The Region of the Americas is the first in the world to have eliminated measles, a viral disease that can cause severe health problems, including pneumonia, blindness, brain swelling and even death. This achievement culminates a 22-year effort involving mass vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella throughout the Americas.
Scientists have discovered a new family of antibiotics, teixobactin that can kill serious infections in mice without encountering any detectable resistance offering a potential new way to get ahead of dangerous evolving superbugs.
Venezuela has the second highest homicide rate in the world, according to a report released by the NGO Venezuelan Violence Observatory. The country's homicide rate for 2014 stood at 82 per 100,000, with a total of 24,980 killings recorded for the year. The figure marked an uptick from the group’s estimate for the year prior, which stood at 79 per 100,000.
A recent report from Greenpeace found that China's coal consumption declined in the first half of this year and new Chinese government data suggests that the country's coal imports have dropped. Estimates indicate that by the end of the year, China's coal imports could be 8 percent below 2013 levels.
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is calling on consumers to “Stop, look, choose…the lower salt option” during this year’s World Salt Awareness Week, March 10–16.
At least 30% of people in the Americas suffer from hypertension, or high blood pressure, for which excessive dietary salt is the main risk factor. For 1 of 3 people who have hypertension, cutting sodium intake can reduce their blood pressure to normal levels. Reducing dietary salt could also prevent an estimated 25% of heart attacks and strokes worldwide.
Only 28 countries, covering 7% of the world’s population, have comprehensive road safety laws on all five key risk factors: drinking and driving, speeding, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints.
The good news for the Chinese leadership is that their fiscal policies have paid off, producing both the world's second largest economy and the globe's leading creditor nation in less than a generation.
Bolivia will again belong to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs after its bid to rejoin with a reservation that it does not accept the treaty’s requirement that “coca leaf chewing must be banned” was successful Friday. Opponents needed one-third of the 184 signatory countries to object, but fell far, far short despite objections by the US and the International Narcotics Control Board.
Countries – especially those with a long mining history -- can substantially reduce lead poisoning in children by mapping contamination levels in the soil to identify high-risk areas and by taking measures to keep children away from those areas, according to a study published this month in the public health journal, the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.