In the Comment which opens the Series, The Lancet’s editor Dr Richard Horton says: “This ‘scandal of invisibility’ means that millions of human beings are born and die without leaving any record of their existence. Over three-quarters of them are to be found in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.”
The imprint of a person’s existence confirms their citizenship and represents the first step in securing their right to life, freedom, and protection. Counting human lives is a pressing priority, and the Who Counts? Team says there has been widespread neglect of the issue and little progress in four decades.
Dr Horton says: “Today, less than a third of the world’s population is covered by accurate data on births and deaths. Far greater global urgency needs to be injected into this challenge.”
Further, he calls for robust and effective national statistics systems at country level, strong government ministries, legal systems, civil service and local information networks, as well as a vocal civil society to press governments to act. He says: “The health sector can be an important catalyst in this effort.”
He concludes: “Globally, there is a gap. No single UN agency currently has responsibility for registering births and deaths. This absence has led the Who Counts? team to call for a new international body to improve civil registration efforts. But they concede that the likelihood of a new organisation being inaugurated is low. In the interim, they urge donors and global partners to do more to promote and support registration systems. Ultimately, this campaign is about how much each of us values the life of every other human being. It is a test of our humanity.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
When the eyes move, the eardrums move, too
24.01.2018 | Duke University
Deaf children learn words faster than hearing children
24.01.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
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24.01.2018 | Health and Medicine