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WHO Issues Report On Global Tobacco Use

“Tobacco use kills at least 5 million people every year, a figure that could rise if countries don’t take stronger measures to combat smoking, the World Health Organization said Wednesday,” during the release its Global Tobacco Epidemic report (.pdf), the Associated Press reports (Cheng, 12/9).

Lancet Series Examines Health Issues Facing Populations In Southeast Asia

“Southeast Asia’s 600 million people are facing a raft of new health challenges as the disaster-prone region undergoes some of the world’s fastest social change,” according to a series of papers and commentary pieces, published Tuesday in the Lancet, Agence France-Presse reports (1/25). “Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were among the countries surveyed by the journal, which called for universal health coverage especially to protect the poor,” Reuters writes (Lyn, 1/25).

Studies Show Growing Problems Of Non-Communicable Diseases In Low-, Middle-Income Countries

“Obesity rates have doubled worldwide since 1980,” according to a study published Friday as part of a series in the Lancet that also looked at global blood pressure and cholesterol trends, ABC News reports (Carolo, 2/4). “The data show that in 2008 one in three adults in the world was overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) and one in nine adults was obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2). Since 1980 the average body mass index (BMI) has increased in all regions, but now middle income countries have caught up with high income countries,” BMJ News writes.

World Bank Report Documents Rise Of Noncommunicable Diseases In S. Asia

“South Asia is facing a health crisis, with rising rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity, and patients facing impoverishment as they pay for treatment out of their own pockets,” according to a report released Wednesday by the World Bank, Reuters reports (Lyn, 2/9).

Also In Global Health News: Global Alcohol-Related Deaths; Pentavalent Vaccine Plant To Resume Operations; Harm-Reduction In Russia; IDUs In Tanzania; MDG Tracking Program In Kenya

Alcohol Kills 2.5M Annually, WHO Report Says “Alcohol abuse is killing 2.5 million people each year,” according to a report from the WHO, which said that about “4 percent of all deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “The main causes of alcohol-related deaths are injuries incurred…

Opinions: Reforms At USAID; Focus on Disease Prevention, Not Earthquake-Related Death Prevention; Fight NCDs In Developing Countries; Cash On Delivery; Destroy Smallpox Stocks; Global Health Funding Cuts’ Affect On Women; Budget Cuts Will Erode Family Planning Programs

USAID Needs Time, Resources To Succeed During these tight fiscal times, “we need to modernize our International Affairs programs with a greater emphasis on transparency, accountability and effectiveness” in order to “be fiscally responsible and still make the critical investments we need in our International Affairs Budget,” former Rep. Mark…

China To Implement Ban On Smoking In Indoor Public Spaces

Chinese health officials this week announced the country will move forward in May with a ban on smoking in all indoor public spaces “in an effort to shield the world’s most populous nation … from the harmful effects of the habit,” Reuters reports. The plan will “require businesses to display prominent no-smoking signs, forbid vending machines from selling cigarettes and ensure that designated outdoor smoking zones not affect pedestrian traffic, according to a ministry statement reported in Chinese media on Thursday,” the news service writes (Wee, 3/24).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Main Take-Aways From GHME: Reflections on last week’s Global Health Metrics & Evaluation (GHME) conference in Seattle, Washington appeared in several blogs and a Lancet column: Lancet: Offline: Where was Europe? (Horton, 3/26) Karen Grepin’s “Global Health Blog”: A trip to the inside of the Global Health Sausage Factory (3/22)…

Also In Global Health News: Cancer In Developing Countries; Preventing Deaths From Diarrhea; Food, Drug, Medical Personnel Shortages In Libya; Benefits Of Electronic Health Records In Kenya

Scientific American Features Q&A With Paul Farmer On Rise Of Cancer In Developing Countries Scientific American this month features a Q&A with Harvard medical anthropologist Paul Farmer, who cofounded the group Partners In Health, on the rise of cancer in developing countries. According to the magazine, last October, Farmer “and…