Category Archives: Wellness

Desert Song Festival

The countdown to opening night gains pace with the 10th Anniversary Premium Content Series launched on August 9, 2023.

Six programs of Desert Song Festival performances by a global family of exceptional artists will be featured in August, September, October and December 2023, and in February 2024, via a dedicated platform: 

THE FIRST PROGRAM, DISCOVERING DSF – August 2023, IS FREE! and will also be available on our YouTube Channel: Check it out and get in the mood for the 10th Anniversary festival. The other five are available at $20 for individual netcasts or $80 for the entire subscription. Details of broadcast dates will be published after Program #1 becomes available. 

“A stunning performance that’s uplifting, energising, and life-affirming” – Scenestr
“Uplifting harmonies that fill your soul” – Play and Go Adelaide
This musical powerhouse has been spreading sheer joy to audiences across the globe for nearly two decades with their powerful blend of African Gospel, Freedom Songs, and international classics.

Since their first visit in 2011, Alice Springs has become one of their favourite destinations. They are returning – for their fifth visit for the 10th anniversary of the Desert Song Festival to present their brand-new concert HOPE at two sessions on Saturday 16th September at the Araluen Arts Centre @ 3pm and 7.30pm. In the past, these concerts have been fully sold out, so the organisers urge enthusiasts to book their tickets as soon as possible for one of the iconic entertainment events of the year Central Australia:
HOPE celebrates songs and anthems from the Freedom Movement of Nelson Mandela’s South Africa, and the Civil Rights Movement of Martin Luther King’s America. HOPE is a concert that will sing forever in your hearts! In these concerts, the Soweto Gospel will collaborate with the NIMA award-winning Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir with whom they have developed a close relationship since first meeting these songwomen in 2011.
Book tickets to the Desert Song Festival here.

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Sustainable farming by the original guardians of the forests

AFT RECOMMENDS the OA Organik series of videos, showcasing the Orang Asli (OA) or aboriginal / original people of Malaysia. The Malaysian Ministry of Education reported that 42.29% of OA students did not complete Form Five high school education. There’s so much that can be done for the OA community and this story highlights a project spearheaded a local non-profit organisation that has picked up the ASEAN The Struggles Of Education: The Extraordinary Effort Of Fazilah Apong To Complete School – OA Organik (  

In each video, you’ll listen to the authentic voices of the Orang Asli community in Malaysia, working as Organic Farmers in a unique collaboration with the Foundation for Community Studies and Development (FOCUSED), or YKPM in the Malay language, a registered nonprofit organisation that was founded on 22 September 1993. YKPM accepts tax-deductible donations and is a registered society – Society Reg. No.: 276769-D with the aim to empower left-behind communities, both rural and urban, by working alongside them.

On World’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day (9th August), a fairtrade community enterprise launched a series of video explainers to share how they partner with the Orang Asli (indigenous people) at Ulu Gumum and Melai of Malaysia. Through organic farming, OA Organik has helped lift many Orang Asli households from poverty and earn an income. The project aims to build a green economy and fight for climate justice. Learn more:

Through organic farming, the Orang Asli (OA) are indirectly protecting Malaysia’s largest natural resource: the rainforest. With just RM1 million, the OA can set up a collection center and provide fair markets for 20 OA villages. This will improve livelihoods and empower them to conserve their forest.

Meet the Orang Asli – Organic Farmers and Guardians of the Forest –
OA Organik: Restoring Dignity
OA Organik: Forging Unity
OA Organik: Farm Nutrition
OA Organik: Forest Custodians
OA Voices 05: Forest Water –
OA Voices 06: Forest Crafts –
OA Voices 07: Forest Recreation –
OA Voices 08: Forest Herbs –

Learn more about OA Organik by visiting their website:

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Celebrating Hari Gawai with Iconic Dishes from Sarawak


Sarawak comes alive in June every year as the Dayak people celebrate Hari Gawai, a vibrant festival that gives thanks for a bountiful harvest. Over the years, Hari Gawai has become a larger cultural celebration of Dayak customs and traditions, in honour of their deep connection with the land. 

