News in Brief 05 May 2016 (AM)

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A nurse washes his hands in the emergency room at Madina Hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Clean hands reduce surgical infections

Approximately 40 per cent of health care workers do not follow standard hand washing practices, according to studies cited by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The UN agency is highlighting the benefits of what it calls "proper hand hygiene practices" before, during and after surgery, as a means to improve patient safety and reduce infections.

"SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands" is the message for World Hand Hygiene Day, observed this Thursday.

WHO reports that surgical-site infections occur most frequently in low-income and middle-income countries.

And although hand hygiene is "a very simple action," the agency reports that a "significant number" of health care facilities in some countries do not have soap and water.

UNICEF: Make child rights a priority in EU asylum talks

The rights and interests of children must be given greater priority in upcoming talks related to Europe's refugee and migrant crisis, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday.

European Union (EU) member states and the European Parliament are set to examine a draft proposal to reform rules on asylum.

The new rules will determine which member state is responsible for considering asylum applications submitted anywhere in the EU.

UNICEF sees the discussions as an opportunity to boost safeguards for children seeking refuge in Europe.

For example, UNICEF said currently, it can take 11 months between a child's arrival there and their transfer to the member state that will consider their application for asylum.

The agency is recommending a three-month deadline for the process, among other measures.

Food prices rise for third consecutive month

The price of staple foods has risen globally for the third month in a row, driven by increases in the price of palm oil.

That's according to a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that was released on Wednesday.

FAO also reported a decrease in dairy prices due to growing stocks of butter and cheese.

And favourable winter weather conditions have led to predictions of the second largest global cereals harvest on record.

Carmen Cuesta Roca, United Nations.

Duration: 2’01″

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