May. 24, 2019

The Secretariat of the WHO FCTC and WHO applaud the Brazilian government’s action to seek compensation from tobacco companies

23 May 2019 - On 21 May, the Office of the Attorney-General of Brazil filed a lawsuit at the Federal Court of Rio Grande do Sul against the largest tobacco corporations in Brazil and their parent companies abroad, to seek recovery of healthcare costs related to the treatment of tobacco-induced diseases. The claim covers costs generated in the Brazilian healthcare system for the treatment of patients suffering from 26 diseases linked to the consumption of tobacco products and exposure to tobacco smoke, and foresees proportional compensation for future spending, and collective moral damages, as a consequence of the tobacco public health burden.

In its related press release , the Office of the Attorney-General of Brazil pointed out that according to studies carried out in the country, the public health spending triggered by tobacco consumption amounts to tens of billions of Reais annually. It also refers to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), calling for Governments to take the necessary measures to deal with civil liability, including compensation, for the purpose of tobacco control.

The WHO FCTC is currently implemented by 181 Parties, determined to give priority to their right to protect public health. WHO holds that the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 7 million people a year. Tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke is known to dramatically raise the cost of health care, among other costly impacts on society.

In Article 4.5 of the WHO FCTC, Parties recognize, as a guiding principle to the implementation of the Convention, that issues related to liability, as determined by each Party within its jurisdiction, are an important part of comprehensive tobacco control. The Secretariat of the WHO FCTC aims to support Parties with information that will help them better understand and address issues related to liability, including on healthcare cost recovery, through tools such as the WHO FCTC Article 19 Civil Liability Toolkit, launched in March 2017.

The WHO FCTC equips Parties with means to tackle the burden that tobacco places on people and national health systems. The Secretariat of the WHO FCTC and WHO applaud the Brazilian government’s action to seek compensation from multinational tobacco companies for the social and economic costs of suffering and healthcare resulting from tobacco-related disease.

May. 23, 2019

23 May 2019 | Kinshasa/Butembo - With the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo now in its tenth month and the number of new cases increasing in recent weeks, the United Nations announced today measures to strengthen its response and end the outbreak.

The Ebola epidemic has claimed more than 1,200 lives and the risk of spread to other provinces in the eastern Congo as well as neighbouring countries remains very high. A third of those who have fallen ill are children, which is a higher proportion than in previous outbreaks.

Under the leadership of the Government and Congolese communities, with support from the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the response has contained Ebola in parts of Ituri and North Kivu provinces. But ongoing insecurity and community mistrust in the response continue to hamper access to communities. This is hindering efforts by WHO and the Ministry of Health to detect sick people and ensure access to treatment and vaccination, ultimately leading to more intense Ebola transmission.

In view of the increasingly complex environment, the UN in partnership with the Government and all partners is now strengthening its political engagement and operational support to negotiate access to communities; increasing support for humanitarian coordination; and bolstering preparedness and readiness planning for Goma and surrounding countries. WHO is adapting public health strategies to identify and treat people as quickly as possible; expanding vaccination to reach and protect more people; and redoubling work to end transmission in health facilities.

The UN Secretary-General has established a strengthened coordination and support mechanism in the epicenter of the outbreak, Butembo.

MONUSCO Deputy UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) David Gressly has been appointed UN Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator (EERC) in the Ebola affected areas of the DRC. Mr. Gressly, who brings a wealth of humanitarian leadership and political and security experience to the role, will report to the SRSG, Leila Zerrougui. He will oversee the coordination of international support for the Ebola response and work to ensure that an enabling environment—particularly security and political—is in place to allow the Ebola response to be even more effective.

Mr. Gressly will work closely with WHO, which will continue to lead all health operations and technical support activities to the Government response to the epidemic. Dr. Ibrahima Socé Fall, Assistant Director-General, Emergency Response, who has been in Butembo since end-March, is leading the WHO response in DRC. WHO will also continue to coordinate public health interventions that are being implemented by other UN partners.

“The Ebola response is working in an operating environment of unprecedented complexity for a public health emergency—insecurity and political protests have led to periodic disruptions in our efforts to fight the disease. Therefore, an enhanced UN-wide response is required to overcome these operating constraints and this includes moving senior leadership and operational decision making to the epicenter of the epidemic in Butembo. We have no time to lose,” said DSRSG Gressly.

WHO’s Dr. Fall said: “This system-wide and international support is exactly what WHO has been calling for. We know that the outbreak response must be owned by the local population, and this new approach reflects what they have asked for: better security for patients and health workers, wider access to vaccination, and a more humane face to the response.” Dr. Fall has been working alongside Dr. Michel Yao, the WHO Ebola Incident Manager who has been in place since August 2018. In Kinshasa, WHO has also appointed a special representative to the Ebola Response, Dr. Peter Graaff, to coordinate with partners there.

Additional UN measures will bolster the critical work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and agencies already on the ground, including UNICEF. Working with NGOs, UNICEF leads community engagement activities; provides psychosocial interventions; and helps prevent infection through water, sanitation and hygiene services.

Financial planning and reporting will also be strengthened and efforts will be accelerated to ensure sustainable and predictable funding required for the Ebola strategic response plan considering the ongoing needs.

May. 22, 2019

Dr Umai Sha , head of the Harris health talked with Dr Akwo Thompson Ntuba , chief editor of health and development magazine during the last One health conference at the Marriot Maquis hotel Houston Texas .
He believed Dr Jerome Abrams , the current Surgeon general was doing a great job , especially as he took off with a strategic plan to address the Opoid epidemic .
He threw light on the importance of the one health approach to global public health issues .
The relationship between environment , animals and human health should be taken into consideration often as programs are made to address public health issues .
It must be known that , the world health organization is deliberating presently in it,s 72nd world health assembly in Geneva Switzerland under the theme " Universal health care , No one left behind ".
Many of the problems man kind faces today are related to man ,s inter action with animals like the current Ebola west Africa outbreak and bird flu .
The belief that One health approach will make a difference as a model to approach universal health care is important .
Dr Akwo Thompson Ntuba

May. 22, 2019

The Texas department of transportation has the interactive display showing the harrowing tragic accident that led to the death of 16 years old Kellie Mills .
The exhibit which is making rounds in Texas cities and countries has arrived Houston and displayed in front of city hall.
On it is written "Keliee only unbuckled for a second . A message that warns road users to use their seat belts as a way to keep safe and prevent injuries in road traffic accidents .
The are many road traffic accidents today that account for the loss of many lives , making the issue a Public Health Epidemic .
Dr Akwo Thompson Ntuba