Newscast Media BAGHDAD—The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with
local and international partners in Iraq to meet the urgent health needs of populations
affected by the ongoing crisis.
More than 500,000 residents have fled Mosul and the surrounding areas, seeking
shelter in schools and mosques, many with no access to drinking- water, as the main
water station for the area was destroyed by bombing, and food shortages are being
reported. As the fighting continues, hundreds of thousands more are stranded at
checkpoints with no belongings or money for housing, food, water or medical care.
Immediate and critical health risks of concern to WHO include the spread of measles,
which is endemic in Mosul and could potentially lead to outbreaks, especially in
overcrowded areas where internally-displaced persons are located. The spread of
polio is also a high risk as new cases were reported in the country earlier this year as
a result of the Syria crisis.
“The impact of the unfolding armed conflict in Mosul and neighboring districts on the
health of affected population cannot be underestimated. These developments are
expected to result in critical health consequences,” said WHO Representative in Iraq
Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain. “The response to the health needs of those affected by the
crisis requires concerted actions from all partners.”
WHO’s response to the crisis will focus on: coordination among health actors,
including local health authorities, the Iraqi Red Crescent Society and
nongovernmental organizations; trauma care (including mental health); outbreak
control, protection of hospitals and health personnel; ensuring the continuation of the
supply chain for medicines and medical supplies; gap-filling in water, sanitation and
hygiene activities, maternal and child health activities and key public health functions.
Newscast Media GENEVA—A new report by WHO–its first to look at antimicrobial
resistance, including antibiotic resistance, globally–reveals that this serious threat is
no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the
world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Antibiotic
resistance–when bacteria change so antibiotics no longer work in people who need
them to treat infections–is now a major threat to public health.
“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a
post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been
treatable for decades can once again kill,” says Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant
Director-General for Health Security.
“Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live
healthier, and benefit from modern medicine. Unless we take significant actions to
improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and
use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods
and the implications will be devastating.”
The report reveals that key tools to tackle antibiotic resistance–such as basic
systems to track and monitor the problem–show gaps or do not exist in many
countries. While some countries have taken important steps in addressing the
problem, every country and individual needs to do more.
Other important actions include preventing infections from happening in the first place
–through better hygiene, access to clean water, infection control in healthcare
facilities, and vaccination–to reduce the need for antibiotics. WHO is also calling
attention to the need to develop new diagnostics, antibiotics and other tools to allow
healthcare professionals to stay ahead of emerging resistance.
Newscast Media GENEVA— The most recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that cardiovascular disease and cancer are the leading causes of illnesses and death by noncommunicable diseases.
The report finds the leading causes of noncomminicable deaths arise from cardiovascular disease (48 percent), followed by cancers (21 percent ) and chronic respiratory diseases (12 percent). Diabetes is directly responsible for 3.5 percent of noncommunicable deaths.
Behavioral risk factors, including tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and the harmful use of alcohol, are estimated to be responsible for about 80 percent of coronary heart disease. It has been estimated that raised blood pressure causes 51 percent of stroke deaths and 45 percent of coronary heart disease deaths, the report shows.
More than two thirds of all cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with lung, breast, colorectal, stomach and liver cancers causing the majority of such deaths. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women due to a high prevalence of infection with human papillomavirus. In high-income countries, the leading causes of cancer deaths are lung cancer among men and breast cancer among women.
Worldwide, 2.8 million people die each year as a resultof being overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese can lead to adverse metabolic effects on blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and can result in diabetes. Being overweight or obese thus increases the risks of coronary heart disease, ischaemic stroke, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and a number of common cancers, according to page 38 of the WHO report.
Between 1980 and 2008, the worldwide prevalence of obesity The prevalence of overweight and obese individuals was highest in the WHO Region of the Americas (62 percent overweight in both sexes, and 26 percent obese) and lowest in the WHO South-East Asia Region (14 percent overweight in both sexes and 3 percent obese).
In the WHO European Region, WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region and WHO Region of the Americas, over 50 percent of women were overweight. In all three regions, approximately half of these overweight women were obese (23 percent, 24 percent and 29 percent respectively), the report shows. Click here to read or download the 2012 WHO report.