Small Countries Speak Out at Paris Climate Talks

first_imgShare6TweetShare1Email7 SharesParis Climate Talks / MINIRENA RwandaDecember 1, 2015; New YorkerDelegates in Paris are midway through the Paris climate talks right now, and while progress is slow, things have been proceeding more or less according to plan. A 48-page agreement was submitted by negotiators from 195 countries on Sunday, which will continue to be amended and fine-tuned during the coming days. The devil is in the details, of course, and many variables remain, not the least of which is breaking down the responsibilities and expectations of developing and developed countries, as well as the level of commitment required of those countries—notably China and India, which fall somewhere in between. One of the largest points of contention continues to be how exactly developed countries will finance new technologies and climate change mitigation measures in developing countries and their failure so far to live up to the $100 billion a year commitment made in 2006.India is showing its might and, according to some, has the power to break down the talks, while pushing its desire to grow its own economy. Sparing no words, Indian negotiator Susheel Kumar said there is an “obligation” on the part of developed nations to finance the climate action efforts of developing ones. “We don’t want dilution of that paradigm,” he said. Prime Minister Modi, writing in the Financial Times, had this to say:Justice demands that, with what little carbon we can still safely burn, developing countries are allowed to grow. The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder.For the least developed countries, there is also the question of keeping warming below an average of 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Canada’s Environment Minister on Sunday endorsed a call from the Alliance of Small Island States to reset that figure to 1.5 degrees, representing a departure from the positions taken by the Harper government as well as the U.S. While the broad consensus is that even the 2° limit is going to be nearly impossible to enforce, the smaller, low-lying countries most vulnerable to a changing climate have support from around the world for their efforts to recalibrate the goal. According to one NGO’s senior climate advisor:These countries have grown tired of empty words from world leaders and they cannot afford any more in Paris…We are in danger of making these communities the global “canaries in the coal mine” and letting them suffer by allowing global temperatures to rise even two degrees above pre-industrial levels. For these countries, a two-degree world is a miserable one and they are right to use their high moral authority to call for bolder and more ambitious action from this summit.As in previous talks, much of the frustration stems from the fact that the talks are not aimed at producing an actual treaty, and despite specific goals that individual countries are committing to in order to reduce emissions, these are not accompanied by legally binding mechanisms for doing so. (Thanks to the website Carbon Brief, one can look at the entire roster of pledges made so far.) So while the U.S. pledges to reduce greenhouse gases by 26–28 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2025, attempts to legally enforce the pledge would be struck down by a Congress that steadfastly refuses to acknowledge climate change as an issue.As reported here last week, Bill Gates helped to kick off the Paris conference last week with the announcement of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. Comprising a group of more than two dozen billionaires and investors, including Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, the Coalition’s goals are to push for aggressive government funding of research in partnership with universities, research institutions and the private sector.A related group, Mission Innovation, includes 20 countries committed to clean energy innovation efforts. Mission Innovation issued a joint launch statement at the summit, promising to accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation with the objective to make it widely affordable. Again falling short of any binding pledges, each participating country will “seek” to double its energy-related R&D over five years, focusing on projects designed to attract private investors willing to advance commercialization.As the conference wraps up this week, questions remain as to how effective all of the bold pledges and behind the scenes negotiating will be in really moving the climate needle. Those behind the conference believe that once the common framework is set, the process of reducing emissions will “ratchet up,” as nations review progress, issue new targets, and strengthen their commitments. But as the New Yorker’s John Cassidy writes, to the skeptics, “the deal under consideration is too small, too vague, and too late to prevent a dangerous rise in temperatures.”Gates himself says that while it’s nice to talk about limiting ourselves to two degrees of warming, “we don’t even have the commitments that are going to keep us below four degrees.” As Joel Budd writes in The Economist, “The bad news is that even if greenhouse-gas emissions are stabilizing, they are doing so at an exalted level, and there is little reason to suppose that the plateau will be followed by a downward slope. China might burn a little less coal in the next few years, but India will burn more—and the Chinese will drive more cars.” He quotes Bjørn Lomborg of a Copenhagen-based think-tank: “A lot of poor countries are going to get a lot richer by burning fossil fuels. Rich countries will continue to become cleaner, but not dramatically so, at least when the carbon content of the goods they import is added to the reckoning.”Whatever the outcomes, the brunt of global warming will continue to fall on small countries most susceptible to its devastations as coastal areas and icepacks disappear. So let’s give them the last word. As the Alliance of Small Island States said in its opening statement to the climate delegates:We have an unparalleled chance here in Paris to finally set the world on a sustainable path, but success is by no means guaranteed. It will require all of us to constantly be mindful of what is at stake: nothing short of the survival of the most vulnerable among us.—Patricia SchaeferShare6TweetShare1Email7 Shareslast_img read more

