News in Brief 31 October 2017 (PM)

31 October 2017

WHO reports progress in fight against hepatitis

A record three million people were able to obtain treatment for hepatitis C over the past two years.

Furthermore, some 2.8 million people began lifelong treatment for hepatitis B in 2016.

The figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) were released ahead of the start of the World Hepatitis Summit which opens in São Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday.

WHO said there has also been an increase in the number of countries developing plans to eliminate hepatitis, indicating that this can become a reality.

The hepatitis C virus affects an estimated 71 million people and can cause serious liver disease including cancer and cirrhosis.

Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person, making it an occupational hazard for health workers.

While a vaccine exists for hepatitis B, research into one for hepatitis C is still ongoing.

Condemnation for deadly airstrikes in Libya residential area

The death of civilians due to airstrikes in Libya earlier this week has been condemned by the UN mission in the country, UNSMIL.

At least 12 children and three women were killed in airstrikes on a residential neighbourhood in the city of Derna on Monday night, according to information received by the mission.

Three other adults and four children also were injured.

Stéphane Dujarric is the UN Spokesperson:

“Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that some medical supplies for Derna hospitals have reached the area last week. More items, including food and fuel, are pre-scheduled to enter but permission is still pending. The UN calls for immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access and for the lifting of restrictions on movement, especially for those needing medical treatment.”

UNHCR helping scores of Cameroonians in Nigeria

Thousands of people who have fled from Cameroon to Nigeria are receiving assistance from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Cameroon is a predominantly French-speaking nation and the arrivals have fled following renewed violence in Anglophone areas of the West African country earlier this month.

So far, UNHCR and local authorities in south-eastern Nigeria have registered 2,000 people.

An additional 3,000 are awaiting registration, while others might be trapped in forests, attempting to cross the border.

UNHCR teams on the ground have provided the people with relief items including mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets and cooking utensils, as well as 40 tonnes of food.

The UN agency said it is working with the government and other partners on a contingency plan for as many as 40,000 people crossing into Nigeria.

“Our fear, however, is that 40,000 might actually be a conservative figure in a situation where the conflict might continue,” UNHCR said in a statement.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration:  2'57"


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