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On Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, the environment and health

Patricio V. Marquez's picture



Let me begin with a disclaimer.  I attended Jesuit schools as a boy and adolescent.  Belief in the sanctity of human life and the principles of social justice, which were at the core of the teaching imparted there, shaped me.  The vision and language spoken by Pope Francis, himself a Jesuit, with an emphasis on the “preferential option for the poor and vulnerable”, profoundly resonate with me.

Five things to know about the first-ever global progress report on universal health coverage

Robert Marten's picture

Tracking UHC report cover

Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending the launch of a new global report that provides the clearest picture to date of countries’ progress moving toward universal health coverage (UHC). UHC is critical for building resilient health systems, which protect communities and strengthen societies in times of crisis and calm alike.

How can universal health coverage address out-of–pocket payments for medicines?

Andreas Seiter's picture
Malaria medication


As we know from many health financing studies, drug expenditure typically ranks first or second among out-of-pocket expenses. In fact, it is often the cause of catastrophic expenditure, driving people from lower middle class into poverty once a severe or chronic disease affects a family member.

Measurement’s Moment in the Sun

Julia Ross's picture
MA4H Summit Illustration


As the world moves into the post-2015 era and toward the 2030 goal for health, which includes universal health coverage and making sure everyone has access to essential, quality care, results matter more than ever. To show results and translate them into action, however, countries need better quality data, better capacity for health information and civil registration systems, and better incentives to use data for decision-making.

World No Tobacco Day 2015: On illicit trade and taxes

Patricio V. Marquez's picture



On May 31, the global health community will mark World No Tobacco Day 2015.  This year’s theme focuses on the public health priority of stopping the illicit trade of tobacco products.  Perhaps this is a good occasion to clarify that raising tobacco taxes to make this habit-forming product unaffordable is not the cause of illicit trade.  Let me explain.

Belize’s class of 2015: Community health workers of Toledo

Carmen Carpio's picture



June is almost upon us, and in many parts of the world that means graduation ceremonies.  While graduation may elicit images of black robes, flat square caps, and the flipping of tassels, in the Toledo District of Belize, this June, graduation will be all about medical kits, scales, and growth monitoring tools because  …  the community health workers (CHWs) are graduating!

“The zero hour” for mental health

Tim Evans's picture



At times, many of us have felt a sense of loss or detachment from our families, friends and regular routines. We also have experienced nervousness and anxiety about changes in our personal and professional lives, as well as real or imagined fears and worries that have distracted, confused and agitated us.

Nutrition and Agriculture: Bridging the Gap

Meera Shekar's picture



Agriculture and nutrition share a common entry point: “food.”  Food is a key outcome of agricultural activities, and, in turn, is a key input into good nutrition. Without agriculture there is little food or nutrition, but availability of food from agriculture doesn’t ensure good nutrition. Common sense would dictate a reinforcing relationship between the two fields of agriculture and nutrition but, in fact, there is often a significant disconnect. 

Is Violence a Public Health Problem?

Patricio V. Marquez's picture



Reading Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” one is confronted with an unsettling reality: In the mythical town of Macondo, violence is an accepted mechanism used by successive generations to deal with individual and social conflicts.   It also inflicts enduring pain on the town’s people long after disputes are settled with blood.

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