Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Recent news from WHO

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) agreed to donate 50 million doses of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccine for developing countries, WHO said on 10 November. GSK expected to prepare the first shipments of vaccine for delivery to WHO by the end of November. WHO has a list of 95 developing countries that are eligible to receive donated vaccines, and aims to secure enough vaccines to cover 10% of the population of these countries.
  • Despite considerable progress in recent decades, societies continue to fail to meet the health-care needs of women at key moments of their lives, particularly in their adolescent years and in older age, according to a WHO report released on 9 November. Launching the report, entitled Women and health: today’s evidence, tomorrow’s agenda, WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan called for urgent action both within the health sector and beyond to improve the health and lives of girls and women around the world. Read the report at http://www.who.int/gender/documents/9789241563857/en/index.html
  • A comprehensive action plan to save up to 5.3 million children from dying of pneumonia by 2015 was launched on 2 November by WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Pneumonia is the biggest cause of child deaths in the world, killing 1.8 million children under five years of age every year, more than 98% of which occur in 68 developing countries.
  • Global life expectancy could be increased by nearly five years by addressing five factors affecting health: childhood underweight, unsafe sex, alcohol use, lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene, and high blood pressure, according to a report published by WHO on 27 October. These factors are responsible for one-quarter of the 60 million deaths estimated to occur annually.

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