News and top stories

Action needed against illicit tobacco trade

28 May 2015 -- Eliminating the illicit trade in tobacco would generate an annual tax windfall of US$ 31 billion for governments, improve public health, help cut crime and curb an important revenue source for the tobacco industry. On the World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, WHO calls Member States to sign the "Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products".

Dutch “farm” offers community living for people with dementia

28 May 2015 -- WHO has called on countries to invest in health and social systems to improve care and services for people with dementia and their caregivers in the report: “Dementia: a public health priority”. The Netherlands National Dementia Programme, created in consultation with caregivers, has set national treatment and housing standards for people with dementia. The following story highlights a Dutch care facility with a focus on community.

WHA closes, passing resolutions on air pollution and epilepsy

26 May 2015 – The World Health Assembly closed today, with Director-General Dr Margaret Chan noting that it had passed several “landmark resolutions and decisions”. Three new resolutions were passed today: one on air pollution, one on epilepsy and one laying out the next steps in finalizing a framework of engagement with non-State actors.

26 May 2015 – The ongoing cholera outbreak in western Tanzania appears to be improving thanks to intensive national and international efforts. But, the risk of transmission remains high due to limited access to shelter, toilets, water and essential medical care. As of 25 May, the total number of cases diagnosed and treated was 4408 and no deaths have been reported between 21-24 May.

Racing to combat an unprecedented meningitis outbreak in Niger

15 May 2015 -- WHO and partners have sent an international expert team and negotiated provision of over half a million doses of vaccine to help Niger combat an unprecedented outbreak of meningococcal meningitis. This outbreak is the first large-scale meningitis outbreak caused by strain C to hit any country in Africa’s meningitis belt and has caused 5,855 suspected cases including 406 deaths.

More top stories »


  • 10 facts about zoonotic neglected tropical diseases
    May 2015 -- There is now recognition that several zoonotic diseases within the neglected tropical diseases merit attention, and these include rabies, echinococcosis, taeniasis/cysticercosis and foodborne trematodiases. Find out more in this fact file.
  • WHO recommends 10 measurements for HIV
    May 2015 -- WHO released new guidelines recommending simplified indicators to measure the reach of HIV services, and the impact achieved at both the national and global levels.


Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, Head of the Secretariat WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Ebola diaries

Leticia Linn (left), WHO communications expert, in Liberia

Tweets from WHO


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