It has been a decade since the devastating tsunami hit this region with a vengeance claiming lives of close to 200 000 people, displacing more than 2 million from their homes and destroying /damaging huge areas of the natural environment and human built structures along the coast of 10 countries in South-East Asia and five countries in East Africa.
On this World AIDS Day with the theme “Close the gap”, the World Health Organization, Regional Offices for South-East Asia and Western Pacific are calling on Member States to recognize that in order to close the significant gaps that remain for millions of people to access to HIV prevention, treatment and care, key populations most vulnerable to HIV must be equal partners with governments and health authorities.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women reiterates countries’ endorsement that violence against women is a grave human rights violation, discriminatory in law and practice and hinders health, well-being and productivity of individuals, communities and societies.
With inadequate sanitation accounting for health and economic losses of over 6 per cent of GDP improvements in sanitation and related hygiene behaviour has the potential to deliver huge economic benefits. These benefits would be most felt by the millions of people that make up the poorest sections of society. Investing in sanitation makes sound sense in terms of economics, society and human rights.