The Globe as you know it is changing.
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To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Medication misuse / Why Southeast Asia’s ‘irrational’ use of antibiotics could lead to dire consequences

Posted on: May 30, 2018 | Featured

Kathleen Holloway, the World Health Organisation’s regional advisor on essential drugs and other medicines discusses how the overuse of antibiotics could thrust us back into the dark ages

Amoxicillin antibiotic drug capsules. As more and more people misuse antibiotics, medicine such as this will increasingly be unable to treat bacterial diseases Photo: Science Photo Library / ABO

What are some of the factors that led to irrational antibiotic use in Southeast Asia?
There’s irrational antibiotic use globally – it’s not just confined to Southeast Asia. But where you have less regulation and control and support in the health system for prescribers, then you’re going to get more irrational use. And so in Southeast Asia, people can buy antibiotics over the counter… At the clinics, there’s not enough health workers, so … doctors don’t have very much time. So it’s just easier, if you’re only seeing a patient for two minutes and you don’t really know what’s wrong with them, to prescribe an antibiotic. The doctors don’t have time to make a proper diagnosis, they don’t have time to explain to someone why they don’t need antibiotics. And in some rural areas, people have to travel a long way to the health facility – so they want to have a quick fix, they don’t want to have to come back. It’s not like living in London, where if you don’t get better one day, you can go to the doctor’s the next day.

Could you talk about some of the dangers of overprescribing antibiotics?
One of the biggest dangers, of course, is antibiotic resistance. Because the moment that you take an antibiotic, you expose the bacteria in your body to that antibiotic – and it kills off all the sensitive ones in your guts and in your respiratory tract and you just leave the resistant ones. And while those resistant ones may not actually be causing an infection in you, they spread in the community and they can cause an infection in other people – or you at a later date. So you’re building resistance in your community by all this overuse of antibiotics, and of course you’re also wasting money… [T]here’s an awful lot of young, fit, healthy adults who just have a common cold and want a quick fix, taking antibiotics when they don’t need to… So you do need controls, and they don’t have them in many countries. And not only can you get any antibiotic over the counter, but you’re getting the newest generation of antibiotics over the counter. So in places like India, you have access to these newest generations of antibiotics … and resistance is becoming a danger. In the old days, penicillin was effective for gonorrhoea, but now you have to use third-generation cephalosporin. So it is a serious problem. If we can’t control this misuse of antibiotics, we will have the pre-antibiotic era coming back.

You’ve talked about the need for regulation to stop the misuse of antibiotics – what are some of the other solutions to this problem?
You ought to be training up your prescribers to use antibiotics properly. And a lot of prescribers in these countries, they don’t know that much about antibiotics. You just have to really look at your supply system and your regulatory system, and how you’re training and monitoring how these antibiotics are being used in hospitals. In most of these countries, there is no monitoring at all. And when they do continuing medical education, it’s left to the sponsored drug companies, mostly in the cities, and they are only interested in selling more of their product. They’re not interested in doing continuing medical education, in not using antibiotics… [T]hey’re not in business to not sell stuff. So there needs to be a lot more continuing medical education for prescribers by the public sector, by the government.

This article was published in the May edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here.