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Ebola vaccine efficacy trial ready to launch in Guinea

WHO Press Releases - 5. March 2015 - 3:00
Based on promising data from initial clinical trials in late 2014, WHO with the Health Ministry of Guinea, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Epicentre and The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), will launch a Phase III trial in Guinea on 7 March to test the VSV-EBOV vaccine for efficacy and effectiveness to prevent Ebola. The vaccine was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. A second vaccine will be tested in a sequential study, as supply becomes available.

“We have worked hard to reach this point,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan. “There has been massive mobilization on the part of the affected countries and all partners to accelerate the development and availability of proven interventions. If a vaccine is found effective, it will be the first preventive tool against Ebola in history.”
Categories: Fora

Media Accreditation: Diplomatic Conference on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications

WIPO Press Release - 4. March 2015 - 21:45
Journalists wishing to cover the Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of a New Act of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration are invited to apply for media accreditation. The diplomatic conference will take place from May 11 to 21, 2015, at WIPO’s Geneva headquarters.
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WHO calls on countries to reduce sugars intake among adults and children

WHO Press Releases - 3. March 2015 - 23:01
A new WHO guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.

Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.
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Statement on the 4th IHR Emergency Committee meeting regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus

WHO Press Releases - 27. February 2015 - 6:01
The fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus in 2014 - 15 was convened via teleconference by the Director-General on 17 February 2015. The following IHR States Parties submitted an update on the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 13 November 2014: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Committee noted that the international spread of wild poliovirus has continued with one new exportation from Pakistan into neighbouring Afghanistan documented after 13 November 2014. Although there is seasonal decline in the number of reported cases in Pakistan, transmission is ongoing in each of the four provinces and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The Committee assessed the risk of international spread from Pakistan to be sustained. The Committee appreciated that Pakistan has prepared a new robust ‘low season’ vaccination plan, established national and provincial emergency operations centres, and resumed campaigns in South and North Waziristan. Nonetheless, the principal factors underpinning the international spread of wild poliovirus from Pakistan have not yet changed sufficiently since the date of the third meeting of the Emergency Committee on 13 November 2014.
Categories: Fora

1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss

WHO Press Releases - 26. February 2015 - 23:01
Some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events, according to WHO. Hearing loss has potentially devastating consequences for physical and mental health, education and employment.

Data from studies in middle- and high-income countries analysed by WHO indicate that among teenagers and young adults aged 12-35 years, nearly 50% are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices and around 40% are exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues. Unsafe levels of sounds can be, for example, exposure to in excess of 85 decibles (dB) for eight hours or 100dB for 15 minutes.
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WIPO Re:Search Gains Momentum in the Fight Against Neglected Tropical Diseases, Malaria and Tuberculosis

WIPO Press Release - 26. February 2015 - 4:20
WIPO Re:Search signed on more than a dozen new members in 2014, including two leading pharmaceutical firms, and nearly doubled the number of research agreements using shared intellectual property to promote the fight against neglected tropical diseases, tuberculosis and malaria.
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WHO calls for worldwide use of "smart" syringes

WHO Press Releases - 22. February 2015 - 23:01
Use of the same syringe or needle to give injections to more than one person is driving the spread of a number of deadly infectious diseases worldwide. Millions of people could be protected from infections acquired through unsafe injections if all healthcare programmes switched to syringes that cannot be used more than once. For these reasons, WHO is launching a new policy on injection safety to help all countries tackle the pervasive issue of unsafe injections.*

A 2014 study sponsored by WHO, which focused on the most recent available data, estimated that in 2010, up to 1.7 million people were infected with hepatitis B virus, up to 315 000 with hepatitis C virus and as many as 33 800 with HIV through an unsafe injection. New WHO injection safety guidelines and policy released today provide detailed recommendations highlighting the value of safety features for syringes, including devices that protect health workers against accidental needle injury and consequent exposure to infection.
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UN delivers 62 metric tons of humanitarian aid to Ukraine

WHO Press Releases - 19. February 2015 - 13:01
WHO today delivered 13 tons of medical supplies to the Donetsk region in Ukraine as part of the first UN humanitarian convoy, which brought a total of 62 tons of relief materials.

Supplies include HIV and tuberculosis medical products, 612 kg of HIV test systems and 3 tons of drugs to treat infections in people with weak immune defences.
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WHO urges governments to increase investment to tackle neglected tropical diseases

WHO Press Releases - 18. February 2015 - 23:01
WHO urges affected countries to scale up their investment in tackling 17 neglected tropical diseases in order to improve the health and well-being of more than 1.5 billion people. This investment would represent as little as 0.1% of current domestic expenditure on health in affected low- and middle-income countries for the period 2015-2030.

Neglected tropical diseases cause blindness, disfigurement, permanent disability and death, particularly among the poor. WHO’s new report, "Investing to overcome the impact of neglected tropical diseases", outlines an investment case and essential package of interventions for these diseases.
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United States of America, Japan Join International Design System

WIPO Press Release - 8. February 2015 - 18:00
The United States of America and Japan have joined the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs, adding two of the world’s biggest economies to a WIPO-administered registry that supports creators worldwide.
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WHO statement on the Eighth Meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding MERS-CoV

WHO Press Releases - 5. February 2015 - 10:18
The eighth meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) regarding the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was conducted with members and advisors of the Emergency Committee by teleconference on 4 February 2015, from 12:00 to 15:00 Central European Time.