Not only is it a lively celebration that holds great significance for the Dayak community, it also showcases Sarawak’s rich cultural heritage. A big part of Sarawak’s culture and heritage is food, so we talked about Sarawakian cuisine with Adeline Tang, a Sarawakian who’s in the food industry.

Like many Sarawakians, Tang is based in Klang Valley for work. About Hari Gawai, she said, “Every June is filled with nostalgia and an intense homesickness. I think this might be true for many other Sarawakians who live outside the state. But of course, being Malaysian, the one thing I miss most is authentic Sarawakian food.”

To Tang, there are four distinctive Sarawakian dishes that best represent the state. One dish that holds a special place in the Gawai festivities is Pansoh Ayam, also known as Manok Pansoh, a traditional Sarawakian delicacy cooked in bamboo. The dish involves cooking chicken in a freshly cut bamboo stalk along with aromatics like onions, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, torched ginger flower, and galangal. The bamboo is roasted over an open fire, infusing the chicken with a distinctive flavour.

As the preparation of Pansoh Ayam takes a considerable amount of time, expertise, preparation, and the right space for building a fire, a proper Pansoh Ayam is difficult for most in concrete jungles like Klang Valley to achieve at home. 

Another dish that’s unique to the state is the Sarawak Laksa, which has origins dating back to the 20th century. The creation of this noodle soup remains mysterious – it is believed to be developed by Chinese immigrants in Sarawak and was popularised by the Tan family in the ’60s and ’70s with their development of the Swallow brand laksa paste.

Photo: supplied

This laksa is popular for having complex flavours and stands out from similar dishes such as the curry laksa and asam laksa with its use of the sambal belacan, a pounded chilli paste made with fermented shrimp paste, which lends the dish a great depth of flavour. Depending on who you ask, the most authentic Sarawak laksa paste has a vibrant orange hue and contains between 20-36 (or more!) ingredients including garlic, shallots, chillies, candlenut, and dried shrimp.

Topped with shredded chicken, prawns, bean sprouts, and slices of omelette, the hallmark of the Sarawak laksa is its thick and creamy soup. As with all laksas, the laksa paste is the most important component to getting the taste right. However, as Tang explained, an authentic Sarawak laksa paste can be quite rare to find. “Sarawak laksa paste involves many ingredients, so it can be more difficult than you expect to get the taste right if you made it yourself. You could sometimes find Sarawak laksa paste here, but it doesn’t always capture the authentic taste,” she said.

Ka Chan Ma (Motherwort Herb Chicken Soup) Photo: supplied

Ka Chan Ma (Motherwort Herb Chicken Soup) is also another dish that is unique to Sarawak. The chicken soup dish features the motherwort herb, which grows indigenously in the state and has been used in various cultures for its medicinal properties. As Tang shared, “Ka Chan Ma is an acquired taste because the motherwort can be quite bitter. But over the years, I’ve found an appreciation for the complex, bitter yet floral flavour, as well as its health benefits.”

The herb is believed to aid in mood regulation and reducing anxiety. As the dish is made with motherwort along with ginger, wine, and other spices, it is also believed to be good at relieving gas and improving blood circulation. For these reasons, the nourishing chicken soup is often used as confinement food, but it is also popular among the masses for its unique flavour and as a highly nutritious dish with great health benefits.

Tang also looks back fondly on Ding Pian Ho (鼎边糊), another unique Sarawakian dish. This Foochow dish’s name roughly translates to “wok edge paste” which refers to the way the noodles are made. A flour slurry is poured around the sides of a wok with soup. When the noodles are cooked, it is scraped back into the wok while some of the slurry has cooked in the soup. The result is a cross between flat rice noodles and congee.

For many Sarawakians who have grown up watching hawkers scraping woks to make a bowl of Ding Pian Ho, it might seem a mundane thing. Tang shared that she remembers watching the hawker make these noodles with much fascination – without a doubt, it is certainly one of the most interesting ways of making a flat noodle. 

On Hari Gawai this year, Tang commiserates with fellow Sarawakians about missing the taste of home. In her food business, Freshable, Tang was inspired by her roots and her longing for authentic food from Sarawak and featured her home state’s cuisine in a monthly special this June.

