Good Health & Well-Being: These 7 Countries Eliminated a Neglected Tropical Disease in 2017 — and More Will Follow in 2018 #SDGs #GlobalGoals #2030Now #Poverty

These diseases are deadly and debilitating. But they are also entirely preventable.


Right now, 1.5 billion of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people are facing the devastating threat of a group of diseases that you’ve probably never heard of.

They’re known as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) — and they’re a group of chronic infections found in tropical and sub-tropical areas.

They can be fatal, or they can cause serious and debilitating illness and, crucially, they’re diseases of poverty. Affected adults can’t go to work, affected children can’t go to school, and these diseases only serve to continue the cycle of poverty.

What’s more, because affected people are often unable to participate fully in community life, these diseases are often surrounded by social stigma.

But, vitally, these diseases are entirely preventable and the drugs required to do this are freely donated by pharmaceutical companies. They are easy to administer and are safe — we already know how to stop them.

In 2017, seven countries around the world successfully eliminated an NTD — an incredible step on the path to worldwide elimination.

Each of the seven countries eliminated either trachoma or lymphatic filariasis — otherwise known as elephantiasis.

Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a parasitic infection transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. It targets the body’s lymphatic system, and can cause severe disfigurement, pain, and disability. Sufferers often lose their livelihoods, and experience knock-on psychological effects such as depression or anxiety.

As of October, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), LF threatens 856 million people in 52 countries worldwide.

Trachoma, meanwhile, is an eye disease caused by bacterial infection. And it’s the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide.

Infection can be spread through contact with discharge from the eyes and nose of an infected person — particularly young children — or through flies which have been in contact with the eyes or nose of an infected person.

Repeated infection can cause the inside of the eyelid to become so scarred it turns inwards, forcing the eyelashes to rub against the eyeball, scarring the eyeball and potentially causing blindness.

As of July 2017, according to WHO , trachoma was a public health problem in 41 countries, and is responsible for the blindness or visual impairment of about 1.9 million people.

But these seven countries have successfully proven that these horrific diseases can be beaten, with the right political and financial will.

1. Cambodia

In September, Cambodia successfully eliminated trachoma — which has been a recognised problem in the country since the 1990s.

In 2000, a series of trachoma rapid assessments were carried out in Cambodia, followed by a rollout of control activities across the country — including provision of surgery, treatment of communities, and health education. Improvements in living standards, water supply, sanitation, and hygiene also contributed to the landmark achievement.

2. Laos

In September, Laos also successfully eliminated trachoma — which has haunted the country since the 1970s, and was particularly common among young children.

“By eliminating this disease, our children can now grow up safe from this painful and potentially blinding infection,” said Dr Bounkong Syhavong, Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s Minister of Health.

As with Cambodia, the measures included screening and treatment services across the country, as well as improvements in living standards and hygiene.

3. Thailand

In September, Thailand officially eliminated lymphatic filariasis — which had once been so serious in the country it was endemic in 11 provinces.

The final push against the disease came in 2001, with the launch of the National Programme for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis. The programme championed surveying cases, and providing timely preventative chemotherapy to at-risk populations.

Citizens in affected provinces were also vital in the effort, taking annual doses of medication even if they showed no symptoms of disease.

4. Tonga

In July, Tonga also bid farewell to lymphatic filariasis after decades of dedicated efforts to stop transmission of the disease.

LF has a long history in Tonga — even Captain Cook noticed common swelling among people in Tonga in the 1770s — and in the 1950s the prevalence rate was close to 50%.

Mass drug administration helped bring that down significantly — but only a series of further efforts, including strong financial support, and the commitment of affected communities, in recent years helped achieve the elimination target.

5. Mexico

In April, Mexico became the first country in the Americas to officially eliminate trachoma, and the third in the world — after Oman and Morocco — in what WHO described as an “historic moment.”

In Mexico, the disease was endemic in 246 communities in five municipalities in the state of Chiapas, affecting over 140,000 people. But a series of interventions launched in 2004 helped put an end to it — including surgery for advanced cases, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, and environmental improvement to reduce transmission.

6. Togo

The first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate lymphatic filariasis was Togo, in April.

For the past 15 years, Togo has carried out a sustained campaign in all districts and areas affected. Then, in 2010, it moved in a 5-year surveillance phase until elimination was officially validated by WHO in 2015.

7. The Marshall Islands

In March, the Marshall Islands was the first country of the year to successfully eliminate an NTD — ridding itself of lymphatic filariasis.

It was described as “an enormously important achievement” for the health of its citizens, by WHO .

These inspirational steps were sparked by the World Health Assembly (WHA) launching targeted global focus against these diseases.

In 1997, the WHA called for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem; and in 1998, it passed a resolution targeting trachoma for elimination as a public health problem.

And the very good news is that even more countries are set to follow in 2018. Already this year, both in March, Egypt has eliminated lymphatic filariasis, and Kenya has eliminated Guinea-worm disease — which is caused by a parasitic worm and can lead to severe pain as the worm travels through the person’s body. When it emerges (normally through the feet) it causes blisters, ulcers, and fever, nausea, and vomiting.

But, as proved in 2017, when the world comes together to fight these issues in a united, targeted way, we can beat them.




Good Health & Well-Being: #Tuberculosis Will Cost the World $1 Trillion by 2030 — Unless Countries “TAKE ACTION”

Tuberculosis, a preventable disease, killed more than 30 million people between 2000 and 2015.

Global health experts have warned that the highly contagious respiratory disease tuberculosis will kill millions — and cost the global economy $1 trillion — by 2030 if countries don’t act to eradicate it.

The Price of a Pandemic report, compiled by the 130-state Global Tuberculosis Caucus, coincides with a landmark gathering of global public health experts, world leaders and funders this week for the first World Health Organization (WHO) Global Ministerial Conference on tuberculosis in Moscow, Russia.

Tuberculosis, commonly referred to as TB, is an airborne illness that typically affects the respiratory system and kills 5,000 people every day, according to WHO. It causes a prolonged, at times bloody, cough in addition to chest pain and weakness.

“There are a lot of intractable problems in the world but TB should not be one of them — we can treat and cure it,” Global Tuberculosis Caucus co-chair Nick Herbert said in a statement. “Governments around the world want to boost economic growth, and investments in TB care and prevention will not only dramatically improve the health of their populations, but also yield a major economic dividend.”

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal 3, Good Health & Well-Being. which partly campaigns on reducing the spread of infectious disease around the world. 

In 2016, TB killed more than 1.7 million people In 2014, more than a quarter of those individuals who died from TB also had HIV/AIDS, which compromises people’s immune systems and makes them more susceptible to TB and other infectious diseases.

Read More: This Was the Deadliest Infectious Disease of 2016, According to WHO

According to the report, more than 171 million people contracted TB and 33 million people died from the illness between 2000 and 2015. Over half of these deaths occurred in G20 countries, including nearly 10 million in India, more than 1.5 million in South Africa and more than 1.1 million in China

TB exacts a devastating human toll and poses a significant burden to the global economy.

The total cost to G20 countries will reach $675 billion, but less developed nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa like Lesotho and Mozambique will lose roughly 1% of their GDP to TB.

The report urges countries to increase funding for TB treatment and prevention, part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“It is primarily a matter of political will, because the overall sum of money that has to be found between the world’s nations is perfectly within reach if we all act together,” Herbert said.


Good Health & Well-Being: Bill Gates Just Pledged $100,000,000 to Research #Dementia in honour of the 47 Million people!

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is adding yet another complex global problem to his to-do list.

This time, Gates is investing $50 million into the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), a partnership between charity, government, and industry that supports innovative research on one of the world’s most common neurocognitive diseases.

Gates said that his investment in DDF will be mirrored by another $50 million donated to startups working in dementia research.

Typically, Gates has invested his money into research efforts aimed at eradicating communicable and infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and pneumonia.

Read More: For Bill Gates’ 62nd Birthday, Here Are 9 Must-Read Quotes

However, Gates commented that dementia cannot be ignored as a massive medical problem that affects millions around the world.

“It’s a huge problem, a growing problem, and the scale of the tragedy — even for the people who stay alive — is very high,” Gates said in an interview with Reuters.

Dementia is a neurocognitive disease estimated to affect 47 million people around the world. It comes in many forms, all of which are characterized by decline in cognitive functioning severe enough to hamper daily activities. Its most common form is alzheimer’s, a disease to which there is currently no cure and only a handful of treatments that can limit the severity of symptoms.

Alzheimer’s Disease International, a nonprofit advocacy group, estimates that someone develops dementia every 3 seconds around the world, and that the disease will cost about $1 billion per year by 2018.

Recent statistics released by the group indicate that the number of cases around the world is expected to rise significantly over the next 30 years as life-expectancy increases. The group also predicts that the majority of increased cases will occur in low- and middle-income countries. Currently, almost 60% of all dementia cases occur in lower-income countries, but that number is expected to rise 10% by 2050.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.3, Good Health & Well-Being means supporting research initiatives that can improve health outcomes for everyone around the world.

Today on POVERTY: What YOU should KNOW about GLOBAL GOALS WEEK 2017 #GlobalGoals #SDGs #Poverty #UNGA #GlobalGoalsWeek #GlobalCitizen

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The world is at an unprecedented point in the journey to ending extreme poverty — never before has so much progress been under so much threat. Thanks to pernicious isolationist policies spreading across the world, foreign assistance — a driving force behind the progress — risks being reduced to such an extent that we will not be able to end extreme poverty by 2030.
The situation calls for an unprecedented response, and ours was Global Citizen Week. For the first time ever during 17-23 Sept, Global Citizen collaborated with partners to hold 30 events across New York City, turning the city into an arena of activism against poverty.
And now that it’s all wrapped, we can officially say that unity is the only way to fight poverty. Take a look at how much can happen when global citizens come together to help change the world:
— In the two months leading up to Global Citizen Week, Global Citizens took over 1.6 million actions urging leaders to tackle extreme poverty

— This collective cry helped drive 29 commitments, 55 announcements and 13 calls to action, that totaled $3.2 billion, which are set to affect the lives of 221 million people
— During the course of the week, seven heads of government and more than 30 foreign ministers, ambassadors, and the heads of the world’s most influential NGOs participated in the week of advocacy.
— 28 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle highlighted their support for fully funding American foreign aid. This bipartisan demonstration sent a strong signal to the Trump administration that Congress understands that America’s leadership is vital for America and the world.
— The President of France announced with the President of Senegal that the two countries would run a fundraising drive to raise $3.1 billion for the Global Partnership for Education over the next 6 months to ensure 870 million children receive the education they need.


ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: Accenture, Citi, Ernst & Young, and Procter & Gamble each committed to source $100 million from women-owned businesses — a majority of whom will be based in the developing world. This $400M commitment will be delivered through our partners at WEConnect International, bringing to $1 billion the total that has been committed on the Global Citizen stage from corporates towards women’s economic empowerment in the past 12 months.

HIV/AIDS: Global Citizen partners Johnson & Johnson committed to accelerate the healthcare company’s HIV vaccine and announced that for the first time it is going into late stage human clinical trials.  It is the world’s first ever “global” vaccine, which means it can protect against all strains of HIV. In early stage studies the vaccine has shown 100% success rate.

FAMINE: Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), as a member of the Appropriations Committee announced that encouraged by Global Citizens taking over 60,000 actions, his colleagues in the Senate have proposed $311.5 million more in funds for International Disaster Assistance compared to last year.

YAZIDI JUSTICE: Three years since the genocide was committed by ISIS, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, announced that the UK led the UN Security Council to a unanimous vote this week on the decision to set up a UN Investigation Team to pursue justice for the Yazidis. The UN resolution on ISIS accountability was described as a “long overdue first step” by the UN Office for the High Commissioner on Human Rights. This comes after an 18 month campaign and over 100,000 actions taken by Global Citizens.


FRANCE: Thanks to Global Citizen’s two year long campaign, and nearly half a million actions, including those of Global Citizen and GPE Ambassador Rihanna, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that for the first time ever a G7 country— France — was to co-host the Global Partnership for Education replenishment with an African country — Senegal in order to raise $3.1 billion to reach 870 million children with the education they need.

FAMINE: Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, confirmed that $575 million of $990 million committed by Congress in May — a commitment helped by 49,291 actions taken by Global Citizens — has been released to the WFP and others to immediately fight the famine. He then issued a powerful call to action to Global Citizens, revealing that after years of progress, the number of hungry people in the world is going up.

GHANA: President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, committed on the festival stage to end child marriage. The newly elected President inherited the initiative to end child marriage in the country from his predecessor, so this stage moment provided confirmation that the new president has officially committed to continue with the National Strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage in Ghana. As part of this announcement, the President also reaffirmed his pledge to provide universal free secondary education.



ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: Accenture, Citi, Ernst & Young, and Procter & Gamble each committed to source $100 million from women-owned businesses — a majority of whom will be based in the developing world. This $400M commitment will be delivered through our partners at WEConnect International, bringing to $1 billion the total been committed on the Global Citizen stage from corporates towards women’s economic empowerment in the past 12 months.

“I’m proud to stand with Accenture, Citi, EY and Procter & Gamble, who are collectively pledging four hundred million to buy from women-owned businesses over the next three years, especially in developing countries. This commitment, together with corporate commitments made over the last twelve months on the Global Citizen stage, represents a total of one billion in spend with women. Thank you!”— Elizabeth Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder, WEConnect International

COMMONWEALTH: The UK, as incoming Chair of the Commonwealth – an association of 52 nations that is home to 2.4 billion people – committed to put gender equality on the 2018 Commonwealth Summit agenda and acknowledged the 17,750 tweets received from Global Citizens.

“Gender discrimination remains an issue in too many counties. That’s why Global Citizen’s Level the Law campaign are so vital, and why the United Kingdom supports it. Until women and girls are afforded the same rights, we will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. So we all need to step up our efforts.”— Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Department for International Development and Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK.

LEVEL THE LAW: In March 2016, Global Citizen with partners CHIME FOR CHANGE and UN WOMEN launched a campaign to “Level the Law” for women all over the world. Over the past few months, Global Citizens have taken 54,000 actions to eradicate gender discriminatory laws.

GHANA: President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, committed on the festival stage to end child marriage. The newly elected President inherited the initiative to end child marriage in the country from his predecessor, so this stage moment provided confirmation that the new president has officially committed to continue with the National Strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage in Ghana.

UN WOMEN: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women, and Pakistani activist Uzma Gul used the festival stage to call on everyone to do their part to level the playing field for women and end child marriage.

We must act to ensure girls remain in school, complete their education, and achieve their potential. Critically, men and boys must take responsibility and say no more. Please support the UN Women’s HeforShe movement and say: “No more child marriage.”Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women; Under-Secretary-General, United Nations

“Global Citizens, keep tweeting, emailing and calling on your leaders to Level the Law and end child marriage for a brighter future for all!” Uzma Gul, child marriage activist, Pakistan

YAZIDI JUSTICE: Over the course of an 18 month campaign to achieve justice for the Yazidi genocide, Global Citizen have targeted both UN Security Council members and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as two critical bodies with the power to kick start the process of building and prosecuting a case against ISIS. Both entities stepped up to make commitments that they would do just that — much needed critical progress 3 years after the genocide occurred.

UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, announced that the UK led the UN Security Council to a unanimous vote this week on the decision to set up a UN Investigation Team to pursue justice for the Yazidis. The UN resolution on ISIS accountability was described as a “long overdue first step” by the UN Office for the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

“By 15 votes to 0, we decided to set up a UN Investigation Team that will help Iraq collect, preserve, and store evidence of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by Daesh.” — Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Representative to the UN, UK

UN Assistant Secretary-General of Human Rights Andrew Gilmour responded to 80,000 actions by Global Citizens and committed that the UN teams on the ground would gather evidence to secure justice for the Yazidis.

“Like tens of thousands of outraged and committed Global Citizens, the UN Human Rights Office has been calling loudly for investigation and justice. Tonight I commit that my colleagues on the ground will monitor and report on human rights abuses for the purpose of evidence-gathering.” Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General of Human Rights, United Nations

Yazidi activist and ISIS survivor Shireen Ibrahim shared her story with the crowd, calling for unity in the face of these atrocities that over 3 years since they were committed, not a single victim has received justice.

“ISIS still holds many Yazidis in captivity. We cannot stop fighting for their freedom and justice. I ask for you, Global Citizens, to not only hear my story, but to call on the UN and world leaders to end impunity for ISIS crimes.”— Shireen Ibrahim, Yazidi activist and ISIS survivor

WOMEN’S HEALTH: Global Citizen in partnership with CHIME FOR CHANGE has supported the She Decides campaign since its launch in February, taking 54,000 actions in the lead up to the Festival:

DENMARK: Denmark commits to doubling the funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights of women. The Minister for Development Cooperation announced that the country would contribute more than $110 million USD for women’s health in 2018.

“How can a young girl go to school, if she is forced to marry? Or if her road to school is unsafe? Or if pregnancy forces her to drop out? Global citizens: we need to act on this. Denmark may be a small country, but our voices are loud. That’s why we will double the funding for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Next year we set aside more than $110 million for global efforts.”Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark

LUXEMBOURG: The country’s Prime Minister issued a strong call to action to other leaders to invest in adequate health for girls and women with a focus on sexual and reproductive health.

“We must continue to invest in adequate and quality health for girls and women, including sexual and reproductive health services, which is critical to prevent sexual abuse, early childhood marriage, and HIV/AIDS. Together, we can achieve a world where She Decides”Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, Luxembourg



GHANA: President Afuko-Addo reaffirmed their commitment from the Festival stage to implement a policy of free Secondary Education, as part of his vision to promoting gender equality and eliminating child marriage:

We are equally committed to ensuring access to a minimum of senior high school education for the girls of Ghana. A policy that has already started to work…Together we can achieve equality, and empower women and girls.” — Nana Akufo-Addo, President, Ghana

HP: Global Citizen partner HP responded to over 76,000 actions by Global Citizens and committed to impact 1 million lives by 2020 through distributing the new HP School Cloud — a brand new educational device the organization invented that enables students to use it to learn, from wherever they are, even without internet access.

“This week, we’re proud to announce the new HP School Cloud that enables schools without an internet connection to provide students with vital digital learning experiences. With the help of partner governments and organizations like Intel, Global Business Coalition for Education, Education Cannot Wait fund, OpenStax, and Global Citizen, HP will identify the classrooms in most urgent need so that we can help reach one million learners by 2020.” — Stuart Pann, Chief Supply Chain Officer, HP

On stage alongside the Chief Supply Officer of HP was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Malawi, who announced that HP would be collaborating with the country to deliver education services in Malawi.

“We are therefore, grateful that HP, through their programme to impact one million lives by investing in educational software innovation for children, have chosen to partner with Malawi and thus contribute towards improving the quality of education.” — Emmanuel Fabiano,  Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Malawi

Priyanka Chopra, shared the stage moment with governmental and business heads, and challenged Global Citizens to help achieve Global Goal 4: a quality education for all.

“If we don’t do this, who will? We owe it to our children. They are this planet’s only future.  Our only hope. I urge you all to invest in the future and stand up for education…today – not tomorrow!” Priyanka Chopra, Actress and Activist


Global Citizen Youth Advocate: Global Citizen Davinia James demonstrated the difference that one person can make, telling the story of how she single-handedly collected 1.5 million pennies and sent 228 girls to school in Sierra Leone, Haiti, Peru, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nepal, Cambodia, India, and Afghanistan. Her story of how she built the Pennies 4 Girls project was followed by a rousing rallying cry from Afghan humanitarian and education activist, Razia Jan, who issued a strong call to action to everyone in the auditorium at GC LIVE to contribute their pennies.

