Ensuring Environmental Sustainability in this Current Age

Source: UN.org

Source: UN.org

Before discussing about environmental sustainability, we should know the meaning of it. Environmental sustainability involves making decisions and taking actions that are in the interests of protecting the natural world, with particular emphasis on preserving the capability of the environment to support human life. Among 8 MDG goals, ensuring environmental sustainability is one of them.

The objectives of ensuring environmental sustainability are improving the sustainable management of natural resources, ensuring low emission project, transport systems, saving energy, promoting agriculture, reducing climate related threats towards the countries, sustainable access to safe drinking water including basic sanitation and by 2020, improving the living standards of around 100 million slum dwellers. Continue reading

HIV and the lesson it taught: Access to Medicine

Source: PeopleandPlanet.org

Source: PeopleandPlanet.org

‘A,’ ‘I,’ D’ and ‘S’ are merely letters of the alphabet but put them together and it transforms into one of the most intimidating word in the history of mankind. 27 years ago, when the name AIDS came about, this disease was elusive. No scientist, doctor or health care professional could understand the nature of this virus, let alone how it was transmitted. But we powered on, as epidemiologists, scientists and healthcare workers worked hand in hand to not only identify the retrovirus but also to find a possible treatment, one which would improve the quality of life of an AIDS patient by leaps and bounds.

A retrovirus manipulates our immune cells and incorporates itself as part of our body’s defence system. It tricks us and makes us believe that it is one to be trusted. The sheer manipulation of this virus is astonishing as it not only “camouflages” as one of us, but kills our all mighty T cells without which we are defenseless against all infections. Finding a treatment that inhibits a retrovirus is a sheer stroke of genius. Continue reading

The Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Source: UN.org

Source: UN.org

Extreme poverty was originally defined by the United Nations in 1995 as “a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.” Currently, extreme poverty widely refers to earning below the international poverty line of a $ 1.25/day in 2005 prices), set by the World Bank. This measure is the equivalent of earning a $1.00 a day in 1996 US prices, hence the widely used expression, living on “less than a dollar a day”. The vast majority of these in extreme poverty-96%- reside in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific; nearly half live in India and China alone.

The reduction of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger was the first Millennium Development Goals (MDGs 1), as set by 189 United Nations member state in 2000. Specifically, MDG1 set a target of reducing the extreme poverty rate in half by 2015, a goal that was met 5 years ahead of schedule with the expiration of the MDGs fast approaching, the international community, including the UN, the World Bank and the US, has set a target of ending extreme poverty by 2030.

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