“I felt that Hari Gawai was the best occasion to put a spotlight on Sarawakian cuisine. There’s so much to be said about how unique our food is, but I would rather put a bowl of Sarawak laksa in front of someone and let them experience it themselves,” she added.

As for Sarawakians who find themselves homesick this June like Tang, “There’s so much comfort that a hot bowl of food from home brings me. I hope to share with fellow Sarawakians the taste of home while away from home.”

Tang is the co-founder of Freshable, an innovative meal kit delivery service that sends meal kits of curated cuisines right to your doorstep. The idea is that subscribers pick a dish of choice, and Freshable sends out meal kits which consist of pre-cut and measured ingredients for the recipe to you. 

This month’s Sarawak menu features locally-sourced ingredients from Sarawak and adapted recipes for home cooking. She added that she aims to bring Sarawak’s best dishes to doorsteps in Klang Valley. 

“When I first started out with my business, it was driven by my passion for food. And the Sarawakian food I grew up with and learned to love was a big part of that. As I pay homage to my roots by featuring my favourites in this month’s special, I think things have come full circle,” she said.

Whether you are new to Sarawakian cuisine, or you’re homesick and long for a taste of home, get your taste of Sarawak now on Freshable’s website at and follow them on social media at Instagram and Facebook.

This article was provided by

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Dr. Matthew Phillips – ‘Metabolic Strategies as Therapies in Cancer and Neurodegeneration’

(video link:

Dr. Matthew Phillips is a full-time clinical and research neurologist at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, New Zealand. His foremost passion is to explore the potential feasibility, safety, and efficacy of metabolic therapies, particularly fasting and ketogenic diets, in creating alternate metabolic states that enhance neuron bioenergetics and may lead to improvements in not only the symptoms, but also function and quality of life, for people with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and a variety of additional neurological disorders.

Upon completing his Neurology training in Melbourne, Dr. Phillips realised that he had no interest in going the usual route of further specialising in a particular neurological disorder. He wanted to specialise in a therapy, but no such fellowship existed. Thus, he bought a one-way ticket to the other side of the world and departed the medical system, travelling and working in different places for three years, creating his own self-taught fellowship during which he learned about a variety of therapeutic possibilities that he had never previously considered.

Upon completing his 3-year “fellowship” it dawned on him that metabolic strategies, particularly fasting and ketogenic diets, were promising therapeutic options for a range of disorders. He re-entered the medical system by commencing work as a neurologist in New Zealand, where his colleagues have helped him to apply these strategies to a number of humanity’s most difficult neurological disorders so as to determine whether they are feasible, safe, and can make an impact in terms of helping patients. This has resulted in his team conducting a world-first randomised controlled study of a ketogenic diet in Parkinson’s.

The Canadian-born, Australian-trained neurologist ultimately wishes to help create a new field of Metabolic Neurology that emphasises applying metabolic strategies in healthcare so as to potentially heal many difficult disorders at their core, with the overarching goal being the improved health and enhanced nobility of humanity.

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Urgent action needed to tackle stalled progress on health-related Sustainable Development Goals


20 May 2023 – Geneva – The World Health Organization (WHO) released the 2023 edition of its annual World Health Statistics report with new figures on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the latest statistics on progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report with data up to 2022 underscores a stagnation of health progress on key health indicators in recent years compared with trends seen during 2000-2015. It also alerts us to the growing threat of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and climate change and calls for a coordinated and strengthened response.

COVID-19 cost in lost lives and health progress

The report documents updated statistics on the toll of the pandemic on global health, contributing to the ongoing decline in progress towards the SDGs. During 2020-2021, COVID-19 resulted in a staggering 336.8 million years of life lost globally. This equates to an average of 22 years of life lost for every excess death, abruptly and tragically cutting short the lives of millions of people.

Since 2000, we saw significant improvements in maternal and child health with deaths falling by one-third and one-half, respectively. The incidence of infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria also declined, along with a lowered risk of premature deaths from NCDs and injuries. Together, these contributed to an increase in global life expectancy from 67 years in 2000 to 73 years in 2019.

