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Good morning, this is Pokuaa and today we’re covering a series of global health issues overshadowed and exacerbated by the pandemic. Marking World Cancer Day, we hear about the profound effects of Covid-19 on care for cancer patients worldwide.

We are also highlighting the gendered impacts of the virus and beyond. Taking the example of female genital mutilation, we see the overwhelming support to end such practices as shown through a global survey calling for gender equality.

photo journaliste

Pokuaa Oduro-Bonsrah


Today’s reason for hope

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Monuments across the world, including the Jet d’Eau in Geneva were lit up in orange and purple on 31 January for neglected tropical diseases day. (Credit: Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative.)

Ambitious roadmap launched to tackle neglected tropical diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) last week launched a 10-year roadmap for neglected tropical diseases, outlining its plans to tackle this group of 20 diseases that impact around 1.7 billion people worldwide. The roadmap replaces a previous plan which, despite the progress made, did not see all 2020 targets being met. New objectives include reducing the number of people requiring treatment for NTDs by 90 per cent by 2030.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Global health news

👧🏽 ⚕️World needs more holistic approach in combatting FGM. More than 200 million girls and women globally are estimated to have undergone female genital mutilation or cutting. Speaking to a medical expert specialising in genital reconstruction in Geneva, Dr Jasmine Abdulcadir stresses there should be “a more holistic approach” in addressing FGM/C.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

♀️ ♂️ Global survey shows “overwhelming” demand for gender equality. A survey of 17 countries released last week has found that 65 per cent of respondents would like their governments to do more to promote gender equality in their country. The survey was conducted by gender equality organisation Women Deliver and Focus2030 ahead of the Gender Equality Forum due to be held later this year.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🎗️“Profound” impacts of Covid-19 on cancer worldwide, says WHO. At a press briefing in Geneva on Tuesday, Dr André Ilbawi, a cancer specialist at the World Health Organization said the pandemic was having “profound” impacts on cancer control efforts with some 50 per cent of governments having their cancer services partially or completely disrupted.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Number of the day

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Cancer cases increasing worldwide. Sobering figures from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the WHO show some 19.3 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2020 and these numbers expected to grow to 30 million by 2040. For the first time, breast cancer has overtaken lung cancer as the most common form of the disease.


Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

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A vehicle carrying WHO investigators arrive at Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China on February 3, 2021. (Keystone/AP Yomiuri Shimbun/Koki Kataoka)

WHO team visit Wuhan virus lab A team of investigators working on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) has visited a major virus research laboratory in China’s central city of Wuhan and is scheduled to meet a top virologist, as they continue to seek clues to the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aljazeera (EN)

Next on the agenda

4 February | World Cancer Day: I Am and I will. Hosting a number of events in commemoration of World Cancer Day, this year’s theme “I Am and I Will” signifies that all actions are important in the fight against cancer.


10 February | Instruments on antimicrobial use. The webinar will provide an overview of a recent tripartite report published during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week on international instruments that set standards related to the use of antimicrobials.


11 February | The inequality pandemic: A conversation with Winnie Byanymia. The executive director of UNAIDS, will delve into the topic of global income inequality, further exacerbated by Covid-19, and how this has shaped access to healthcare for those most marginalised.

The Graduate Institute (EN)

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Have a good day!

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