Recent news from WHO
- Displaced Iraqis living in neighbouring countries should be eligible to receive health care on the same basis as the local population, agreed participants at a ministerial consultation in Damascus on 29–30 July. More than two million Iraqis are estimated to be displaced, the majority of them living in Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic, with substantial numbers also in Egypt, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lebanon and Turkey. The consultation was convened by WHO and attended by health ministers or their representatives from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic as well as representatives of Red Crescent Societies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
- On 23 August, The world health report 2007 subtitled, A safer future: global public health security in the 21st century, examines how the international spread of disease threatens public health security. The report highlights the importance of international cooperation and the willingness of all countries to act effectively in tackling new and emerging threats. The report discusses diseases such as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, Marburg fever and SARS. It also sets out the WHO strategic action plan to respond to pandemic influenza. The full report can be found at: http://www.who.int/whr/2007/en The world health report 2007
- On 16 August, WHO issued new global guidance for the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to protect people from contracting malaria. For the first time, WHO recommends that insecticidal nets be long-lasting, distributed either free or highly subsidized, and used by all community members. Previous WHO guidelines have focused primarily on providing insecticide-treated nets for use by children less than five years old and pregnant women. The full report can be found at: http://www.who.int/malaria/docs/itn/ITNspospaperfinal.pdf
- On 12 September, WHO launched a new book of pocket-charts that will help health workers identify people at risk of heart attacks and strokes, and save lives by prescribing the most appropriate treatment. The Pocket guidelines for assessment and management of cardiovascular risk is available in six languages and has been designed for use by people everywhere, including in low-resource settings. The guidelines can be found at: http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/guidelines/Pocket_GL_information/en/index.html
- Four WHO publications were commended at the British Medical Association (BMA) Medical Book Competition 2007, announced on 12 September. The competition aims to encourage and to reward excellence in medical publishing. Preventing disease through healthy environments: towards an estimate of the environmental burden of disease was highly commended in the public health category. Also highly commended in this category was: The health of the people: the African regional health report. Obstetric fistula: guiding principles for clinical management and programme development was highly commended in the obstetrics and gynaecology category. WHO child growth standards was commended in the paediatric category. To order any of these books visit: http://www.who.int/bookorders
- WHO called on countries to increase investment in mental health services. The appeal is part of a series of six reviews on global mental health published in The Lancet (Lancet 2007;370:878-89). WHO is supporting a call for action to increase the coverage of mental health services for mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries. The call is targeted at public health planners and urges them to assign a higher priority to mental health.
For more about these and other WHO news items please see: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/en/