The WHO Secretariat provided an update on and assessment of epidemiological and scientific developments, including a description of recent cases and transmission patterns. The following countries provided an update on and assessment of MERS-CoV in their countries: Austria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
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WHO Executive Board appoints Dr Matshidiso Moeti as new Regional Director for Africa

WHO Press Releases - 27. January 2015 - 6:00
The WHO Executive Board, currently holding its 136th session, has appointed Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti as the new Regional Director for WHO's Africa Region. Dr Moeti was nominated Regional Director by the health ministers of the 47 Member States of the WHO African Region at the annual Regional Committee for Africa in Cotonou, Benin, in November 2014. Dr Moeti will take up her appointment for a five-year term on 1 February 2015, succeeding Dr Luis Gomes Sambo who has served as Regional Director for the past 10 years.

Speaking after her appointment, Dr Moeti, who is from the Republic of Botswana, pledged to accord the highest priority to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa as she takes office. She will work with WHO colleagues and partners to help the affected countries halt the spread of the disease and reach zero cases, while starting on the recovery agenda, including the building of resilient health systems able to withstand similar shocks in the future. The new Regional Director noted that the outbreak, with its devastating impact on health, families, livelihoods and security in the worst-affected countries, had been a tragic reminder of the importance of investing in good quality, fair health services that reach all citizens in countries, and of building up preparedness and capacity to contain infectious diseases.
Categories: Fora

Zsuzsanna Jakab elected for a second term as WHO Regional Director for Europe

WHO Press Releases - 27. January 2015 - 6:00
The WHO Executive Board, currently holding its 136th session in Geneva, has appointed Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, PhD as WHO Regional Director for Europe for a second term, following her nomination by the Regional Committee for Europe in September last year. The Regional Committee comprises health ministers from the European Region’s 53 Member States. Ms Jakab will start her new term in February 2015 for a 5-year period.

“In my second mandate, I will give priority to linking health to sustainable development in order to ensure greater equity in health in the European Region. It is not only about making health better, it’s about ensuring more equitable and sustainable health for Europe.” said Dr Jakab.
Categories: Fora

Ebola is not the end of the world, and it can be beaten

WHO Press Releases - 25. January 2015 - 2:00
President, Vice President, Director-General of the World Health Organization, honorable ministers, distinguished delegates, colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen, I greet you all.

My story is entitled “Ebola is not the end of the world.”
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Ebola will not be gone in any country until it is gone from every country

WHO Press Releases - 25. January 2015 - 2:00
Mr Chairman, Your Excellencies,

Thank you very much indeed, and I’d like to thank Members of the Executive Board as well for the opportunity to be here and speaking with you today. I’d like to address my remarks to the people and members of government and partners who are from the countries touched by the Ebola outbreak. I’d like to acknowledge the presence of fellow keynote speaker here Rebecca Johnson, whom I met in Hastings, Sierra Leone, in December.
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WHO welcomes appointment of UN Special Envoy on Tuberculosis Dr Eric P. Goosby

WHO Press Releases - 21. January 2015 - 3:01
WHO welcomes the appointment of the new United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Tuberculosis (TB), Dr Eric P. Goosby, M.D.

Dr Goosby’s extensive and high-level experience in global health and diplomacy give him the perfect background for this critical role. Despite recent gains, tuberculosis remains a serious public health issue - fueled in part by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with antimicrobial resistance posing an ever-present threat to its control. WHO looks forward to working closely with Dr Goosby in our shared effort to raise the profile of the fight against TB and to attain the ambitious new targets agreed at last year’s World Health Assembly.
Categories: Fora

Statement on the 4th meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa

WHO Press Releases - 21. January 2015 - 2:18
The fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 regarding the Ebola virus disease (EVD, or “Ebola”) outbreak in West Africa was conducted with members and advisors of the Emergency Committee on Tuesday, 20 January 2015.

This meeting was convened to review, in accordance with IHR provisions, whether the event continued to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and, if so, whether this warranted an extension or revision of the three -month date of the expiration of the temporary recommendations, which were first issued on 8 August 2014 and extended on 22 September 2014 and 23 October 2014.
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Noncommunicable diseases prematurely take 16 million lives annually, WHO urges more action

WHO Press Releases - 19. January 2015 - 4:01
Urgent government action is needed to meet global targets to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), and prevent the annual toll of 16 million people dying prematurely – before the age of 70 – from heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes, according to a new WHO report.

“The global community has the chance to change the course of the NCD epidemic,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, who today launched the "Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014". “By investing just US$ 1-3 dollars per person per year, countries can dramatically reduce illness and death from NCDs. In 2015, every country needs to set national targets and implement cost-effective actions. If they do not, millions of lives will continue to be lost too soon.”
Categories: Fora

Government of Mali and WHO announce the end of the Ebola outbreak in Mali

WHO Press Releases - 18. January 2015 - 2:00
Bamako, 18 January 2015 -- Malian authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) today announced the end of the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Mali since 42 days had elapsed after the last Ebola case tested negative in laboratory tests on the 6 December 2014.

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Ebola in West Africa: 12 months on

WHO Press Releases - 15. January 2015 - 6:00
One year after the first Ebola cases started to surface in Guinea, WHO is publishing this series of 14 papers that take an in-depth look at West Africa’s first epidemic of Ebola virus disease.

The papers explore reasons why the disease evaded detection for several months and the factors, many specific to West Africa, that fuelled its subsequent spread.
Categories: Fora
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