At the 70th annual World Health Assembly in May 2017, member states will vote in a new director general for the World Health Organization (WHO-DG), who will take office on 1 July 2017.
Currently there are six candidates for the post, four from Europe, and one each from Africa and Asia. They will face a tough task in proving to the world that the WHO is still competent in delivering global health, particularly given the criticism it received after 11,000 people died during the Ebola outbreak.
People in Hong Kong are no strangers to the fear and devastation caused by an epidemic. In 2003, Hong Kong recorded a total of 1,755 SARS cases which led to 299 deaths, in which 8 were health workers. After a decade, health workers in West Africa are facing life-threatening work environment as they care for Ebola patients. Over 120 health workers in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone have so far died of Ebola, and the infected number has grown by more than double. These are unprecedented figures according to World Health Organization (WHO).
[ePrayer – Pray for water and sanitation in the world]
Water and sanitation, which is fundamental to fighting disease and poverty, are included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Last year, it was said that the world had reached the target of access to improved sources of water, but water quality to a large degree still fails to meet basic UN World Health Organization (WHO) standards. Roughly 80 per cent of global wastewater from human settlements or industrial sources is discharged untreated, contaminating oceans, lakes and rivers. Sanitation is the most lagging of the MDGs. Meeting the target would involve reducing the proportion of people without access to sanitation from more than half, to 25 per cent by 2015. However, more than 2.5 billion people around the world still have no adequate sanitation and of these one billion practice open defecation. Poor sanitation also has a big impact on the safety and well-being of women and girls; the day-to-day humiliation and risks faced by women and girls without access to appropriate sanitation facilities have been demonstrated time and again. Therefore, renewed international cooperation on water management and access to adequate sanitation is needed. [UN News]
Pray for water and sanitation in the world :
Pray for greater international cooperation on working towards sustainable solutions and measures to improve water management and sanitation;
Remember the needs and situations of those without clean and safe water and adequate sanitation, especially vulnerable women and girls.