However, the pandemic has put many health-related indicators further off-track and contributed to inequalities in access to high-quality health care, routine immunizations and financial protection. As a result, improving trends in malaria and TB have been reversed, and fewer people were treated for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

“The World Health Statistics is WHO’s annual check-up on the state of the world’s health. The report sends a stark message on the threat of noncommunicable diseases, which take an immense and increasing toll on lives, livelihoods, health systems, communities, economies and societies,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.  “The report calls for a substantial increase in investments in health and health systems to get back on track towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”

NCDsan ever-increasing health threat for future generations

Despite overall health progress, the share of deaths caused annually by NCDs has grown consistently and is now claiming nearly three quarters of all lives lost each year.

If this trend continues, NCDs are projected to account for about 86% of the 90 million annual deaths by mid-century; consequently, 77 million of these will be due to NCDs – a nearly 90% increase in absolute numbers since 2019. 

Stagnating progress calls for acceleration

More recent trends show signs of slowdown in the annual rate of reduction (ARR) for many indicators. For example, the global maternal mortality ratio needs to decline by 11.6% per year between 2021 and 2030 to meet the SDG target. Similarly, the net reduction in TB incidence from 2015 to 2021 was only one-fifth of the way to the 2025 milestone of WHO’s End TB Strategy.

Despite a reduction in exposure to many health risks – such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, violence, unsafe water and sanitation, and child stunting – progress was inadequate and exposure to some risks such as air pollution remains high.

Alarmingly, the prevalence of obesity is rising with no immediate sign of reversal. Furthermore, expanded access to essential health services has slowed compared to pre-2015 gains, coupled with no significant progress in reducing financial hardship due to health-care costs. This drastically limits our ability to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an important reminder that progress is neither linear nor guaranteed,” warns Dr Samira Asma, WHO Assistant Director-General for Data, Analytics and Delivery for Impact. “To stay on track towards the 2030 SDG agenda, we must act decisively and collectively to deliver a measurable impact in all countries.”

This year’s report includes for the first time a dedicated section on climate change and health, and we anticipate that this will be of more relevance in the report going forward. For this issue and all other areas timely, reliable and disaggregated data are critical to track progress and improve national and global health policies.

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The annual health-care cost of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer in Malaysia exceeds RM 9.65 billion (US $2.16 billion)

A new report from the Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia and the World Health Organization (WHO), Direct Health-care Cost of Noncommunicable Diseases in Malaysia, reveals that hospitalizations, medical tests, medications, and primary care consultations of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, annually cost the Malaysian economy upwards of RM 9.65 billion. 

“Even without the additional threat posed by COVID-19, noncommunicable diseases are a significant health burden and public health challenge in our country. And while they are not an acute emergency or rapidly moving infectious disease, they are equally devastating to individuals, societies and economies,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Noor Hisham bin Abdullah, Director General of Health Malaysia.

NCDs are the main cause of death and disability in Malaysia. It is estimated that 1 in 5 adult Malaysians are living with diabetes, 1 in 3 are living with hypertension, and nearly half are overweight or obese (National Health and Morbidity Survey, 2019). The growing prevalence of NCDs is placing an increased strain on the country’s health system.

“We saw that among the most vulnerable to the virus are people with underlying health conditions, including NCDs like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, who have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease and are more likely to die from COVID-19,” continued Dr Hisham.  

“WHO continues to support the government of Malaysia in its efforts to address the growing challenge of NCDs through supporting addressing the risk factors, encouraging adoption of healthy lifestyles and strengthening primary care for early diagnosis and improved management of NCDs,” said Dr Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO Representative in Malaysia.

The report released today utilized data from the year 2017. The secured data were largely restricted to the public sector, and extrapolations to the private sector were based on assumptions. While the cost estimates are based on the best available data, they no doubt underestimate the real cost of the direct health-care costs associated with NCDs in Malaysia.

Aside from the health-care costs, previous studies have estimated the economic loss due to absenteeism, presenteeism in the workplace and the premature death of the working age population as upwards of RM 8.91 billion. In addition, the cost of disability and loss of healthy life years was estimated to be around RM 100.79 billion (The Impact of Noncommunicable Diseases and Their Risk Factors on Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product, 2020). 

