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WHO Director-General Calls For Greater Efforts To Reduce Tobacco Use

In a speech on Friday marking the fifth anniversary of an international tobacco control treaty, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan called for government officials worldwide to increase efforts to protect their population from the harmful effects of tobacco, Reuters reports. “Tobacco kills more than 5 million people a year from cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, including about 600,000 from second-hand smoke, according to the United Nations agency,” the news service writes.

Health Groups Urge Restrictions On Tobacco Additives

Following five days of deliberations aimed at “fleshing-out the so-called Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC),” delegates on Saturday “approved a proposal to limit the use of tobacco additives, which critics say improve the flavor of cigarettes, encouraging consumers to smoke more,” Reuters reports (Fleitas, 11/20).

Health Officials Gather In Uruguay To Discuss WHO Anti-Smoking Treaty

“As sales to developing nations become ever more important to giant tobacco companies, they are stepping up efforts around the world to fight tough restrictions on the marketing of cigarettes,” the New York Times reports in an article ahead of a conference in Punta del Este, Uruguay, that started on Monday. There, health officials are debating guidelines to enforce a global anti-smoking treaty known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) (Wilson, 11/13).

Also In Global Health News: Congo Security Warnings; Niger Food Crisis; Drug Cost In Developing Countries; Measles Vaccination In China

Congolese Community Leaders Warned U.N. About Security; 240 Rape Victims Now Identified “Congolese community leaders say they begged local U.N. officials and army commanders to protect villagers days before rebels gang-raped scores of people, from a month-old baby boy to a 110-year-old great-great-grandmother,” the Associated Press reports. The Walikale Civil Association…

CGI Summit Looks At Businesses’ Involvement In Philanthropy

A growing number of companies are putting more emphasis on philanthropic investments, former President Bill Clinton and business leaders said on Wednesday during the second day of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting in New York, Reuters reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Comment: Make Pain Treatment, Palliative Care Available To End ‘Suffering Of Millions’ “The undertreatment of pain caused by cancer and other conditions is a global health tragedy,” write the authors of a Lancet Comment. Noting a resolution adopted by the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which called on states…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Blog: Chan, Shah Stress Importance Of Country Ownership Ministerial Leadership Initiative’s “Leading Global Health” blog has an ongoing series: “In the Driver’s Seat: A Series on Country Ownership of Health Programs.” The first post in the series is an interview with WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, who said “If countries don’t…

Also In Global Health News: U.N. Investigates DRC Rape Allegations; HIV Aid To Botswana; HIV Discrimination In Nigeria; Circumcision In Kenya; Testing Cancer Drugs For HIV

U.N. Sends Top Aides To Investigate Alleged Mass Rapes In DRC “The United Nations is investigating claims that rebel fighters raped more than 150 women and baby boys in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” the BBC reports. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “sending two top aides” to the country and “also urged…

Keeping Global Health Relevant As Part Of Sustainable Development Agenda

“In 2012 there will be a major strategic shift in global health, away from development and towards sustainability,” a Lancet editorial states. “Since 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), driven by a macroeconomic diagnosis of global poverty, have focused on investment in a small number of diseases as the most effective approach to decrease poverty, … [b]ut this approach is now delivering diminishing returns,” because of emerging challenges such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), climate change, and financial security, as well as a heightened focus on integration and accountability, the editorial says.