WHO | Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused

Sexual abuse of children and adolescents is a gross violation of their rights and a global public health problem. It adversely affects the health of children and adolescents. Health care providers are in a unique position to provide an empathetic response to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused. Such a response can go a long way in helping survivors recover from the trauma of sexual abuse.

WHO has published new clinical guidelines Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused aimed at helping front-line health workers, primarily from low resource settings, in providing evidence-based, quality, trauma-informed care to survivors. The guidelines emphasises the importance of promoting safety, offering choices and respecting the wishes and autonomy of children and adolescents. They cover recommendations for post-rape care and mental health; and approaches to minimising distress in the process of taking medical history, conducting examination and documenting findings.

To download the publication on the WHO website go to: WHO | Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused

EU food donation guidelines

The primary focus of food waste prevention should be to act directly at source by limiting the generation of surplus food at each stage in the food supply chain (i.e. production, processing, distribution and consumption). If this cannot be achieved, the best destination for food surplus, which ensures the highest value use of edible food resources, is to redistribute this food for human consumption where safe to do so.

As part of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission has adopted EU food donation guidelines in order to facilitate the recovery and redistribution of safe, edible food to those in need. Developed in consultation with the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, the EU food donation guidelines seek to:

  • facilitate compliance of providers and recipients of surplus food with relevant requirements laid down in the EU regulatory framework (e.g. food safety, food hygiene, traceability, liability, VAT, etc.);
  • promote common interpretation by regulatory authorities in the EU Member States of EU rules applying to the redistribution of surplus food.

To read more about food donation on the European Commission website, click here: Food Donation – European Commission

Scientific Advice on breast implants and health

The European Commission and its Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) have published two Scientific Advices related to breast implants and health, requested by the European Commission. These are on:

1) new scientific information on the safety of PIP breast implants

The first piece of advice concerns whether there is sufficient new scientific information on the safety of PIP breast implants to warrant an update of the 2014 SCENIHR Opinion. Based on the scientific information it has gathered and evaluated, the SCHEER concludes that this is not the case at present

2) the possible association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).

The second piece of advice is on the state of scientific knowledge on a possible association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma. The SCHEER concluded that, at present, there is insufficient scientific information available to establish a methodologically robust risk assessment on the potential association of breast implants with the development of ALCL.

To read the full report and advice on the European Commission website go to: http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/sante/newsletter-specific-archive-issue.cfm?newsletter_service_id=327&newsletter_issue_id=3209

Assessing progress on reduction of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial consumption

A set of indicators will assist European Union  Member States to assess their progress in reducing the use of antimicrobials and combatting antimicrobial resistance. These indicators have been established by the European Food Safety Authority, the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, following a request from the European Commission.

The indicators address both the human and animal sectors and they reflect antimicrobial consumption and antimicrobial resistance in the community, in hospitals and in food-producing animals. The indicators are based on data already gathered through existing EU monitoring networks.

To read more about this go to the European Medicines Agency website: http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2017/10/news_detail_002833.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac058004d5c1

 

Sales of antibiotics for animal use decrease by 13% in Europe

The European Medicines Agency has published a report on the sales of veterinary antibiotics in 2015 in Europe, which confirms the decreasing trend in most countries. This positive trend demonstrates that European Union guidance and national campaigns promoting prudent use of antibiotics in animals to fight antimicrobial resistance start to have an effect.

Between 2011 and 2015 the sales of antibiotics to treat animals decreased by 13.4%. This result covers those 25 out of the 30 participating countries that have provided data since 2011.

To read more about the decreasing sales of antibiotics for animal use on the EMA website go to: European Medicines Agency – News and Events – Sales of antibiotics for animal use decrease by 13% in Europe between 2011 and 2015

Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused

Sexual abuse of children and adolescents is a gross violation of their rights and a global public health problem. It adversely affects the health of children and adolescents. Health care providers are in a unique position to provide an empathetic response to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused. Such a response can go a long way in helping survivors recover from the trauma of sexual abuse.

WHO has published new clinical guidelines Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused aimed at helping front-line health workers, primarily from low resource settings, in providing evidence-based, quality, trauma-informed care to survivors. The guidelines emphasize the importance of promoting safety, offering choices and respecting the wishes and autonomy of children and adolescents. They cover recommendations for post-rape care and mental health; and approaches to minimizing distress in the process of taking medical history, conducting examination and documenting findings.

To read more about this on the WHO website go to: WHO | Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused

New brochure on best practices in mental health launched

While many research institutions, care centres, non‐ governmental organisations, and governments within the EU conduct programmes and practices centred on mental health, it can be difficult to find information about them and to ensure their use and scale up in other settings. Good practices are a valuable resource contributing to sharing of knowledge and experience, and facilitating improvements in mental health by encouraging their adaptation and implementation.

The EU Compass for Action on Mental Health and Well‐being has been commissioned by the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea) to collect, exchange, and analyse information on policy and stakeholder activities in mental health.

To read the booklet in full on the Europa website go to: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/mental_health/docs/2017_mh_work_schools_en.pdf

Health system performance assessment: Reporting and Communicating, a Practical Guide for Policy Makers

During the meetings of the EU expert group on HSPA, several experts expressed their interest to look at specific practical topics that could be of interest to policy makers, e.g. how to present HSPA findings, simplicity of the communication vis-à-vis complexity of the analysis, etc.

HSPA is a complex combination of activities that range from the involvement of stakeholders, the building of a political supportive environment, the definition of indicators, and the collection of reliable and comparable data – just to name few of them.

To read the full paper on reporting and communicating, a practical guide for policy makers go to: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/systems_performance_assessment/docs/2017_hspa_reportingcommunicating_en.pdf

 

World Mental Health Day: New brochure on best practices in mental health launched

On World Mental Health Day, the EU-financed Compass Consortium launched a new brochure on Good Practices for Mental health at work, in schools, and prevention of depression and suicide.  The brochure gathers best practices from across the EU for the benefit of organisations seeking to improve the care that they provide in mental health and well-being – be they schools, workplaces, community centres, counselling services or medical practices.

Examples of potentially useful practices in mental health and well-being, gathered and evaluated by the Consortium include:

  • Mental health at work
  • Mental health in schools
  • Prevention of depression
  • Prevention of suicide

To read the brochure in full go to: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/mental_health/docs/2017_mh_work_schools_en.pdf

Food and drink policies for better heart health

A message for World Heart Day, by Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety:

“I am a big fan of a Mediterranean style diet, rich in fruit and vegetables that is good for heart health. Unfortunately the numbers seem to suggest that not so many of us adopt this kind of regime. Indeed, only one in seven people over the age of 15 in the EU eats the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day according to 2016 figures. Furthermore, in 17 EU countries more that 50% of adults are overweight or obese, which we know is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease s (CVDs).”

The latter remains the leading cause of death and a major cause of illness and disability in the EU, despite considerable progress in tackling CVDs. According to the latest Eurostat data, heart diseases and strokes causes over 1.8 million deaths in the EU in 2014 alone, and according to the European Heart Network, dietary risks are the cause of around half of premature deaths from CVD. As our diet is such an important factor in warding off CVD, on this year’s World Heart Day I would like to focus on the importance of food and drink policies for heart health, and outline some supportive EU-actions in this area of national competence.

To read this message in full on the European Commission website: http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/sante/newsletter-specific-archive-issue.cfm?newsletter_service_id=327&newsletter_issue_id=5329