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Infectious Disease


* About 1.8 billion people are at heightened risk for COVID-19 and other diseases because they use or work in health care facilities without basic water services, according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. The report, Global Progress Report on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Health Care Facilities: Fundamentals First, states that, worldwide, one in four health care facilities lacks water services, one in three doesn't have hand hygiene access at the point of care, one in 10 has no sanitation services, and one in three doesn't segregate waste safely. To read the report, go to


* Tuberculosis remains the world's deadliest infectious disease. The Step Up for TB 2020 report, by the Stop TB Partnership and Medecins Sans Frontieres, summarizes findings from a recent survey of national tuberculosis policies in 37 countries with a high tuberculosis incidence, and found that "too few countries are consistently stepping up to update national policies in a timely manner following the issuance of new WHO guidelines and recommendations. As a result, the products of innovation take far too many years to reach the people who need them." To read the report, go to



Noncommunicable Diseases


* Noncommunicable diseases now make up seven of the world's top 10 causes of death, according to the WHO's 2019 Global Health Estimates-an increase from four of the 10 leading causes in 2000. Heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, cancers, and diabetes are among these 10, as are Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.



Women's Reproductive Health


* Using more midwife services could result in 280,000 fewer deaths in mothers, 2 million fewer deaths in newborns, and nearly 2 million fewer stillbirths per year by 2035, according to a study published in the January Lancet Global Health. The authors point out that even a modest increase in midwife-delivered care could result in substantially reduced maternal mortality.