Saturday April 20, 2019

World Bank sets up multi-donor trust to help India battle air pollution

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

According to the Word Health Organization, 2012 witnessed death of an estimated 7 million people only due to indoor and outdoor pollution. To curb this deadly issue, government officials from India, China, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa pledged together to improve people health by eliminating the air pollution.

With an initial total allocation of around $45 million, a new multi-donor trust watched over by World Bank aims at improving air quality in five major urban regions in India, China, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa. It is anticipated that the program could contribute greatly towards environmental health conditions for an estimated 150 million people in those cities over the next five years, a World Bank media release said

It also mentioned that Pollution Management and Environmental Health (PMEH) program will encourage other countries and cities of Sub-Saharan Africa, and endeavors to reduce land and water pollution.

The PMEH program, backed by a new multi-donor trust fund will support countries to reduce air, land and water pollution levels through pollution management planning. It will also help in generating new knowledge on pollution and its health impacts in urban, rural and marine areas.

Earlier, Paula Caballero, Senior Director, Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank had said, “Improving air quality can be achieved in the face of urbanization when proactive leaders are willing to institute the right policies and investments.”

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WHO Calls for Better Vaccination Coverage Against Increasing Number of Measles Cases

The United Nations agency, citing preliminary data, said that more than 112,000 cases of the preventable but highly contagious disease have been reported across the globe

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Steve Sierzega receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., March 27, 2019. VOA

The number of measles cases worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first three months of the year compared to last year, the World Health Organization reported Monday.

The United Nations agency, citing preliminary data, said that more than 112,000 cases of the preventable but highly contagious disease have been reported across the globe in the January-to-March period. WHO called for better vaccination coverage against measles, which can kill or leave a child disabled for life.

Over recent months, WHO said spikes in the disease have occurred “in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States … as well as Israel, Thailand, and Tunisia, as the disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people.”

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Public health authorities worry about outbreaks in communities where vaccination rates are low, fueled by a growing movement of people who view the MMR vaccine, mumps and rubella as dangerous. VOA

“While this data is provisional and not yet complete, it indicates a clear trend,” WHO said. “Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases.”

The agency said the reported number of cases often lags behind the number of actual cases, meaning that the number of documented cases likely does not reflect the actual severity of the measles outbreaks.

For three weeks in a row, U.S. health authorities have added dozens of new reports of measles to its yearly total, now at 555, the biggest figure in five years. Twenty of the 50 U.S. states have now reported measles cases.

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FILE – 15-month-old August Goepferd received mumps and rubella booster shot at a clinic at Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis. VOA

ALSO READ: New York Takes Drastic Steps to Prevent Spread of Measles Outbreak

More than half of the U.S. total — 285 cases — have been reported in New York City. Officials in the country’s largest city last week ordered mandatory measles vaccinations to halt the outbreak that has been concentrated among ultra-Orthodox Jews in the city’s Brooklyn borough.

City health department officials blamed anti-vaccine propagandists for distributing misinformation in the community. (VOA)