Lead poisoning is entirely preventable

21 October 2016 – In 2013 lead exposure accounted for 853 000 deaths and 16.8 million life years lost due to its long-term effects on health, with the highest burden in developing countries. An important source of lead exposure, particularly in children, is paint containing high levels of lead. From 23 to 29 October 2016, the international lead poisoning prevention week of action will focus on eliminating lead paint.

Early warnings on disease outbreaks guide response in Nigeria

20 October 2016 – WHO has rapidly expanded and strengthened disease detection and response in support of the Government of Nigeria’s response to the humanitarian crisis in north eastern Nigeria, where 3.7 million people are in need of health assistance. Within two weeks of scaling up its emergency response in late August 2016, WHO rolled out its Early Warning Alert Response System in 56 health facilities in Borno state.

Cutting deaths caused by pollution

19 October 2016 – BreatheLife is a joint campaign led by WHO and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition to mobilize cities and individuals to protect our health and planet from the effects of air pollution. Together we aim to cut the number of deaths caused each year by pollution in half by 2030. We are creating change by connecting cities, increasing monitoring, accelerating solutions and empowering individuals.

Action falling short to end tuberculosis epidemic

13 October 2016 – New data published by WHO in its 2016 "Global Tuberculosis Report" show that countries need to move much faster to prevent, detect, and treat tuberculosis if they are to meet global targets. The report highlights inequalities among countries in access to cost-effective diagnosis and treatment, and signals the need for bold political commitment and increased funding.

Better working conditions needed for midwives

13 October 2016 – WHO and partners are calling for an end to the discrimination, harassment and lack of respect that hinder midwives’ ability to provide quality care to women and newborns. Based on findings from 2400 midwives in 93 countries, the first global survey of midwifery personnel reveals that too often midwives are constrained by unequal power relations and face cultural isolation, unsafe accommodation, and low salaries.

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Election of Director-General 2017

WHO Executive Board


  • Community-based social innovations to support older people
    October 2016 -- The WHO Kobe Centre has launched a large-scale research project on community-based social innovations for healthy ageing. This new research aims at improving health and well-being of older people at a community level, and to guide development and implementation of various models of community-based care and support services.
  • India's leprosy case detection campaign reaches 320 million people
    October 2016 -- A recent door-to-door leprosy case detection campaign in India has screened a record 320 million people, revealing thousands of 'hidden' cases in some of the country’s districts. The campaign by the National Leprosy Elimination Programme covered 149 districts across 19 states and mobilized almost 300 000 health workers.
  • Appeal for $9 million for emergency health operations in Haiti
    October 2016 -- WHO has issued an appeal to donors for emergency health response operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Of the more than 2.1 million Haitians who have been affected by the Hurricane, there are estimated 750,000 persons in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
  • India on the right path to ending TB
    October 2016- India is the one of the world’s frontrunners in finding innovative solutions to combat tuberculosis (TB). Innovative models include the introduction of vouchers for free diagnosis and free drugs for patients in private clinics through links with private laboratories and pharmacies in the neighbourhoods, and tiered referrals to access these services.

Health emergencies programme

WHO Health Emergencies Programme delivers rapid, predictable, and comprehensive support to countries and communities as they prepare for, face or recover from emergencies caused by any type of hazard to human health, whether disease outbreaks, natural or man-made disasters or conflicts.

Zika virus and complications

After a spike in cases of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with Zika virus, WHO declared a public health emergency.


The early years: silent emergency or unique opportunity?

"But although we know what has to be done in the early years, our challenge is to provide the necessary resources and opportunities for the most disadvantaged young children and their families."

Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO,
Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF, and
Keith Hansen, Vice President for Human Development, World Bank Group

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