Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 17th 2017 Contents A24 body & soul
guardian.co.tt Monday, April 17, 2017
When 1,700 specialists in global health de-
scended upon Washington, DC on April 8-9,
they brought suitcases full of data and experi-
ence. The Consortium of Universities for Global
Health conference offered marathon sessions that
covered everything from noncommunicable dis-
eases and breast-feeding to climate science and
injury prevention.And they found out there's still
a lot to learn about their field. Here are some of
the facts and figures that made an impression.
• Infectious diseases remain big killers. They
are responsible for nearly nine million deaths a year,
about 16 per cent of the world’s roughly 56 million
annual total deaths, according to Dr Anthony Fauci,
director of the National Institute of Allergy and In-
• But there are other significant---and some-
times overlooked---causes of death. Injury and vi-
olence are among the less appreciated issues in global
health, despite the fact that they account for more than
five million deaths every year, said Adnan Hyder, di-
rector of the International Injury Research Unit at the
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
• Heart disease is falling and rising. The heart
disease death rate in the United States has fallen by
70 per cent since the mid-20th century thanks to a
better understanding of the disease’s causes and ways
to prevent it, said Gary Gibbons, director of the Nation-
al Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Yet in developing
countries, things are moving in the opposite direction.
From 1990 to 2020, coronary heart disease is expect-
ed to increase by 120 per cent for women and 137 per
cent for men, according to estimates in a Columbia
• Global health is largely a man's world. Among
World Health Organization member states, only 28 per
cent of top health officials are female.
• Impacts of climate change are causing un-
likely health problems. Rising sea temperatures
have meant that the vibrio cholerae bacteria, which
can cause cholera, is able to exist in shellfish in Alaska
and is causing wound infections among fishermen and
others, said Juli Trtanj, a NOAA climate and health
• In some countries, rates of spousal violence
are notably higher than the world average. The
World Health Organization has reported that 35.6 per
cent of women have been subjected to physical or sex-
ual violence. In Mozambique, the percentage is more
than half of women, said Ana Baptista, who works for
Jhpiego in the country.
• History shows that predictions about
health-related matters aren't easy to make.
In the late 19th century, horses in New York City
dropped 50,000 tons of manure every month onto
streets plagued by flies and congestion, said Bruce
Friedrich, executive director of The Good Food In-
stitute. Experts considered the problem impossible
to solve. Then Henry Ford introduced the Model T.
(Source: Global Health NOW, an initiative of the Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, via NPR) Health workers put on protective gear before entering a quarantine zone.
Infectious diseases remain a top health hazard globally.
The Pan American Health Organization
(PAHO) is inviting entries for a contest that
will recognise outstanding health promotion
practices developed by cities, schools, univer-
sities and institutions of higher education in
the Americas. Deadline for applications is
A total of 12 winning experiences will be selected
in the following categories: health education with
a comprehensive approach, working in a network,
building knowledge in health promotion, and in-
tersectoriality. Winners will receive recognition
from PAHO, Regional Office for the Americas of
the World Health Organization (WHO).
The contest is being organised by PAHO/WHO
in collaboration with the Latin American and Car-
ibbean Network of Health Promotion Managers,
the Ibero-American Network of Health Promoting
Universities, the Colombian Network of Health Pro-
moting Universities, and the Universidad Católica
del Norte of Chile.
Global health experts see some trends
PAHO opens contest
on best experiences
in health promotion
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