If every person in this theater gave just one penny, we could improve the future for girls everywhere. One penny at a time, we are changing lives by getting girls to school and giving them a chance. From everyone at the Zabuli Education Center, I thank you all for your time and your action.”— Razia Jan, Afghan humanitarian and education activist

Just before Razia and Davinia left the stage, a message was played from the girls who are impacted by Razia’s fearless educating and Davinia’s generosity.

“Thank you Davinia for doing your part in helping send girls to school. Education is the key for a better future! We need global citizens like you and World Leaders to step up and do their part in ensuring every girl has a chance to go to school – like here at the Zabuli Education Center!”  – Afghan School Girls, Zabuli Education Center

Michelle Obama: Passionate girls’ education advocate and former First Lady Michelle Obama put out a strong call to arms to Global Citizens.

“In the coming months, through the Obama presidential center, we’ll be announcing new ways to commit your time, energy and resources to this cause. And I look forward to working with partners like Global Citizen, and with all of you, to give all our girls the opportunities they deserve.” Michelle Obama, Girls Education Advocate, Former First Lady, US


Denmark: The Minister for Development Cooperation reaffirmed the country’s commitment made earlier in the week to provide $16 million to go to the Education Cannot Wait fund to help ensure children in conflict and emergency situations do not miss out on an education.

“I want to help women and girls in some of the world’s worst conflicts and humanitarian situations to take advantage of quality education opportunities. Because I want every young girl to be able to start and finish her education, no matter the circumstance! Which is why I am also proud to announce that Denmark has committed USD $16 million to the Education Cannot Wait fund that services children in the most vulnerable circumstances.”  Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark

EU: In an interview broadcast at the festival Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, responded to 90,000 actions from Global Citizens confirmed another commitment to the fund during Global Citizen week of $13 million from the European Commission, and $500,000 from Dubai Cares.

I am glad to confirm to the 90,000 Global Citizens that already joined our movement and backed our call to world leaders that they are being heard. This week at the UN General Assembly, the European Commission, Denmark and Dubai Cares announced new pledges totaling $29.5 million.”  Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait


FRANCE: thanks to Global Citizen’s two year long campaign, and nearly half a million actions, including those of Global Citizen and GPE Ambassador Rihanna, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced that for the first time ever a G7 country— France — was to co-host the Global Partnership for Education replenishment with an African country — Senegal — in order to raise $3.1 billion to reach 870 million children with the education they need. Ambassador Fode Seck, Permanent Representative to the UN for Senegal, ratified this partnership from the stage.

“It’s all about education precisely to fight against terrorism, fundamentalism. It’s all about education to help women to build their life, to help people to have a decent life. I do believe we can deliver today, and the momentum is now. So please, don’t change. Be as passionate and committed as you are, with everything, and be sure I will be as passionate and as committed as you are especially this evening.” — Emmanuel Macron, President, France

“For the first time in history a G7 nation and an African nation join efforts to ensure that over 870 million children enjoy one of their most important rights: the right to Education.”— Ambassador Fode Seck, Senegal

DENMARK: Danish Minister Ulla Tørnæs announced that they look forward to partnering with the GPE in their replenishment.

“Global Citizens and World Leaders – if we educate a girl, she will change the world. Platforms like the Global Partnership for Education are on a mission to ensure that every girl has control of her future through an education.”Minister of Education, Ulla Tørnæs, Denmark

ARGENTINA: As host of the G20 in 2018, Argentina formally announced that they will commit to funding throughout the Global Partnership for Education replenishment next year, which if fulfilled will go towards educating 870 million children in the world’s poorest countries.

“And I have come here tonight to call on donors and the private sector to step up. Help shape a better future, fund the Global Partnership for Education.  President Macri has asked me to share with you that he will stand with the Global Partnership for Education and will personally attend their Financing Conference in early 2018. We fully believe that every child deserves control of their future, and we will use our G20 presidency to send a strong message to the world that it is time to step up and prioritize education.— Jorge Faurie, Foreign Minister, Argentina

JULIA GILLARD: Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Australian Prime Minister underlined the impact of Global Citizen activism in putting education on G20 agenda before announcing historic co-hosting of GPE replenishment by France and Senegal

“Because of all of the actions you have taken, education was prioritized on the G20 agenda this year for the first time and will continue to be prioritized in the next! The world is starting to wake up to the calls of education needed urgently around the world.”— Julia Gillard, Chair, Global Partnership for Education

UNICEF: Danish Minister Ulla Tørnæs announced the country commits $11 million to UNICEF for children around the globe.



ENDING OPEN DEFECATION: Global Citizens have taken over 240,000 actions on the issue of sanitation to get world leaders to increase action for one of the most neglected Global Goals. At the Festival Nigeria committed to getting 5.5 million people out of open defecation by the end of 2018, as announced by the Nigerian Minister of Water Resources.

“I am therefore here today on behalf of President Buhari to pledge to you that Nigeria will work with partners, including the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, to empower 5.5 million people to achieve Open Defecation Free status by 2018… Thank you Global Citizens! Let’s work together to make this dream a reality!”— Adamu Suleiman, Minister of Water Resources, Nigeria

FECAL SLUDGE MANAGEMENT: Sanitation activist Shomy Chowdhury shared a firm call to action to world leaders for her country of Bangladesh on the issue of fecal sludge management.

“My home of Bangladesh has made historic progress towards access to sanitation, but our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina still has much to do and particularly for fecal sludge management. I also invite President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim of Mauritius, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, to continue your championship of the Global Goals by expanding your commitment to global sanitation.”Shomy Chowdhury, Activist and founder of Awareness 360, Bangladesh


NORWAY: The Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, recognized the importance of menstrual hygiene management — an issue that Global Citizens have taken over 16,000 actions on in the past few months. Norway committed to contribute to sexual and reproductive health services including comprehensive sexuality education for 170 million young people by year 2030 through Norway’s support to UNFPA, UNESCO and other partners to help fix a crisis that holds girls and women back all over the world.

“We invest in girls’ education and health as a moral imperative. We encourage others to step up their work in this area. It is one of the best buys available for global development.”— Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway

ACTIVISM: Young menstrual hygiene activist, Pravin Nikam, from India, made a strong to call arms from the festival stage declaring that we all have a role to play in fixing this crisis.

“Tonight, I call upon world leaders to join Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Global Citizens by taking immediate action to make Menstrual Hygiene Management more accessible. Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands, and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, you have all shown, as male leaders, you are supportive of women’s health and rights. You are the natural leaders for this effort so please join us by making a commitment to address this critical issue.”Pravin Nikam, Activist


AUSTRALIA: Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Australia announced via video message that in their role as members of the HLPW the country will commit $6 million USD towards the Water Innovation Engine— an innovation funding mechanism to support new ideas to fix the water and sanitation crisis.

“Managing fresh global water resources is an important and urgent challenge. Around the world more than two billion people go without adequate sanitation and lack safe drinking water in their homes. This results in millions of avoidable deaths each year…A coordinated global effort is required to discover new innovations and take them to scale. Today I’m delighted to announce that Australia will contribute six million US dollars to establish a Water Innovation Engine.” — Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia

CANADA announced that they would commit $3.8 million (CAD) towards the Water Innovation Engine — a commitment that will be matched to the tune of $5 million(CAD) by all participating partners. This funding will be provided to innovators who need financial support to bring their innovation ideas to life, and could go on to fix major problems such as fecal sludge management.



Famine Response: In response to the tragedy of 20 million people being at risk of famine, Global Citizens took over 75,000 actions in the run up to the festival.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), speaking at Global Citizen Movement Makers, highlighted the importance of U.S funding for famine response, thanking Global Citizens for their actions which helped secure appropriations for $990 million in new funding for emergency famine response in May.

World Food Program: In an accountability moment, Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, confirmed that $575 million of this funding has been released to the WFP and others to immediately fight the famine, as part of $1.275b announced by the US government this week. He then issued a powerful call to action to Global Citizens, revealing that after years of progress, the number of hungry people in the world is going up.

“And the good news is that today, this week, the United States announced, $1.3 billion in humanitarian aid, you are making a difference, your voice is being heard. God bless you.” — David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Program

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), as a member of the Appropriations Committee announced that encouraged by Global Citizens taking over 60,000 actions, his colleagues in the Senate have proposed $311.5 million more in funds for International Disaster Assistance compared to last year.

The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is a byproduct of conflict. It’s entirely man-made. The solution is man-made, too. You are the solution. Thanks to your actions, my colleagues in the Senate and I have proposed over $300 million more dollars in funds for International Disaster Assistance. In total, the Senate has called for $1.6 billion in funding for food assistance, and $3.13 billion for International Disaster Assistance.” — Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)

Netherlands: Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation announced via video message to Global Citizens that the Netherlands commits 5 million euros to the UN World Food Programme. This will be an earmarked contribution so that the WFP are able to flexibly program their funds so that the people with highest needs are reached.

“Global Citizens almost 75K of you have taken action, and the Netherlands is ready to respond to the great effort. So far this year we have contributed 45 million Euros to the WFP, today we commit an additional 5 million to fight famine and starvation where the need is greatest.” — Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Netherlands

Chainsmokers: The band issued a strong call to action from the stage to the governments of the European Commission, Ireland and France to increase their support to meet the UN’s appeal for $2.2 billion to reach the 20 million on brink of starvation in Yemen, Northern Nigeria, Southern Sudan and Somalia

INNOVATION: Almost 75,000 actions have been taken by Global Citizens on the issue of food and hunger in the recent months, to urge a response to the ongoing crisis that sees 20 million people right now on the verge of death. Our calls were certainly answered— by both the public and private spheres stepping up with innovative solutions.

Belgium: The Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, announced on the stage that Belgium is committing to doubling its investment in humanitarian research & innovation— from $10 million this year, to $20 million next year. This investment will go towards innovation such as the humanitarian drones program, funded by the Belgian Government with the United Nations World Food Program that maps crisis areas and reaches those who are most vulnerable.

