Health gap between rich and poor in the spotlight at UN forum

19 October 2011With the health gap between rich and poor at its widest level in recent history, the United Nations today opened a three-day forum in Brazil to tackle the social, economic and environmental root causes of health inequities. With the health gap between rich and poor at its widest level in recent history, the United Nations today opened a three-day forum in Brazil to tackle the social, economic and environmental root causes of health inequities.“The differences, within and between countries, in income levels, in opportunities, in health status, and in access to care are greater today than at any time in recent history,” UN World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan told representatives of some 120 governments, including 60 health ministers, experts, and civil society organizations in Rio de Janeiro. “A world that is greatly out of balance in matters of health is neither stable nor secure.”The conference, convened by WHO and hosted by the Brazilian Government, comes amid mounting pressure on governments to reduce social inequalities, which have further widened as a result of the global financial crisis. At present, the life expectancy gap between countries is 36 years and there is ample evidence that in all countries – whether low, middle or high-income – an individual’s health is largely determined by his socio-economic position. With the right mix of government policies and coordinated action on local, national and international levels, existing gaps could be narrowed. “Many countries are taking action to reduce socially-determined health gaps but not enough is being done.” WHO said in a news release.“In the context of the global financial crisis, increasing food insecurity, and the challenges of climate change, new strategic approaches will be needed to address the determinants of ill-health.”On Friday, at the end of the conference, governments are expected to endorse a Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health outlining their agreements and pledges to improve the broader social conditions that affect people’s health. read more

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Adrian Bayley loses appeal over 35year sentence for Jill Meagher murder

first_imgTHE MAN CONVICTED of the rape and murder of Irish woman Jill Meagher has lost his appeal against a minimum 35-year jail term in Melbourne, Australia.Adrian Bayley raped and killed the Louth woman last September as she walked home from a night out with work friends in the Australian city.Her body was found in a shallow grave six days after she went missing.Bayley, 41, had a string of previous convictions for sexual and violent offences and was jailed for a minimum 35 years at Victorian Supreme Court in June.At a hearing in Melbourne overnight lawyers for Bayley argued that a non-parole period of 28 to 32 years would be more appropriate and that 35 years was excessive.But the Court of Appeal’s Chief Justice Marilyn Warren and Justices Marcia Neave and Paul Coghlan took less than 10 minutes to consider the case before dismissing it.It will publish its reasons for doing so at a later date, according to The Age. The appeal came just days after the anniversary of Meagher’s death.Read: Tributes paid to Jill Meagher one year onRead: Mayor of town where Jill Meagher was murdered visits her family in DroghedaRead: Jill Meagher’s rapist and killer jailed for at least 35 yearslast_img read more

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