Expert opinion

Pakistan is one of the most epidemic-prone countries in the world, with ever-present outbreaks of dengue, malaria, and the persistence of poliomyelitis transmission. Now, unprecedented flooding due to deadly monsoon rains is burdening 33 million of the country’s 222 million population.
Dr Muhammad Alkasaby
Mental health is beginning to get the recognition it needs during public health emergencies, and COVID-19 resulted in more attention on its impact from policymakers, the media and the public. Now policymakers and mental health actors must capitalise on this increased attention, to prioritise mental health as much as physical health in outbreak response.
Dr Palwasha Anwari
On 15 August 2021, Afghanistan was thrown into a state of shock and the nation plunged into chaos. The withdrawal of support from the United States and its Alliance led to the sudden collapse of the Afghan government after two decades of rebuilding.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all in many different ways, but some of the hardest hit were schoolchildren. Many children and families were affected in different ways, and while there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence from the pupils, parents and teachers who experienced the challenges firsthand, we may not know the full implications of this pandemic on children for many years to come.
Marked every year on 20 June, World Refugee Day is an opportunity to understand the life-threatening plight of refugees, recognise their resilience, and offer support by giving refugees a platform, raising awareness of their situations and calling for their rights – for safety, asylum, protection – to be upheld.  
Prof Rosie Green
Last year’s National Food Strategy was a ground breaking report that called for a unified government response to the urgent issues facing the UK’s food system. It focused on tackling the obesity crisis, reducing agriculture’s impacts on the environment and shoring up our future food security, and made it very clear that these aims could only be achieved by working across multiple government departments.
1) What is it? Monkeypox is a viral infection, caused by an orthopox DNA virus, most closely related to smallpox. It occurs naturally in central and west Africa. 2) What are the symptoms? How long does it last? Do you make a full recovery?
Midwives play a critical role in improving maternal and newborn health globally. On International Day of the Midwife, we celebrate the midwives in our community, raising awareness of the challenges they face throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Susan Amongi, Midwife, Uganda
‘Net zero’ is a term we see everywhere, but how do we turn ambition into reality? Just because the phrase is widely used, it doesn’t mean its importance in tackling climate change should be diminished. Higher education institutions can and should lead by example in this mission – by drawing on research and expertise in relevant fields, maximising the commitment of the student community and rethinking travel policies.
As the world continues to face myriad health challenges, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is significant that for the first time the World Health Organization (WHO) has chosen to focus this year’s World Health Day on the theme “Our Planet, Our Health”.   Although the health impacts of climate change are increasingly being recognised, health has generally been peripheral to climate change policies and negotiations. As we approach COP27 later this year, WHO’s campaign signals it is time to change that.