“I encourage all humanitarian donors to do the same, and I ask all innovators to share their ideas. To create and to inspire. With more investments in innovation we will help more people and we will save more lives.”— Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister, Belgium

Procter and Gamble announced a commitment that will help to tackle malnutrition through greatly reducing the risk of waterborne diseases. The organization committed to provide 200 million litres of clean water in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen over the next 6 – 9 months. They will do this working with their Children’s Safe Drinking Water partners— Save the Children, World Vision and CARE, who will deliver the distribution of P&G Purifier of Water packets that enable people to collect water from open sources and turn it into clean drinking water.

“Children and families struggle to survive because they have no choice but to drink water filled with contaminants and waterborne diseases, leading to sickness, malnutrition, and widespread loss of life. That’s why I’m pleased to announce tonight that Procter & Gamble will provide 200 million litres of clean water in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.” Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble

Palmiro Ocampo, Chef and activist from Peru committed on the stage to work with families throughout his country to get Peru to zero hunger by 2030 as part of the Cocina con Causa programme. Via the initiative, Ocampo will continue to visit families across the country preparing meals and sharing recipe ideas to combat anaemia, malnutrition and obesity.

“Tonight, I am committing to work with families throughout my country to get Peru to zero hunger by 2030. This may represent just a little grain of sand, but together we can build a whole beach of hope.” Palmiro Ocampo, chef and activist




CLINTON HEALTH ACCESS INITIATIVE; A brand new pricing agreement was announced by the Clinton Health Access Initiative on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, DFID, Unitaid, and UNAIDS which will ensure 30 million people living with HIV in countries with the greatest need will have access to an optimal treatment — starting with Kenya and South Africa. The agreement is set to save these countries at least $1 billion over the next 6 years. As part of their announcement, the partnership confirmed an additional $300 million in savings for the first time.

“So for the first time ever, people living in 92 low and middle income countries will have access to an optimal treatment containing dolutegravir for less than a quarter a day. This new negotiated agreement is set to save our world at least $1.3 billion over the next 6 years. $1.3 billion that can bring us closer to ending HIV/AIDS and other diseases that affect the world’s poorest for good!” Carolyn Amole, Senior Director, Clinton Health Access Initiative

“As part of the efforts to scale up high-quality treatment for all, I am very happy to announce that South Africa along with Kenya are two of the first countries that have agreed to introduce into their markets this important medicine and transform the lives of their people. This means that not only will many more  people have access to more affordable treatment for HIV and AIDS, but that they will have access to the best drug on the global market, with fewer side effects, and will only need to take one pill a day.” Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker, President, International AIDS Society

JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Global Citizen partners Johnson & Johnson commits to accelerate the healthcare company’s HIV vaccine and announced that for the first time it is ready to go into large scale efficiency testing in humans.  It is the world’s first ever “global” vaccine, which means it can protect against all strains of HIV. In early stage studies the vaccine has shown 100% immune rate. The Chief Scientific Officer for the organization thanked Global Citizens for being a partner and promised that the company would not rest until HIV was history.

“Today we are thrilled to announce for the first time, that we are going into large scale efficacy testing of the HIV vaccine in humans. As a scientist and a physician… I can tell you that these results make me more optimistic than ever before that we get to an HIV vaccine in our lifetime.” — Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson

LUXEMBOURG: Xavier Bettel, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, stepped up to the Global Citizen stage to announce his commitment to dismantle the stigma around HIV and invited global citizens to work with him in that endeavour to ensure people with HIV are treated with the respect and humanity they deserve. He also took the opportunity to call for continued investment in sexual and reproductive health services for girls and women.

“As one of the first openly gay heads of government in the world, I am incredibly passionate about issues that disproportionately affect the LGBT community. I fiercely support movements that are working for better outcomes for people affected by HIV/AIDS, and I believe it’s equally important to break down the stigma that comes with this diagnosis…. This is why I call upon you, as global citizens and ultimately as fellow humans, to work with me to dismantle this stigma and ensure that all people with HIV are treated with the respect, dignity, and humanity they deserve.”— Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, Luxembourg

PARIS JACKSON: Paris Jackson was announced as HIV and AIDS Ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and committed to championing this cause in her new role

ZIKA: In the lead up to the festival, Global Citizens took over 67,000 actions to ensure that governments and companies stepped up for global health security. Global Citizen partners Johnson & Johnson announced that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies (Janssen), is partnering with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to accelerate development of a preventive Zika vaccine to help cessate the rapid spread of this virus that is now reported in 84 countries and territories across the world.

“As we have done with Ebola, when we accelerated the development of a vaccine to help prevent the disease, Johnson & Johnson is today proud to announce that we have entered into collaboration with Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to advance a promising investigational Zika Vaccine…Bringing together the brightest scientific minds and latest technologies we aim to develop a vaccine and help stop the spread of this disease. Working together we will ensure society wins, and Zika loses.” Gaston Picchio, Vice President of Zika Research, Johnson & Johnson

MATERNAL HEALTH: After 29,699 actions were taken by Global Citizens in the run up to the festival, Ugandan MP and so called “ghetto president” Bobi Wine, declared that he will use his platform as an elected official to improve the lives of Ugandan mothers and children. The ‘ghetto president’ committed that on his return home he would hold his government accountable for the promises it has made on healthcare end campaign to ensure that the country increases the health portion of the budget to 15% and increase health spending towards maternal and child health care by over 50%. The MP was joined on stage by activist Denis Muwanguzi and health champion and hip hop artist French Montana who both issued firm demands on behalf of Ugandan mothers and children.[A]

“Currently, Uganda spends less than $1 a month on each citizen’s health care, which adds up to less than 6.3% of the national budget. To improve the survival of Ugandan mothers and children, at least 15% of the budget must be allocated to the health sector.”Denis Muwanguzi, Activist and Founder, Suubi Health Center

“There is still more to be done and as global citizens we must raise our voices to fight for the health of people everywhere!” French Montana, Global Citizen Health Champion and hip hop artist

WHO Partnership: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization issued a powerful call to action for universal health coverage before announcing a partnership with Global Citizen to help achieve a healthier world for all.

Tonight, I’m delighted to announce that I have agreed with Global Citizen that we will join forces to make universal health coverage and health for all on the global agenda. But to do this — we need your help! Your voice matters. So Global Citizens, speak up! Keep tweeting, emailing, and calling on your leaders to invest in Health for All! — Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO

SERGE IBAKA: NBA player Serge Ibaka shared his moving personal story of growing up in extreme poverty with the festival crowd before declaring himself a Global Citizen advocate.


Malta: The Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, reaffirmed his previous commitment to Global Citizens on polio eradication, declaring that in his final 6 months as Chair of the Commonwealth he would increase his efforts to ensure preventable diseases like polio and malaria make it to the top of the Commonwealth Summit agenda in 2018.

“Today, we pledge that during the next 6 months, until the Commonwealth family meets again in London, we will engage with more leaders to deliver new resources to finish the job. So keep on tweeting, keep on emailing, keep on making yourself heard because it works.”— Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister, Malta

UK: In response to a multi year campaign and over 32,000 actions taken in the last few months alone by Global Citizen, the UK made multiple commitments to help wipe the world of preventable diseases. The government kicked off Global Citizen week with the Minister of State for International Development declaring a reaffirmation at GC LIVE! of the country’s commitment to reach 45 million people with polio vaccinations to help eradicate the virus once and for all.

“The UK stands beside Malta in our dedication to ending polio, malaria, and other preventable diseases. This past August, the UK announced a new commitment of £100 million to eradicate polio once and for all, which I reaffirm in front of you all tonight.” — Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Department for International Development and Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK

Commonwealth: Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General called for universal vaccine access across the Commonwealth, and declared that tackling malaria was officially a Commonwealth priority;

“We need vaccinations for every at-risk child in the Commonwealth. Next, we need to focus on the deadliest killer disease of all time, malaria. 90 percent of Commonwealth people live in malaria-affected countries. Commonwealth countries account to two thirds of the global population at risk from Malaria. That’s why mobilizing efforts to rid the world of malaria is a priority for our Commonwealth family of nations.” — Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General, Commonwealth

UAE: The UAE government announced another critical commitment towards preventable diseases during the week. Via video message the Director General of Abu Dhabi’s health authority, Dr Maha Bakarat, thanked Global Citizens for taking over 170,000 actions on SDG 3 to ensure global health before committing $5 million towards the Rollback Malaria Partnership, with the Gates Foundation.

“It gives me great honor to tell you that the UAE is committed to preventing Malaria for the world’s most vulnerable. Together with the Gates Foundation, we are pledging $5m to the Rollback Malaria Partnership. Keep taking action and together we can end preventable diseases for good!” — Dr Maha Bakarat, Director General for the Health Authority, Abu Dhabi



When the Trump Administration proposed catastrophic cuts to foreign assistance in May, Global Citizen launched the #StoptheCuts campaign. Since then Global Citizens have taken 358,000 actions to demand congress stand up for US foreign aid. And it was abundantly clear that this collective cry had been heard when 26 members of Congress participated in Global Citizen Week events, highlighting their support for full funding for American foreign aid.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Minority Leader Schumer responded to the 17,515 Global Citizens in New York that tweeted at him to stand up for foreign assistance, issuing a rallying cry to the crowd from the Festival stage.

“We’re all here today because we know the world is a better place when we stand up for the ideals that make America, America. That we are all entitled to liberty, justice, and equality under the law. That we welcome the world’s tired, poor, and huddled masses to our shores. And that we are a stronger country when we pledge to fight disease and poverty – not only within our borders, but beyond them. So I was shocked when the White House proposed major cuts to the International Affairs Budget this year….Almost 20,000 of you have tweeted at me to show your support for this important work. I couldn’t be prouder of you – and I. Stand. With You!

