary says. “How can I explain death to a 4-year-old when I barely just understood it myself? This wasn’t supposed to be my responsibility.”
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