Health Highlights: Nov. 5, 2014
WHO Appoints New Africa Director in Wake of Ebola Crisis Many Americans Know and Ignore Risks of Texting and Driving: Survey
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
WHO Appoints New Africa Director in Wake of Ebola Crisis
A new Africa director for the World Health Organization was elected Wednesday.
Botswana doctor Matshidiso Moeti is a longtime member of the U.N. agency. She joined WHO Africa as a regional adviser for women's and adolescent health, and was WHO Africa's regional director until March. She previously led the epidemiology and AIDS departments in Botswana, the AP reported.
Moeti said she "will work with every country in all the regions of our continent to improve the health of our populations."
She replaces Angolan doctor Luis Sambo, who was criticized for mishandling WHO's initial response to the current Ebola crisis in West Africa, the largest such outbreak in history.
In an internal draft document, WHO blames staff in Africa for a poor initial response to the Ebola outbreak, the AP reported. The document says many WHO regional staff are "politically-motivated appointments" and notes numerous complaints about WHO officials in West Africa.
The U.N. has taken charge of efforts to deal with Ebola, so it's unlikely that Moeti will play a major role in ending the current outbreak, but could be crucial in preventing similar health crises in the future, according to the AP.
Many Americans Know and Ignore Risks of Texting and Driving: Survey
Most American drivers know that texting and driving is dangerous, but many do it anyway, a new survey finds.
The telephone poll of 1,004 people, ages 16 to 65, who drive nearly every day and text at least once a day found that 98 percent of them were aware of the dangers of texting and driving. Even so, three-quarters admitted to doing so, the Associated Press reported.
Two-thirds said they have read text messages while at a stop sign or red light, and more than a quarter confessed to sending texts while driving, according to the survey conducted by AT&T Inc. as part of a campaign against texting and driving.
More than one-fourth of those who text and drive believe they "can easily do several things at once, even while driving," according to the survey.
Reasons for texting and driving include: wanting to stay connected to family, friends and work (43 percent); habit (nearly one-third); and being worried about missing something important by not checking their phones immediately (28 percent), the AP reported.