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Reducing Anemia in Developing Regions with Point of Care Analysis

first_imgWhere can readers find more information? Deaths from Iron-deficiency anaemia in 2012 per million persons. Statistics from WHO, grouped by deciles. CC 4.0.These programs, mostly referred to as anemia screening programs, are often an integral part of larger nutrition programs. Malnutrition is one of the major causes of anemia; not necessarily because of a lack of nutrition, but because of diets lacking substances like iron, folate and vitamin B12 which are essential for generating hemoglobin.Anemia screening programs assess the baseline prevalence of anemia in a population. They help with supplementation and fortification and monitor the effectiveness of the nutrition and health program, not only helping the individual but also generating statistics and constantly improving programs by reviewing the outcome. The measurement of hemoglobin is repeatedly performed in this process.Some health programs are linked to specific disease states with impact on the hemoglobin status, like HIV, malaria and parasite infections, which are most common in developing countriesBesides the geographical spread anemia is often linked to the social economic status of an individual. Anemia is a problem of the poor and underserved and the most vulnerable population groups are women, infants and children.Why are POC practices such a good fit for these programs? What are the underlying requirements?POC practices mostly use minimally invasive sampling techniques like finger pricks which can be performed in any setting. POC analyzers are compact in design and are factory calibrated with permanent calibration. This minimizes the need for lab personnel to be present for their operation. Regular health care staff can perform the test and only minimal training is required.All consumables are single use, can be brought to the test site, and because POC analyzers deliver rapid results, a high number of patients can be tested within a short period.Whilst fast results are important it is crucial that POC analyzers provide accurate results which are traceable to established laboratory reference methods. Only then can the results be used to support clinical decisions on-site and deliver reliable information for the statistical analysis of screening programs.Often health programs are conducted in rural and hard to reach regions, what advantages do POC analyzers provide in these areas?Mobility and robustness are the key advantages of POC analyzers for use in rural and hard to reach regions. For example, POC analyzers usually operate with internal batteries and, in rural areas, where the absence of electricity or frequent outages are a common problem, this ‘self-sufficiency’ is vital.All materials for the health program need to be transported by truck or air to reach the test sites and a wide range of temperatures and humidity can be experienced. The POC analyzer and its related consumables need to be designed to endure these conditions.    What features have EKF included to ensure that the DiaSpect Tm is robust in potentially harsh environments?The DiaSpect Tm has been specifically designed with rural and difficult to reach regions in mind. The analyzer and cuvettes can be stored at 0° to 50°C and can withstand temperatures of -30°C to 70°C during transport for a maximum of 24 hours. The DiaSpect Hemoglobin Cuvettes are reagent-less and in contrast to other reagent-based hemoglobin cuvettes, are not affected by humidity.The DiaSpect Tm analyzer is lightweight (180 g) and compact with no moving parts. It can be used as a hand-held and a robust plastic carrying case is available to ensure safe transportation. Besides the performance requirements on the POC analyzer the demands for electronic data storage and documentation are increasing, even in outreach projects. EKF has recently launched its POC Connect app to provide a practical and portable data management tool for remote use.POC Connect is a simple android application that enables users to store, access and transmit hemoglobin results directly from the DiaSpect Tm device to a smartphone via integrated Bluetooth® technology. It allows the user to add patient and operator details, comments and note the materials in use.Related StoriesEKF Diagnostics issues new educational guide to ‘Diabetes and HbA1c testing’EKF POCT HbA1c testing confirmed as comparable to lab-based HPLCEKF Diagnostics to showcase new Stanbio GA assay kit at AACC 2018This data is held in a history file on a smartphone and can be transferred to a central database once an internet connection is available or by using a sufficiently strong mobile network. The lack of permanently available internet infrastructure and traditional land-line installations can be overcome this way.How does FDA clearance and CLIA Waived status resonate and improve acceptance of the device on other public health programs globally?Besides opening new opportunities in the USA there is an increasing recognition of FDA clearance and CLIA Waived status in many other countries. US based institutions like CAP and JCI offer their accreditations globally making their standards commonly available.Some countries, for example those in the Middle East are progressing towards only importing medical products and IVDs which have FDA clearance. In other countries it helps to speed up the processes of local registrations.  