Curbing climate change could save millions of lives – WHO

admin   •   December 6, 2018   •   2739

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

DOH, WHO warn public anew of e-cigarettes harmful effects

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2019

FILE PHOTO: An exhibitor staff member uses an electronic cigarette at Beijing International Vapor Distribution Alliance Expo (VAPE CHINA EXPO) in Beijing, July 24, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) once again called on the public, especially pregnant women and young adults, to refrain from vaping and using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other heated tobacco products.

The DOH made the call after the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced new International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 10 code U07.0, an international tool for classifying and monitoring diseases, following its warning on the harmful effects of e-cigarettes and other similar devices.

The tool, according to WHO, will be used for immediate reporting of acutely ill patients who have used e-cigarettes in the last 90 days, with no other plausible causes for illness.

“Electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products are sold in the market as alternatives for smokers trying to wean themselves off tobacco. Some studies claim that they contain fewer toxic chemicals and are less harmful alternatives to cigarettes,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

“We do not support their claim of reduced harm. These products endanger the health of both users and non-users, and are clearly not meant for children,” he added.

The WHO introduced new ICD codes in response to the epidemic in the United States involving healthy young people who were reported to have developed vaping-related illness in recent months.

With 1,299 cases and 26 deaths reported, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration are currently investigating the reports.

In support of WHO’s efforts, the DOH urged all government and private hospitals, clinics and other health facilities to use proper codes for designating vaping-related disorders to allow existing health information systems to capture data on vaping-related disorders.

Information on the potential harm of novel and emerging nicotine products can guide future policy directions for electronic cigarettes.

All health and allied health professionals are urged to be vigilant in identifying risks during routine clinical evaluations by taking the history of tobacco use and use of e-cigarettes or vapes in all patients.

DOH also called on the medical community, parents and teachers to help address the widespread use of electronic cigarettes, particularly among the youth and young adults.

“People who have recently used e-cigarettes or other vaping products should immediately seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms,” Duque said.

Climate change protesters disrupt London rail services

Robie de Guzman   •   October 17, 2019

British journalist, George Monbiot speaks to supporters before being arrested during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London, Britain, 16 October 2019. Global climate movement Extinction Rebellion announced climate change protests and blockades worldwide for two weeks starting 07 October. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

Climate change activists disrupted rail services in the east of London early on Thursday morning (September 17), sparking a physical confrontation between angry commuters and a protester who had climbed onto the roof of a London Underground train, video on social media showed.

“I’m doing this primarily for my grandchildren because I’ve learned that what we’re heading towards at the moment is an increase in temperature of over three degrees centigrade. Suffering and death on an enormous scale. Loss of food supplies,” said Phil Kingston, an 83-year old campaigner.

“I’m also here because the poorest people in the world who live in the tropics and they are experiencing the worst impacts of climate breakdown and environmental breakdown,” he added.

British Transport Police said they had responded to incidents at Shadwell, Stratford and Canning Town, near to London’s Canary Wharf financial district.

Footage showed protesters unfurling an Extinction Rebellion protest group banner on top of a stationary London Underground train at Canning Town before one was pelted with food and physically dragged off by commuters.

“Arrests have already been made and officers are working to quickly resume services,” the police said in a statement.

Extinction Rebellion launched a wave of civil disobedience on October 7 to highlight the risks posed by climate change and the accelerating loss of plant and animal species.

Police in London said on Wednesday they had arrested 1,642 people since the protests started. (Reuters)

(Production: Tara Oakes)

Climate change protester dressed as broccoli arrested in UK

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

A climate change protester dressed as a broccoli was arrested by police in London on Sunday (October 13), shouting “give peas (peace) a chance” and holding up a floret of broccoli.

The demonstrator who was wearing a large green broccoli headpiece and green face makeup was detained in London’s Oxford Street.

In April, the same protester who is a member of Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, was involved in a protest at the House of Commons, in which protesters removed items of their clothing and pressed their buttocks against the security glass in the chamber.

The demonstrator was released later on Sunday.

Extinction Rebellion, which uses civil disobedience to highlight the risks posed by climate change and the accelerating loss of plant and animal species, is midway through a new two-week wave of actions in cities around the world. (Reuters)

(Production: Andrew Marshall, Natalia Oriol, Parniyan Zemaryalai)

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