Key public health milestones reached in 2012: WHOListen /
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that key public health milestones were reached in 2012.
As the year ends, the agency highlights some of the key achievements and developments related to health during the year, including the end of polio transmission in India.
WHO also says that the Millennium Development Goal target on drinking water was met ahead of schedule.
Dianne Penn has more.
In 2012 governments made important decisions on combating illicit trade in tobacco products, monitoring non-communicable diseases, and conducting research on H5N1 influenza. WHO supported response to a number of disease outbreaks, including Ebola in Uganda. The Organization encouraged countries to invest in testing, treating and tracking all cases of malaria, and to improve access to contraceptives. It issued guidance on the use of antiretroviral drugs to both prevent HIV transmission and keep people healthy. 2012 also saw the publishing by WHO of new statistics highlighting the growing problem of high blood pressure and diabetes. It noted that 15 million babies are born preterm every year, but that overall progress on child survival is speeding up. Other recommendations showed how to use weather information to protect public health, and w to ensure people with mental health conditions receive good care. World Health Day observed each year on 7 April outlined ways to ensure healthy ageing, and the World Health Assembly adopted decisions on issues including nutrition, adolescent pregnancy, and the reform of WHO.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.