Well Being

Every baby taking its first breath is a potential actor of change. Every teenager living in a healthy environment has the potential to create a stable and happy family. Every woman with access to a safe childbirth is potentially a loving mother. Health is an essential condition to change the world for the better.

Photo: UNDP

What would the world be like when deaths are not caused by neglected or badly treated diseases anymore? The UN Sustainable Development Goal number 3 aims to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.

It does not mean that we would no more have diseases and deaths, but that we would minimize avoidable mistakes and negligence. Global maternity mortality ratio, for instance, would be reduced to less than 70 per 100,000 and epidemics of infectious diseases would end by 2030. Road accidents, tobacco-related illnesses and other health conditions caused by lack of access to treatment would not be part of our daily lives either.

According to the UN, many advances have been made on the health front worldwide since 2000. Yet we still have to face realities such as the ones we find in sub-Saharan regions whereby only 53% live births are assisted by skilled people and mortality among children under 5 years of age is 84‰, almost twice global rates. Part of the solution is to prevent early and unintended pregnancies by fighting child marriages and spreading reproductive education; but there is an urgent need to invest and train in skilled care and sound health policies worldwide.

Infectious diseases are yet another challenge to face – HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis B epidemics continue to plague many countries -, and the solution lies in prevention. Vaccines, sanitation and hygiene, as well as sexual education are to be improved. The same applies to premature deaths caused by depression, alcohol and tobacco, all of which are taboo ailments in several regions.

Many of these health risks are directly related to poor quality medical assistance and lack of health coverage and funding, especially in underdeveloped regions. Available data from 2005 to 2015 indicate that over 40% countries count less than one physician per 1,000 people, and around half have fewer than three nurses or midwives per 1,000 people. Almost all least developed countries count less than one physician and fewer than three nurses or midwives per 1,000 people.

Many organizations and social projects did produce some improvement. Child Family Health International, an NGO that is active on our Horyou platform, is one fine example of community-based global health education programs for students and institutions that aim at empowering local communities. CFHI acts on undergraduate medical schools curricula and publishes papers and publications on global health safety on a regular basis.

Based in Cameroon, Ascovime, yet another active member of the Horyou community, runs educational health campaigns and provides free medical consultation and surgery to isolated communities throughout the country. Ascovime was founded by Dr. Georges Bwelle, a surgeon at the Central Hospital in Yaoundé and a CNN Hero.

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that helps promote health and well-being in your region or anywhere in the world. Your support can be made easier and more effective with Spotlight, our digital currency for impact. Check it out and start using it to engage in any cause you feel concerned about. Be the change, be Horyou!

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Version Française ici

The weekend 19th to the 20th of September in Geneva marked the yearly Alternatiba Léman Festival which was centered on the theme of promoting local initiatives for climate change and the art of positively living together. The Festival hosted conferences and debates, as well as food and clothing stands, music, movie projections and local food products. It took place on the sunny Plaine de Plainpalais, a prominent square within the city of Geneva, with events also held at the house of associations and the communal hall of the Plainpalais neighborhood.

The Festival gathered around 500 people in support of local farmers, local merchants and helpful sustainable living in Geneva and the surrounding areas. It was a true embodiment of local actions for climate and the joys of connecting for a positive lifestyle. Horyou collaborated with the association and supported its “The Meal” initiative, a lunch cooked with locally produced agricultural products, with the idea to gather a large number of people from across the world to share a Meal in support of farmers and their plea for food sovereignty and access to resources, soil, water and seeds.

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“The Meal” was held simultaneously in about 20 other locations worldwide, with the same goal of promoting consumption of local products. In Geneva, it delighted 200 people on the Plaine and consisted of long tables filled with fresh tomatoes, salads, gazpachos, fresh fruits and vegetables, sauces and pasta.

“The Meal”, a truly unifying power in its ideals and encouragement throughout the world, was thus the occasion for all participants to get together, share thoughts and build solidarity within their communities, on the spot, as well as via Skype conversations. Geneva connected with Mali – led by Aminata Touré -, Morocco – led by Nicole Jeffroy -, Nepal – led by Jagat Basnet -, and Pakistan – led by a young university student called Irene Farkhanda -, to mention but a few locations.

Proceeds from “The Meal” went to various nonprofits in Geneva and in Benin, as the Festival had a dedicated area for local nonprofits and various organizations. Horyou had a stand as well, and so did some of the organizations on the Horyou platform, such as One Action and Voix Libres. The event went on through Sunday with even more participants and visitors. We look forward to seeing bigger local agricultural food tables, and more Meals shared in more locations across the world at next year’s festival.

By Amma Aburam

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