This information can be used to identify cost-effective ways to prevent NCDs, reduce the costs of NCD management, and prioritize the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Dr Hisham calls on collaboration to have publicly informed, evidence-based policies that could support the change in Malaysian’s behaviour.

“The problem of NCDs in Malaysia is also compounded by the fact that the country has a rapidly ageing population in which the failure to address adequately the challenge of NCDs could significantly impact health-care costs and economic well-being of the community,” added Dr Rabindra.

Malaysia is expected to reach the status of an aged nation by 2030, with people over the age of 65 making up more than 14% of the population. With the population ageing, more and more people are expected to live with NCDs in the long term. Given this demographic change, NCDs’ health and economic burden can also be expected to increase over time.

“Increasing awareness about NCDs and their management among the general population and those at risk now will contribute to increased longevity and healthy ageing of Malaysian through a reduction of premature mortality due to NCDs and their complications” said Dr Rabindra.

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Doctors develop new, accessible healthcare and wellness brand for men

Hisential’s reception area at Bangsar Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur

Hisential, a men’s healthcare and wellness brand, has opened its first clinic at the prestigious Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Accessible to men of all ages, the warm and luxe-inspired clinic offers a variety of health optimisation services and treatments, including chronic disease management, regular health screenings, hair transplants, screenings and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as well as skincare solutions.

The idea for Hisential originated when founders Dr Anthony Stanislaus, Dr Ramesh Rajentheran, and Dr Vishaal Thadani noticed a gap in the market for men’s healthcare. The doctor-developed brand aims to empower men to take charge of their health and remove the stigma they face when speaking about healthcare issues.

“As men ourselves, we realised that while there are clinics out there that offer healthcare services to men, there’s no physical space that addresses our healthcare needs and concerns in a discreet, personalised way and with holistic treatments that suit our needs,” said Dr Anthony Stanislaus.

To ensure that patients receive the best and most effective treatments, Hisential’s doctors are all professionally certified in Malaysia and professionally trained to assist men with their various concerns. Hisential also uses best-in-class medical technology to provide the most effective non-invasive treatments and ensure that medical personnel undergo specialist training prior to operating any machinery.

“We’ve built a safe and luxurious space where men can come in, immediately feel at home and be assured that all their healthcare concerns will be addressed. We also encourage men of all ages to go for regular health and hormonal check-ups and to not be embarrassed to seek help. At Hisential, we are here to help you and give you the opportunity to live healthy and fulfilling lives,” he added.

The launch of Hisential’s clinic is the company’s first step into men’s healthcare. As part of its goal to destigmatise men’s healthcare, the company intends to roll out a membership plan as well as rolling out technology that enables a true-online experience to optimise both the patient experience and treatment outcomes. Additionally, the brand will introduce innovative skin care products that sit at the intersection of luxury and clinical science over the coming year.

For more information on Hisential’s treatments and services, visit

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Zulal Wellness Resort Launches ‘Mother-To-Be’ Retreat


Prenatal programme to nurture and empower women at any stage of their pregnancy

Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, the Middle East’s largest wellness destination and the world’s first family wellness offering, unveils its new Mother-to-Be retreat. The two- to eight-night prenatal programme combines tailored nutrition, holistic therapies, pampering spa treatments and gentle movement to enhance wellbeing and ready mothers for the most important chapter of their lives. Zulal Wellness Resort’s peaceful setting, surrounded by the tranquility of Qatar’s northern desert and the Arabian Gulf, is ideal for mothers to be looking to relax and prepare themselves for the birth of their child. Their journey will be guided by a team of licensed maternal care experts, nutritionists, chefs, therapists and personal trainers.

The ‘Mother-To-Be’ programme is open to women at any stage of their pregnancy and can be tailored to include partners. Beginning with a holistic consultation, a personalised selection of activities will enable mothers to handle the physical changes that occur during pregnancyease aches and painsimprove sleep and strengthen the body in preparation for childbirth.  In addition, they will have time to bond with their partners and their babies.

