It has been a year of growth and transformation at Vital Strategies as we continue to bridge the gap between public health needs and their solutions. Here, we look back at some of our favorite photos from work across more than 70 countries and a dozen different issue areas in 2019.
Through the Partnership for Healthy Cities, mayors around the world are working to address the drivers of noncommunicable diseases and injuries with policies and interventions proven to save lives, such as reducing sugary drink consumption, increasing seat-belt and helmet use, or promoting active, safe mobility.
The Lapaz intersection, crossing an eight-lane highway, claims the highest rate of road crashes and fatalities in Accra. As part of the road safety program, a series of infrastructure changes have led to an estimated 35% reduction in road injuries.
The U.N. General Assembly brought 200 world leaders to New York for a jam-packed week including five summits on: the environment, universal health coverage, sustainable development, financing for development, and priorities for small island countries. Vital Strategies tracked developments critical to several health issues throughout the week, and worked to ensure that the “best buys” for health and our policy priorities received the attention they deserve.
The Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23 followed a weekend of environmental protests in more than 150 countries. Climate activists demanded a swift transition to clean energy and an end to fossil fuel use. Read a Q&A with Daniel Kass, our Senior Vice President of Environmental Health, about the health impacts of climate change.
The tobacco industry uses a number of tactics to keep existing people hooked to its deadly products and lure a new generation of users. A new report, “The Crooked Nine: Nine Ways the Tobacco Industry Undermines Health Policy,” released by STOP (Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products) exposes nine ways the industry tries to make sure regulations are weak or ineffective. The report provides examples of how the same strategies have been used across all regions of the world.
Advances in epidemiology and technology mean that for the first time, counting every human life is possible. The Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Improvement program continued to work to ensure that every human life was counted by helping 20 countries register births and deaths.
On World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, Bogotá, Colombia joined the global community in honoring loved ones lost and recognizing that no death on the road is acceptable. Bouquets of flowers lined the streets to serve as a reminder of the lives lost as a result of road crashes and painted bicycles hang high on poles along the roads representing the cyclists that have been killed in traffic crashes.
Vital Strategies’ Research Division, which implements the USAID-funded TREAT TB project, attended the Union’s 50th World Conference on Lung Health in Hyderabad, India. Annually, this conference gathers thousands – from policymakers to clinicians – who are working to end the burden of lung diseases. The Research Division staff and partners presented 10 posters and oral presentations related to the STREAM trial, the world’s first multi-country randomized phase III clinical trial to test the efficacy, safety, and economic impact of shortened MDR-TB treatment regimens.
Through mass media, advocacy campaigns and local partnership, our Obesity Prevention program continues to provide support for policies including taxation on sugary drinks and junk food, clear front-of-pack food labeling and restricting marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children.
Heading into 2020
Vital Strategies will continue in 2020 to support governments and countries and build strong public health systems around the world. Our programs have touched the lives of millions, tackling the world’s leading killers—tobacco, cardiovascular disease, obesity, environmental pollution, tuberculosis, road crashes and more—and we will continue to work to ensure millions of people can live healthier and longer lives.