In the News
* Childhood mortality rates worldwide among children younger than five years declined 41% between 1990 and 2011, according to the UNICEF report Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed (http://bit.ly/Pew8de).
* The Nursing Times reported in October on Global Research Nurses, a program aimed at low- and middle-income countries that provides free tools to connect nurse researchers worldwide (http://globalresearchnurses.tghn.org).
* The number of cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo continued to increase as we went to press, with more than one-third occurring in health care workers as of mid-September (http://bit.ly/ONaID7).
* The Ebola virus outbreak that occurred in Uganda in late July was successfully contained by September 13, according to Doctors Without Borders (http://bit.ly/RjAYtM).
The 2012 report Health in the Americas, an online publication from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), details the most current data available on the progress and challenges to health in the 48 countries that make up the Western Hemisphere (the report summary can be found at http://bit.ly/UjNecW). Some highlights include the following:
* Cases of cholera in Haiti totaled more than half a million between October 2010 and July 2012, with more than 7,500 deaths, according to PAHO. Total cases in the Dominican Republic reached 25,000, with more than 400 deaths. In August, the PAHO Technical Advisory Group recommended expanded use of the oral cholera vaccine to aid elimination efforts, and the World Health Organization is considering stockpiling the vaccine.
* Between 2001 and 2009, the estimated rate of new HIV infections in Latin America and the Caribbean dropped from 22.5 to 18.6 per 100,000 population and the rates of new infections in North America remained stable.
* In 2009, chronic noncommunicable diseases accounted for 73% of the deaths in Brazil; cardiovascular disease, external causes, and neoplasms accounted for 59% of male mortality.
* By 2009, diabetes had become the leading cause of death in Mexico, and maternal mortality continues to be a priority challenge.
* The nurse-to-population ratio in India is 0.4 to 1,000. To improve this ratio, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sanctioned the creation of almost 300 new nursing schools, particularly in remote, underserved areas of the country.
* Particulate matter in the air can lead to health problems and early death, yet 21% of the European Union (EU) urban population (41% of EU countries) live in areas where levels of particulate matter exceeded quality limits in 2010, according to the European Environment Agency. The report, Air Quality in Europe 2012 (http://bit.ly/PeQORQ), will be used by the European Commission to address air pollution policies in 2013.