LONDON, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced Monday a 70-million-pound (90 million U.S. dollars) boost for a WHO-backed global health program.
The Better Health Program will operate a range of health initiatives to help improve the lives of up to 150 million people across eight emerging economies --Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.
The program, led by British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), has been developed in consultation with the UK Departments of Health, International Development and Trade, with the assistance of UK government health organisations.
Details of the program was announced in London as the World Health Assembly kicked off in Geneva. During the week-long event, Britain is putting forward proposals for a World Patient Safety Day to shine a spotlight on how to reduce the million deaths every year from medical error.
An FCO spokesperson said Monday: "Patient harm in healthcare is one of the top ten causes of death and disability in the world. Two-thirds of cases occur in low- and middle-income countries where as many as one in four patients are harmed unnecessarily while receiving healthcare."
"The Better Health Program will help reduce the growing burden of diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Technology will be at the heart of the program, whose digital health track will boost the potential for health professionals to provide services to women, hard-to-reach groups and those in rural areas."