UN calls for renewed effort to eliminate iodine deficiency risk to mental health

The number of countries where iodine deficiency, a significant cause of mental development problems in children, is prevalent has halved over the past decade due mainly to a strategy of universal salt iodization, but 54 nations are still deficient, according to a new United Nations health agency report released today.

WHO launches centre for virtual information exchange to head off pandemics

After months of testing, the United National public health agency today opened an emergency response centre to head off illnesses that verge on becoming pandemic - such as bird flu and SARS - anywhere in the world in 48 hours.

Research into health delivery systems could cut global deaths in half – UN report

Research into health systems could prevent half of all global deaths with simple and cost-effective measures, producing dramatic improvements in health worldwide by translating scientific knowledge into action on the ground, according to a new United Nations report released today.

UN health experts convene to improve patient safety

With 10 per cent of patients being infected or otherwise harmed during their hospital stay, the United Nations public health agency today launched a programme to set worldwide standards that would reduce the number of preventable new illnesses, injuries and deaths that now cost billions of dollars.

UN forum aims to boost eating fruit, vegetables in bid to avert millions of deaths

With at least 2.7 million people dying each year around the world because they eat too little fruit and vegetables, the United Nations is holding a three-day workshop in Kobe, Japan, to find better ways to make these two essential commodities available to those who currently cannot access enough.

UN will award annual public health fellowships in $5 million programme

The United Nations health agency today announced plans to train as many as 10 young people each year dedicated to improving public health, including upgrading responses to epidemics and other widespread health emergencies, especially in developing countries.

UN health agency issues guidelines on safety of alternative medicines

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today announced the publication of guidelines aimed at helping countries and consumers navigate the largely unregulated world of alternative medicines.

WHO report finds most serious mental health disorders are untreated

Serious mental health disorders remain largely untreated around the world, with developing countries faring worst but even relatively affluent countries in North America and Western Europe unable to help up to half of their sufferers, according to the findings of a first in a series of studies by the United Nations health agency.

HIV/AIDS, obesity to top agenda for UN health agency's governing body

HIV/AIDS, obesity and vehicular crashes top the agenda as the governing body of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) meets for its 57th session next week in Geneva.

WHO calls for new tools to keep up with new diseases like SARS

With most of the powers at its disposal increasingly outdated, the United Nations health agency is calling for more potent tools to keep up with emerging diseases such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and bird flu, which have recently spread havoc in Asia and beyond and left the world at risk for pandemics.