Recent news from WHO
- In the first comprehensive analysis of global tobacco use and control, WHO finds that only 5% of the world’s population live in countries that fully protect their population with any one of the key measures that reduce smoking. The report, released on 7 February, also reveals that governments collect 500 times more money in tobacco taxes each year than they spend on anti-tobacco efforts. The report documents the epidemic’s shift to the developing world, where 80% of the more than eight million annual tobacco-related deaths projected by 2030 are expected to occur.
- A new international task force was launched on 31 January to address how to finance the scaling-up of the health workforce in the developing world. The global shortage of health workers has reached crisis levels. In Africa alone, one million more health workers are urgently needed, and for the rest of the world, the shortfall is another 3.3 million.
- On 24 January, the WHO Executive Board reappointed Dr Mirta Roses Periago as Regional Director for the Americas following her nomination by the Regional Committee for the Americas. She began her new five-year term on 1 February. The Regional Office of the Americas comprises 35 countries.
- The Executive Board of WHO opened its twice-yearly session on 21 January. The 34-member Board discussed a range of issues including climate change and health, pandemic influenza preparedness, the eradication of polio, strategies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, the global immunization strategy and female genital mutilation. The main functions of the Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly as well as to prepare the agenda of the next assembly, which will be held in May.
For more about these and other WHO news items please see: http://www.who.int/mediacentre