28 October 2014 (Honiara) - The National Referral Hospital and Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) compound in the Solomon Islands were declared tobacco, betel nut, and alcohol-free premises by MHMS. Tobacco, tobacco smoke, and betel nut contain chemicals that cause cancer; this ban is a step to reduce the rates of noncommunicable (non-infectious) diseases in Solomon Islands.
6 October 2014 – As the centre of village life in Kiribati, maneaba, or meeting houses, are leading by example. Village elders have become champions for tobacco control by declaring their maneaba tobacco free areas to protect community health from the dangers of tobacco smoke. Gifting tobacco when visiting the maneaba is no longer the norm. Instead, visitors give the gift of health with tokens such as sports equipment.
26 September, 2014 - On World Heart Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls on countries to take action on reducing population salt intake to maximum 5 grams per person per day, the equivalent of about one teaspoon. Children should consume even less.
1 September 2014 - The Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) call on the international community to support SIDS by reducing trade in unhealthy products, encouraging healthy food and drink consumption, and ensuring the noncommunicable disease (NCD) goals and targets are central to the post-2015 development agenda. This is the Apia Challenge, an outcome of an NCD side event organized by Ministry of Health in Samoa with support from WHO, at the Third International Conference on Small Islands Developing States.
Highlights from WHO
WHO’s Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, is holding its sixty-fifth session today in Manila from 13-17 October to review WHO's work over the past year and to discuss major health issues. The Regional Committee will also decide on measures the Organization will take to address the health and well-being of the Region's 1.8 billion people.
Recent intensive efforts to improve collection and reporting of data are shedding new light on the epidemic, revealing almost half a million more cases than previously estimated. WHO’s “Global tuberculosis report 2014” shows that 9 million people developed TB in 2013, and 1.5 million died, including 360 000 people who were HIV positive.
Food and drink marketing is increasingly sophisticated, and children are among its prime targets. Food advertising and other forms of marketing influence children’s food preferences, purchasing behaviour and overall dietary behaviour. This feature story from the UK highlights how marketing restrictions have had a significant impact.
New data released show that under 5 mortality rates have dropped by 49% between 1990 and 2013. But overall progress is still short of meeting the global target of a two-thirds decrease in under 5 mortality by 2015.