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Axios' Mike Allen, Niala Boodhoo and Caitlin Owens hosted a conversation on the global response to two pandemics — AIDS and COVID-19, featuring Every Mother Counts founder Christy Turlington Burns, Churches Health Association of Zambia Head of Advocacy Yoram Siame and ONE Campaign President and CEO Gayle E. Smith.

Christy Turlington Burns discussed maternal health in the U.S. and the impact of COVID-19, highlighting how the risk of complications during pregnancy is especially high for Black and Indigenous women.

  • On the role of midwives and doulas in maternity care: "There are very few states in the country that adequately support these types of health care workers who we know make a huge difference in the impact of childbirth for any woman, let alone a woman who may have a chronic health condition or be marginalized."

Yoram Siame unpacked Zambia's fight against COVID-19 and the country's investment in public health safety.

  • On COVID-19's impact on Zambia: "Zambia is a landlocked country, which means that we depend on our neighbors for most of the goods and services. And when those countries go into lockdown, it means that our supply is cut off. And this has a big impact on economic activity."
  • How COVID-19 presents a challenge for treating existing diseases: "We are living in an environment where we don't have the number of health workers that we need. COVID-19 means that this literal human resource is shared between us and issues like HIV, TB, malaria, and non-communicable diseases like cancer, which are not going away."

Gayle E. Smith discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has diverted resources from efforts to care for patients with AIDS and HIV and malaria, and the challenges of fighting two epidemics.

  • On the unique bipartisan support for fighting AIDS: "There's a fair amount of division floating around Washington, so to know that ending this epidemic...is still a priority and still a place where Democrats and Republicans have shown that they can work together is encouraging."

Donate to (RED) and help fight both pandemics.

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Jan 21, 2021 - Health

Tackling mental health via app

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A tech startup is helping providers monitor their patients' moods and mental health status through a remote app.

Why it matters: Mental health is an unaddressed crisis in the U.S., and it's only gotten worse during COVID-19. NeuroFlow can help users track their own mental health while making it easier for health care professionals to identify when their patients are in crisis.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations were "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.

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