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Half the population of the Americas is at risk of diseases carried by small insects

Roughly 50% of people living in the Western Hemisphere are at risk of one or more diseases carried by mosquitoes, ticks, flies and other vectors, including West Nile virus, dengue, malaria and most recently chikungunya. In a “call to action” for World Health Day 2014, top health experts from North and South America and the Caribbean urged greater efforts by governments, communities and individuals to control the spread of these and other vector-borne diseases.

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This year on Malaria Day in the Americas, November 6th 2013, the Pan American Health Organization will host a forum on “Defeating Malaria in the Americas: Perspectives on Costs, Current Resources, and Essential Investments” and an awards ceremony for the winners of the 2013 Malaria Champions of the Americas contest.

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On the occasion of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, WHO urges countries to address lead paint as a first step.Lead poisoning has devastating health consequences, in particular for children, with childhood lead exposure estimated to contribute to 600 000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year. Overall, 99% of children affected by high exposure to lead live in low- and middle-income countries, says WHO on the occasion of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, and calls on countries to strengthen national actions to eliminate lead paint.

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