Water and employment in Latin America, an end to AIDS in Africa, fake medicines, wetlands… Wednesday’s news

Phiona works as a Mother Peer at the Rugaga IV Health Center in Uganda to train and support mothers delivering HIV-negative babies.

Investing in water and sanitation in Latin America would generate 3.6 million jobs

The executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) today urged countries to promote investment in water services to improve the well-being and quality of life of the population and reactivate the region’s economy.

During the inauguration of the third edition of the Regional Water Dialogueswhich is being held until Friday at the headquarters of the United Nations organization in Santiago de Chile, José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs estimated that promoting the just and sustainable water transition, universalizing the coverage of safely managed water and sanitation, requires a public-private investment equivalent to 1.3% of regional GDP for 10 years.

Salazar-Xirinachs considers that this financing “would generate 3.6 million green jobs and the corresponding new family income.”

It would also become “an axis for the transformative recovery of the countries’ economies, reducing pollutants and increasing resilience in the face of climate change and health threats such as the pandemic. It is an important effort, but not impossible”, he asserted.

The high-level event is preparatory for the upcoming United Nations Water Conference 2023 which will take place from March 22 to 24 at the UN headquarters in New York.

African leaders pledge to end child AIDS by 2030

UNICEF/Karin Schermbrucker

The ministers and representatives of twelve African countries pledged this Wednesday to end child AIDS by 2030 in that continent during the first ministerial meeting of the Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children.

The meeting, organized by the United Republic of Tanzania, marks a step forward in the response to ensure that all children with HIV have access to life-saving treatment and that HIV-positive mothers have HIV-negative babies.

Every five minutes in the world a child dies of AIDS-related causes. Only half (52%) of children living with HIV receive adequate treatment to beat the disease compared to three quarters (76%) of adults receiving antiretrovirals.

The work of the Alliance will be based on four pillars:

  • Carry out early detection tests and give the appropriate treatment for infants, children and adolescents
  • Closing the treatment gap for pregnant and lactating women living with HIV
  • prevent new HIV infections among pregnant and lactating adolescents and women
  • address rights and social and structural barriers that hinder access to these services

Between 2017 and 2021, 605 tons of fake medinas were seized in West Africa

There is a hidden epidemic of drug addiction among older adults.

Unsplash/Sharon McCutcheon

Every year, 267,000 deaths in sub-Saharan Africa are caused by counterfeit or substandard malaria drugs, highlights a new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and the Crime dedicated to the trafficking of medical products in the Sahel.

The high prevalence of infectious diseases, such as malaria, in the Sahelian countries and other neighboring nations, coupled with problems of availability, price and access to health care, creates an environment in which the demand for medical products and services it is not fully covered through official channels.

The disproportion between supply and demand for regulated pharmaceuticals favors the traffic of this type of productsencourages the participation of organized criminal groups and increases threats to public safety and health in that part of Africa.

After reaching West Africa, mostly by sea, these products reach the countries of the Sahel through smugglers who operate on the main transport routes using buses, trucks and private cars.

Between January 2017 and December 2021, at least 605 tons of different medical products were seized in West Africa during international operations.

Protecting wetlands is protecting biodiversity

The Hargila Army in India has helped communities plant 45,000 saplings near stork nesting trees and marshlands, in the hope that they will support future stork populations.

UNEP/Diego Rotmistrovksy

Vegetated wetlands, such as swamps and marshes and other aquatic environments around the world, are at risk, as many are polluted or degraded as a result of climate change and human development, the Wetlands Program warned Wednesday. United Nations for the Environment (UNEP).

Around 35% of the world’s wetlands, which also reduce the impact of floods and clean polluted waters, were lost between 1970 and 2015 and depending on the rise in sea level caused by the climate crisis, between 20% and 90% of current coastal wetlands, which sequester carbon up to 55 times faster than tropical rainforests, could disappear by the end of the century.

Despite the best efforts of many governments to protect and restore these natural spaces, and on the eve of World Wetlands Day, which is commemorated on February 2, the Program highlighted the urgent need to restore wetlands.

The head of the Program’s Marine and Fresh Water Subdivision, Leticia Carvalho, explained the need “to guide and promote investments to protect priority ecosystems, such as peatlands, and encourage the private sector to commit to deforestation-free supply chains and peat bog drainage.

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Written by Editor TLN

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