Promoting global health: WHO announces four new goodwill ambassadors

The World Health Organization has appointed four new goodwill ambassadors to further uphold and expand upon the diverse environment of global health.

Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization announced the appointment of four new goodwill ambassadors, from the fields of sports, politics and community mobilisation, to promote healthier lives, stronger health workforces and improved mental health globally.

Discover the new ambassadors

  • Alisson Becker, goalkeeper of the Brazilian national and Liverpool football teams, and Dr Natália Loewe Becker, medical doctor and health advocate from Brazil, as WHO Goodwill Ambassadors for Health Promotion
  • Cynthia Germanotta, President of Born This Way Foundation, which co-founded with her daughter, Lady Gaga, as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for mental health. In this role, Germanotta will raise awareness of the importance of mental health, help mobilise the international community to promote mental health and engage in global mental health campaigns
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Health Workforce. Sirleaf will position new momentum on investing in the education and employment of health workers, particularly women, to achieve universal health coverage and the SDGs.

Millions of Europeans are at risk of chronic digestive diseases

Discover Nutrition and Chronic Digestive Diseases, a new report launched by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), outlines alarming information on current dietary choices across the EU.

Vienna, 21 May 2019 – Poor nutritional choices, including a high intake of ultra-processed foods and trans-fats, are putting millions of Europeans at an increased risk of a range of chronic digestive diseases, including digestive cancers, wheat-related disorders and functional GI disorders, as well as obesity.

‘Nutrition and Chronic Digestive Diseases’, launched today by United European Gastroenterology (UEG) and supported by eleven medical associations, patient organisations and NGOs, canvasses the opinion of a number of leading experts in the fields of nutrition, digestive cancers, liver diseases, functional gastrointestinal disorders and paediatrics.

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Mental Health Awareness Week Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 13-19 May 2019. The theme this year is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.

How does body image affect mental health?

Having body image concerns is a relatively common experience and is not a mental health problem in and of itself; however, it can be a risk factor for mental health problems. Research has found that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders.

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Obesity report highlights risk of Type 2 diabetes for ‘slightly’ overweight people

Health experts say a new study on obesity sheds more light on the link between weight gain and the risk of serious disease and death.

The massive research project – which involved nearly three million sets of data – suggests that even being slightly overweight doubles the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The results have been presented to the 26th European Congress on Obesity taking place from April 28 – May 1 in Glasgow.

Researchers say the size of the study makes it different from anything that has previously been done.

It analysed data from the UK on more than 2.8 million adults, with an average age of 51, over an 18-year period between January 2000 and July 2018.

Our DWELL project is working to better manage and prevent Type 2 Diabetes, to read more about the project go to:

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What are the European Union political parties planning for your health?

The EUPHA (European Public Health Association) statement ‘What are the European Union political parties planning for your health?’ is a response to the European Union parties’ manifestos. The manifestos of the political parties seem not to prioritise health. Read the full analysis of the manifestos and calls for action in the EUPHA statement:

Europeans’ attitudes towards vaccination

While vaccination policy is a competence of national authorities, the EU plays a role in coordinating policies and programmes in this area. In response to the threat to public health posed by outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, the EU is taking action to strengthen cooperation. The survey asks questions about:

  • Europeans’ perceptions of vaccine-preventable diseases and of the perceived effectiveness of vaccines,
  • Europeans’ experiences with vaccination,
  • levels of Europeans’ knowledge about the effects of vaccines,
  • attitudes regarding the importance of vaccinations,
  • Europeans’ sources of information about vaccines and the extent to which they trust them.

This survey was carried out by the Kantar network in the 28 EU Member States between the 15th and 29th of March 2019. Some 27,524 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed face-to-face at home in their mother tongue.

In 17 of the 28 Member States the disease most frequently thought to be still causing deaths is the flu. In Cyprus (84%), France (85%) and Greece (87%), over eight in ten respondents mention this, around double the proportion of those who mention it in Poland (44%), where it is nevertheless still the most common response. In seven countries less than half of the respondents mention the flu, but this ranges from nearly half (49%) of the respondents in Austria to less than a fifth (15%) of the respondents in Italy. Only in Italy the flu is not among the top three responses.

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