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Geneva, May 17 (Canadian-Media): More than half of global deaths lack recorded cause, making it difficult for effective health monitoring and policymaking, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, media reports said.
Image credit: WHO official
In spite of significant improvements in recent years, many countries still fail to collect high-quality health data, Marie-Paule Kieny, the WHO's assistant director-general for health systems and innovation, said in a statement, CBCNews reports said.
"If countries don't know what makes people get sick and die, it's a lot harder to know what to do about it," she said and added that WHO was working with countries to make health information systems stronger and improve data quality.
Several countries, including China and Turkey, said WHO, had improved their data collection strategy. WHO stated that Iran had recorded 90 percent of deaths with details of the causes, compared with 5 percent in 1999.
WHO report, this year, focused on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of internationally approved targets, adopted in 2015 to track issues such as health, climate, sanitation and economic inequality.
According to WHO’s findings maternal and newborn death rates are declining. Global neonatal mortality rate in 2015 was 19 per 1,000 live births and the under-five death rate was 43 per 1,000 live births.
About 830 women every day died due to complications of pregnancy or childbirth, WHO reported.
Looking at infectious diseases, WHO reported that an estimated 2.1 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2015, which was 35 percent fewer than in 2000.
WHO reported that in 2015 there were an estimated 212 million malaria cases, and about 60 percent of the population at risk of the mosquito-borne disease had access to an insecticide-treated net 2015, compared to 34 percent in 2010.
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UN, May 11 (Canadian-Media): The United Nations (UN) agency responded with emergency healthcare relief after 140 suspected cases of cholera were reported in Ayod during the first weeks of April, threatening the population of some 175,000 people, media reports said.
Ayod, the Greater Upper Nile region of South Sudan, one of multiple counties throughout the country, which was struck with cholera since June 2016, received healthcare from United Nations humanitarian workers, UN News Centre reports said.
“Access to Ayod is difficult during the rainy season, and its proximity to the Nile River increases its vulnerability to outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as cholera,” The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said, noting also the ongoing crisis in Jonglei and the lack of health workers and medical supplies.
IOM. Image credit: Twitter handle
IOM said it deployed a rapid response team to Jonglei late last month, to support local health partners and try to contain the outbreak.
“Conditions are extremely difficult for families in Jiech,” said Carol Kipsang, an IOM health officer and nurse, referring to a town in Ayad County. More than 230 people are affected there.
The majority of suspected cholera cases in Ayod come from communities living in cattle camps along the river.
Since the cholera outbreak was declared in June 2016, more than 7,200 cases of cholera have been reported, including 229 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the South Sudan Ministry of Health.
The disease is also reportedly spreading through swamp water, with millions of people displaced and moving through the swamps to avoid fighters.
WHO has provided response kits, medication and equipment for oral rehydration points and cholera treatment units.
Image credit: Official
More than 3.3 million people in Somalia had to be without food every day due the destruction of crops and livestock ravaged by drought, WHO reports said.
It was feared that prevalence of current situation would lead to famine, hunger and disease making people more susceptible to infection.
Drought had resulted in lack of clean water in Somalia which had been hit by the largest outbreak of cholera in the last 5 years, with more than 36 000 cases and almost 690 deaths so far in 2017 alone.
As rainy season and floods approach this month, these numbers are expected to increase to 50 000 cases by the end of June. Cases of measles are also on the rise, with nearly 6 500 cases reported this year, 71% of them children under the age of 5 years.
"History has shown the terrible consequences of inaction, or action that comes too late. More than a quarter of a million lives – half of them children – were lost as a result of the devastating famine of 2011. This year, a much larger percentage of the population is now at risk.
We will not stand by and watch millions of already vulnerable men, women, and children become victims of an avoidable catastrophe," said Dr. Peter Salama, WHO Executive Director for Emergencies.
WHO had been urgently appealing for additional support from the international community to expand relief efforts in alleviating the suffering of millions of Somalians as well as to save their lives.
In spite of the challenging operating operating environment in Somalia, and due to the restriction of humanitarian access as a result of ongoing conflict and violence in many parts of the country, WHO and health partners continue to increase up their response, with coordination hubs established in Mogadishu, Garowe, Hargeisa and Baidoa.
In March, the first national oral cholera vaccination campaign in Somalia was conducted by WHO and partners, reaching over 450 000 vulnerable people, and 463 000 more vulnerable people would be targeted in the ongoing second campaign in SW State and Middle Shebelle.