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Global Health Successes Of 2016 Should Inspire Hope In 2017

Project Syndicate: Hope for Global Health in 2017
Melvin Sanicas, regional medical expert at Sanofi Pasteur — Asia, Japan, and the Pacific

“Looking back on 2016, there may not seem to be much to celebrate. In terms of global health alone, the year appeared to be one of unrelenting tragedy. … But, buried among all of the bad stories, there were some inspiring developments in global health in 2016. The first took place in Tanzania and Mozambique, where African giant pouched rats … were repurposed to help in the fight against tuberculosis (TB). … A second positive development was the creation of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). … The third positive development of 2016 was the progress made in combating malaria. … There is more good news on the vaccine front … Diseases for which we do not have vaccines have also been beaten back. … Furthermore, the Americas are now almost free of river blindness … We are also one step closer to eliminating lymphatic filariasis … Also on the brink of eradication is Guinea worm … As we begin 2017, it is important to recognize the public health victories that we have achieved. However bad things may seem and however heartbreaking the hurdles are, there are plenty of reasons to remain hopeful — and to keep working for a better, healthier future” (1/19).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.