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY): Rep Rogers, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee for State, Foreign Operations & Related Programs provided a statement in support of foreign assistance:

“Like all of you at Global Citizen I wholeheartedly support America’s global leadership and our shared efforts to combat poverty around the world.. Foreign aid saves lives, builds economies and keeps us safe here at home.”

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA): reminded the 60,000 strong crowd that America’s leadership in foreign aid is essential to global security:

“Stepping up and helping those in need is a fundamental American value. Our leadership is needed on the world stage for strength, stability, and as a beacon of moral responsibility.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN): Following advocacy from Global Citizens in Tennessee, Connie Britton, and Green Day, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Corker issued a strong video statement underlining the importance of America’s investments in global food security, in light of the famine which sees 20 million people on the brink of starvation:

“As the largest single donor, the United-States have been providing substantial resources to address this crisis…. We’ve already made significant progress and with your support I am confident we will succeed. Thank you for your tremendous passion and dedication to this issue. It is making a world of difference.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) warned of the consequences of slashing foreign aid:

“We each need each other, we depend on each other. America cannot retreat from the world without consequences.”

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) thanked Global Citizens for taking over 50,000 actions in support of the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development Act (READ), which passed in Congress and was signed into law this month.

“This bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation that I’ve worked on in my career, but I couldn’t have done this without Global Citizens. Supporters like you took over 50,000 actions in support of the READ Act. Your tweets, calls, and petitions encouraged other members of congress to cosponsor my legislation.” Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY)



Speakers and celebrities throughout the event called on Global Citizens to take action to achieve the SDGs. (ie, Jackman).


UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: President of the UNGA Miroslav Lajčák calls for peace, for justice, for all  at Global Citizen Festival 2017

“First, we need to stop wars. We must achieve the sustainable development goal and fight climate change. We must protect the human dignity and human rights of every single person, including those who are forced to leaves their house. We need to do this all, to protect and preserve our planet, for you. I pledge to you to work around the clock to achieve these goals as a Global Citizen ambassador and as a father.” — Miroslav Lajcak, President of the UN General Assembly

COLOMBIA: President Santos of Colombia, Nobel Peace Laureate for the historic peace agreement with Colombian rebel forces FARC, made a strong statement of solidarity with the Global Citizen movement that was shown via video message:

“Our challenge is to make sure that every man, every woman, and every child, get a chance to live with dignity…. Free from the chains of poverty and violence. Whatever affects one of us, affects all of us, and in the face of fear and despair, we as Global Citizens must make the certainty of hope possible. For freedom. For justice. For all.” — Juan Manuel Santos, President, Colombia

MANDELA’S LEGACY: With the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth coming up next year, the festival opened with an invocation of the legacy of the great leader and his deep-rooted belief that poverty could be eradicated from the former President’s grandsons. Minister in the South African Presidency, Jeff Radebe, invited Global Citizens to honor Mandela’s legacy by defeating poverty together.

“Our Grandfather believed that “poverty is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” And through his memory we challenge a new generation to take action.”— Kweku Mandela

“We are extremely grateful to be here tonight and to represent one of the greatest leaders and global citizens of all time — the former President of South Africa and our grandfather, Nelson Mandela.” — Ndaba Mandela

Minister Jeff Radebe took the opportunity to reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to ending extreme poverty, saying, “In my country, South Africa, we have developed the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 to deal decisively with the challenges of Poverty, Unemployment, and Inequality.”  He continued, “To effect real, substantive and meaningful change requires commitment and action by all of us, all over the world. It is about an active global citizenry. Let’s all join hands, as Mandela asked of us, to defeat and make poverty history.” — Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency, South Africa

CITIZENSHIP: Primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall gave a moving speech on the festival stage about what it means to be a Global Citizen, and declaring that despite the troubling times we live in, there is hope for change.

“As we continue to show cruelty toward each other, other animals, and wage war against the environment, we are hurting ourselves. Despite this, I have reasons for hope: I am hopeful because of the resilience of nature and our indomitable human spirit, and most of all, when I see the commitment of young people — your passion and courage to bring change.”— Jane Goodall, UN Messenger for Peace

ACTIVISM: George Harrison Global Citizen Award Winner Annie Lennox closed the GC LIVE! event at the start of Global Citizen Week with a powerful invocation to the inner activist in all of us and an antidote to the despair or apathy that these trying times can provoke.

“So here’s what you can do just as one person… Inform yourself… Choose a cause to which you can give your commitment. Support an organisation and join them…
Donate what you can afford, or persuade others to raise money, speak up, write, march… Just do something! And if you’re listening to this and you haven’t already done so, go to the Global Citizen website and take your first step into transformative change through positive action.”— Annie Lennox, George Harrison Global Citizen Award Winner


THE LUMINEERS: took a break from their set on stage in Central Park to call on the governments of Sweden, France and Italy to provide urgently required funds to help the millions of people in crisis due to extreme weather conditions across the Caribbean, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda — a country devastated by hurricane Irma —  appeared on stage alongside the band to amplify the call to action.

“Tonight, we call on the governments of Sweden, France, and Italy to do the right thing, to step up and provide the life-saving funds needed for food, shelter and medical care for millions of people facing these crises.” — The Lumineers

“With Hurricane Irma, my island of Barbuda was flattened and has been completely evacuated. Last week, we witnessed Maria devastate our neighbor Dominica. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is doing its part in the recovery and rebuilding efforts for Barbuda, but we cannot do this alone. We are appealing for international assistance to aid in the redevelopment and resettlement of the population of Barbuda.” — Gaston Browne, Prime Minister, Antigua and Barbuda

WFP: Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley announced that donors had committed $8 million to address the humanitarian crisis affecting the Rohingya people.

UAE: In the wake of Hurricane Irma, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment committed $50 million on the Global Citizen stage to fund renewable energy supplies, another $10 million towards humanitarian relief in Antigua and Barbuda. Rodney E.L. Williams, the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda stood alongside the Minister, declaring that this commitment will enable the islands to rebuild a sustainable future faster — including safe learning spaces at a critical time when children risk missing out on an education.

“We are here in response to all of the passionate calls, signed petitions, and tweets from you and Global Citizen Ambassadors like the co-founder of CHIME FOR CHANGE, Salma Hayek-Pinault. Now, more than ever, our work matters. In the wake of storms like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, it is crucial that we move full-steam ahead towards sustainable, low-carbon development”— H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, UAE

“Climate change does not respect borders; it does not respect who you are – famous or not-so-famous, rich or poor. It is a global threat, which requires global solidarity. The only global solidarity is to recognize that we are all Global Citizens.— Rodney E.L. Williams, Governor General, Antigua and Barbuda


MIGRAINE AWARENESS WEEK #GoodHealth #WellBeing #GlobalGoals #PublicHealth END #Stigma


Migraine Awareness Week

Each September we use this month to raise general awareness of migraine as a serious public health issue and to reduce stigma


Migraine is the third most common disease in the world, with an estimated global prevalence of one in seven people.

Despite being recognised as one of the most disabling lifetime conditions, awareness and understanding is low.

Migraine Awareness Week, beginning on the first Sunday in September, aims to raise awareness of the condition, highlight its impact and our vital work to support the millions of people affected

Migraine Awareness Week 3-9 September 2017

We need your help to raise awareness of migraine, so here are some ideas of how you can get involved

Spread the word

What better time than Migraine Awareness Week to talk about migraine? Together, let’s challenge the stigma and misunderstanding of this often invisible and isolating condition.


Facts and Figure

Key facts and figures about migraine


Migraine is the third most common disease in the world (behind dental caries and tension-type headache) with an estimated global prevalence of 14.7% (that’s around 1 in 7 people).

Migraine is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined.

Chronic migraine affects approximately 2% of the world population.

Migraine affects three-times as many women as men, with this higher rate being most likely hormonally-driven.

Research suggests that 3,000 migraine attacks occur every day for each million of the general population. This equates to over 190,000 migraine attacks every day.

More than three quarters of migraineurs experience at least one attack each month, and more than half experience severe impairment during attacks.

Migraine often starts at puberty and most affects those aged between 35 and 45 years, but it can trouble much younger people including children.

About 4% of boys and girls in pre pubertal age suffer from migraine. As children get older there is a predominance among girls.

Burden – impact and disability

Migraine is ranked globally as the seventh most disabling disease among all diseases (responsible for 2.9% of all years of life lost to disability/YLDs) and the leading cause of disability among all neurological disorders.

The estimated proportion of time spent with migraine (i.e. experiencing an attack) during an average person’s life is 5.3%.

In the UK alone it is estimated that the UK population loses 25 million days from work or school each year because of migraine. (there are no figures in Africa and Nigeria)

Severe migraine attacks are classified by the World Health Organization as among the most disabling illnesses, comparable to dementia, quadriplegia and active psychosis.

Migraine/chronic headache was found to be the second most frequently identified cause of short-term absence (47%) for non-manual employees.

Absenteeism from migraine alone costs £2.25 billion per year in the UK, calculated on the basis of 25 million lost days.

Migraine is estimated to cost the NHS in the UK £150 million per year, mostly from the costs of prescription drugs and GP visits. The NHS expenditure on all headache disorders is estimated at £250 million per year.

The financial burden of migraine on the UK economy is conservatively estimated at £3.42 billion per year. Including all headache disorders the cost rises to £5-7 billion annually. These figures take into consideration the costs of healthcare, lost productivity through both absenteeism and presenteeism, and disability.

Migraine is the least publicly funded of all neurological illnesses relative to its economic impact.

Depression is three times more common in people with migraine or severe headaches than in healthy individuals.


Migraine is a disorder that almost certainly has a genetic basis.

An older theory on the causation of migraine included that migraine is primarily a disease of the blood vessels. It is now accepted that migraine is not related to any vascular pathology and brain mechanisms are more likely involved in the development of migraine attacks.

Diagnosis and management

Migraine remains undiagnosed and undertreated in at least 50% of patients, and less than 50% of migraine patients consult a physician.

In the UK, 3% of GP consultations and 30% of neurology consultations are for headache, with migraine the most common diagnosis.

