Opinion Piece Recounts 18 Successes In Global Health In 2017

Project Syndicate: A Year of Successes in Global Health
Melvin Sanicas, regional medical expert at Sanofi Pasteur — Asia, Japan, and the Pacific

“…[P]erhaps the most significant achievements of the last 12 months were in global health. I count 18 unique successes in 2017, many of which will help sow the seeds of progress for the months and years ahead. The first notable success occurred early in the year, when a Guinness World Record was set for the most donations of medication made during a 24-hour period. … India’s elimination of active trachoma was another milestone … A third key health trend in 2017 was further progress toward the elimination of human onchocerciasis … Fourth … is a dramatic drop in the number of Guinea-worm disease infections. … Efforts to eradicate leprosy earned the fifth spot on my list, while vaccine advances in general were sixth. … Number seven is the dramatic progress made in eliminating measles. … The war on Zika is number eight … Number nine is polio eradication. … Rounding out my top 10 was the creation of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) … Huge gains in disease control and prevention were made last year, and the next few items on my list (11 through 16) reflect progress on specific illnesses. … The final two successes are reminders of how much work remains. … As the global health community resets its annual clock … we should take a moment to reflect on the 12 months recently ended. Even in a mediocre year, the global health community saved millions of lives. Imagine what we will achieve in an extraordinary year” (1/23).

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