Wednesday January 29, 2020

WHO Urges South-East Asian Countries to Accelerate Efforts to Eliminate Cervical Cancer by 2030

Cervical cancer is a significant public health problem in the region

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Cancer, cells, metabolism, research, treatment, science
the workings of a metabolic pathway or "gauge" that lets cancer cells detect when they have enough nutrients around them to grow.. Pixabay

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged South-East Asian countries to accelerate efforts to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030.

“Countries need to expand vaccination, screening, detection and treatment services for everyone, everywhere to address the growing problem of cervical cancer,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia at the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee here in Delhi.

Cervical cancer is a significant public health problem in the region.

In 2018, an estimated 158,000 new cases and 95,766 deaths were reported due to cervical cancer, which is the third most common type of cancer.

WHO, Efforts, Cervical Cancer
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged South-East Asian countries to accelerate efforts to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030. Pixabay

Addressing cancer risk factors and reducing its prevalence has been a regional flagship priority since 2014, and all countries in the region are taking measures for screening and treatment of pre-cancers, WHO said in a statement.

According to the WHO, four countries in the Region – Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand – have introduced HPV vaccines nationally.

“We need to scale up both our capacities and quality for screening, treatment services and palliative care,” Singh said.

Vaccination against human papillomavirus, screening and treatment of pre-cancer, early detection and prompt treatment of early invasive cancers and palliative care are proven effective strategies to address cervical cancer.

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Member countries are working towards interim global targets – of achieving 90 per cent girls fully vaccinated with the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine by 15 years of age; having 70 per cent women screened with a high-precision test at 35 and 45 years of age: and of 90 per cent women identified with the cervical disease receiving treatment and care by 2030.

The WHO South-East Asia Regional Director said there is a need to strengthen national cervical cancer control plans, including appropriate strategies and guidelines for immunisation, screening, treatment and care, including palliative care.

WHO is prioritising cervical cancer elimination as worldwide cervical cancer remains one of the gravest threats to women’s lives. (IANS)

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Reported Deaths from New Coronavirus Probably an Underestimation: WHO

WHO Expects Coronavirus Cases, Deaths to Escalate

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China Outbreak coronavirus
People wear masks to protect themselves from coronavirus on a street in Hong Kong. VOA

By Lisa Schlein

The World Health Organization says the number of reported cases and deaths from the new coronavirus is probably an underestimation. The latest reports put the number of confirmed cases at 830, including 26 deaths.

Most of the infections and all of the deaths have occurred in China. A small number of coronavirus cases have been reported in seven other countries, including the United States. All have been mild, and all of those patients have recovered.

World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic says it is too early to draw conclusions about the severity of the coronavirus.

“Because at the beginning of any outbreak, you would focus more on the severe cases and you will have more of those and then maybe we are missing some mild cases because people will just be a little bit sick and will not be ever tested and they will recover,” Jasarevic said. “We may see more mild cases as surveillance intensifies. So, the issue is not really so much on numbers that we know that will go up.”

CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS
People travelling for the Lunar New Year wear protective masks as they head to the departure area at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing. VOA

Michael Ryan, the executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, says there is no particular treatment for this new pneumonia-like coronavirus.

“There have been a number of compounds that have been used in the fight against coronavirus, but it is very important to recognize that there is no recognized effective therapeutic against coronaviruses,” he said. “However, there are potential clinical trials that can be done with agents and that is what we are focused on right now — identifying other therapeutic agents and opportunities to test new drugs.”

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On Thursday, a WHO expert committee decided not to declare the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted the virus was an emergency in China, but had not yet become a global health emergency.

He did, however, add the WHO was ready to reconvene another emergency meeting to review the decision if the evolution of the epidemic warranted a re-examination. (VOA)