{Program provides free reading and sunglasses in the most vulnerable regions of the country.}Program provides free reading and sunglasses in the most vulnerable regions of the country.

More than 1,800 Peruvians have benefited from "¡Qué bien te veo Perú!" – an MSH-Peru program that offers free reading glasses and sunglasses to people with limited resources improve their quality of life, help them re-enter the labor market, and prevent eye diseases.

In July and August 2018, MSH-Peru visited the Puno region to deliver spectacles in 16 communities in the province of Chucuito. The goal was to deliver 4,000 pairs of reading glasses to people over 40 who have trouble seeing up close.

This project was made possible by the generous support of RestoringVision, a nonprofit dedicated to distributing new reading glasses to people in need. Founded in 2003, RestoringVision has built a network of more than 1,400 partners that have collectively served more than 10 million people in 127 countries.

"Many years ago I stopped reading, but today I will read again," said Peregrino Mamani Peralta, 82, who lives in the community of Sutuca Urinsaya in the Province of Lampa, Puno, and suffers from presbyopia. Peregrino was an avid reader but when his vision deteriorated he could no longer enjoy this hobby. Now that he has spectacles, he can read again.

{Photo credit: MSH}Photo credit: MSH

This story was originally published by STAT News.

As the Democratic Republic of Congo works to contain the latest outbreak of Ebola, in what could be a test of the world’s ability to contain the disease since the calamitous outbreak in West Africa in 2014 and 2015, it’s a good time to think about the global infectious disease pandemic that happened in May.

In case you didn’t hear about it, that pandemic killed 150 million people around the world, including 15 million Americans, within a year and caused the U.S. stock market to crash. Fortunately, the deaths and economic cataclysm were just on paper — or in electrons — the result of a daylong simulation with a group of high-ranking U.S. government officials that was organized by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

The simulation revealed just how dangerously unprepared the U.S. and the rest of the world are for a pandemic and provided experiential learning for decision-makers in the Trump administration.

{Photo credit: Francies Hajong/MSH}Photo credit: Francies Hajong/MSH

This story was originally published by The Hill

During the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, scientists, policymakers, healthcare workers, advocates, and civil society shed light on the relationship between HIV and other urgent health crises, such as Tuberculosis (TB).

A less known, but critically important fact: TB is one of the leading causes of death among people with HIV/AIDS worldwide. To effectively address HIV, budget and policy responses must reflect the challenge of HIV-TB co-infection.

In June, as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees considered their fiscal 2019 foreign assistance funding bills, there was encouraging discussion about the importance of fully funding the International Affairs Budget to maintain American leadership through diplomacy and global development.

We have had this role since the establishment of the Marshall Plan after World War II, and for many good reasons. American investments in global development have proved to be beneficial to us as well.

{Violet and Godfrey Justin meet with an HIV counselor during a visit to Bvumbwe Health Center in Malawi. Photo credit: Moving Minds, Malawi.}Violet and Godfrey Justin meet with an HIV counselor during a visit to Bvumbwe Health Center in Malawi. Photo credit: Moving Minds, Malawi.

An innovative testing strategy helps more people living with HIV learn their status

“Life can deceive you when you think you feel strong and healthy,” says Godfrey Justin, whose wife, Violet, tested positive for HIV during a routine antenatal visit. After sharing her status with Godfrey, Violet asked that he be tested as well. Godfrey agreed, learned he was also living with HIV and the couple started antiretroviral therapy (ART).

While traditional methods of HIV testing (such as provider referrals and client-initiated testing) successfully reach millions of people each year, only 75 percent of those living with HIV know their status. Reaching the 25 percent who don’t yet know their status — roughly 9 million individuals globally — will require more targeted approaches.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

This story was originally published by The Hill.

No sooner had one outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) been declared over than another broke out. The latest outbreak is particularly threatening as it is in North Kivu province, an area beset with violence between rival militia groups. On top of struggling with violent conflict that has lasted, in some areas, for more than 20 years, the DRC is one of the world’s poorest countries and lacks a well-developed infrastructure.

Infectious disease outbreaks are more dangerous in countries like the DRC because fragile or severely off-track countries have little health care infrastructure to support the necessary steps to contain the outbreak. Although the DRC has had many Ebola outbreaks and more experience containing the disease than any other country, the conflict environment exacerbates the threat.

A student from the center for educational activities of Sévaré reads of poem about female genital mutilation.

I do not agree with cutting I didn’t choose to be born a woman So why should I suffer By this removal that I have to endure?   On International Youth Day, communities around the globe will call for – and create – safe spaces for youth to express themselves, influence decision making, seek confidential care and information, and call out violations of their human rights. This year, youth highlighted the urgency of ending gender-based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), and child marriage in a very public space in central Mali.

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