UN Says Annual Afghan Child Casualties Rose By 24 Percent
The United Nations recorded an alarming 24 percent spike in conflict-related child casualties in Afghanistan and a three percent rise in total civilian casualties in 2016 compared to the year before.
The violence caused more than 11,400 civilian casualties, including around 3,500 deaths last year, according to the annual report by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, or UNAMA, released in Kabul Monday.
It attributed 61 percent of civilian deaths and injuries to anti-government elements, mainly the Taliban. UNAMA blamed pro-government forces for causing 24 percent of the casualties, saying it reflected a 46 percent increase compared to 2015.
The report could not ascertain responsibility for 10 percent of the casualties caused by the fighting, while the remaining five percent resulted mainly from explosive remnants of war.
The armed conflict in Afghanistan has claimed the lives of around 25,000 Afghan civilians and injured more than 45,000 since 2009, according to UNAMA.
WHO, Medical Experts, Warn of Rising Health Costs in Asia
Asia faces a growing burden in treatment costs due to rising numbers of patients diagnosed with cancer, as well as those suffering from stroke and dementia over the next decade.
While Asia’s economic progress has led to sharply lower levels of poverty, it has resulted in social and lifestyles changes ranging from diets to increasing urban pollution, that extract an increasing toll on communities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says in Southeast Asia, late treatment of cancer results in 1.3 million deaths a year. WHO says of the 8.8 million deaths from cancer annually, two thirds are in Africa and Asia.
Cancers, along with diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic lung diseases, were responsible for 40 million – or 70 percent of the world’s 56 million deaths in 2015, WHO said.
But globally treatment costs are rising. In 2015, the spending on cancer drugs rose by 11.5 percent to $107 billion, and is forecast to rise to $150 billion by 2020 – due largely to the expense of newer and more specialized drugs.
China reported four million new cancer cases in 2016, with the national health bill set to soar “fourfold” to 12.7 trillion yuan ($1.84 trillion) by 2025, the consultants said.