Curbing climate change could save millions of lives – WHO
by admin | Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018
FILE PHOTO: The World Health Organization (WHO) logo is pictured at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva, January 25, 2015. REUTERS/PIERRE ALBOUY
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday (December 5) that mitigating climate change would save millions of lives at a global level.
According to WHO, exposure to pollution results in seven million deaths every year. The organization says climate change affects a number of diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, lung cancer, stroke or ischemic heart diseases.
Speaking during COP24, United Nations talks on climate change in Katowice, Poland, WHO’s head of environmental determinants of health, Maria Neira said a number of pulmonary and heart diseases caused by pollution were not included in decision-making processes and documents related to climate change.
Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, a team leader for climate change and health with WHO, added that health benefits of meeting the 2 Degree C Goal, which aims to cap a rise in average surface temperatures at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), are approximately twice the value of what it would cost to implement that mitigation at the global level.
COP24 talks are billed as the most important U.N. conference since the landmark Paris 2015 deal on climate change. Over the next two weeks, the aim is to make an end-of-year deadline for agreeing on a rule book on how to enforce global action to limit further warming of the planet. — Reuters
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Friday, April 26th, 2019
One of the largest emperor penguins in Antarctica is suffering from ‘unprecedented’ breeding failure.
According to recent research, these emperor penguins almost have no breeding success for three years, from 2016 to 2018. This is due to the early breakout of sea ice in 2016 and 2017 due to storms and strong winds.
“Satellite observations for this phenomenon were verified by ground observations from staff at the Halley VI research station in November 2016. In 2017 early breakout of fast ice in mid-November confirmed another year of breeding failure,” the research reads.
The authors of the research said understanding this phenomenon “provides valuable information relevant to modeling penguin movement under future climate change scenarios.”—Aileen Cerrudo
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Wednesday, April 24th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – A joint report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) noted that three in 10 health care facilities in the Philippines have no access to clean toilets.
The WHO-UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) report released on April 4, 2019, noted that 23 percent of the country’s health facilities have unclean toilets while four percent have no toilets at all.
According to WHO, these services are very important “in preventing infections, reducing the spread of antimicrobial resistance and providing quality care, particularly for safe childbirth” and not having such will imperil the safety of the public.
“Healthcare facilities won’t be able to provide quality care to people if there is no safe water, toilet or hand washing facility,” said WHO representative in the Philippines Dr. Gundo Weiler.
The report cited the recent water shortage in Metro Manila which highlighted the need for long-term solutions to water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities in the country.
Five major hospitals in Metro Manila were adversely affected by water shortage in March this year.
These hospitals were Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City; National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong City; and National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine Children’s Medical Center and Quirino Memorial Medical Center, all in Quezon City.
“The Philippines must ensure that safe WASH facilities are available and accessible to ensure health for all Filipinos,” Wieler added.
On the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Wednesday (April 24), Health Secretary Francisco Duque III agreed that the lack of water supply must be prioritized especially as it is a crucial element to sanitation and hygiene.
He also noted that local government units should be mandated to ensure that public facilities in their areas are fully equipped with clean and proper hygiene facilities.
“Kinakailangan tugunan muna ang kakulangan sa tubig, iyong sufficient, adequate supply of water. Iyan po ang mahalaga, siguraduhin muna higit sa lahat,” he said.
(The lack of sufficient and adequate water supply should be addressed first. It’s the most important thing that should be secured first.)
“Saka natin pag-usapan, dapat siguro i-penalize natin iyong mga local government units na sila ang dapat maniguro na may sapat na palikuran at sapat na tubig at para makamit natin ang kagustuhan nating ito ay maging bahagi ng Universal Health Care (program),” he added.
(Then we can discuss next, maybe [recommend] the penalizing of local government units as they are the ones responsible in ensuring sufficient toilet facilities and water supply to achieve our goals and make it part of the Universal Health Care (program).)– Marje Pelayo
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Wednesday, March 6th, 2019
Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016 agreed to reduce by 30% the global population’s intake of salt (sodium) by 2025.
In observance of the ‘Salt Awareness Week’ from March 4 to 10, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) joins the international community in efforts to campaign salt-intake reduction in view of the risks that high salt intake may cause to human health.
WHO recommends just under a teaspoon or less than 5 grams of salt intake a day for adults while children are recommended to have less or adjusted amount based on their energy requirements.
The WHO recommends iodized or “fortified” with iodine, “essential for healthy brain development in the fetus and young child and optimizing people’s mental function in general”.
However, in many countries, salt comes in different, ‘unrecognizable’ forms.
According to a UK-based expert group World Action on Salt and Health (WASH), “salty sauces such as soy sauce are big contributors of salt to diets worldwide”.
Packaged food or ready meals and food served in restaurants, food chains and cafeterias are actually loaded with salt.
Health and wellness experts say that though salt is an essential part of our diet, it should come in small amounts as eating too much salt can have huge health impacts.
High sodium intake raises blood pressure that leads to stroke and heart diseases, the two biggest causes of death and disability worldwide, according to WHO.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that more than 170,000 individuals die each year from heart diseases, specifically hypertension.
A study from the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health added that too much salt intake may develop urinary tract infection (UTI); kidney stones; bone mineral loss in women; and hypercalciuria or increased calcium in the urine which may lead renal failure; and other disabilities.
PH’s Internet-based ‘Salt Calculator’
In 2015, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) together with Unilever Philippines launched an Internet-based tool that measures one’s salt intake.
The web-based tool presents main food sources of salt in Filipino diets and reveals an individual’s salt intake based on the result of the Sodium Intake Level Test provided.
Read product labels for salt content: Green is healthy
In Northern Ireland, the country’s Public Health Agency (PHA) issued high salt intake warning to remind the public of the dangers of eating too much salt.
Caroline Bloomfield, health and social well being improvement senior manager at PHA noted the importance of tasting the food first to know if adding salt is necessary than automatically adding salt to the food.
The agency also advises consumers to read product labels before buying any ready-to-eat food items.
These labels have indicators of the nutritional value a portion of food accounts for and will guide consumers if the product has high, medium or low amount of salt.
Red means high; amber means medium; and green means low which imply that the more greens you buy, the healthier are your choices.
Meanwhile, there are products that do not use the color codes but the amount of salt is indicated by grams.
A product is high in salt if it contains more than 1.5g of salt per 100g.
The product has medium amount if the salt content is between 0.3g and 1.5g while 0.3g of salt or less per 100g is considered low.
The WHO recommends discipline in eating and watch the salt content in food that we eat.
To date, WHO-member states are bound to adhere with the “Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health” which calls on governments to take action to support healthy diets and physical activity at local, regional and global level. – Marje Pelayo
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