WHO releases the largest global collection of health inequality data

Today, WHO is launching the Health Inequality Data Repository, the most comprehensive global collection of publicly available disaggregated data and evidence on population health and its determinants. The repository allows for tracking health inequalities across population groups and over time, by breaking down data according to group characteristics, ranging from education level to ethnicity. The data from the repository show that, in just a decade, the rich-poor gap in health service coverage among women, newborns and children in low- and middle-income countries has nearly halved. They also reveal that, in…

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WHO Predicts A 10 Million Global Shortage Of Healthcare Workers By 2030

THE Fifth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health which kicked yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland, amplified calls for increased investment towards developing and recruiting more healthcare workers in the face of an impending global human resource catastrophe. By Michael Gwarisa According to World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, severe disruptions to health systems have led to excess mortality and avoidable deaths in many countries, reversing previous improvements in healthy lives and well-being and the single largest cause of disrupted health services during the pandemic was the…

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1 in 6 people globally affected by infertility: WHO

Large numbers of people are affected by infertility in their lifetime, according to a new report published today by WHO. Around 17.5% of the adult population – roughly 1 in 6 worldwide – experience infertility, showing the urgent need to increase access to affordable, high-quality fertility care for those in need. By Own Correspondent The new estimates show limited variation in the prevalence of infertility between regions. The rates are comparable for high-, middle- and low-income countries, indicating that this is a major health challenge globally. Lifetime prevalence was 17.8% in…

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WHO certifies Azerbaijan and Tajikistan as malaria-free

A total of 42 countries or territories have reached the malaria-free milestone The World Health Organization (WHO) has certified Azerbaijan and Tajikistan for achieving elimination of malaria in their territories. The certification follows a sustained, century-long effort to stamp out the disease by the two countries. “The people and governments of Azerbaijan and Tajikistan have worked long and hard to eliminate malaria,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Their accomplishment is further proof that, with the right resources and political commitment, eliminating malaria is possible. I hope that other…

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Massive efforts needed to reduce salt intake and protect lives

A first-of-its-kind World Health Organization (WHO) Global report on sodium intake reduction shows that the world is off-track to achieve its global target of reducing sodium intake by 30% by 2025. Sodium, an essential nutrient, increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and premature death when eaten in excess. The main source of sodium is table salt (sodium chloride), but it is also contained in other condiments such as sodium glutamate. The report shows that only 5% of WHO Member States are protected by mandatory and comprehensive sodium reduction policies…

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Antimicrobial Resistance To NTDs Medicines On the Increase

AMR

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) is currently working on developing alternative or second-line treatments, or combination therapies of existing Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) medicines, following indications that some NTDs were developing resistance to the different antimicrobials used to treat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), a new report has announced. By Michael Gwarisa The emergence of treatment failure has already been observed in kinetoplastids and in the causative organisms of leprosy among the bacterial NTDs. This development could hamper efforts in countries such as Zimbabwe where Leprosy has resurfaced and has  reportedly…

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COVID-19 still a global health emergency, says WHO

The verdict is in: The COVID-19 pandemic is still a global health emergency, the World Health Organization has concluded. But it might not be for much longer. The decision from the WHO — exactly three years after COVID-19 was first declared a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) — comes after a meeting of the COVID-19 emergency committee on January 27. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus concurred with the committee’s advice that there is a continued risk posed by COVID-19. The news comes as countries increasingly deliberate how…

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Countries No Longer Sharing COVID-19 Sequencing Data- Dr Tedros

THE number of COVID-19 sequences being shared by countries has dropped by more than 90% while the number of countries sharing sequences has fallen by a third since the onset of the Omicron variant in 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. By Michael Gwarisa Speaking during a media briefing, WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was now difficult to give data relating to COVID-19 due to lack of sequencing data. It’s now three years since the first sequence of SARS-CoV-2 was shared with the world.…

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Omicron Sub Variants Make Up 97.5% Of All New COVID-19 Cases In China

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) which was recently in China to investigate the surge in new COVID-19 cases, has reported that Omicron still accounts for majority of infections together with its sub-variants BA.5.2 AND BF.7. By Michael Gwarisa The TAG-VE meets regularly to review the latest scientific evidence on circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and advises WHO on whether a change in public health strategies is warranted. The TAG-VE met on 3 January 2023 to discuss the COVID-19 situation in mainland China. During the meeting,…

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COVID-19 Rears Ugly Head Again As WHO meets with Chinese officials on current COVID-19 situation

A high-level meeting took place on 30 December between WHO and China about the current surge in COVID-19 cases, to seek further information on the situation, and to offer WHO’s expertise and further support. By Michael Gwarisa High-level officials from China’s National Health Commission and the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration briefed WHO on China’s evolving strategy and actions in the areas of epidemiology, monitoring of variants, vaccination, clinical care, communication and R&D. WHO again asked for regular sharing of specific and real-time data on the epidemiological situation —…

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