Tobacco use is the leading cause of non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Every year, about six million people worldwide die from tobacco use, with the vast majority of deaths in low- and middle-income countries. We also know that tobacco use costs the world’s economies over US $1.4 trillion annually in healthcare expenditures and lost productivity.
But did you know that significant increases in tobacco taxes can curb these losses? A World Health Organization study estimates that a 50% tax increase in all countries would prevent about 11 million premature deaths caused by tobacco use.
By Dr. Kelly Henning, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Health team
Message from Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health Program on World Cancer Day
While much work remains to find a cure for cancer – the good news is we know that many forms of cancer are preventable. On World Cancer Day, a moment when the global community comes together to reflect on those lost to cancer, as well as the advances we need to make to find a cure, it’s important to remember that there are actions that governments and individuals can take to prevent cancer. In fact, governments hold many levers that can actually address this leading killer.
By Adrienne Pizatella, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Health team
The Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative partners with 19 countries to support the improvement of public health data. One of the biggest challenges is a lack of accurate data around deaths, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that 65% of all deaths worldwide go unrecorded. Death registration is so important for countries because having accurate and up-to-date cause of death data allows governments, aid organizations, and public health leaders to set well-informed public health priorities for their country aiming to prevent more deaths and improve the health of the population.
For the last 10 years, Bloomberg Philanthropies has been a major supporter of tobacco control, protecting more than 3.5 billion people in low- and middle-income countries through strong policies. Knowing that we can and must do more, our founder Mike Bloomberg announced a new round of funding this year that raises our total giving to $1 billion dollars and expands our work for another 6 years.
But what does it take to protect everyone? And why did we take on this monumental task?
In part one of this two-part series, we go in depth on tobacco control and how Bloomberg Philanthropies is working with partners around the world to protect billions of people from the harmful effects of tobacco.
2016 was a year of pushing boundaries as we made announcements and reached new milestones around protecting public health, fighting climate change, revitalizing cities through art, increasing college access, supporting innovation in cities, and driving women’s economic development.
At the end of each year, we share a retrospective on our blog. In 2015, we shared key moments through Instagram photos we posted throughout the year. This year, we put together a playlist featuring tunes that nod to some of the highlights from this past year. And we welcome your suggestions. Tweet us your recommendations with the hashtag #BPTunes and listen along to our playlist on Spotify.
In this episode of Follow the Data, you will meet Abdoulaye Toure, the Country Director for Women for Women International who – as the organization’s second male country director in Congo – shares some personal stories of impact he’s seen in the role of women in Congo, and why he’s committed his life to demonstrating the value of women in a country where they have struggled to have a voice.
By Kelly Shultz, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Environment Team
Last week the Bloomberg Philanthropies Environment Team joined global C40 mayors, policy experts, city officials and business leaders in Mexico City for the sixth C40 Mayors Summit. Together we explored how to accelerate climate action in 90 of the world’s greatest and largest cities—from Austin to Rio de Janeiro to Oslo to Wuhan—and celebrated the boldest urban climate projects from 2016 at the C40 Awards Ceremony.
In our newest episode of Follow the Data, we meet CollegePoint e-advisor Kiki Murrain and her advisee Sabyne Pierre. Matched together through our CollegePoint initiative, Kiki has been advising Sabyne through the college application process using text messages, emails, social networks, and even Skype. To tell us more about how virtual advising works, and their CollegePoint experience, the pair sat down with Jenny Kane from our Education team to share their stories of getting Sabyne to the college of her dreams and to impart some advice for all high school students.
By Kelly Shultz, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Environment team
Now more than ever, cities are taking the lead when it comes to acting on climate change. Last May, Melissa Wright took to our blog to tell the story of the City Energy Project, a nationwide initiative co-funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Kresge Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to address the largest source of pollution and energy use in cities, namely buildings.
Built and operated by Women for Women International (WfWI) with the generous funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies and others, the Urugo Women’s Opportunity Center provides a safe environment and dedicated facilities where women can learn, build new skills, and operate businesses that directly contribute to Rwanda’s economic growth.
“This is a high-level profile event for the Urugo Women’s Opportunity Center,” said Antoinette Uwimana, Country Director of Women for Women International, Rwanda. “It was an honor that she came to see what we are doing and perhaps to use our work as a model for what she could potentially do for the people of Benin.”