Author: npfdpk

Saudi Arabia invites UN health team in precautionary measure against spread of respiratory virus

13 February 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today announced it is dispatching a mission to Saudi Arabia next week at the request of the Government to take preventive measures for a possible upsurge of cases of a respiratory virus linked with camels known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-COv). Globally, there have been reports of at least 975 cases of the MERS virus, with 358 deaths, according to WHO. “New cases were now being reported on an almost daily basis,” WHO scientist Dr. Peter Ben Embarek told reporters in Geneva today. There were also reports, for the first time, of a case in the Philippines, involving a nurse who had returned from Saudi Arabia and had tested positive two days earlier, according to WHO. All of her contacts in the Philippines are now being followed, some of whom are showing signs of respiratory syndromes, but have tested negative thus far, the agency added. Dr. Ben Embarek said that since the latest large outbreak in May/June 2013, there had been a smaller surge in Saudi Arabia, which could typically be explained due to small hospital outbreaks. People were getting it through some sort of contacts with camels, or through close contact with primary cases in hospitals or households. He also said there were sporadic cases in Oman and the United Arab Emirates, but it was not...

Read More

‘Yemen is collapsing before our eyes,’ UN chief warns, urging international support to end crisis

12 February 2015 – Amid a dangerous political and humanitarian crisis and a seething secessionist movement, Yemen sits on the brink of collapse, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the Security Council today, reminding the international community of its “solemn obligation” under the UN Charter to help the country prevent an escalation of the conflict and re-launch its political process. “We have all been following recent developments in Yemen with the deepest concern,” said Mr. Ban, as he briefed the 15-member Council alongside the UN Special Advisor, Jamal Benomar. “Let me be clear: Yemen is collapsing before our eyes. We cannot stand by and watch,” the UN chief warned. We must do everything possible to help Yemen step back from the brink and get the political process back on track. Despite the formation of a new Government in November 2014 aimed at ending a period of political turbulence and bringing about a full transition towards democracy, Yemen continues to be plagued by violence and mass political demonstrations. Just two weeks ago, Mr. Ban voiced serious concern about developments following the abduction by the opposition group Ansarallah of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s chief of staff and the resignation of the President and Prime Minister amid a takeover of the capital, Sana’a by secessionist Houthi militants. This followed a steady deterioration since the beginning of the year as Government forces clashed...

Read More

UN health agency urges stepped-up surveillance to prevent spread of measles in the Americas

The recent outbreaks of measles – one of the leading causes of deaths among young children – in the United States and Brazil suggest that immunization rates in some areas have dropped below levels needed to prevent the spread of imported into the Americas, according to the United Nations health agency. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization, based in Washington, D.C., reported in a press release issued Tuesday that there were 147 confirmed measles cases in four countries of the Americas this year as of February 8. “Of that total, 121 cases were in the United States, linked primarily to an outbreak that began at Disneyland in California last December,” the PAHO/WHO press release said, adding that a single case in Mexico was also tied to that outbreak. Of the remaining cases, 21 were in Brazil and four were in Canada. “Thanks to high levels of immunization, the Americas have been on track for more than a decade to be formally declared free of measles,” said Dr. Cuauhtemoc Ruiz, head of PAHO/WHO’s immunization programme. “Maintaining high levels of vaccine coverage is key to preventing and halting outbreaks and to protect our populations from the constant threat of imported cases.” Measles had been considered eliminated from the Americas since 2002, due to the absence of endemic transmission of the disease as the result of...

Read More

Security Council approves resolution targeting sources of financing for ISIL

Ambassadors representing two countries under attack from ISIL, Bashar Ja’afari (right) of Syria, and Mohamed Ali Alhakim of Iraq, speak to journalists following the adoption of a Security Council resolution targeting sources of financing for the group. Urging global cooperation “to impair, isolate and incapacitate” terrorist threats, the United Nations Security Council today approved measures targeting sources of funding for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Nusrah Front (ANF), condemning those buying oil from the groups, banning all trade in looted antiquities from Iraq and Syria, and calling on States to end ransom payments. Unanimously adopting a Russian-led resolution, the Council reiterated its deep concern that oilfields, as well as other infrastructure such as dams and power plants, controlled by ISIL, ANF and other Al-Qaida-associated groups, “are generating a significant portion of the groups’ income, alongside extortion, private foreign donations, kidnap ransoms and stolen money from the territory they control.” As such, the Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter – which authorizes the use of force – condemned any engagement in direct or indirect trade, in particular of oil and oil products, and modular refineries, with ISIL, ANF and Al-Qaida affiliates, and reiterated that “such engagement would constitute support for such individuals, groups, undertakings and entities and may lead to further listings” by the relevant Sanctions Committee. Today’s resolution, which bolsters the...

Read More

West African Allied Forces Invade Sambisa Forest

The West African Allied Forces led by the Nigerian military, supported by Chad, Niger and Cameroon, on Thursday stormed the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, killing a good number of insurgents. A top military source said that the air forces bombarded the insurgents, before ground forces moved in and incapacitated the insurgents. Already the insurgents have been pushed out of Gamboru which lies on the Nigerian border with Cameroon. At the moment, the military, have crossed into the eastern fringe of Borno State, targeting other areas under Boko Haram control. The forest is widely believed to host some of the training camps and facilities of Boko Haram in the North-East. It was learnt that the military high command decided to invade the vast forest in order to make the North-West safe for the general elections. The National Information Centre (NIC), had on Thursday said it has received intelligence reports indicating a considerable movement of Boko Haram recruits from locations such as Geidam, Mairi and Dupcha (all in Borno State) to training camps within the general area. Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Coordinator of the Centre, Mr Mike Omeri, said that previous major attacks by insurgents, including the siege on Bama and Monguno military bases, were preceded by such massing up of fighters in training camps within the proposed targets. Mr Omeri, however, added that the Nigerian military forces have...

Read More







Like Us On Facebook