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Curbing climate change could save millions of lives – WHO

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: The World Health Organization (WHO) logo is pictured at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva, January 25, 2015. REUTERS/PIERRE ALBOUY

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday (December 5) that mitigating climate change would save millions of lives at a global level.

According to WHO, exposure to pollution results in seven million deaths every year. The organization says climate change affects a number of diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, lung cancer, stroke or ischemic heart diseases.

Speaking during COP24, United Nations talks on climate change in Katowice, Poland, WHO’s head of environmental determinants of health, Maria Neira said a number of pulmonary and heart diseases caused by pollution were not included in decision-making processes and documents related to climate change.

Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, a team leader for climate change and health with WHO, added that health benefits of meeting the 2 Degree C Goal, which aims to cap a rise in average surface temperatures at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), are approximately twice the value of what it would cost to implement that mitigation at the global level.

COP24 talks are billed as the most important U.N. conference since the landmark Paris 2015 deal on climate change. Over the next two weeks, the aim is to make an end-of-year deadline for agreeing on a rule book on how to enforce global action to limit further warming of the planet. — Reuters

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#WorldBloodDonorDay: WHO urges people to give blood, save lives

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the public to donate blood ahead of the celebration of the World Blood Donor Day on June 14 (Friday).

In a Twitter post, the WHO Philippines called on the public to participate in a blood donation drive they will organize with the Philippine Blood Center on June 13 (Thursday).

The bloodletting activity will be held in Sta. Cruz town, Manila from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“In early celebration of #WorldBloodDonorDay, WHO Philippines will be organizing a blood donation drive on 13 June, with the Philippine Blood Center,” the WHO Philippines announced.

“Join us at our office inside the @DOHgov compound from 9am to 4pm. Donate blood, save lives!” the agency added.   

According to the WHO website, the theme for this year’s campaign is blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusion, as a component of achieving universal health coverage.   

The slogan “Safe blood for all” was also developed to raise awareness on the universal need for safe blood in the delivery of health care and the crucial roles that voluntary donations play in achieving the goal of universal health coverage.

The WHO said the theme aims to strongly encourage more people all over the world to donate blood regularly, and to urge all governments and health authorities to provide adequate resources and implement systems to increase blood collection, promote/implement appropriate clinical use of blood, and to set up policies for the oversight and surveillance on the whole chain of blood transfusion.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III emphasized the need for blood especially during rainy season when mosquito-borne disease called dengue is more prevalent in the Philippines.

“That’s the time when you will have to consider ensuring availability of blood. In areas of identified hotspots, you have to ensure that delivery units have adequate stock of blood,” Duque said.

Aside from raising awareness, according to the WHO, the event also “serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.”The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2019 is Rwanda and the global event will be held in Kigali on June 14.

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PH rejects participation in international climate change conferences – Locsin

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 6th, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte delivering a speech at the 25th Nikkei conference

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin said he is no longer accepting invitations to join climate change conferences abroad.

This was after President Rodrigo Duterte questioned the significance of holding climate change conferences when there is no entity to implement the law on climate change.

“I am rejecting all official participation in climate change conferences requiring air travel,” the foreign affairs chief said over Twitter on Wednesday.

The Secretary said the Philippines will just vote on radical proposals to address the matter.

It will be recalled that during the 25th Nikkei conference, President Duterte claimed that there had been no accomplishments yet in so far as climate change is concerned and conferences about the issue only wasted funds and time.

“I said to the body, let’s stop kidding each other or else, we are just wasting the time and the money of the people coming back and forth to these conferences which has not improved a bit since we started to talk about it,” Duterte said during the Nikkei event on May 31.

During the event, the President mentioned of the country’s possible non-participation in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany on June 17 to 27.

“There’s a coming conference on climate change, then I pose this question, maybe we will attend, maybe we will not. America has not signed the treaty, China got out of it. I don’t think Russia is happy with its membership there,” he said.

“What ails this system? What is this conference of climate change for? It’s just a talk because there is no body, no entity to enforce the laws governing climate. There is not even a sanction,” he added.

Former Presidential Urban Poor Commission Chair Terry Ridon was sacked for his alleged junkets and overseas travels to attend climate change conferences. – (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Country in a ‘win-win-win’ situation with increased cigarette tax—WHO

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that raising taxes on cigarette will be a “win-win-win” situation and can save around 460,000 lives.

According to WHO representative to the Philippines, Gundo Weiler, on Monday (June 3) excise taxes on cigarette is a win for the economy.

“We know that individually, especially for the poorest segment of the society, increasing [the price of] tobacco will actually help them save money. They spend less on cigarettes. They will spend less on unnecessary health care,” he said.

Weiler adds that the collected tax can be used to fund the government’s Universal Health Care (UHC).

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