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Statement on the 5th IHR Emergency Committee meeting regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus

WHO Press Releases - 5. May 2015 - 6:01
The fifth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus in 2014 - 15 was convened via teleconference by the Director-General on 24 April 2015. The following IHR States Parties submitted an update on the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 17 February 2015: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Committee noted that after nearly one year since the declaration that the international spread of polio constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), strong progress has been made by countries in response to the Temporary Recommendations issued by the Director-General, and that this was a commendable achievement. No cases of wild poliovirus have been reported in Africa for eight months; in 2015, Pakistan and Afghanistan have reported less than half the number of cases that were reported during the same period in 2014; there has been no exportation from Pakistan since October 2014; and the number of persistently missed and inaccessible children is declining in Pakistan. The number of inaccessible children has declined from an estimated 300,000 to 50,000 in Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Pakistan continued to implement the Temporary Recommendations; since November, an average of 370,000 international travellers per month were vaccinated pre-departure at health facilities and points of exit.
Categories: Fora

WHO/UNHCR issue new guide on mental health in humanitarian emergencies

WHO Press Releases - 4. May 2015 - 18:00
Worldwide close to 80 million people are currently impacted by humanitarian emergencies arising from natural disasters and armed conflicts, such as those in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen, and more recently, Nepal. WHO estimates 5% to 10% of these people suffer from a mental health condition such as depression as a result of the emergency.

People with mental health disorders rarely have access to specialized health workers trained in assessing and managing their conditions. WHO and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have therefore produced a Mental health Gap Action Programme Humanitarian Intervention Guide (mhGAP-HIG), so non-specialist health workers can better identify, assess and manage mental health needs.
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Negotiators to Attend Diplomatic Conference on Lisbon System

WIPO Press Release - 4. May 2015 - 3:45
Negotiators will gather next week to discuss a proposed adjustment to an international registration system providing international protection for names that identify the geographic origin of products such as coffee, tea, fruits, wine, pottery, glass and cloth.
Categories: Fora

WHO mobilizes funds for long-term spinal cord treatment after Nepal earthquake

WHO Press Releases - 2. May 2015 - 10:18
When Nepal’s devastating April 25 earthquake hit, Nanda Thami was safe.

The forty-two-year-old resident of Phopa Chaku, a small village in Dolakha district east of Kathmandu, was in an open space, away from the mud-brick structures dotted throughout his village.
Categories: Fora

WHO issues rapid health assessment on impact of Nepal earthquake

WHO Press Releases - 1. May 2015 - 9:35
A rapid assessment of health-care facilities by WHO and the Ministry of Health and Population in the earthquake-stricken areas has found that hospitals in 4 of the worst-affected districts are completely destroyed or too badly damaged to function. Five other major hospitals, providing important health care in the districts, were found to be functioning but urgently in need of further medical supplies.

Preliminary findings from the assessment, found that while there was a shortage of supplies, sufficient health personnel were available to treat patients arriving in the functioning hospitals.

“WHO staff have been working round the clock to gather this snapshot of the damage inflicted on Nepal’s hospitals and clinics by the earthquake,” according to WHO’s Country Representative for Nepal, Dr Lin Aung. “This information will be a vital tool in guiding the short- to medium-term response by national and international healthcare providers, determining where to move health teams and supplies in the country.”

Teams visited 21 hospitals in 12 of the districts most severely-impacted by the 25 April earthquake to gather information and found that a total of 17 hospitals were still operational.

Shortage of supplies
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Nepal: WHO works with partners to prevent diarrhoeal diseases

WHO Press Releases - 30. April 2015 - 18:40
WHO and partner organizations in Nepal have mobilized further resources including medicine and medical equipment to prevent the possible spread of diarrhoeal diseases among populations affected by the country’s devastating earthquake.

“After an earthquake of this magnitude, the water supply is often damaged and contaminated, increasing the risk that people drinking it could develop diarrhoeal diseases,” says Dr Lin Aung, WHO’s Representative to Nepal. “The crowded living conditions in temporary shelters increase the chance that these types of diseases could spread.”
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WHO, health partners striving to treat quake survivors in Nepal’s remote regions

WHO Press Releases - 30. April 2015 - 5:40
WHO has stepped up efforts to deliver critical medical relief to populations outside of the Kathmandu valley affected by Saturday’s earthquake, with a major focus on reaching injured people and preventing disease outbreaks.

Coordinating health sector partners in support of Nepal’s government, WHO is striving to reach remote areas beyond the capital, Kathmandu, where road access has been hampered by damage caused by the 25 April earthquake.
Categories: Fora

WHO coordinating the health response to Nepal earthquake; working to prevent spread of disease

WHO Press Releases - 29. April 2015 - 5:40
Amid ongoing search and rescue operations being carried out in Nepal after Saturday’s devastating earthquake, WHO has taken leadership in coordinating medical relief for affected communities.

According to Dr Roderico Ofrin, WHO’s Emergency Health Response Manager, the Organization is working closely with Nepal’s government to ensure that medical aid is delivered effectively.
Categories: Fora

WHO report finds systems to combat antibiotic resistance lacking

WHO Press Releases - 29. April 2015 - 5:15
A quarter of countries that responded to a WHO survey have national plans to preserve antimicrobial medicines like antibiotics, but many more countries must also step up. A new report, "Worldwide country situation analysis: Response to antimicrobial resistance", which outlines the survey findings, reveals that while much activity is underway and many governments are committed to addressing the problem, there are major gaps in actions needed across all 6 WHO regions to prevent the misuse of antibiotics and reduce spread of antimicrobial resistance.

