Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • A moment to celebrate - child health

    Posted by Simon

    16 June, 2011

    Every now and then something happens that captures - in a single moment - why those of us involved with Micah Challenge do what we do. Last Sunday we had one of those moments. During his speech at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) pledging conference in London on Sunday, Kevin Rudd said: "I don't know how we could spend our aid dollars better than in saving the lives of children" The GAVI Alliance is a unique global health partnership that aims to save children's lives and protect people's health by increasing access to immunisation in developing countries. Since its inception in 2000, GAVI's cost-effective programs have prevented an estimated 5.4 million deaths and immunised a total of 257 million children from diseases. Over the weekend, while most of us were enjoying a holiday in honour of the Queen, GAVI's pledging conference was being held in London, hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Donor countries (such as Australia) were invited to pledge money to the organisation for the next three years. Overall, the GAVI… read more

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  • Cheap vaccines make good business sense

    Posted by Amanda

    9 June, 2011

    Global pharmaceutical companies don't often get a great press. They are usually known for their huge profits and their desire to direct research dollars into solving potentially profitable western medical issues, like hair and weight loss. But this week, Andrew Witty, the head of the third largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Glaxo Smith Kline, gave us a different picture. He announced that "GSK will cut 95 percent off the price of a diarrhoea vaccine for the world's poorest nations, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of lives." Witty said the rotavirus vaccine price cut was an effort to be "in step with society" and he encouraged other drug companies to do the same. Under the new pricing arrangement, the poorest nations will be able to buy a dose of GSK's vaccine for US$2.50, just five percent of the $50 western price. The company has guaranteed sales of its drug at cost price under the deal. It aims to use profits generated in wealthier countries to subsidise the provision of drugs to poorer countries at a price that will just cover the cost of… read more

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  • A date with Rudd, AusAid and passionate advocates

    Posted by Simon

    11 May, 2011

    Yesterday, on a cool winter's evening at AusAid headquarters in Canberra, Gershon, Eliza and I had the good fortune of attending the foreign aid budget briefing. As we walked into a large room, full of people; there was a feeling of anticipation. How would Swan's ‘tough' budget affect the world's poorest and most vulnerable people? The foreign aid briefing began almost right on time with The Hon Kevin Rudd providing the opening statement. With his usual air of confidence, Mr. Rudd explained that the Australian Government was still completely committed to raising Australia's foreign aid program to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015-16. Mr Rudd went on to say that the foreign aid program had been effectively ‘quarantined' to ensure it reached this target. In a challenging and uncertain economic climate, we applaud the Federal Government's actions, which highlight the effective advocacy over a number of years by groups including Micah Challenge. However, this 0.5 per cent commitment is still well short of the… read more

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  • Do we really value Mothers?

    Posted by Tabitha

    5 May, 2011

    I saw my sister give birth. Yep, that's right! And it was way less scary than most of you are thinking! In fact I found the experience hugely encouraging, and I now understand what people mean by the cliché "the miracle of birth". With her husband beside her and the attention of an experienced midwife, my sister was able to labour in a birthing suite at her local public hospital (that of the acclaimed TV program RPA, no less). She had access to a large room, private courtyard and spacious ensuite. She chose a natural water-birth and, thankfully, experienced no complications in bringing her new baby girl, Mabel, into the world. They went home that afternoon after receiving breastfeeding support, and a child and maternal health nurse visited them at home for the next few weeks. I was amazed by the quality of medical care they received. Sadly, this is far from the experience for many women in our world. Just last week I got back from a trip to India where I visited the development projects of some of our endorsing agencies. I asked one of the women I met what… read more

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