More than 40% of Syrian refugees in Jordan are children below the age of 11 (source: UNHCR). Photo: WHO16 June 2013 – Zeina* and her twin sister fled Syria to Jordan almost five months ago with their six children, all under the age of 11. “In Dar’aa, my home town, there was nothing. Our hospitals and health centres were almost all closed down. Doctors would come out to see people, but this was expensive, and I heard stories of doctors being kidnapped on their rounds,” she said. Despite the harsh living conditions in Al Zaatari camp, Zeina knows her children’s health comes first. “I don’t like it, but at least we can sleep at night. It takes us an hour to get from our tent to the immunization caravan, but I know it’s for the children’s good. They have begun to smile again since we left Syria. At least they get some medical assistance here.”
Zeina is just one of almost half a million Syrians refugees currently living in Jordan, joined daily by more than 1000 additional new arrivals. As the situation inside Syria continues to deteriorate, UNHCR estimates the total number of Syrians in Jordan will exceed 1 million before the end of this year, constituting almost 17% of Jordan’s total population.
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A single unit of donated blood can save up to three lives. Many patients requiring transfusion, particularly in developing countries, do not have timely access to safe blood.3 June 2013 – This week, the tenth anniversary of World Blood Donor Day will be celebrated under the slogan "Give the gift of life: donate blood". The Day, which is celebrated globally, aims to encourage voluntary, unpaid and safe blood donation to help fill the gap in blood supplies and ensure the flow of safe blood worldwide.
Every year, 92 million blood donations are collected worldwide. Approximately half of these donations are collected in high-income countries, home to only 15% of the world’s population.
Low- and middle-income countries, including countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region, suffer from severe shortage of voluntary non-remunerated blood donations while the need for blood supplies is huge; the greatest use of donated blood in these countries is for pregnancy-related complications and severe childhood anaemia.
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27 May 2013 – This year, the theme of World No Tobacco Day is a comprehensive ban of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. For decades, marketing activities have been shown to increase the consumption and sale of virtually any product, yet the tobacco industry continues to deny the link. The industry claims that tobacco marketing neither convinces smokers to smoke more nor persuades non-smokers to start. It claims it merely supports healthy competition and motivates existing smokers to switch brands.
Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people a year. By 2030, it will kill more than 8 million people every year, with more than 80% of these preventable deaths among people living in low- and middle-income countries.
Evidence shows that comprehensive bans help reduce tobacco use and counter: the misleading nature of tobacco marketing campaigns; the failure of the tobacco industry to effectively self-regulate; and the ineffectiveness of partial bans.
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