Recent news from WHO



• Ministers of Health and Agriculture from eleven Asian countries met in New Delhi, India, on 28 July to discuss avian influenza control and pandemic preparedness. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) were also represented at the meeting. In a declaration, ministers agreed to work in close coordination on health regulations, surveillance and outbreak reporting.

• Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun causes a considerable global burden of disease, according to a WHO report (Global burden of disease of solar ultraviolet radiation) published on 21 July. The report, the first-ever systematic examination of the global health burden due to UV, estimates that 60 000 skin cancer deaths a year worldwide are caused by over-exposure to UV radiation. http://www.who.int/uv/publications/solaradgbd/en/index.html

• A global early warning system for zoonoses was formally launched on 18 July by WHO, FAO and OIE. The Global Early Warning and Response System (GLEWS) is the first joint early warning and response system of its type.

• WHO is providing support to West Java Provincial Health Office, Indonesia, following the tsunami of 17 July 2006 in which hundreds of people died and thousands were displaced. WHO has sent anti-tetanus vaccines and immunoglobulin to Ciamis district, West Java Province, which was badly hit by the disaster, and has deployed one expert to help the local authorities conduct disease surveillance.

• WHO Regional Office for Europe is calling for nominations for an award that will recognize good practice in the fight against obesity in the Region. The closing date for nominations is 30 September 2006. http://www.euro.who.int/obesity/20060710_1

For more about these and other WHO news items please see: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2006/en/index.html

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