Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Recent news from WHO

  • In response to the worsening food crisis in Ethiopia, WHO was working closely with government partners, UNICEF and nongovernmental organizations to provide urgent emergency food relief to 4.6 million people nationwide in July. WHO’s response includes immunization activities, sanitation interventions and the provision of urgent medical supplies to combat the increased risk of outbreaks of diarrhoeal disease, measles and meningitis.
  • International Emergency Conventions (1986) and the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005) were put to the test in a simulated nuclear emergency in Mexico on 9–10 July. Coordinated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, together with 74 of its Member States and 10 international organizations (including WHO), the exercise was a crucial part of the international efforts to respond to any radiological or nuclear incident or emergency worldwide.
  • At the annual G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan on 7–9 July, G8 leaders committed to annual progress measurements in meeting their pledges to improve global health. The leaders also noted the need for a voluntary code of practice regarding ethical recruitment of health workers as well as greater progress on maternal, newborn and child health.
  • Two new initiatives aimed at reducing the impact of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) were unveiled by WHO, the Stop TB Partnership, UNITAID and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics on 30 June. The first initiative will provide 16 countries with molecular tests known as line probe assays, which can diagnose MDR-TB in less than two days, as opposed to the standard two to three months. The second project will boost the supply of drugs in 54 countries and is expected to achieve price reductions of up to 20% by 2010.

For more about these and other WHO news items please see: http://www.who.int/mediacentre