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The Action Thread Part Two


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APRIL 1, 2019

 

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GIRLS & WOMEN

Slovakia Just Elected Its First Female President — And She’s an Environmental Activist

Zuzana Caputova has been called the "Erin Brokovich of Slovakia."

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Worldwide, women have been underrepresented in their countries’ governments, but that is now slowly changing. Zuzana Caputova’s win is a win for women everywhere. Join us by taking action here to empower women and girls around the globe.

Slovakia elected its first female president, Zuzana Čaputová, an environmental activist who ran on an anti-corruption platform on Saturday.

Čaputová, 45, was recently elected vice chairman of Progressive Slovakia, a liberal party established only two years ago, which had no seats in the parliament, making her win after a second run-off vote all the more remarkable.

She defeated European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic who was nominated by the governing Smer-Social Democracy party.

Čaputová will become the youngest president of Slovakia after scoring 58% votes.

Take Action: Sign this petition to #LeveltheLaw and empower girls and women around the world!

Actúa: Firma

 
 
 
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“I see a strong call for change in this election following the tragic events last spring and a very strong public reaction,” Čaputová said on Saturday, referring to the murder of a Slovakian journalist who had been investigating corruption. “We stand at a crossroads between the loss and renewal of public trust, also in terms of Slovakia’s foreign policy orientation.”

The scandal led to the resignation of Prime Minister Robert Fico last year.

The Journalist Ján Kuciak, 27, and his fiancee, Martina Kušnírová, were found shot dead at the home they shared. Kuciak covered tax evasion stories for the news website Aktuality.sk where his last piece was published on Feb. 9, 2018. He mostly reported on fraud cases involving businessmen with political connections, including governing party leaders at the time.

Kuciak’s murder led to a massive outcry in Slovakia where tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest government corruption.

Read More: Pakistan Unveils Plan to Make Health Care, Housing, and Food Fundamental Human Rights

A lawyer by profession, Čaputová first received recognition after winning the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for her decade-long struggle to close a toxic landfill in her hometown. She is sometimes called the “Erin Brokovich of Slovakia” for her work.

In a conservative Roman Catholic Country, Čaputová, a divorced mother of two, supports both LGBTQ rights and access to reproductive health care.

Even though the presidential role in Slovakia is mostly ceremonial — the prime minister oversees most of the country’s affairs — Čaputová will hold blocking powers, will be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and will appoint top judges.

Her win could also be turning a point for Slovakia, which was ranked 83 out of 149 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report 2018, scoring especially poorly for women's participation in politics.

“Zuzana Čaputová gives us hope, but the real fight will only come now,” wrote Dennik N, a leading opposition publication, on Sunday.

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The sky is the limit for our incredible volunteers 2764.png❤️

Emily O'Keefe is volunteering as a nurse with CCI later this year...and has just climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for CCI's life-saving programmes! 🏔

At 5,895m, Mt Kilimanjaro is the largest freestanding mountain in the world and Emily reached the it's peak on 12th March.

If you love an adventure and would like to raise funds for CCI, get in touch today and see how you can make the world of difference to Chernobyl's children and grandchildren.

Thank you and congratulations, Emily!
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Today we wish all the team at Mac Domhnaill Dental a hearty congratulations and best of luck as they official open their new premises in Tralee. 👏👏

Comhghairdeas mór le Marcas agus foireann go leir! Go n'eírí go gheal libh.

In just two weeks time, Dental Nurse and Award winning Volunteer, Mary Sugrue, will travel to give children high-quality dental care through our Dental Programme.

This programme was set up in 2006 by Mary and dentist Marcas Mac Domhnaill. The programme focuses on giving children at Vesnova Children’s Mental Asylum the most comfortable dental experience possible. Each dental mission to Vesnova examines children with poor levels of oral care and maintenance. A priority for them is to provide emergency care and preventative maintenance in an effort to break the chain of infection.

The programme has gone from strength to strength, having included many volunteer dentists and dental nurses from all over Ireland. Huge improvements have been made since 2006, both to the oral health of the children and to the dental facilities in Vesnova. Every volunteer says that they receive much more themselves as volunteers than they could ever give to these children.

Congratulations Marcas, Mary and team and thank you for your continued support.

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There's a busy weekend of music making ahead!

26 young musicians from Music Generation South Dublin will take to the stage of The Grand Social tomorrow at 1.45pm to showcase their original songs and collaborative work, developed over the last 6 months as part of the Suburban Sounds programme.

Meanwhile in Louth, the Music Generation Louth String Orchestra will present an afternoon showcase concert at St.Nicholas’ Church of Ireland at 1pm tomorrow, while on Sunday a number of young musicians engaged in the Louth programme will perform in the 'Sundays in Spring’ Concert Series in Carlingford’s Heritage Centre.

Wishing all of these young musicians well this weekend!

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HEALTH

Why are nearly 1000 girls and young women infected with HIV every day?

5 February 2019 2:18PM UTC | By: MEGAN O’DONNELL

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Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS

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We have come a long way in the fight against HIV/AIDS since the outbreak of the crisis, with institutions like the Global Fund and PEPFAR partnering with country governments to prevent mother-to-child transmission, allow those infected with HIV to access treatment, and ultimately save tens of millions of lives.

But despite these impressive efforts, there is still one demographic that is disproportionately likely to contract HIV. Globally, girls and women ages 15 to 24 are infected at a rate of nearly 1000 every day, and the vast majority of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Here, young women are twice as likely as young men to be living with HIV.

