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The Leaning Tower Of Pisa Now Has Better Structural Health

The 12th-century tower reopened to the public in 2001 after being closed for more than a decade to let workers reduce its slant.

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The Leaning Tower Of Pisa, structural health
The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre di Pisa) is seen at right next to the medieval cathedral of Pisa, in Piazza dei Miracoli Square, in Pisa, Italy. VOA

The Leaning Tower of Pisa isn’t leaning so much anymore.

After more than two decades of efforts to straighten it, engineers say the famed Tuscan bell tower has recovered four centimeters (1.57 inches) more and is in better structural health than predicted.

Also Read: Single-Use Plastic Banned By The European Parliamemt

ANSA news agency quotes a consultant to the international committee monitoring the tilt, Nunziante Squeglia, as saying that while the progressive recovery of tilt is good news, the overall structural health of the tower is more important.

The 12th-century tower reopened to the public in 2001 after being closed for more than a decade to let workers reduce its slant. By using hundreds of tons of lead counterweights at the base and extracting soil from under the foundations, engineers initially shaved 17 inches off the lean. (VOA)

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Myth Of Refugees Transmitting Disease In Europe Busted

The report says refugees and migrants are more affected by depression and anxiety than host populations

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Sub-Saharan migrants aiming to cross to Europe take shelter in a forest overlooking the neighborhood of Masnana, on the outskirts of Tangier, Morocco, Sept. 5, 2018. (VOA)

A new report by the World Health Organization disputes a belief that refugees and migrants bring exotic communicable diseases into the European region.

The report is based on evidence from more than 13,000 documents. It provides a snapshot of the health of refugees and migrants who comprise about 10 percent of the nearly 1 billion population in 53 European countries.

The survey finds migrants and refugees are generally in good health, but, due to poor living conditions, they risk falling ill while in transit or while staying in receiving countries. The report says contrary to common perception, the risk of refugees and migrants transmitting communicable diseases to their host population is very low.

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Europe is the only one among WHO’s six regions where HIV is prevalent . VOA

The WHO regional director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, tells VOA displacement itself makes refugees and migrants more vulnerable to infectious diseases.

“The refugees and migrants who come to Europe, they do not bring any exotic diseases with them, any exotic communicable diseases,” said Jakab. “The diseases that they might have, they are all well-established diseases in Europe. And also, we have very good prevention and control programs for these diseases. This applies both for tuberculosis, but also HIV-AIDS.”

Europe is the only one among WHO’s six regions where HIV is prevalent and increasing, especially in the east. Jakab says a significant proportion of migrants and refugees who are HIV-positive acquire the infection after they arrive in Europe.

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WHO considers it critically important that European countries provide quality and affordable health care for all refugees and migrants. VOA

The report finds refugees and migrants seem to have fewer noncommunicable diseases on arrival than their host populations; but, it notes the longer they stay in the countries in conditions of poverty, their risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke and cancer increases.

Also Read: European Union Agrees To Cut Greenhouse Gases Emission

The report says refugees and migrants are more affected by depression and anxiety than host populations. It says unaccompanied minors are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and suffer from higher rates of depression and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

WHO considers it critically important that European countries provide quality and affordable health care for all refugees and migrants, regardless of their legal status. Providing universal health coverage, it says, would significantly improve the well-being of both the displaced and host populations. (VOA)