CLIA Waived status is seen as confirmation of the ease of use of a system which is an essential requirement especially during field use in rural areas or in other non-clinical environments.How can EKF Diagnostics’ new DiaSpect Tm hemoglobin analyzer help the USA WIC program specifically? What make this product ideal for this type of program?The USA WIC program is a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and provides federal grants to states for supplemental food, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, as well as to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.Participants in the WIC program are tested for hemoglobin on a regular basis as part of the health service and nutrition advisory activities. Typically, the WIC offices are non-clinical settings, often situated in neighborhood centers.The DiaSpect Tm system is ideal for such settings due to its small footprint, ease of use and the long shelf-life of consumables. The results are available within seconds and are traceable to a laboratory reference method.Why is it so important for countries to run effective preventative healthcare programs such as WIC?Anemia reduces an individual’s wellbeing, physical productivity and work performance. It has a negative impact on development and the learning capabilities of children. Maternal anemia is associated with increased mortality and morbidity in the mother and baby, including the risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, prematurity and low birth weight.A series of reports published by the USDA based on linked 1988 WIC and Medicaid data on over 100,000 births found that for every dollar spent on prenatal WIC participation for low-income women on Medicaid in five states resulted in savings in health care costs of between $1.77 and $3.13 within the first 60 days after birth and a significant reduction of risks associated with anemia.What is the future for EKF’s POC analyzers?Whilst the United States currently accounts for almost 50% of the total POC market, followed by regions such as Europe and Japan, we expect to see an increase of POC analyzers being used in emerging countries that have improving healthcare but a limited infrastructure for stationary laboratory systems and sample rotation.Furthermore, the use of POC analyzers is very common in the monitoring and treatment of lifestyle related disorders, such as diabetes. Future initiatives will aim at prevention of disease states rather than treating avoidable diseases later, and POC analyzers will play an important role in this approach giving the possibility to test patients-at-risk in preventive health checks which could be established for example in community settings, gyms, nursing homes or pharmacies.Ideally, medical information from such health program should be interfacing with clinical patient records and also with health insurances that could incentivize participation and offer reimbursement. This would require embedding the POC analyzer in data communication networks ensuring an efficient and at the same time secure transfer of medical data. Mobile connectivity solutions could become a key element in this setting.EKF Diagnostics’ current POC analyzer offering is focused on diabetes, anemia and sports and an expanding use in nutrition and exercise programs can be expected. Mobile connectivity solutions will be developed further to support the use in a decentralized health infrastructure, making our products fit for a healthier life. Sponsored Content by EKF DiagnosticsSep 5 2018 insights from industryKatja LemburgGlobal Product Manager of HematologyEKF DiagnosticsPublic health programs often use point of care analyzers to assess at risk patients. Please give an overview of health programs you are aware of that use POC hemoglobin analyzers and the work that they do.The burden of anemia is recognized worldwide, with a global prevalence of about 25%, rising to more than 60% in some developing countries. To address this a multitude of public and NGO funded health programs are working towards achieving the ‘Second Global Nutrition Target 2025’ – a 50% reduction of anemia in women of reproductive age, as outlined in the Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition and endorsed by the 65th World Health Assembly (resolution WHA65.6). About Katja LemburgGlobal Product Manager Hematology of EKF Diagnostics – Katja Lemburg graduated in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Luebeck, Germany in 1997 with a focus on development of biosensors. After several years of working in sales and service of clinical research products, she joined EKF Diagnostics as Product Manager in 2008. www.ekfdiagnostics.com EKF DiaSpect Tm Advanced Training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmDalpDclAQ www.who.int/topics/anaemia/en www.fns.usda.gov/wic/about-wic-how-wic-helps RNCOS Market Research Report “Global Point-of-Care Diagnostics Market Outlook 2018” Sponsored Content Policy: News-Medical.net publishes articles and related content that may be derived from sources where we have existing commercial relationships, provided such content adds value to the core editorial ethos of News-Medical.Net which is to educate and inform site visitors interested in medical research, science, medical devices and treatments.last_img read more

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