Cyclone Idai has triggered a massive disaster in southern Africa affecting hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, the UN says. The region has been hit by widespread flooding and devastation affecting Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
WHO has announced a new effort - the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer - with the aim of reaching at least a 60% survival rate for children with cancer by 2030, thereby saving an additional one million lives. This new target represents a doubling of the global cure rate for children with cancer.
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.