Sunday November 17, 2019
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UN acts for women’s health, children

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United Nations: UN launched a public-private strategy to eliminate preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents.

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UN launched an initial commitment of $25 billion for the next five years to provide life-saving treatments, from immunisations to perinatal care, Xinhua news agency reported.

The global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health includes new policies and partnership from 40 countries and more than 100 international organisations, philanthropic foundations, UN agencies, civil society and the private sector are a part of the same.

“The strategy, which I am proud to launch today, will help to build resilient and healthy societies,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“We have shown that our partnership can yield concrete results,” Ban said and added, “I, and the entire UN system, remain dedicated to saving and improving the lives of the most vulnerable amongst us.”

The commitments include $3.3 billion from the US, $2.6 billion from Canada, $2.5 billion from Sweden, $1.3 billion from Germany, $420 million from Norway, $326 million from the Netherlands, and $300 million from South Korea.

Earlier this year, Ban said remarkable progress was made on preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission, increasing availability of oral rehydration therapy for treating infant diarrhoea, exclusive breastfeeding and in post-natal care for women, as well as increasing professional maternity care, family planning, childhood vaccinations, and prenatal care.

Saturday’s announcement came after adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by world leaders on Friday, comprising 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It aimed at wiping out extreme poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Toxicity in Air Affects Children’s Brain Development: UNICEF

UNICEF has warned that air pollution affects a child's brain development

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Brain Development
According to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, air pollution toxicity can affect children's brain development. Pixabay

Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore has warned that air pollution toxicity can affect children’s brain development and called for urgent action to deal with the crisis gripping India and South Asia.

“I saw first-hand how children continue to suffer from the dire consequences of air pollution,” Fore, who recently visited India, said on Wednesday.

“The air quality was at a crisis level. You could smell the toxic fog even from behind an air filtration mask,” she added.

Air pollution affects children most severely and its effects continue all their lives because they have smaller lungs, breathe twice as fast as adults and lack immunities, Fore said.

Brain Development
Air pollution damages brain tissue and undermines brain development in babies and young children. Pixabay

She added that it “damages brain tissue and undermines cognitive development in babies and young children, leading to lifelong consequences that can affect their learning outcomes and future potential. There is evidence to suggest that adolescents exposed to higher levels of air pollution are more likely to experience mental health problems”.

“Unicef is calling for urgent action to address this air quality crisis,” affecting 620 million children in South Asia.

Also Read- Snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir to Help Bring Pollution Down in Neighbouring States

Schools were closed in Delhi till Tuesday because of the severe environmental situation caused by post-harvest burning of stubble in neighbouring states.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday touched 625, considered “severe plus” level. (IANS)