The greatest single advance in migraine management in the last half of the 20th century was the triptan class of drugs, which emerged in the 1990s and the first (sumatriptan) was developed at Glaxo in Stevenage, UK.

One of the most frequently cited health problems treated with alternative therapies is headaches.

Worldwide, just four hours are committed to headache disorders in formal undergraduate medical training, and 10 hours in specialist training.

Headache teaching is not on the curriculum for approximately 75% of the undergraduate medical schools in England (alone).

Despite the evidenced clinical and cost efficacy of specialist nurses, there are only around 12 trained headache specialist nurses for the whole of England. (and in Africa and other 3rd world countries we can only see the lack of knowledge regarding migraines and other health issues alike)

Less than 50% of migraine patients are satisfied with their current treatment. The majority self-medicate using non-prescription (over-the-counter) medication and do not seek medical help.


In prehistoric times migraine was treated with trepanning, a surgical procedure that involves drilling a hole into the skull with one aim being to release evil spirits.16

The word migraine derives from the Greek word ‘hemicrania’ (imikrania; ημικρανία) which means ‘half the skull’. In 400 BC Hippocrates described in detail the occurrence of migraine attacks, including the visual disturbances during migraine aura and the relief from vomiting. The word ημικρανία was later established by the Greek physician Κλαύδιος Γαληνός (Galen of Pergamon).

Migraine and other headache disorders were first comprehensively classified in 1988 by the International Headache Society (IHS). The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition (IHCD-3) beta was published in 2013. It is recognised by the World Health Organization and researchers and clinicians worldwide refer to its diagnostic criteria.


  1. Steiner TJ et al. Migraine: the seventh disabler. The Journal of Headache and Pain 2013, 14:1.
  2. Headache Disorders – not respected, not resourced. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Headache Disorders. 2010.
  3. Natoli JL et al. Global prevalence of chronic migraine: a systematic review. Cephalalgia. 2010 May;30(5):599-609.
  4. World Health Organization. Atlas of headache disorders and resources in the world 2011.
  5. Steiner TJ et al. The prevalence and disability burden of adult migraine in England and their relationships to age, gender and ethnicity. Cephalalgia. 2003;23(7):519-527.
  6. World Health Organization. Online Q&A: How common are headaches? 2014.
  7. Bille B. A 40-year follow-up of school children with migraine. Cephalalgia 1997;17:488-91.
  8. Shapiro RE and Goadsby PJ. The long drought: the dearth of public funding for headache research. Cephalalgia. 2007;27(9):991-4.
  9. CBI, Pfizer. Healthy Returns? Absence and Workplace Health Survey 2011. P20.
  10. World Health Organization. Headache disorders. Fact sheet no.277, 2012.
  11. Goadsby PJ et al. Neurobiology of migraine. Neuroscience 2009; 161(2): 327-41.
  12. Pavone E et al. Patterns of triptans use: a study based on the records of a community pharmaceutical department. Cephalalgia. 2007;27(9):1000-4.
  13. Kernick D and Goadsby PJ. Headache: a practical manual. Oxford University Press 2009.
  14. Astin J. Why patients use alternative medicine: results of a national study. JAMA 1998;279:1548-53.
  15. House of Commons. Headache Services in England. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Headache Disorders. 2014.
  16. Collado-Vázquez S, Carrillo JM. La trepanación craneal en Sinuhé, el Egipcio. Neurología. 2014;29:433–440.
  17. Rose FC. The history of migraine from Mesopotamian to Medieval times. Cephalalgia 1995 15 (S15): 1-3.

Other ideas

  • Follow The Migraine Trust’s activity on Facebook and Twitter and share their posts using hashtag #migraineawarenessweek. You can download the Migraine Awareness Week graphic below and use it for your profile picture.
  • Visit their YouTube channel and share one of their videos via social media to help get people talking and thinking about migraine.
  • Check out these facts and figures about migraine and share those you’re most surprised by.
  • Challenge your friends to take our migraine quiz.
  • Talk to friends and family: Do they know you have migraine? What do they know about it? How can they support you? Do they have migraine too?
  • If you know someone who has migraine, or suspects they do, let them know about The Migraine Trust charity and our evidence-based information that they can access via our website, support services or by attending one of our regional events.


Be Aware: LYMPHATIC CANCER Awareness Week 2017 #lymphaticCancer #cancer #WhatMatters When a little goes a long way


Help make a huge difference during Lymphatic Cancer Awareness Week  by doing something small. 

So first of all: what is Lymphoma?

The clue is in the name – Lymphomas are cancers that affect and attack the lymph nodes in many parts of the body.  It could prevent someone’s body from creating new blood cells or could affect the liver or some other essential body part.

This year the Lymphoma Association will be celebrating their 30th anniversary and if you want to find out about their achievements then visit the official website to find out more how the organisation has grown and developed over the last 30 years.

The first Lymphatic Cancer Awareness Week took place in 2000 and the charity has been working hard since then to raise awareness and help people who are affected by lymphoma.


It´s all too easy to think of lymphoma as some sort of rare and minor cancer. Sadly, this is far from the case. It is true that numbers of new cases are less than a third of those of lung or breast cancer. Currently. But this cancer is growing at such a fast rate in our modern world that it is estimated to become the second or third largest cancer by 2025. Its causes include chemical pollutants from formaldehyde to benzene and herbicides and pesticides.

And it is not a single cancer, rather it is a group of 30-40 different but related cancers.

Lymphoma or lymphatic cancer is thus the term given to the group of cancers in the lymphatic system, occurring when some of the white immune cells, called lymphocytes, become abnormal and malignant.

Lymphoma is usually subdivided into two subgroups:

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (Formerly Hodgkins Disease)
  • – Hodgkin lymphoma (Formerly Hodgkins Lymphoma)

Non-Hodgkins accounts for about 80 per cent of cases.

American web sites will often divide these two subgroups into further subtypes.

In 2014 research from Weill Cornell seemed to offer hope that a new treatment may be just around the corner.

The scientists studied diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and their ‘drug’ was shown to be able to completely eradicate the human lymphoma in mice after just five doses.

Apparently, a regulatory transcription factor, Bcl6, controls the DNA in order to ensure that aggressive lymphomas thrive. Weill Cornell researchers developed an inhibitor to stop Bc16 (online Cell Reports).

Bc16 is also know to be a controlling influence in breast cancer as well, but lymphoma was the urgent requirement. “We desperately need a new strategy to treat this lymphoma — many patients are resistant to currently available treatments,” said lead researcher Melnick.

The Lymphatic System

Lymph is a colourless liquid which bathes the cells of your body, passing through the walls of the capillaries into the lymph system, then to at least one lymph node before passing into the blood stream. You have twice as much lymph as blood in your body and the lymph serves to take some nutrients to your cells while taking toxins and bacteria away from your cells. Lymph also carries triglycerides from fat digested in the intestine. It is also part of your immune system. The lymphatic system is made up of a series of vessels and glands, or lymph nodes, spread throughout your body. The biggest volume of lymph is in your thoracic duct which lies across your chest. Even your tonsils are part of the lymph system.

There is no heart to pump your lymph. At night when you sleep, your lymph flow slows. Gravity can move lymph, but the prime driver of lymph flow is your own action (or lack of it). Obviously actions that get the chest moving will create movement in the lymph. These include arm movements, stretching, laughter, press ups, swimming Tai Chi and so on.

The lymph contains infection-fighting white blood cells, Some are called lymphocytes. There are several forms, notably B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes. They develop in the bone marrow and some mature in the thymus.

In lymphoma, the lymphocytes start to multiply abnormally and collect in certain parts of the lymphatic system, such as the lymph nodes. You also become more vulnerable to infection as the lymphocytes become damaged.


Lymphoma Symptoms

The most common symptom of lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the armpit, groin or neck. This is caused by the damaged lymphocytes collecting in that node. The swelling may also ache.
The converse is not necessarily true just because you have a swollen lymph node it doesn’t mean you have lymphatic cancer; the lymph nodes can swell in response to any infection. Once the cancer starts to spread you may find you have symptoms of tiredness or fatigue, night sweats, fever, unexplained weight loss, a persistent cough or feeling of breathlessness and trouble getting rid of infections. Some people experience a persistent itching of the skin all over the body and even a sensitivity to alcohol!

If the lymphoma is in your abdomen, you may even experience bloating or indigestion.

With Hodgkins lymphoma symptoms may also include nose bleeds, or blood spots under the skin.

Hodgkins Lymphoma (formerly Hodgkins disease)

Named after the Doctor, Thomas Hodgkin, who first identified the disease in 1832, Hodgkins lymphoma is one of the most common cancers among younger people, although still relatively rare. It affects young adults aged between 15 and 35, and adults over the age of 55. More men than women are affected.
The disease, although aggressive, can be successfully treated in about 80 per cent of cases.

It is defined by the presence of a large, abnormal B-lymphocyte cell. (This is called a Reed-Sternberg cell.) B-lymphocytes are produced in the body in response to invasion by a foreign body. This could typically be a virus or bacterium, but could include a toxin or a chemical.

Subtypes occur; typically M D Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas detail:

Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkin´s Lymphoma

The affected lymph nodes have mixed areas of normal cells, Reed-Stemberg cells and prominent scar tissue. This is the most common type, making up 60% to 80% of all cases.
Lymphocyte-Rich Classical Hodgkin´s Lymphoma: A newly identified subtype and behaves like mixed cellular Hodgkin´s lymphoma.
Mixed Cellular Hodgkin´s Lymphoma: The affected lymph nodes contain many Reed-Stemberg cells in addition to several other cell types. Mixed cellular primarily affects older adults.
Lymphocyte Depletion Hodgkin´s Lymphoma: There are large numbers of Reed-Stemberg cells, but very few other cell types are found in the lymph nodes. It is the least common form of Hodgkin´s lymphoma and found in less than 5% of the cases. It is seen more often in elderly or in patients with AIDS.
Nodular Lymphocyte Predominance Hodgkin´s Lymphoma: This is not considered a classic Hodgkin´s lymphoma, because it lacks some of the features that identify Hodgkin´s lymphoma and also Non-Hodgkin´s lymphoma. Most of the lymphocytes found in the lymph nodes are normal. Abnormal cells, known as “popcorn cells” are a special type of B-cell found in the nodular variety. NLPHL accounts for about 5% or 6% of the cases of Hodgkin´s lymphomas. It affects more men than women. The average age of patients is in their mid-30s. This type of Hodgkin´s lymphoma is usually diagnosed at an early stage and the prognosis is excellent.