A wide range of activities and treatments are available, including postural corrective therapy and Gyrotonic movement to relieve pain and swelling and improve posture; acupuncture to alleviate symptoms such as fatigue, nausea and heartburn; meditation and breathing exercises to support mothers during labour; and prenatal yoga, massage and aromatherapy to relax the body and mind.

A core part of the retreat is quality prenatal nutrition. A nutritional consultant will provide tailored advice about making healthy food choices and maintaining a balanced diet, and three bio-individualised wellness meals are included per night of stay.

The Mother-To-Be retreat is inclusive of accommodation, wellness meals, consultations and treatments, with a minimum stay of two nights.

Visit or follow @zulalwellnessresort on Facebook or Instagram for more information.

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Coles sports grants help local clubs stay on track


More than $2.2 million in sports equipment grants distributed by Coles in four years

Coles is helping Little Athletics centres to stay on track with more than $250,000 in sports equipment grants to be distributed to 73 local centres across Australia for this summer’s season.

The latest round of grants from the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund takes Coles’ donation to grassroots Little Athletics centres to more than $2.2 million in four years and will help centres buy new sports and safety equipment such as javelins, discuses, hurdles and defibrillators to support aspiring athletes and community volunteers.

This year’s grants have been made possible with money raised by Coles, its banana growers and customers during the inaugural Coles Little Athletics Banana A-Peel held earlier this year, when 10 cents of every kilogram of Cavendish bananas sold in Coles supermarkets was donated to the cause.

Coles Little Athletics Australia CEO Myles Foreman said the grants will help centres immensely, particularly those severely impacted by the NSW/QLD floods in February.

“The past two seasons have been extremely testing for our clubs and centres who have battled numerous challenges such as COVID-19, floods and bushfires,” he said.

“These natural disasters and the pandemic have not only impacted on Little Athletics centres’ ability to fundraise at a local level but it’s also had a huge impact on the morale of the centres. The grants from this round of the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund will not only help centres buy new equipment but it will lift the spirits of their volunteers, athletes and families for the new season.”

Coles General Manager Corporate & Indigenous Affairs Sally Fielke said Coles was delighted to continue to support grassroots Little Athletics through initiatives like the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund and banana donations.

“Coles has been a proud supporter of Little Athletics for over five years, and we’re delighted to provide more than $250,000 in sports equipment grants to help local centres kickstart their new season,” she said.

“We’re very aware of the challenges local Little Athletics centres have faced over the past two years and we’re proud to do our bit to help them to recover and grow so that kids and families can continue to enjoy Little Athletics each week.”

Among the centres to receive a grant is Maryborough Amateur Athletics Club in Queensland whose clubrooms were under water seven months ago.   Club President Gavin Grantz said the grant will help the centre to rebuild and recover from the devastating floods.

“The floods last season destroyed some of our equipment and it also damaged our buildings, grounds and canteen equipment, which means that our ability to fundraise this season will be severely impacted,” he said.

“The grant from Coles will allow volunteers to concentrate on training the athletes rather than constant fundraising as the club is still needing to pay for other repairs to the grounds.  It will help us to buy a new trolley for our volunteers to move equipment safely and efficiently and the new hurdles and javelins will provide a more enjoyable experience for our athletes.”

In addition to providing more than $2.2 million in equipment grants, Coles has donated more than 3.7 million bananas to Little Athletics centres since 2017.

For details of successful recipients visit

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Health must be front and centre in the COP27 climate change negotiations

View of main stage at COP27’s Health Pavilion, hosted by the World Health Organization. Featuring in the image: central sculpture Bodies Joined by a Molecule of Air (2022) by Invisible Flock and Jon Bausor, 2022. ©Image courtesy of Invisible Flock

AFTNN Report | PRNewsGIG

Climate talks begin at COP27 in Cairo, Egypt with a World Health Organization grim reminder that the climate crisis continues to make people sick and jeopardises lives and states that health must be at the core of these critical negotiations.

WHO believes the conference must conclude with progress on the four key goals of mitigation, adaptation, financing and collaboration to tackle the climate crisis.

