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Global issues

The Global Issue

  • More than one-third of the world’s countries, 59 states and four other areas, are contaminated with anti-personnel mines, cluster munitions or other explosive remnants of war.
  • Asia contains the country most heavily bombed per capita, Laos, and the world’s most heavily mined country, Afghanistan.
  • In 2012, at least 1,066 people were killed and another 2,552 people were injured. Numerous casualties go unrecorded and therefore the true casualty figure is likely significantly higher.
  • 38% of all landmine victims in 2012 were situated in Afghanistan, Cambodia or Colombia.
  • The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL- CMM), global coalitions of hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society and committed individuals, work to reach a worldwide ban on landmines and cluster munitions and to get as many states as possible on board the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Cluster Munition.
  • The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty is a legally binding international agreement that bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of antipersonnel mines and places obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles. The Treaty comprises deadlines to clear all known minefields between 2015 and 2020.

Landmines

  • A landmine is an explosive device designed to be placed on or in the ground, to explode when triggered by an operator or the proximity of a vehicle, person or animal. Antipersonnel landmines are designed to injure or kill people while anti-vehicle or antitank mines are intended to explode when triggered by a vehicle.
  • The actual number of landmines still scattered around the world is unknown, but it is estimated that millions of landmines remain.
  • Anti-personnel mines are priced at $3 to $75. The cost to the international community of neutralizing them ranges from $300 to $1000.
  • Buried landmines can remain active for over 50 years, posing a threat years after hostilities have ended.
  • Mine action refers to a broad spectrum of efforts to eliminate the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war. It includes survey, the removal of these devices (and marking off dangerous areas), assistance to victims, mine-risk education, the destruction of stockpiled landmines, and advocating for participation in international treaties.

Landmine impact

  • Landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) affect innocent people indiscriminately and impede development long after the armed conflict has ended.
  • The vast majority of recorded mine/ERW casualties in 2012 were civilians, 47% of those victims were children.
  • Mine/ERW incidents impact not only the direct casualties but also greatly influence their families, struggling under new physical, psychological, and economic pressures.
  • Landmines deprive families and communities of land that could be put to productive use such as agriculture, they restrict access to  schools, hospitals, and water supplies and they hinder the return and resettlement of refugees and displaced persons. 

Mine Ban Treaty / International Campaign to Ban Landmines

FAQ’s about the treaty: http://www.icbl.org/en-gb/the-treaty/treaty-in-detail/frequently-asked-questions.aspx

References

The Global Issue

  • Tuberculosis ranks as the second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, after the human immune deficiency virus (HIV).
  • In 2013, an estimated 9.0 million people developed TB and 1.5 million died from the disease, 360 000 of whom were HIV-positive.
  • In 2013, Africa accounted for approximately 30% of TB cases worldwide. Southeast Asia and Western Pacific had 56% of the cases.
  • The Tuberculosis burden, is significantly higher in 22 countries that contribute more than 80% of the global cases. Africa, mostly Sub-Saharan Africa, counts for about a quarter of the global TB burden and nine of the 22 high-TB burden countries are African.
  • In 2013 Africa had the highest population rate of TB cases, with 280 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • TB is a leading cause of death among people with HIV. About one in five deaths among people with HIV is due to TB.
  • The WHO organization developed a Stop TB strategy, aimed atreducing TB by public and private actions at national and local levels. 
  • Within the framework of the Stop TB strategy, the WHO organization recommends DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short-Course) as TB control strategy.
  • Between 1995 – 2012, 22 million lives were saved through the Stop TB Strategy

Disease of poverty

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. The infection spreads easily, through the air, when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or even talks.
  • About one-third of the world's population has latent TB. This means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill and cannot transmit the disease. They have a lifetime risk of falling ill with TB of 10%.
  • Persons with a compromised immune systems (for example people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes) have a much higher risk of falling ill once infected with TB.
  • About 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Poor communities have a greater likelihood of being infected with and develop TB because of a lack of basic health services, inadequate living conditions, poor nutrition, unaffordable drugs etc.
  • Tuberculosis mostly affects young adults, in their most productive years. Studies suggest that the average patient is not able to work for three to four months as a result of TB. 

Tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment

  • TB is curable but without proper treatment up to two thirds of people ill with TB die.
  • Every year, about 3 million people infected with TB are missed and consequently don’t receive the care they need.
  • People ill with TB can infect up to 10-15 other people through close contact over the course of a year.
  • A lack of quality health services can cause delays between infection and cure, fuelling the spread of TB.
  • Many countries still rely on sputum smear microscopy to diagnose TB. This test however is slow and does not detect numerous cases of less infectious forms of TB.
  • A new diagnostic test, the TB Xpert®, a molecular diagnostic test, is being rapidly adopted by countries to detect TB. APOPO aims to increase the feasibility and affordability of using this technology by using it in combination with TB detection rats.
  • TB can be treated by taking a combination of drugs during 6-9 months.
  • There is an alarming rise in cases of Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), with worldwide 450 000 people developing MDR-TB in 2012. MDR-TB does not respond to standard treatments and is difficult and costly to treat. The primary cause of multi-drug resistance is the inappropriate or incorrect use of anti-TB drugs.

References