Tag Archives: world health organisation

Martin Horwood writes … Much more than a number

School visit re FGM

Baroness Lindsay Northover, Baroness Jenny Randerson and Lynne Featherstone MP at a school visit to talk about FGM

As the only UK party with internationalism at our heart, Lib Dems should be very proud of being part of the first government to spend 0.7% of national income on helping the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world, a target set by the international community forty years ago and one that many politicians over the years have disregarded as unobtainable.

Irate Tory rightwingers often criticise it as a number plucked out of the air.  It’s not true.  0.72% was proposed to the UN in 1968 by the Dutch economist Jan Tinbergen, who shortly afterwards won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his pioneering work in macroeconomic modelling. It was later refined to 0.70%.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Opinion: Suicide is preventable: we need a coordinated approach to reduce needless deaths

The reporting of suicide in the national media usually only occurs when the deceased is rich, famous, or infamous. Yet it is approximated that one person dies from suicide every 40 seconds.  A report from the World Health Organisation,  Preventing Suicide – A Global Imperative,  examines the need for urgent action to reduce suicide rates by 10% within 6 years. A tall task: made difficult as worldwide the stigma attached to mental health and suicide itself, pushes the subject into the background: an ever-growing elephant in the room. In my case an ever growing Black Dog. That according to WHO is 800 000 people a year and an estimated 20 per person who has died has attempted suicide.

In the United Kingdom, it is evident that more males than females commit suicide: in 2012, there were 4360 reported suicides of which 3400 were male, approximately 3 ½ times that of females. There is a strong reluctance with men to discuss their problems whether they be concerned with mental health or other situational circumstances. The highest rates are with men over 30 years old.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

Opinion: Devil in disguise, new drug, same old lies

There’s another new drug in town, and the System is being cranked up to counter its insidious spread. This drug is increasingly popular among the young, who consider it exotic and often try it when abroad. It’s called “The Devil in Disguise” in government propaganda, because of its supposedly devastating health effects – just one session of this drug is equivalent to smoking 100-200 cigarettes, so say the “experts”, and it can even harm nearby children.

What is it? Well, it’s the shisha water pipe (“hookah”), with tobacco. There is growing anti-shisha propaganda around, which I don’t have a problem with …

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Stephen Williams gets award from World Health Organisation for anti smoking work

Stephen and Anna Soubry - WHO AwardEvery year on World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organisation gives out medals to people who have made outstanding contributions to tobacco control.

There were just six awards given out in Europe, and one of them was to Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams, who was nominated by two organisations, Action on Smoking and Health and Smokefree South West.

He was presented with the medal by Health Minister Anna Soubry today. The Minister backed his campaign for plain packaging of cigarettes.

Since he …

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Government gives £16m to help with Ivory Coast refugee crisis

Some good news from the government on the unfolding international crisis that almost no-one in Britain is interested in, namely the Ivory Coast. The Department for International Development (DfiD) is giving £16m in emergency aid to help deal with the large numbers of people fleeing the violence.

Many of them are crossing the border to Liberia, a country itself struggling to recover from its own violence. As The Guardian reported,

Last week the UN high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres,visited Liberia and warned that the influx of refugees threatened the country’s eight years of peace, following a civil war that left

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