WHO Press Releases

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This channel provides the five most recent WHO news articles.
Updated: 27 min 12 sec ago

EN: Statement on the Seventh IHR Emergency Committee meeting regarding the international spread of poliovirus

26. November 2015 - 2:56
The seventh meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of poliovirus was convened via teleconference by the Director-General on 10 November 2015. The Director General of WHO had noted the concerns expressed by the Emergency Committee in its August 2015 report with respect to circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV). In response, she convened this meeting of the Emergency Committee with broader terms than was previously the case to also look at outbreaks of cVDPV. During the current polio endgame cVDPVs reflect serious gaps in immunity to poliovirus due to weaknesses in routine immunization coverage in otherwise polio-free countries. Moreover, there is a particular urgency to stopping type 2 cVDPV in advance of the globally synchronized withdrawal of type 2 OPV in April 2016.

The following IHR States Parties submitted an update on the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 4 August 2015: Afghanistan and Pakistan. The following IHR State Parties were invited to present their views to the committee and all except South Sudan submitted reports on measures and plans to stop circulating vaccine derived poliovirus: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Ukraine and Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Categories: Fora

WHO launches toolkit to help countries respond to sexual violence

25. November 2015 - 8:40
On 25 November, WHO joins partners in calling for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls to ensure their health, well-being and human rights.

“WHO strongly condemns violence against women and girls and supports partners and countries’ efforts towards the de-normalization of this type of violence. Ensuring equality between women and men is a crucial part of these efforts,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO.
Categories: Fora

WHO news on Ebola

22. November 2015 - 18:53

Categories: Fora

WHO calls on countries to protect health from climate change

17. November 2015 - 8:40
Climate change is the defining issue for the 21st century.

According to WHO estimates, climate change is already causing tens of thousands of deaths every year - from shifting patterns of disease, from extreme weather events, such as heat-waves and floods, and from the degradation of air quality, food and water supplies, and sanitation.
Categories: Fora

WHO multi-country survey reveals widespread public misunderstanding about antibiotic resistance

15. November 2015 - 18:08
As WHO ramps up its fight against antibiotic resistance, a new multi-country survey shows people are confused about this major threat to public health and do not understand how to prevent it from growing.

Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria change and become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause. Over-use and misuse of antibiotics increase the development of resistant bacteria, and this survey points out some of the practices, gaps in understanding and misconceptions which contribute to this phenomenon.
Categories: Fora

Measles vaccination has saved an estimated 17.1 million lives since 2000

12. November 2015 - 11:08
The number of measles-related deaths has decreased 79% from 546 800 at the beginning of the century to 114 900 in 2014. New data released by WHO for the Measles & Rubella Initiative, estimates that 17.1 million lives have been saved since 2000, largely due to increased vaccination coverage against this highly contagious viral disease. Measles vaccination has played a key role in reducing child mortality and in progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4.

However, the new data published in this week’s edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC), "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" and WHO’s "Weekly Epidemiological Record", shows that overall progress towards increasing global immunization coverage has recently stagnated. While coverage with the first dose of the measles vaccine increased globally from 72% to 85% between 2000 and 2010, it has remained unchanged the past 4 years.
Categories: Fora

Maternal deaths fell 44% since 1990 – UN

12. November 2015 - 2:58
Maternal mortality has fallen by 44% since 1990, United Nations agencies and the World Bank Group reported today.

Maternal deaths around the world dropped from about 532 000 in 1990 to an estimated 303 000 this year, according to the report, the last in a series that has looked at progress under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This equates to an estimated global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 216 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births, down from 385 in 1990.
Categories: Fora

Sierra Leone stops transmission of Ebola virus

7. November 2015 - 3:00
Today, the World Health Organization declares that Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone. Forty-two days, that is two Ebola virus incubation cycles, have now passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease had a second negative blood test.

Categories: Fora

Stop the violence. Protect health care

4. November 2015 - 12:43
In the last few months, a number of attacks against health-care workers, medical transports and facilities have taken place in several countries, like Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen to mention a few. These incidents are taking place in countries with fragile health-care systems that are already struggling to treat the numbers of people affected by the ongoing conflicts there. In some cases, the situation is made yet worse by the restrictions placed on aid workers, preventing them from getting to the people who need them.

Both the attacks themselves and their consequences are of serious concern. These were attacks on medical personnel and facilities protected under international humanitarian law, leaving death and destruction in their wake and disrupting vital health-care services. All those involved with the Health Care in Danger initiative are alarmed by the long-term impact these attacks may have on people’s health.
Categories: Fora

Links between processed meat and colorectal cancer

29. October 2015 - 12:43
WHO has received a number of queries, expressions of concern and requests for clarification following the publication of a report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) relating to processed meat and colorectal cancer.

