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Washington Post, Pulizter Center Feature Examines Traffic Accidents

Washington Post: Roads kill: The toll of traffic accidents is rising in poor countries “…It has a global death toll of 1.24 million per year and is on course to triple to 3.6 million per year by 2030. In the developing world, it will become the fifth leading cause of…

Reports Examine Dietary Shifts Worldwide

IRIN: Future diets and the world’s expanding waistlines The news service examines calculations from Oxfam and a new report from the Overseas Development Institute that both look at changing diets worldwide. “…Perhaps the most interesting figures are not from the richest or poorest countries, but those in between — emerging…

Experts Skeptical Ban On Smoking In Public Places In China Can Curb Tobacco Use

News outlets examine China’s proposal to institute a ban on smoking in public places. NBC News: Can China really stop 350 million people from smoking? “…It was hardly a surprise when the National Health and Family Planning Commission announced last week that China — the world’s largest producer and consumer…

U.S. Should Do More To Tackle Smoking Worldwide

Los Angeles Times: The global grip of cigarette smoking Thomas Bollyky, senior fellow for global health, economics and development at the Council on Foreign Relations “… [The] 1964 surgeon general’s report on smoking and health spurred profound and lasting changes in tobacco use and policies in the United States, but…

WHO DG Chan Says Media Allegations Of Agency Receiving Food Industry Funding To Fight NCDs ‘Wrong’

In a statement released on Monday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said “[s]everal recent media articles are creating misinformation and confusion in the public health arena” by “erroneously suggesting that, in working to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, WHO receives funding from the food and beverage industry,” the U.N. News Centre reports. Referring to an October 19 article by Reuters suggesting the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) had accepted money from the industry and a similar November 1 piece by Mother Jones, Chan said, “The allegations in these articles are wrong,” and she added, “When WHO works with the private sector, the organization takes all possible measures to ensure its work to develop policy and guidelines is protected from industry influence,” the news service notes (11/19).

Doctors Step Up Fight For Cancer Prevention, Treatment In Developing World

“Doctors were at the forefront of the AIDS treatment revolution a decade ago, denouncing stigmatization and inequality from conference platforms and lobbying politicians alongside the activists,” Guardian health editor Sarah Boseley writes in her “Global Health” blog, asking, “Could we see cancer doctors take up the banners and the slogans on behalf of the poorest in the same way?” She continues, “Until last weekend, I personally did not think so. But in a lakeside hotel in Lugano in Switzerland, at a meeting of the World Oncology Forum, I watched what looked like a process of radicalization take place.” She adds, “Nearly 100 of the world’s leading cancer doctors were there,” noting, “The question for discussion over a day and a half was ‘Are we winning the war on cancer?'”

WHO Member States Approve New Treaty To Fight Illegal Tobacco Trade

WHO member states meeting in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday unanimously approved a new international treaty to combat the illegal tobacco trade, VOA News reports (11/12). “The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products commits countries to establishing, as a central measure, a global tracking and tracing system to reduce the illicit trade of tobacco products,” a WHO press release states (11/12). “I can think of no other undertaking that can make such a huge contribution to better health in every corner of the world. And that includes the health of young children and unborn babies,” WHO Executive Director Margaret Chan said at the opening of the Fifth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the U.N. News Centre reports. “Tobacco use is responsible for five million, or 12 percent, of all deaths of adults above the age of 30 globally each year — equivalent to one death every six seconds — noted a WHO mortality report released in March this year,” the news service adds (11/12).

China Calls For Additional Reform Of Its National Health-Care System

“Chinese health officials on Tuesday called for additional reform of China’s health-care system amid mounting costs, problems at public hospitals and a surge of patients with chronic diseases,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The call for change comes as China’s leaders are still patting themselves on the back for having recently completed a three-year overhaul of the nation’s health-care system,” according to the newspaper, which adds, “One of the most critical issues is preventative care, said Michael O’Leary, the China representative of the World Health Organization. More than 80 percent of government spending on health care goes to covering the cost of chronic diseases, yet less than two percent is allocated toward primary prevention, said Dr. O’Leary” (Burkitt, 7/24).

RECENT RELEASE: Examining Mental Health Needs Of People Living With HIV

In this post in the AIDS.gov blog, Nils Daulaire, director of the Office of Global Affairs in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), examines the mental health needs of people living with HIV, writing, “The burden of being HIV-positive, or caring for loved ones living with the disease, is not restricted to the physical toll. For many people, there are equally important mental health needs (PDF). We at HHS understand that addressing HIV means addressing the whole person” (7/26).

WHO Western Pacific Meeting To Address Maternal Health, Rise In Dengue

Maternal health and dengue fever are among the issues that will be discussed at the 61st session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, Bernama reports. The meeting, which will take place this week in Malaysia, will be attended by 21 ministers and health officials from 33 countries in the region. WHO Regional Director of the Western Pacific Shin Young-Soo spoke at a press conference Sunday ahead of the meeting (10/10).