“This is the single greatest challenge in infectious diseases today,” says Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security. “All types of microbes—including many viruses and parasites—are becoming resistant to medicines. Of particularly urgent concern is the development of bacteria that are progressively less treatable by available antibiotics. This is happening in all parts of the world, so all countries must do their part to tackle this global threat.”
Categories: Fora

WHO sending in more medical supplies and assisting the arrival of foreign medical team support for earthquake-ravaged Nepal

WHO Press Releases - 27. April 2015 - 5:40
WHO is surging additional medical supplies and health workers into the earthquake-affected region to help the Government of Nepal provide rapid medical assistance to the thousands who have been injured in Saturday’s disaster.

“WHO has deployed eight more emergency health kits containing essential medicines, disposables and instruments to cover the health needs of 80 000 people for the next 3 months,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region. “An additional 5 emergency health kits are being flown in along with surgical kits and trauma bags to meet the immediate health needs. There is an urgent need to replenish medical stocks to support the emergency response efforts.”
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World Malaria Day: call to close gaps in prevention and treatment to defeat malaria

WHO Press Releases - 23. April 2015 - 5:29
WHO is calling on the global health community to urgently address significant gaps in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria. Despite dramatic declines in malaria cases and deaths since 2000, more than half a million lives are still lost to this preventable disease each year.

At least three quarters of malaria deaths occur in children under 5. Yet in 2013, only about 1 in 5 African children with malaria received effective treatment for the disease, 15 million pregnant women did not receive a single dose of the recommended preventive drugs, and an estimated 278 million people in Africa still live in households without a single insecticide-treated bednet.
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World IP Day 2015: “Get Up, Stand Up. For Music” on April 26

WIPO Press Release - 23. April 2015 - 2:08
In the early 1970s, fans of Bob Marley and the Wailers gathered around record players, 8-track tape decks and cassette players to listen to “Get Up, Stand Up”, which went on to become an international anthem for human rights.
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Global vaccination targets ‘off-track’ warns WHO

WHO Press Releases - 22. April 2015 - 5:40
22 APRIL 2015 | GENEVA – Progress towards global vaccination targets for 2015 is far off-track with 1 in 5 children still missing out on routine life-saving immunizations that could avert 1.5 million deaths each year from preventable diseases. In the lead-up to World Immunization Week 2015 (24–30 April), WHO is calling for renewed efforts to get progress back on course.

In 2013 nearly 22 million infants missed out on the required three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-containing vaccines (DTP3), many of them living in the world’s poorest countries. WHO is calling for an end to the unnecessary disability and death caused by failure to vaccinate.
Categories: Fora

WIPO Launches New Multilingual Interface for ePCT; Nine More Languages Now Supported in International Patent Application Filing and Management System

WIPO Press Release - 16. April 2015 - 2:45
WIPO today launched the multilingual interface of ePCT, marking a major expansion of its global gateway for online filing and management of international patent applications.
Categories: Fora

WHO calls for increased transparency in medical research

WHO Press Releases - 14. April 2015 - 5:52
WHO today issued a public statement calling for the disclosure of results from clinical trials for medical products, whatever the result. The move aims to ensure that decisions related to the safety and efficacy of vaccines, drugs and medical devices for use by populations are supported by the best available evidence.

“Our intention is to promote the sharing of scientific knowledge in order to advance public health,” said Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation. “It underpins the principal goal of medical research: to serve the betterment of humanity.”
Categories: Fora

Statement on the 5th meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

WHO Press Releases - 10. April 2015 - 6:01
The 5th 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 Thursday, 9 April 2015.

As provided in the IHR 2005, the main issues for the Committee’s advice to the Director-General were: (1) does the event continue to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and, if so, (2) should the current temporary recommendations be extended, revised, and/or new temporary recommendations issued.
Categories: Fora

Caesarean sections should only be performed when medically necessary

WHO Press Releases - 10. April 2015 - 4:00
Caesarean section is one of the most common surgeries in the world, with rates continuing to rise, particularly in high- and middle-income countries. Although it can save lives, caesarean section is often performed without medical need, putting women and their babies at-risk of short- and long-term health problems. A new statement from the World Health Organization (WHO) underscores the importance of focusing on the needs of the patient, on a case by case basis, and discourages the practice of aiming for “target rates”.

Caesarean section may be necessary when vaginal delivery might pose a risk to the mother or baby – for example due to prolonged labour, foetal distress, or because the baby is presenting in an abnormal position. However, caesarean sections can cause significant complications, disability or death, particularly in settings that lack the facilities to conduct safe surgeries or treat potential complications.
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World Health Day 2015: From farm to plate, make food safe

WHO Press Releases - 2. April 2015 - 3:00
New data on the harm caused by foodborne illnesses underscore the global threats posed by unsafe foods, and the need for coordinated, cross-border action across the entire food supply chain, according to WHO, which next week is dedicating its annual World Health Day to the issue of food safety.

World Health Day will be celebrated on 7 April, with WHO highlighting the challenges and opportunities associated with food safety under the slogan “From farm to plate, make food safe.”
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WHO Press Releases - 31. March 2015 - 10:37
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Vaccination must be scaled up in Ebola-affected countries

WHO Press Releases - 20. March 2015 - 3:00
A growing risk of outbreaks of measles, pertussis, and other vaccine-preventable diseases in countries affected by Ebola must be countered by urgent scaling up of routine immunization activities, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We are calling for the intensification of routine immunization services in all areas, and for mass measles vaccination campaigns in areas that are free of Ebola transmission,” says Dr Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals at WHO.
Categories: Fora
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