WHO states that COP27 will be a crucial opportunity for the world to come together and re-commit to keeping the 1.5 °C Paris Agreement goal alive with a focus on health threats from the climate crisis.

Link to WHO website: COP27 Health Pavilion (

Climate change is making millions of people sick or more vulnerable to disease all over the world and the increasing destructiveness of extreme weather events disproportionately affects poor and marginalized communities. It is crucial that leaders and decision makers come together at COP27 to put health at the heart of the negotiations.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

Our health depends on the health of the ecosystems that surround us, and these ecosystems are now under threat from deforestation, agriculture and other changes in land use and rapid urban development. The encroachment ever further into animal habitats is increasing opportunities for viruses harmful to humans to make the transition from their animal host. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

The direct damage costs to health (i.e., excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between US$ 2–4 billion per year by 2030.

The rise in global temperature that has already occurred is leading to extreme weather events that bring intense heatwaves and droughts, devastating floods and increasingly powerful hurricanes and tropical storms. The combination of these factors means the impact on human health is increasing and is likely to accelerate.

But there is room for hope, particularly if governments take action now to honour the pledges made at Glasgow in November 2021 and to go further in resolving the climate crisis.

WHO is calling on governments to lead a just, equitable and fast phase out of fossil fuels and transition to a clean energy future. There has also been encouraging progress on commitments to decarbonization and WHO is calling for the creation of a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty that would see coal and other fossil fuels harmful to the atmosphere phased out in a just and equitable way. This would represent one of the most significant contributions to climate change mitigation.

Improvement in human health is something that all citizens can contribute to, whether through the promotion of more urban green spaces, which facilitate climate mitigation and adaptation while decreasing the exposure to air pollution, or campaigning for local traffic restrictions and the enhancement of local transport systems. Community engagement and participation on climate change is essential to building resilience and strengthening food and health systems, and this is particularly important for vulnerable communities and small island developing states (SIDS), who are bearing the brunt of extreme weather events.

Thirty-one million people in the greater Horn of Africa are facing acute hunger and 11 million children are facing acute malnutrition as the region faces one of the worst droughts in recent decades. Climate change already has an impact on food security and if current trends persist, it will only get worse. The floods in Pakistan are a result of climate change and have devasted vast swathes of the country. The impact will be felt for years to come. Over 33 million people have been affected and almost 1,500 health centres damaged. 

But even communities and regions less familiar with extreme weather must increase their resilience, as we have seen with flooding and heatwaves recently in central Europe. WHO encourages everyone to work with their local leaders on these issues and take action in their communities.

­Climate policy must now put health at the centre and promote climate change mitigation policies that bring health benefits simultaneously. Health-focused climate policy would help bring about a planet that has cleaner air, more abundant and safer freshwater and food, more effective and fairer health and social protection systems and, as a result, healthier people.

Investment in clean energy will yield health gains that repay those investments twice over. There are proven interventions able to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, for instance applying higher standards for vehicle emissions, which have been calculated to save approximately 2.4 million lives per year, through improved air quality and reduce global warming by about 0.5 °C by 2050. The cost of renewable sources of energy has decreased significantly in the last few years, and solar energy is now cheaper than coal or gas in most major economies.

Date: 6-18 November 2022
Location: Sharm el-Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt
WHO at the COP27 Health Pavilion: COP27 Health Pavilion (
UN Climate Change Website:

Interesting Links:

  • Cop26 Global Methane Pledge wants to reduce 30% of methane emissions by 2030: The Global Methane Pledge – Global Methane Tracker 2022 – Analysis – IEA
  • Send a postcard to Australia’s legislators attending COP27: POSTCARD TO EGYPT: Join the call for urgent action at COP27 | Climate Council
  • WHO is custodian to 32 Sustainable Development Goal indicators, 17 of which are impacted by climate change or its drivers, and 16 of which specifically impact the health of children.
  • The COP27 Health Pavilion will convene the global health community and its partners to ensure health and equity are placed at the centre of the climate negotiations. It will offer a 2-week programme of events showcasing evidence, initiatives and solutions to maximize the health benefits of tackling climate change across regions, sectors and communities.

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