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  • 1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss
    Some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events, according to WHO. Hearing loss has potentially devastating consequences for physical and mental health, education and employment.

    Data from studies in middle- and high-income countries analysed by WHO indicate that among teenagers and young adults aged 12-35 years, nearly 50% are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices and around 40% are exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues. Unsafe levels of sounds can be, for example, exposure to in excess of 85 decibles (dB) for eight hours or 100dB for 15 minutes.
  • WHO calls for worldwide use of "smart" syringes
    Use of the same syringe or needle to give injections to more than one person is driving the spread of a number of deadly infectious diseases worldwide. Millions of people could be protected from infections acquired through unsafe injections if all healthcare programmes switched to syringes that cannot be used more than once. For these reasons, WHO is launching a new policy on injection safety to help all countries tackle the pervasive issue of unsafe injections.*

    A 2014 study sponsored by WHO, which focused on the most recent available data, estimated that in 2010, up to 1.7 million people were infected with hepatitis B virus, up to 315 000 with hepatitis C virus and as many as 33 800 with HIV through an unsafe injection. New WHO injection safety guidelines and policy released today provide detailed recommendations highlighting the value of safety features for syringes, including devices that protect health workers against accidental needle injury and consequent exposure to infection.
  • UN delivers 62 metric tons of humanitarian aid to Ukraine
    WHO today delivered 13 tons of medical supplies to the Donetsk region in Ukraine as part of the first UN humanitarian convoy, which brought a total of 62 tons of relief materials.

    Supplies include HIV and tuberculosis medical products, 612 kg of HIV test systems and 3 tons of drugs to treat infections in people with weak immune defences.
  • WHO urges governments to increase investment to tackle neglected tropical diseases
    WHO urges affected countries to scale up their investment in tackling 17 neglected tropical diseases in order to improve the health and well-being of more than 1.5 billion people. This investment would represent as little as 0.1% of current domestic expenditure on health in affected low- and middle-income countries for the period 2015-2030.

    Neglected tropical diseases cause blindness, disfigurement, permanent disability and death, particularly among the poor. WHO’s new report, "Investing to overcome the impact of neglected tropical diseases", outlines an investment case and essential package of interventions for these diseases.
  • WHO statement on the Eighth Meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding MERS-CoV
    The eighth meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) regarding the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was conducted with members and advisors of the Emergency Committee by teleconference on 4 February 2015, from 12:00 to 15:00 Central European Time.

    The WHO Secretariat provided an update on and assessment of epidemiological and scientific developments, including a description of recent cases and transmission patterns. The following countries provided an update on and assessment of MERS-CoV in their countries: Austria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

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