“Countries need to change their current mindset to successfully tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the head of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said [Monday], adding that governments will need to explore new approaches to prevent and treat these diseases, which have quickly become one of the most pressing issues in public health,” the U.N. News Centre reports (1/16). “In an opening speech to the annual WHO Executive Board meeting, Director-General Margaret Chan … urged the 34-member board to tackle the root causes of non-communicable diseases,” VOA News writes (Schlein, 1/16).
Non Communicable Disease/Chronic Disease
“Mental illness and drug abuse can wreak havoc in global societies and economies, and the U.N. General Assembly should devote a special session to the matter, global health experts said” in a PLoS Medicine article published on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports (1/17). “Mental, neurological, and substance use disorders (MNS) … are leading contributors to the global burden of disease and profoundly impact the social and economic well-being of individuals and communities,” a PLoS press release states, adding, “Yet the majority of people affected by MNS disorders globally do not have access to evidence-based interventions and many experience discrimination and abuses of their human rights” (1/17).
“While the U.S. military has formally withdrawn from Iraq, doctors and residents of Fallujah are blaming weapons like depleted uranium and white phosphorous used during two devastating U.S. attacks on Fallujah in 2004 for what are being described as ‘catastrophic’ levels of birth defects and abnormalities,” Al Jazeera reports. Samira Alani, a pediatric specialist at Fallujah General Hospital, “told Al Jazeera she had personally logged 677 cases of birth defects since October 2009,” the news service notes, adding, “Just eight days later when Al Jazeera visited the city on December 29, that number had already risen to 699.”
Reuters examines cancer in Africa, writing, “Most of Africa’s around 2,000 languages have no word for cancer. The common perception in both developing and developed countries is that it’s a disease of the wealthy world, where high-fat, processed-food diets, alcohol, smoking and sedentary lifestyles fuel tumor growth.” However, according to the news service, sub-Saharan Africa will see an estimated one million new cancer cases this year — “a number predicted to double to two million a year in the next decade,” and, “[b]y 2030, according to predictions from the [WHO], 70 percent of the world’s cancer burden will be in poor countries.”
Also In Global Health News: Global Fund, Indonesia TB Agreement; Smoking In China; ARVs In Uganda; Pediatric HIV Care In Rwanda
Indonesia To Receive $18M From Global Fund For TB Programs At the 9th International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, an Indonesian health ministry official signed an agreement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s executive director worth $18 million that will fund TB control…
The ANI24/Times of India examines the results of a recent study that found smokers in rural Indonesia tend to compromise their family food budgets in order to support their habit.
“A study in Taiwan has found that smokers are twice as likely to develop active tuberculosis compared to people who have never smoked, prompting calls for policymakers to be tougher on smoking,” Reuters reports.
The American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation on Tuesday released their latest Tobacco Atlas, providing snapshots of the estimated impact of smoking on populations throughout the world, the Irish Medical Times writes.
American Public Media’s “Marketplace” reports on the Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health, where experts from 41 countries discussed how the tobacco industry has “been been targeting developing countries more and more” (10/7).
As the World Health Summit continues in Berlin, some media outlets wrote about the discussions taking place.