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Malaysia: Fishermen, drug use and HIV coming full circle

Sutayut Osornprasop's picture

In Malaysia, over half of all HIV infections are transmitted through sharing contaminated needles and syringes. To combat the spread of the epidemic, the government in 2006 spearheaded 'harm reduction' interventions (pdf) which included a program where people who inject drugs are provided unused needles and syringes in exchange for used injecting equipment. Those who are addicted to opioids such as heroin, the most commonly used illicit substance in Malaysia, can also enroll in rehabilitation for synthetic opioid replacement therapy. Synthetic opioids, taken orally, help stabilize the opioid cravings of patients, thus enabling them to work. The move to introduce harm reduction in Malaysia revealed something that caught people by surprise—many of the fishermen from port city on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia use drugs.

A day in the life of the Solomons Rural Development Project

David Potten's picture

(Read Part 2 and Part 3 of this blog post)

The bow of the open aluminium boat jumped from wave to wave, cutting deeply into the white-topped wave crests and adding salt spray to the rain that was showering us constantly with wind-blown pin prick-like strikes. The helmsman then turned towards the shore, slowly bringing the boat into shallow water beside a small wooden pier, where we were able to climb gingerly ashore.

The helmsman was Wilson, Team Leader for the Solomon Islands Rural Development Project (RDP) in the Western Province, and he was accompanied by Lottie, the RDP Project Manager. RDP is a Solomon Islands government project supported by the World Bank, Australia, the European Union and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Graham (my colleague on this mission) and I were in the Solomon Islands as part of an evaluation of the World Bank's work in the Pacific, funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The RDP had been selected as a case study project for us to visit.

保持良好健康状况之秘诀:安全饮水和环境卫生

Patricio V. Marquez's picture

Available in English

今年世界水日(3月22日)前夕,一些公众健康方面的消息称,人的健康与患病后的医疗保健无关,而是与可提高人们尤其是贫困人口健康水平、生产能力以及生活质量的关键投资有关。
 

2012年联合国儿童基金会和世界卫生组织联合报告《饮用水和环境卫生方面取得的进展》指出,2010年年底,全球有61亿人(占全球总人口89%)用上了更清洁、更安全的饮用水。这意味着与此相关的千年发展目标较之2015年这一最后期限已大幅提前完成。该报告还预测说,到2015年,全球92%的人口将用上更清洁、更安全的饮用水。
 

但是,不太好的消息是,全世界只有63%的人口用上了条件更好的环卫设施。预计到2015年,这一数字将仅会增加到67%,大大低于千年发展目标中设定的75%这一分项目标。目前,全世界有25亿人缺少条件更好的环卫设施。该报告重点指出,这些数字显示,全世界各地区和各国之间以及各国国内各地方之间存在巨大差距(如撒哈拉以南非洲地区仅有61%的人口用上了安全饮水)。
 

Fighting HIV/AIDS in Thailand: can distributing clean needles ever be as easy as giving out condoms?

Anne Elicaño's picture

Available in: Français, ภาษาไทย

When I think of HIV/AIDs, symbols pop into my mind: the red looped ribbon and the free condom. They’re actually a good representation of what Thailand is doing best to combat the epidemic- massive information campaigns and the 100% Condom Program which saw the dramatic decline of HIV/AIDS among sex workers.

However, those symbols faded in my mind after I visited an old, impoverished part of Bangkok and met the people who currently are the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS- the injection drug users.

 

HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne diseases are transmitted when needles are shared. Under influence, many users are also likely to have unprotected sex.  There are programs called ‘harm reduction’ where drug users are provided with clean needles, syringes, and condoms to avoid transmission. Condom distribution is easy but needles are another issue.  

 

From Kerema to Port Moresby: the raincallers and the road

Aleta Moriarty's picture

Roads are not sexy. You don’t see glossy ads pleading for people to sponsor a road. You don’t see the construction of a road moving global audiences to tears. There are no celebrities, concerts, wrist-bands for the road. I guess that is because for most people in the developed world, we take roads for granted.

Recently I spent some time around Kerema, which although only 350 km from the country’s capital, feels as one of the most remote and cut-off places in Papua New Guinea. Kerema is the Gulf’s provincial capital and, with its surrounding villages, it has been cut-off from the rest of the country due to a mere 67 km of mostly un-passable road. Under the Roads Maintenance and Rehabilitation Project, the World Bank has been supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea to restore the road. Today, the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved the second phase of this project, which will see the rest of the road restored and paved to a proper national standard.

Helping Rural Clinics Work in Solomon Islands

Hamish Wyatt's picture
Hayleen Dusaru is the Moli clinic's registered nurse

I recently spent almost a week calf deep in mud, shooting around islands, and speaking to beneficiaries and community helpers of the Solomon Islands Rural Development Program (RDP). The trip was an illuminating and uplifting opportunity to get out into rural areas and meet the people that are experiencing the direct benefits of one of the World Bank’s most dynamic projects within Solomon Islands.

Terms like ‘bottom up approach’ and ‘grass roots focus’ are catch-cries that are often heard but not always followed within development projects. However, spending some time in villages that are controlling the funds and direction of infrastructure projects and seeing clear and sometimes astounding benefits from them reinforces the principle that this program is not offering simple lip-service or superficial checklists of community involvement. This is really what community direction of projects looks like. (The Country Manager in Solomon Islands, Edith Bowles, has blogged about this  program before, read her views on its agricultural aspects and on the effects of the islands’ remoteness.)

World Bank opens largest set of development data --for free and in several languages

Claudia Gabarain's picture

Big news: the World Bank has launched an open data site with more than 2,000 financial, business, health, economic and human development statistics. Until now, most of this had been available only to paying subscribers.

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