Despite net gains, humans’ treatment of nature significantly threatens health

With 60 per cent of nature’s gifts that support life on Earth, such as fresh water, clean air and relatively stable climate, being degraded or used unsustainably, the harm to human health, despite net gains, is already being felt and could worsen significantly over the next 50 years, according to a United Nations report released today.

UN health agency calls for end to abuse of people with mental disorders

Alarmed that many of the 450 million people with mental disorders around the world are still stigmatized, abused and locked up under inhuman conditions, the World Health Organization (WHO) is dedicating International Human Rights Day, 10 December, to ending these practices.

UN’s intellectual property model to help developing countries makes good progress

A year-old United Nations project aimed at helping developing country health research institutions to protect and commercialize their results has reached its halfway point, with 90 newly trained experts in patents and licences, the coordinating World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said today.

Chilean, Argentine and Cuban win UN Pan American health awards

Three Latin American physicians have been awarded this year's Pan American Health awards in the fields of medicine, health care and bioethics, the United Nations regional health agency for the Americas said today.

Worldwide overweight and obesity problem ‘staggering’ – UN health agency

With largely preventable obesity and overweight contributing to more than 17 million deaths every year, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) warned today that more than 1 billion people worldwide are overweight and that, under current trends, the number will increase to 1.5 billion by 2015.

UN Population Fund expands work on reproductive health worldwide

The United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) activities on behalf of women’s reproductive health has drawn it into providing and expanding anti-HIV training for Latin American and Caribbean law enforcement, preventing or treating maternal birth injuries in Chad and Indonesia and rescuing a nine-year-old girl from her 40-year-old “husband” in Kenya.

UN agency calls for steps to improve health care in Latin America and Caribbean

A United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report on progress made toward meeting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Latin America and the Caribbean has recommended a number of steps to improve health care in region, while noting that area’s maternal mortality ratio statistics masked serious problems, including a lack of reliable sources for detecting and recording deaths.

Human pig disease outbreak in China appears to have peaked, UN health agnecy

A swine-borne disease that has infected 215 people in China, killing 39, seems to have peaked, but the movement of live pigs and trade of meat from the infected area must be carefully monitored to stop the outbreak from spreading nationally or internationally, according to the latest update issued by the United Nations health agency.

New charter for health promotion in globalized world adopted at UN conference

With life expectancy rates differing by up to nearly 50 years between countries and more than 20 years within the same country, concerted efforts to close the health gap gained new momentum today under a charter for health promotion in a globalized world adopted at a United Nations-sponsored conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Caribbean must improve identification of health needs, UN regional health agency says

While the Caribbean region's transportation and infrastructure have improved, it must strengthen public health delivery services by upgrading the information and needs-identification systems which have depreciated over the past four decades, the director of the United Nations regional public health agency said today.