Non-Hodgkins lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin´s lymphoma is then any type of lymphoma without the Reed-Sternberg cell. It is the most common form of lymphoma and is broadly categorised in two groups:

* high-grade, or aggressive non-Hodgkins lymphoma, where the cancer develops quickly and aggressively.

* low-grade, or indolent non-Hodgkins lymphoma, where the cancer develops slowly and you may not have any symptoms for many years.

This cancer is associated with ageing and the average age at diagnosis is around 65.

High-grade non-Hodgkin´s lymphoma advances rapidly but can be quickly diagnosed and treated. On average about 60 per cent of cases achieve 5-year survival.

The low-grade disease is much harder to diagnose and may not cause symptoms until quite advanced. This makes it more difficult to cure although the symptoms can be successfully held at bay.


There is little doubt that this is a cancer of the modern world.
Research has indicated that causes include:

Chemical Pollution: Chemical solvents such as acetone, benzene, toluene, xylene, turpentine, and various alcohols, not just ethyl alcohol have been linked to lymphoma. The Yale School of Public Health has produced a report on organic solvents and their links to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. UC Berkeley School of Public Health conducted a meta-study using data from 22 research studies and concluded that, “The finding of elevated relative risks in studies of both benzene exposure and refinery work provides further evidence that benzene exposure causes NHL. Benzene exposure, linked to both leukemia and lymphoma is the subject of both increasing American research and lawsuits!

Tricyclic Anti-depressants: People who take tricyclic antidepressants are at increased risk for a rare group of blood cancers known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to study conducted by researchers from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology at the Danish Cancer Society, and published in the journal Epidemiology.

“Our results indicate an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma specifically among long-term users of tricyclic antidepressant medications,” the researchers wrote. “Given the high prevalence of antidepressant use, this finding warrants additional studies.”

Dark Hair Dyes have been linked to lymphoma. A 2008 American study in the Journal of Epidemiology commented on this.

Formaldehyde has also been linked to Lymphoma, as was reported a few years ago in CANCERactives Cancer Watch.

Pesticides: Chemicals linked to herbicides, defoliation (agent Orange included) and pesticides have been linked to Lymphoma. Agricultural workers have higher risks of these cancers, and risks extend to communities drinking water originating in field run-offs.

Heavy metals and even EMFs have also been the subject of concern but nothing is proven as yet.

The fact is that the number of new cases of non-Hodgkin´s lymphoma in our modern world has been slowly but steadily rising by more than 4 per cent a year. This growth rate would make it almost the largest cancer in the UK by 2030.
The Epstein-Barr virus has been associated with a few lymphomas. People with HIV seem to be at a higher risk, as are people with the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering are looking at possible genetic factors in families.swollen lymph node


There are many, many treatments available, possibly due to the fear that this cancer is on its way to being one of the biggest cancers in the Western World; and because there are so many slightly different types of this disease. So your treatment will be very individual to you.

For example, the MD Anderson cancer center in Texas lists possible treatments as:
-Monoclonal antibodies
-Cytokine therapy
-Vaccine therapy
-Liposomal drug delivery
-New drug screening programs
-Management of unusual or difficult cases

Memorial Sloan-Kettering (An American Hospital) is in Clinical Trials with

  1. Pralatrexate and Gemcitabine, plus folic acid and vitamin B-12
  2. Bendamustine HC1
  3. ABVD with or without Rituximab
  4. SGN-35

Treatment of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

  1. Radiotherapy may be used in confined areas like the neck or lymph nodes or over larger areas such as the chest or upper abdomen. It may be used in conjunction with chemotherapy, or on its own.
    Radio-immunotherapy may use radio labelled monoclonal antibodies for some types of Lymphoma.
  2.  Common chemotherapy options include the drugs:

ABVD: This refers to a combination of the drugs Adriamycin, Bleomycin, Vinblastine, and Dacarbazine (DTIC). These are administered as injections and are usually repeated every 2 weeks.

CHOP: one of the most common chemotherapy regimens for treating Non-Hodgkin´s lymphoma. It employs 4 drugs in the regimen. Cyclophosphamide (brand names cytoxan, neosar); Adriamycin (doxorubicin, or hydroxydoxorubicin); Vincristine (Oncovin); and steroid tablets Prednisone (sometimes called Deltasone or Orasone). Note that this treatment may well cause fertility problems, and side-effects such as tingling in the hands and feet, nausea and hair loss. According to the American NCI, patients on this treatment are at a higher risk of developing secondary cancers in the brain, liver, kidney, bladder, skin and lung. The treatment usually involves 6 cycles each of 4 weeks.

R-CHOP: adds the monoclonal antibody rituximab; clinical trials are currently looking at whether it should be prescribed every 14 or 21 days for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

For patients with advanced forms of the disease, samples of bone marrow may be taken and stored by refrigeration, while chemotherapy kills off all the white cells in the body. Thereafter the bone marrow is transplanted to grow new white (and hopefully, uninfected) cells.


Lymphoma may be diagnosed and confirmed in a number of ways:
Lymphangiogram: A dye, injected into the lymphatic vessels, enables the  lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels to be seen more clearly using X-rays.

Gallium (Radioisotope) Scan: Radioactive gallium is injected into a blood vessel and it circulates throughout the body and may collect in a tumour. The body is then scanned from several different angles and this test can be very useful with Hodgkin´s lymphoma.

Blood Tests: Can determine abnormal levels of red and white cells.

Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy: Bone marrow is obtained inserting a long, thin needle into a large bone (for example, the hip) and collecting a small sample of marrow. The skin, tissue and surface of the bone are numbed with a local anaesthetic first.

X-Ray: Taking pictures of the infected areas inside the body.

Biopsy: Taking a piece of tissue from an area of suspected cancer to examine the white cells under a microscope.

Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan:  A 3D X-ray picture is taken from different angles around the body. The pictures are then combined using a computer. There is concern that too many CT scans can actually cause cancer.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI is similar to a CT scan but uses magnets and radio frequency waves instead of X-rays. Less used in Hodgkin´s lymphoma than CT scans, but useful in evaluation of the bones and brain.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan: PET images provide information about how tissues function.


The stage describes the extent to which the tumor has spread in the body. It helps predict outcome and prognosis and can determine the treatment approach.
Stage I (early stage): One lymph node region is involved.
Stage II (locally advanced disease): The cancer is found in two or more lymph regions on one side of the diaphragm or the cancer is found in one lymph node region plus a nearby area or organ.
Stage III (advanced disease): The disease involves lymph nodes both above and below the diaphragm or one node area and one organ on opposite sides of the diaphragm.
Stage IV (widespread disease): The lymphoma is outside the lymph nodes and spleen and has spread to one or more organs such as bone, bone marrow, skin and even other organs.

Alternative Therapies, Complementary treatments

Two reports covered previously in Cancer Watch may interest readers:

  1. Fucoidan is a natural compound found in various forms of seaweed like kombu, limu, wakame andmozuku plus animals like the sea cucumber. Researchers from the Hashemite University in Jordan at the AACR Dead Sea International Conference on Advances in Cancer Research working on previous studies that the extract from common brown seaweed causes cancer cell death (apoptosis) and shrinks tumours, have found that fucoidan suppressed cancer cell growth and caused a significant increase in apoptosis, or cellular death, in lymphoma cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact. Some forms of B-cell lymphoma are especially resistant to standard treatment and thus new therapies are needed, said Professor Mohammad Irhimeh adding, in this study, we looked at a new treatment strategy using novel active compounds derived from a natural source seaweed. Clinical Trials are planned.
  2. Vitamin D. Lymphoma patients with a vitamin D deficiency are twice as likely to die from their cancer as patients with normal blood levels (defined as 25 nanograms per litre) say scientists at the Mayo Clinic (American Society of Haematology Conference).

    50 per cent of patients in the study (all recently diagnosed in the years from 2002 to 2008) had a blood vitamin D deficiency. Over the following three years this group were 50 per cent more likely to become worse and twice as likely to die as those having normal blood vitamin D levels.

    Both fucoidan and vitamin D are available as supplements

  3.  Other research has shown up natural compounds that might help. The Mayo clinic went as far as saying that 5 cups of Green Tea per day stopped lymphoma in its tracks. Less euphoric, but none-the-less relevant was research from the Tohoku School of Medicine. A 9-year study followed the consumption of green tea by 42,000 people. Looking at blood cancers and cancer in lymph nodes in particular, the researchers found there was a 40 per cent reduction for the former, and 50 per cent for the latter, in those people consuming 5 cups per day (American Journal of Epidemiology). Selenium (which has some ability to displace some heavy metals from cells, Indole 3 Carbinol which has been shown to displace and/or denature some chemical pollutants from the body, Chlorella which has research behind it showing it can help clean certain tissues and beneficial bacteria (probiotics), which have been shown in clinical research to help eliminate chemical pollutants and heavy metals from the body in conjunction with fibres like lignans, may each have a role to play in prevention or as part of an integrative programme.


It is clear that Lymphoma is almost a disease in its own right. Growing rapidly, caused by the pollution in the modern world, with up to 40 variations and many individual treatments. Great attention needs to be paid to this disease. It belies the usual blah from cancer and health bodies that getting cancer is your own fault. In this case, it most probably isnt. And by 2030 it could be the Western Worlds largest cancer!

