Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Date: 20-28 May 2013
Agenda items discussion this year include three progress reports:
- Climate change and health (resolution EB 124.R5)
- Drinking-water, sanitation and health (resolution WHA 64.24)
- Workers’ health: global plan of action (resolution WHA 60.26)
Progress on sanitation and drinking-water
13 May 2013 -- The report Progress on sanitation and drinking-water warns that the world continues to be off-track to meet the MDG sanitation target. At this current rate, 2.4 billion people will remain without improved sanitation in 2015. The report confirms that the world met the MDG target on water for 2010, but highlights regional disparities, indicating that people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania have a coverage of only 63% and 56% respectively, considerably below the global coverage.
Health risk assessment from the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami
28 February 2013 -- The earthquake and tsunami in Japan on 11 March 2011 led to releases of radioactive material into the environment. This health risk assessment of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident estimates its potential public health impact so that future health needs can be anticipated and public health actions can be taken. This assessment is based on a preliminary estimate of radiation doses, as described in a WHO report published in May 2012.
Environmental hazards are responsible for as much as a quarter of the total burden of disease world-wide, and more than one-third of the burden among children. Heading that list are diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, various forms of unintentional injuries and malaria. The disease burden is much higher in the developing world, although in the case of certain non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancers, the per capita disease burden is larger in developed countries. Health impacts of environmental hazards run across more than 80 diseases and types of injury.
Well-targeted interventions can prevent much of this environmental risk.
Worldwide, as many as 13 million deaths could be prevented every year by making our environments healthier.