IARC was established 50 years ago through a resolution of the World Health Assembly as a functionally independent cancer agency under the auspices of WHO. Its programme of work is approved and financed by its participating states.
Categories: Fora

WHO condemns attack on MSF hospital in Yemen

28. October 2015 - 13:19
WHO condemns the bombing of the Medécins Sans Frontières (MSF) supported hospital in Saada province in northern Yemen. MSF estimates that this will leave 200 000 people with no access to lifesaving medical care.

The attack violates International Humanitarian Law. It is the second attack on an MSF-run health facility in a month. On 3 October, 30 people were killed when the MSF-supported medical clinic in Kunduz, Afghanistan was bombed. Twenty-seven MSF staff were injured.
Categories: Fora

Tuberculosis mortality nearly halved since 1990

28. October 2015 - 4:08
The fight against tuberculosis is paying off, with this year’s death rate nearly half of what it was in 1990. Nevertheless, 1.5 million people died from TB in 2014. Most of these deaths could have been prevented, according to WHO’s Global tuberculosis report 2015, which was released today in Washington.

To reduce TB’s overall burden, detection and treatment gaps need to be closed, funding shortfalls filled and new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines developed, according to the report.
Categories: Fora

Globally, an estimated two-thirds of the population under 50 are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1

27. October 2015 - 23:00
More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% of the population – are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), according to WHO’s first global estimates of HSV-1 infection published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

Herpes simplex virus is categorized into 2 types: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are highly infectious and incurable. HSV-1 is primarily transmitted by oral-oral contact and in most cases causes orolabial herpes or “cold sores” around the mouth. HSV-2 is almost entirely sexually transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, causing genital herpes.
Categories: Fora

Pilot implementation of first malaria vaccine recommended by WHO advisory groups

22. October 2015 - 23:00
The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) and the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC) jointly recommended pilot projects to understand how to best use a vaccine that protects against malaria in young children.

“This was a historic meeting with two of WHO’s major advisory committees working together to consider current evidence about this vaccine,” said Professor Fred Binka, acting chair of MPAC. “The committees agreed that pilot implementations should be the next step with this vaccine.”
Categories: Fora

New report identifies four ways to reduce health risks from climate pollutants

21. October 2015 - 23:00
A new WHO report highlights the urgent need to reduce emissions of black carbon, ozone and methane - as well as carbon dioxide – which all contribute to climate change. Black carbon, ozone and methane – frequently described as short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) - not only produce a strong global warming effect, they contribute significantly to the more than 7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution.

The report, Reducing global health risks through mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants, produced in collaboration with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, reveals that interventions to cut SLCPs can reduce disease and death and contribute to food security, improve diets and increase physical activity.
Categories: Fora

Despite progress, road traffic deaths remain too high

18. October 2015 - 19:00
Some 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes, according to the WHO's Global status report on road safety 2015, despite improvements in road safety.

“Road traffic fatalities take an unacceptable toll – particularly on poor people in poor countries,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO.
Categories: Fora

Preliminary study finds that Ebola virus fragments can persist in the semen of some survivors for at least 9 months

13. October 2015 - 19:00
Preliminary results of a study into persistence of Ebola virus in body fluids show that some men still produce semen samples that test positive for Ebola virus 9 months after onset of symptoms.

The report, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, provides the first results of a long-term study being jointly conducted by the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone Ministry of Defence, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Categories: Fora

World Mental Health Day – 10 October: Dignity in mental health

9. October 2015 - 3:00
9 OCTOBER 2015 ¦ GENEVA – Thousands of people with mental health conditions around the world are deprived of their human rights. As well as being discriminated against, stigmatised and marginalised, they are also subject to emotional and physical abuse in both mental health facilities and the community. Poor quality care, due to a lack of qualified health professionals and dilapidated facilities, leads to further violations.

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, is "Dignity in mental health". This year, WHO is raising awareness of what can be, and is being, done to ensure that people with mental health conditions can continue to live with dignity, through human rights-oriented policy and law, training of health professionals, respect for informed consent to treatment, inclusion in decision-making processes, and public information campaigns.
Categories: Fora

WHO/UNAIDS launch new standards to improve adolescent care

6. October 2015 - 3:58
New Global standards for quality health-care services for adolescents developed by WHO and UNAIDS aim to help countries improve the quality of adolescent health care.

Existing health services often fail the world’s adolescents (10-19-year-olds). Many adolescents who suffer from mental health disorders, substance use, poor nutrition, intentional injuries and chronic illness do not have access to critical prevention and care services. Meanwhile, many behaviours that have a lifelong impact on health begin in adolescence.
Categories: Fora

Statement on the 7th meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

4. October 2015 - 18:01
The 7th meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa took place by teleconference on Thursday, 1 October 2015, and by electronic correspondence from 1-3 October 2015.

As in previous meetings, the Committee’s role was to advise the WHO Director-General as to:
Categories: Fora