If you are unable to get to an event why don’t you even just make a donation to have a cup of tea and help the charity to continue their great work. (And if you are in Nigeria or any where in the world raise awareness through social media campaigns or host a fundraiser for your favourite cancer charity)



*Cancer (and its related illnesses) are very serious and very individual diseases.  Readers must always consult directly with experts and specialists in the appropriate medical field before taking, or refraining from taking, any specific action.
This web site is intended to provide research-based information on cancer and its possible causes and therapies, so that you can make more informed decisions in consultation with those experts. Although our information comes from expert sources, and is most usually provided by Professors, scientists and Doctors, our easy-to-understand, jargon-free approach necessitates that journalists, not doctors, write the copy. For this reason, whilst the authors, management and staff of CANCERactive,
icon, and Health Issues have made every effort to ensure its accuracy, we assume no responsibility for any error, any omission or any consequences of an error or omission. Readers must consult directly with their personal specialists and advisors, and we cannot be held responsible for any action, or inaction, taken by readers as a result of information contained on this web site, or in any of our publications.  Any action taken or refrained from by a reader is taken entirely at the readers own instigation and, thus, own risk.



PHOTO CREDIT: Google Images


Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.
The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O) an estimated 257 million people are living with hepatitis B virus infection (defined as hepatitis B surface antigen positive).
In 2015, hepatitis B resulted in 887 000 deaths, mostly from complications (including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma).
Hepatitis B is an important occupational hazard for health workers.
However, it can be prevented by currently available safe and effective vaccine.
Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is a major global health problem. It can cause chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.

A vaccine against hepatitis B has been available since 1982. The vaccine is 95% effective in preventing infection and the development of chronic disease and liver cancer due to hepatitis B.


Hepatitis B prevalence is highest in the WHO Western Pacific Region and the WHO African Region, where 6.2% and 6.1% respectively of the adult population is infected. In the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, the WHO South-East Asia Region and the WHO European Region, an estimated 3.3%, 2.0% and 1.6%% of the general population is infected, respectively. 0.7% of the population of the WHO Region of the Americas is infected.


The hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body for at least 7 days. During this time, the virus can still cause infection if it enters the body of a person who is not protected by the vaccine. The incubation period of the hepatitis B virus is 75 days on average, but can vary from 30 to 180 days. The virus may be detected within 30 to 60 days after infection and can persist and develop into chronic hepatitis B.

In highly endemic areas, hepatitis B is most commonly spread from mother to child at birth (perinatal transmission), or through horizontal transmission (exposure to infected blood), especially from an infected child to an uninfected child during the first 5 years of life. The development of chronic infection is very common in infants infected from their mothers or before the age of 5 years.

Hepatitis B is also spread by percutaneous or mucosal exposure to infected blood and various body fluids, as well as through saliva, menstrual, vaginal, and seminal fluids. Sexual transmission of hepatitis B may occur, particularly in unvaccinated men who have sex with men and heterosexual persons with multiple sex partners or contact with sex workers. Infection in adulthood leads to chronic hepatitis in less than 5% of cases. Transmission of the virus may also occur through the reuse of needles and syringes either in health-care settings or among persons who inject drugs. In addition, infection can occur during medical, surgical and dental procedures, through tattooing, or through the use of razors and similar objects that are contaminated with infected blood.


Most people do not experience any symptoms during the acute infection phase. However, some people have acute illness with symptoms that last several weeks, including yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. A small subset of persons with acute hepatitis can develop acute liver failure, which can lead to death.

In some people, the hepatitis B virus can also cause a chronic liver infection that can later develop into cirrhosis (a scarring of the liver) or liver cancer.


PHOTO CREDIT: Google Images


The likelihood that infection becomes chronic depends upon the age at which a person becomes infected. Children less than 6 years of age who become infected with the hepatitis B virus are the most likely to develop chronic infections.


80–90% of infants infected during the first year of life develop chronic infections; and
30–50% of children infected before the age of 6 years develop chronic infections.
In adults:

less than 5% of otherwise healthy persons who are infected as adults will develop chronic infection; and
20–30% of adults who are chronically infected will develop cirrhosis and/or liver cancer.
HBV-HIV coinfection
About 1% of persons living with HBV infection (2.7 million people) are also infected with HIV. Conversely, the global prevalence of HBV infection in HIV-infected persons is 7.4%. Since 2015, WHO has recommended treatment for everyone diagnosed with HIV infection, regardless of the stage of disease. Tenofovir, which is included in the treatment combinations recommended in first intention against HIV infection, is also active against HBV.


It is not possible, on clinical grounds, to differentiate hepatitis B from hepatitis caused by other viral agents and, hence, laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis is essential. A number of blood tests are available to diagnose and monitor people with hepatitis B. They can be used to distinguish acute and chronic infections.

Laboratory diagnosis of hepatitis B infection focuses on the detection of the hepatitis B surface antigen HBsAg. WHO recommends that all blood donations be tested for hepatitis B to ensure blood safety and avoid accidental transmission to people who receive blood products.

Acute HBV infection is characterized by the presence of HBsAg and immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody to the core antigen, HBcAg. During the initial phase of infection, patients are also seropositive for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg). HBeAg is usually a marker of high levels of replication of the virus. The presence of HBeAg indicates that the blood and body fluids of the infected individual are highly infectious.
Chronic infection is characterized by the persistence of HBsAg for at least 6 months (with or without concurrent HBeAg). Persistence of HBsAg is the principal marker of risk for developing chronic liver disease and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) later in life.
There is no specific treatment for acute hepatitis B. Therefore, care is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea.

Chronic hepatitis B infection can be treated with medicines, including oral antiviral agents. Treatment can slow the progression of cirrhosis, reduce incidence of liver cancer and improve long term survival.

WHO recommends the use of oral treatments – tenofovir or entecavir, because these are the most potent drugs to suppress hepatitis B virus. They rarely lead to drug resistance as compared with other drugs, are simple to take (1 pill a day), and have few side effects so require only limited monitoring.

Entecavir is off-patent, but availability and costs vary widely. Tenofovir is protected by a patent until 2018 in most upper-middle- and high-income countries, where the cost ranged from US$ 400 to US$ 1500 for a year of treatment in February 2017. While some middle-income countries (such as China and the Russian Federation) still face patent barriers in accessing tenofovir, generic tenofovir is affordable in most countries where it is accessible. The Global Price Reporting Mechanism (GPRM) indicates that the cost for a year of treatment ranged from US$ 48 to US$ 50 in February 2017.

In most people, however, the treatment does not cure hepatitis B infection, but only suppresses the replication of the virus. Therefore, most people who start hepatitis B treatment must continue it for life.

There is still limited access to diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B in many resource-constrained settings. In 2015, of the 257 million people living with HBV infection, 9% (22 million) knew their diagnosis. Of those diagnosed, the global treatment coverage was only 8% (1.7 million). Many people are diagnosed only when they already have advanced liver disease.

Among the long-term complications of HBV infections, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma cause a large disease burden. Liver cancer progresses rapidly, and since treatment options are limited, the outcome is in general poor. In low-income settings, most people with liver cancer die within months of diagnosis. In high-income countries, surgery and chemotherapy can prolong life for up to a few years. Liver transplantation is sometimes used in people with cirrhosis in high income countries, with varying success.


The hepatitis B vaccine is the mainstay of hepatitis B prevention. WHO recommends that all infants receive the hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The low incidence of chronic HBV infection in children under 5 years of age at present can be attributed to the widespread use of hepatitis B vaccine. Worldwide, in 2015, the estimated prevalence of HBV infection in this age group was about 1.3%, compared with about 4.7% in the pre-vaccination era. The birth dose should be followed by 2 or 3 doses to complete the primary series. In most cases, 1 of the following 2 options is considered appropriate:

a 3-dose schedule of hepatitis B vaccine, with the first dose (monovalent) being given at birth and the second and third (monovalent or combined vaccine) given at the same time as the first and third doses of diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus – (DTP) vaccine; or
a 4-dose schedule, where a monovalent birth dose is followed by three monovalent or combined vaccine doses, usually given with other routine infant vaccines.
The complete vaccine series induces protective antibody levels in more than 95% of infants, children and young adults. Protection lasts at least 20 years and is probably lifelong. Thus, WHO does not recommend booster vaccination for persons who have completed the 3 dose vaccination schedule.

All children and adolescents younger than 18 years-old and not previously vaccinated should receive the vaccine if they live in countries where there is low or intermediate endemicity. In those settings it is possible that more people in high-risk groups may acquire the infection and they should also be vaccinated. They include:

people who frequently require blood or blood products, dialysis patients, recipients of solid organ transplantations;
people interned in prisons;
persons who inject drugs;
household and sexual contacts of people with chronic HBV infection;
people with multiple sexual partners;
healthcare workers and others who may be exposed to blood and blood products through their work; and
travellers who have not completed their hepatitis B vaccination series, who should be offered the vaccine before leaving for endemic areas.
The vaccine has an excellent record of safety and effectiveness. Since 1982, over 1 billion doses of hepatitis B vaccine have been used worldwide. In many countries where between 8–15% of children used to become chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus, vaccination has reduced the rate of chronic infection to less than 1% among immunized children.

In 2015, global coverage with the third dose of hepatitis B vaccine reached 84%, and global coverage with the birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine was 39%. The WHO Region of the Americas and WHO Western Pacific Region were the only regions that have wide coverage. In addition, implementation of blood safety strategies, including quality-assured screening of all donated blood and blood components used for transfusion, can prevent transmission of HBV. Worldwide, in 2013, 97% of blood donations were screened and quality assured, but gaps persist. Safe injection practices, eliminating unnecessary and unsafe injections, can be effective strategies to protect against HBV transmission. Unsafe injections decreased from 39% in 2000 to 5% in 2010 worldwide. Furthermore, safer sex practices, including minimizing the number of partners and using barrier protective measures (condoms), also protect against transmission.