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U.N. Calls For Advancement On Goal To Save Women And Children; Poorest Countries, Drug Company Contribute To Fight

Speaking at a high-level meeting at U.N. headquarters on Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, while lauding the progress made under the Every Woman Every Child initiative since its launch one year ago, noted that millions of women and children “are still dying needless deaths and called for advancing the goal of saving 16 million lives by 2015,” the U.N. News Centre reports. A one-year progress update launched at the meeting, Saving the Lives of 16 Million, “shows that in the first year of the effort, commitments have been implemented and enhanced, new partners have come on board, funding has been increased, policies improved and services strengthened on the ground,” according to the news service (9/20).

'The World' Examines Exclusion Of Mental Health From MDGs

PRI’s “The World” highlights the state of mental health care in Uganda in an examination of how the exclusion of mental health from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has, according to some advocates, held back mental health as a global health issue. Julius Kayiira, director of Mental Health Uganda, an organization that provides social support, job training and care to people with mental illness, “says organizations like his face an enormous funding gap, and he blames that gap, in part, on the United Nations,” according to “The World.”

U.S., WHO Sign MOU To Help Nations Support International Health Regulations

The U.S. and the WHO on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) “to help developing nations strengthen their capabilities to support the International Health Regulations (IHR),” which is “an international agreement that requires WHO Member States to prevent and respond to acute public health risks that have the potential…

U.N. Set To Announce Expansion Of 'Every Woman Every Child' Program

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday is expected “to announce a significant expansion of the organization’s ambitious global program to tackle infant and maternal mortality and boost access to reproductive health over coming years,” the Financial Times reports. The announcement “will highlight the doubling of commitments from governments, the private sector and non-profit organizations on funding and policy initiatives for the ‘Every Woman Every Child’ program,” the newspaper writes (Raval et al., 9/19). The announcement comes “[a]s the U.N. General Assembly opens a new session” and is “being called on [by the international community] to provide more family planning services to hundreds of millions of women,” according to VOA News (DeCapua, 9/19).

World Leaders Unanimously Approve NCD Political Declaration

World leaders attending the first-ever U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) kicked off the summit on Monday by “unanimously approving a ‘political declaration’ meant to stem a rising tide of [NCDs], now the world’s leading killer,” CNN reports (Ariosto, 9/19). The declaration “call[s] for a multi-pronged campaign by governments, industry and civil society to set up by 2013 the plans needed to curb the risk factors behind the four groups of NCDs — cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes,” according to the U.N. News Centre.

World Bank Report Examines Gender Equality, Highlights Mortality Disparity Between Men And Women

The World Bank’s annual World Development Report, which was released on Sunday and this year “focuses on gender equality around the world, offers some stark facts about how women and girls fare in developing countries despite decades of progress,” the Wall Street Journal reports (Reddy, 9/18). “The most glaring disparity is the rate at which girls and women die relative to men in developing countries, according to” the report, Reuters/AlertNet reports (Curtis, 9/19).

WHO, WEF Reports Examine Cost Of Treating And Preventing, Economic Burden Of NCDs

Low-income countries “could introduce measures to prevent and treat millions of cases of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and lung disease for a little as $1.20 per person per year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday” in a report released on the eve of the U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) taking place this week in New York, Reuters reports (Kelland, 9/19).

NCD Draft Declaration Lacks Specific Targets, Calls For Nations To Adopt Recommendations For Reducing Chronic Disease Deaths

“World leaders at a meeting of the United Nations on Monday will agree to a deal to try to curb the spread of preventable ‘lifestyle’ diseases,” including heart disease, cancers and diabetes, also known as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), “amid concern that progress is already being hampered by powerful lobbyists from the food, alcohol and tobacco industries,” the Guardian reports. “The scale and disastrous potential of these diseases has led the U.N. to call only its second high-level summit on a health issue on Monday — the first was over AIDS in 2001. Months of negotiation have led to a draft declaration [.pdf] that will be signed at the summit,” the newspaper writes (Boseley, 9/16).

U.N. Expresses Concern Over Flooding In Pakistan; UNICEF Says 2.5M Children Affected

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday expressed concern over widespread flooding in Pakistan and “pledged the United Nations’ continued commitment to supporting the government in its efforts to respond to the humanitarian needs of the more than five million people in the affected areas,” the U.N. News Centre reports. In a statement, Ban said he is “particularly worried about the situation in the southern area of Sindh province where people are in urgent need of food, shelter, safe water and access to health services,” according to the news service.