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Good news you don’t hear about |


As a subscriber to future crunch, am sharing this to spread some cheer as a lot of things went right this year, yet almost none of them made the news. Here are 66 listed good news events the team at future crunch has put together.

According to 2023 was the best year ever for global health, conservation and clean energy and that many places made incredible progress on economic and social justice.

We all hear incessantly about the horrifying conflicts  between Israel and Hamas which show no sign of letting up, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine also continues. Then there are military coups which have proliferated in Africa; the Sahel is increasingly turning to anarchy. Populists stalk the ballot box, a new world disorder is rising and everywhere you look the cruelty of the human spirit has been on full display.

We’re still pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at unprecedented levels, and the words ‘temperature record broken’ have started to sound like a broken record. The catastrophes follow each other in quick succession: severe flooding on almost every continent, the worst wildfires in history in the world’s boreal forests, devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Afghanistan, record-breaking droughts in China, South America and the Mediterranean. The images on our screens have become unwatchable, the descriptions beyond imagining, the scale incomprehensible.

66 Good News Stories You Didn’t Hear About in 2023

1. A record number of countries eliminated diseases this year

Egypt became the first country to eliminate hepatitis C, (which is crazy given that it used to have the highest burden in the world), the Maldives became the first country to eliminate leprosy, Bangladesh became the first country to eliminate black fever, and also eliminated elephantiasis, Niger became the first African country to eliminate river blindness, Benin, Mali and Iraq eliminated trachoma, Timor-Leste, Bhutan, and North Korea eliminated rubella, Ghana eliminated sleeping sickness, and Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Belize eliminated malaria.

2. Progress in the fight against cancer

European cancer mortality for 2023 was estimated to be 6.5% lower for men and 3.7% lower for women than in 2018, the United States reported cancer death rates have fallen by a third in the last three decades, Australia reported significant reductions in skin cancer in under 40s, there were major breakthroughs in treatments for colon, skin, bladder and cervical cancer, and Pfizer announced it would offer all patented cancer drugs at cost to 1.2 billion people in low-income countries.

3. Malaria vaccines started arriving in Africa

A malaria vaccine is the holy grail of global health. We’ve been trying to create one for over 70 years, and now we are about to unleash not one but two of them against a disease that infects 247 million people and kills half a million children every year. That’s more than 1,000 deaths of children every day. The first vaccine, Mosquirix, started arriving in nine African countries this year (it reduces severe malaria by 22%, and reduces deaths from all causes by 13%) and in October, the WHO approved a second, cheaper version called R21/Matrix-M which UNICEF will start distributing to millions of kids in 2024.

4. New therapies reshaped how obesity is treated

Obesity is a public health crisis. In the United States, around 70% of adults are affected by excess weight, and in Europe it’s more than half. This year however, a new class of therapies, most notably Ozempic and Wegovy, proved that not only could they induce significant weight loss, but drastically reduce symptoms of heart failure and the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Could this class of drugs actually safeguard health in people with obesity? This year brought an answer: yes.

5. Some bright spots for maternal and child health

India, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Liberia, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Sierra Leone all reported significant declines in maternal and child mortality, as did the entire Southeast Asia region, in August, the WHO reported that exclusive breastfeeding has increased from 38% to 48% globally in the last decade, and UNICEF reported that eight in ten children are now welcomed into the world by a trained professional in a health facility, up from six in ten a generation ago.

6. We’re winning the war on AIDS

Two decades ago, the disease seemed unstoppable, killing two million people a year, but today, it’s a very different story. In July, the United Nations revealed that in 2022, deaths fell to 630,000, there were an estimated 1.3 million new infections, the lowest since the early 1990s, and only 130,000 new infections in children, the lowest since the 1980s. There’s also been notable progress on the legal front, with several countries removing laws preventing access for marginalised groups in the last two years.

7. Uncelebrated progress on smoking

5.6 billion people are now protected by at least one policy to help reduce smoking – and without measures implemented in the last 15 years, there would be an estimated 300 million more smokers in the world today. We also learned this year that humanity has made astonishing progress on reducing drowning, with deaths declining from 531,956 to 295,210, and age-standardised mortality rates falling by 57.4% in the last three decades.

8. Childhood vaccinations got back on track

Record vaccination drives took place this year in Uzbekistan, the Philippines, Malawi, Cameroon, Madagascar, Chad, Ghana, Niger, Brazil, the Central African Republic, Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in July, the WHO reported that the number of zero-dose children (those missing out on any vaccinations), fell to 14.3 million in 2022, nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.

9. Polio and Guinea Worm are so close to eradication

Polio is now restricted to just seven districts in Pakistan and two provinces in Afghanistan, the Taliban has reversed course and decided that elimination is now a priority, and in December, world leaders committed $59 million for ‘last mile’ efforts, with a view to complete elimination by 2026. Meanwhile, only four cases of Guinea Worm were reported worldwide in the first nine months of this year, putting the goal of eradication tantalisingly close.

10. A recovery in the fight against tuberculosis

TB is the deadliest infectious disease in the world, but this year, one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies said it would allow generic versions of its life-saving TB drug to be supplied to 44 low-income countries, trials of a new vaccine covering 26,000 people kicked off in Africa and Asia, and in November, the WHO said there were over 100,000 fewer TB deaths in 2022 compared to 2021.


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Source article and photo credit: futurecrunch



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