News in Brief 29 March 2017 (AM)

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WHO launched its Medication Safety Challenge to reduce medication-related harm by 50% over 5 years. Photo: WHO

WHO initiative seeks to halve medication-related errors

A global initiative to improve the way medicines are prescribed, distributed and consumed was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday.

It seeks to reduce medication-related errors by half over the next five years.

Medication errors can result from several factors such as health worker fatigue, staff shortages, poor training and the wrong information being given to patients.

They cause at least one death a year and injure some 1.3 million people in the United States alone, according to WHO.

UNICEF welcomes Italian law protecting child refugees and migrants

A "historic" new law in Italy that protects young unaccompanied refugees and migrants has been hailed by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) as a model for Europe.

The Zampa law calls for a series of measures which include reducing the time these children spend in first-line reception centres.

It also promotes foster care and host families for them.

UNICEF said more than 90 per cent of so-called "children on the move" via the Central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy are travelling by themselves.

Asia-Pacific: 1 in 10 still facing poverty, UN and partners report

Despite gains in poverty reduction in Asia and the Pacific, 400 million people there, or one in 10, are still poor due to widening income inequality.

The finding comes in a new report published on Wednesday by the UN office in the region, ESCAP, together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The study calls for effective action on eradicating poverty while also addressing factors behind marginalization, exclusion and lack of human rights protection.

ESCAP chief Dr Shamshad Akhtar said it also provides opportunities for innovative partnerships to find solutions for both rural and urban poverty.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'04"

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