World Health Organization (WHO) Updates January – March 2017

World Health Organization (WHO) Updates  January – March 2017

WHO launches global effort to halve medication-related errors in 5 years – March 29, 2017

 

WHO has launched a global initiative to reduce severe, avoidable medication-associated harm in all countries by 50% over the next 5 years. The Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety aims to address the weaknesses in health systems that lead to medication errors and the severe harm those results. It lays out ways to improve the way medicines are prescribed, distributed and consumed, and increase awareness among patients about the risks associated with the improper use of medication.

Medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States of America alone. While low- and middle-income countries are estimated to have similar rates of medication-related adverse events to high-income countries, the impact is about twice as much in terms of the number of years of healthy life lost.

  

WHO issues ethics guidance to protect rights of TB patients – March 22, 2017

New tuberculosis (TB) ethics guidance, were launched by World Health Organization (WHO), which aims to help ensure that countries implementing the End TB Strategy adhere to sound ethical standards to protect the rights of all those affected. TB, the world’s top infectious disease killer, which claims 5000 lives each day. The heaviest burden is carried by communities which already face socio-economic challenges: migrants, refugees, prisoners, ethnic minorities, miners and others working and living in risk-prone settings, and marginalized women, children and older people. Poverty, malnutrition, poor housing and sanitation, compounded by other risk factors such as HIV, tobacco, alcohol use and diabetes, can put people at heightened risk of TB and make it harder for them to access care.

Read full guideline

 

WHO publishes list of 12 essential bacteria for which antibiotics are required – February 27, 2017

WHO has published its list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” – a catalogue of 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. The list was drawn up in a bid to guide and promote research and development (R&D) of new antibiotics. They include Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and various Enterobacteriaceae (including Klebsiella, E. coli, Serratia, and Proteus).

Following is the list of bacteria

Priority 1: Critical

  • Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant
  • Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing

Priority 2: High

  • Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant
  • Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant
  • Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant
  • Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
  • Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant

Priority 3: Medium

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-non-susceptible
  • Haemophilus influenzae, ampicillin-resistant
  • Shigella spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant

 

WHO releases the guideline for cancer early diagnosis – February 3, 2017

Detecting cancer early can effectively reduce the mortality associated with cancer. In resource-poor settings, cancer is often diagnosed at a late-stage of disease resulting in lower survival and potentially greater morbidity and higher costs of treatment. Even in countries with strong health systems and services, many cancer cases are diagnosed at a late-stage. Addressing delays in cancer diagnosis and inaccessible treatment is therefore critical in all settings for cancer control.

Early diagnosis strategies improve cancer outcomes by providing care at the earliest possible stage and are therefore an important public health strategy in all settings. The barriers that delay cancer diagnosis must first be identified and assessed, and these factors may originate from patients to cares to health systems. Effective programs can then be implemented at various levels that include community engagement to address patient behavior, improving diagnostic and referral capacity and ensuring access to timely, high-quality treatment.

Read the full guidelines

 

WHO plans to launch policies for Tobacco control – January 10, 2017

World health organization (WHO) is going to launch policies to control tobacco use, including tobacco tax and price increases, which can generate significant government revenues for health and development work. Such measures can also greatly reduce tobacco use and protect people’s health from the world’s leading killers, such as cancers and heart disease.

Currently, around 6 million people die annually as a result of tobacco use, with most living in developing countries.

Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO assistant DG, NCD says that “The economic impact of tobacco on countries, and the general public, is huge”. The tobacco industry produces and markets products that kill millions of people prematurely.

Globally, there are 1.1 billion tobacco smokers aged 15 or older, with around 80% living in low- and middle-income countries. Use of tobacco control policies can help many countries to increase their economy and the money which spent on tobacco can be spent on other valuable things such as education, food, etc.,

 

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