Ong%E2%80%99ielo-Health-Center-Kenya-EDI

The Ong’ielo Health Center in Kenya is funded by the Global Fund and covers 10,300 people and offers a range of health services, including malaria and HIV testing and treatment.

And though those figures might be surprising at first, upon closer inspection we shouldn’t be surprised at all.

Risk Factors

The risk of getting infected with HIV is tied not only to physical health but to economic and social factors – and more specifically, layers of gender-based discrimination.

Across the globe, stigma and social taboos still surround girls being sexually active. This limits open conversation and education about safe sex and protection. As a result, girls often don’t have vital information they need to protect themselves against HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases.

High infection rates are also tied to girls’ economic vulnerability. Facing limited opportunities to earn income, girls face pressures to enter into transactional sexual relationships, where unprotected sex is exchanged for financial support. This is true both outside and inside of marriage, as many parents opt to marry their daughters off as children, due to a combination of economic constraints and social norms.

Finally, high rates of infection among women and girls are tied to their limited autonomy and bargaining power in their relationships; particularly at risk are those forced to marry as children. Even financially secure girls and women armed with information about protection face pressures from their partners to have unprotected sex.

The Global Fund

Fortunately, we know there are evidence-based ways to address all of these constraints, and the Global Fund and its partners are prioritising a holistic approach that gets to the root of all of them.

More than half of the Fund’s spending is now specifically targeted to programs for women and girls, contributing to a total investment of US$18 billion since 2002. The Global Fund launched a program called (HER) to mobilise additional resources to address the specific needs of adolescent girls and young women.

In Botswana, the Global Fund provides legal aid services and support to women and girls who are survivors of gender-based violence, while eliminating structural barriers to quality health care.

In Kenya, Swaziland, and South Africa, programs aim to keep girls and women ages 14-22 in school and to offer them additional educational and social support.

Sexual and reproductive health services have been integrated into HIV services in Lesotho so women can access both services in one place.

Quality secondary education (including comprehensive sexuality education), cash transfers that decrease girls’ economic insecurity, and interventions aimed at increasing girls’ agency and bargaining power all contribute to ensuring girls are less likely to contract HIV.

We Need to #StepUpTheFight

As we gear up for the Global Fund’s 2019 replenishment, let’s make sure the fund is able to access the financial resources it needs and eradicate HIV/AIDS once and for all, by continuing to put the needs and constraints of girls and women front and center in their investments.

Add your name now to tell world leaders they must back this bold initiative this year.

Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS

Dear government and business leaders,
We're urging you to show ambition in ending AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. This is a fight we can win – but only if we all do our part. I’m in, are you? Please fully finance the Global Fund to help save another 16 million lives and bring us closer to eliminating these diseases for good.

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HEALTH

Why global health is good for everyone

4 April 2019 8:57PM UTC | By: KATIE RYAN

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Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS

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What is global health?

It’s a big year for global health so ONE is going to be talking about it a lot. But before we jump into the nitty gritty statistics or the importance of getting funding for the world’s most innovative partnerships, let’s talk about what global health actually is!

Global health is about improving people’s health worldwide, reducing inequality and, protecting societies from global threats, such as preventable diseases, that don’t stop at national borders.

So why is it important?

We are at a tipping point. In 2017, nearly one million people died from AIDS-related causes globally and another 1.8 million contracted HIV. After 10 years of steady decline, malaria is back on the rise, especially among children under 5 years old, who account for two-thirds of all malaria deaths. Though more than 10 million people contract TB every year, nearly 40% of those are “missed” – that is almost 4 million people left undiagnosed, untreated, and therefore, contagious.

As a global community, we all benefit when our neighbours are healthy. Access to prevention and treatment should be a right, not a privilege. Yet, so many of our community members cannot enjoy this right because of prohibitive costs, distance, or stigma and discrimination.

If people can access affordable healthcare, they can invest in bettering their community: kids can attend school, adults can pursue careers, families can enjoy their time together, the list goes on. Quality of life skyrockets when prevention and treatment are affordable and accessible.

Human rights always come first. But it is important to realize that ensuring our global community is healthy, educated and empowered has another benefit: economic growth. Failing to protect health could quickly thwart this potential. The 2014 Ebola epidemic is a staggering illustration of the economic consequences of just one outbreak of disease: in 2015, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone lost US$2.2 billion in gross domestic product, threatening economic stability and private sector growth in the region.

We know that investments made in health today will pay dividends tomorrow.

  • Every $1 invested in immunisation, for example, leads to a return of US$60.
  • Every $1 invested in reducing malaria infections delivers a return of US$36.
  • Every $1 invested in health spending for the world’s poorest leads to a return of US$13.

Simply put, health is a smart investment with big returns.

Where do we go from here?

Health has been one of the most recognised and celebrated success stories in global development since the turn of the 21st century. This progress has not happened by accident. It has been driven largely by new public-private collaborations, breakthrough commitments to increase investments in health alongside greater investment from national governments, and passionate citizen activism.

This is a proud legacy that should be celebrated as a benchmark for what is possible. But it stops well short of being an indicator for future gains. Progress will not continue, and could go into reverse, if our global community, including world leaders, do not commit to looking out for our neighbours.

The Global Fund is one of the best weapons we have to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. The Fund supports programs run by local experts in the countries and communities that need it most – helping to save 27 million lives so far. To help save another 16 million lives between 2021-2023, the Global Fund needs to raise at least US$14 billion by its Replenishment Conference this October.

We must not stall progress now. Are you up for the challenge?

Add your name to tell world leaders they must back this bold partnership. Then share the action with your family and friends.

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