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Nov 19, 2023

AMR week begins

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FA News Desk

World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week began from 18 November to till 24 November focusing on the urgent actions needed to stop AMR.

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites no longer respond to the active ingredients, or antimicrobial agents, in medicines used to treat them which contributes to almost 5 million human deaths from bacterial infections alone each year.

The main driver of AMR is misuse and overuse of antimicrobials, both for human health and in food production. To guide the urgent action that is needed, many countries have developed multi-sectoral AMR national action plans (NAPs).

There is an urgent need to strengthen AMR governance and leadership in countries, and for additional financial and technical support for countries to develop, prioritize, implement and monitor their NAPs.

WHO has developed the Access, Watch, Reserve (AWaRe) antibiotic book. a key focus at the UN General Assembly High-Level meeting on AMR in September 2024 at which countries will be urged to make bold commitments to tackle AMR and work towards internationally agreed targets and accelerated action in countries.

In another report, the World Health Organization (WHO) launches the “Stop the lies” campaign as a vital initiative to protect young people from the tobacco industry and their deadly products, by calling for an end to tobacco industry interference in health policy.

This campaign is supported by new evidence from “The Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2023”, published by STOP and the Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control, which shows that efforts to protect health policy from increased tobacco industry interference have deteriorated around the world.

The tobacco industry tries to interfere with countries’ right to protect people’s health by taking governments to court, or offering financial and in-kind incentives to be able to influence tobacco control policies, even at the upcoming WHO FCTC Conference of Parties. WHO supports countries in defending evidenced based tobacco control measures in the face of industry interference.

Recognizing the tobacco industry’s relentless efforts to market its products to vulnerable groups, especially young people, WHO is committed to expose the industry’s attempts to weaken health policies and call on policy makers to stand firm against tobacco industry influence.

There are 183 Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that have committed to do this under the global health treaty. 

Today, the world faces a daunting reality as the climate crisis takes center stage, amplifying global emergencies and threatening to unravel decades of progress in public health. The 8th annual report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change reveals that the health impacts of climate change are surging worldwide, causing a devastating toll on lives and livelihoods.

The alarming statistics of more frequent heatwaves and droughts were responsible for 127 million more people experiencing moderate to severe food insecurity in 122 countries in 2021, compared to the annual numbers seen between 1981 and 2010.

Meanwhile, world leaders, cervical cancer survivors, advocates, partners, and civil society are coming together to mark the third Cervical cancer elimination day of action.

The initiative, which marked the first time Member States adopted a resolution to eliminate a noncommunicable disease, has continued to gain momentum, and this year’s commemoration promises to be a beacon of hope, progress, and renewed commitment from nations around the world.

Governments and communities are leading the way by declaring commitment and developing strategies to eliminate cervical cancer and countries around the world are rallying behind WHO’s call to action on November 17.

Since the launch of the Global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer three years ago, a further 30 countries, including countries with large populations and cervical cancer burden such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nigeria, introduced the HPV vaccine. As of today, 140 countries have introduced HPV vaccine into national immunization programmes. The global HPV vaccination coverage of girls that received at least one dose of HPV vaccine has increased to 21% in 2022.

As the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change approaches next month in the United Arab Emirates, WHO invites all nations to bring health into the center of international climate action. We must work together to ensure a prosperous future for all, with a focus on protecti

Following years of declines in measles vaccination coverage, measles cases in 2022 have increased by 18%, and deaths have increased by 43% globally (compared to 2021).

This takes the estimated number of measles cases to 9 million and deaths to 136 000 – mostly among children – according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Measles continues to pose a relentlessly increasing threat to children. In 2022, 37 countries experienced large or disruptive measles outbreaks compared with 22 countries in 2021.

Of the countries experiencing outbreaks, 28 were in the WHO Region for Africa, six in the Eastern Mediterranean, two in South-East Asia, and one in the European Region.

Measles is preventable with two doses of measles vaccine. While a modest increase in global vaccination coverage occurred in 2022 from 2021, there were still 33 million children who missed a measles vaccine dose: nearly 22 million missed their first dose and an additional 11 million missed their second dose. The global vaccine coverage rate of the first dose, at 83%, and second dose, at 74%, were still well under the 95% coverage with two doses that is necessary to protect communities from outbreaks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a new Commission on Social Connection, to address loneliness as a pressing health threat, promote social connection as a priority and accelerate the scaling up of solutions in countries of all incomes.

Social disconnection also can lead to poorer education outcomes; young people experiencing loneliness in high school are more likely to drop out of university. It can also lead to poorer economic outcomes; feeling disconnected and unsupported in your job can lead to poorer job satisfaction and performance.

The Commission on Social Connection, supported by a Secretariat based at WHO, will hold its first leadership-level meeting from 6 to 8 December 2023. The first major output will be a flagship report released by the mid-point of the three-year initiative.