News and top stories

Community health workers in disaster risk reduction

13 October 2015 -- On International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, WHO calls on people to recognize the importance of community health workers. Their role is vital in the prevention of, during and after a disaster. To help build disaster resistant communities and countries the UN developed the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The Framework helps health workers understand the risks associated with disaster and how to apply disaster risk reduction in their work.

Fa'a Samoa - island families come together to combat NCDs

12 October 2015 -- In a creative new initiative to improve health and save lives in villages across Samoa, women's groups are mobilizing their communities to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). WHO’s Package of Essential NCD interventions has been adapted to reflect local culture and customs and rolled out over the last year in demonstration projects across the country.

Mental health care in India: restoring hope and dignity

8 October 2015 -- This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on the importance of respecting the dignity for those living with mental health issues. This feature tells the story of Shamma, a young Indian girl, who didn’t realize that she had schizophrenia until she and her family found proper care through a WHO-supported project, which focuses on human dignity and improving access to mental health services.

New standards to improve adolescent care

6 October 2015 -- New Global Standards for quality health-care services for adolescents have been developed by WHO and UNAIDS. Existing health services often fail the world’s adolescents (10-19-year-olds). Many adolescents who suffer from mental health disorders, substance use, poor nutrition, intentional injuries and chronic illness do not have access to critical prevention and care services.

WHO calls to protect health from climate change

6 October 2015 -- WHO calls on the global health community to add its voice to the call for a strong and effective climate agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-21), that will save lives, both now and in the future. Changes to weather patterns result in extreme weather events that threaten lives and cause changes to infectious disease transmission patterns resulting in more outbreaks.

More top stories »

WHO fact sheets

Measles vaccination campaign, Liberia
WHO/M. Winkler


  • Vaccination teams work to keep Iraq polio free and combat the spread of cholera
    October 2015 -- A 7-day nationwide campaign vaccinated 5.8 million children against polio to ensure that Iraq remains polio free. Over 12 000 vaccination teams visited 1.5 million households across the country to vaccinate children and disseminate life-saving information on how to detect, prevent and treat cholera. Iraq was removed from the list of polio endemic countries in May 2015.
  • Aid for refugees crossing Serbia
    October 2015 -- In recent days up to 2,000 refugees and migrants have been travelling through the border town of Sid, Serbia on a daily basis. WHO is supporting the Ministry of Health and local health authorities to coordinate the provision of medical supplies to treat injuries and the basic health needs of refugees.
  • Food safety workshops at EXPO Milano 2015
    October 2015 -- WHO is organizing food safety workshops on 7 and 8 October at the Swiss Pavilion, at EXPO Milano 2015. The discussion on food safety continues from World Health Day 2015, where WHO addressed nutrition and food safety challenges.

Emergency reform

WHO/V. Nguyen Hoan

WHO is reforming its work in outbreaks and emergencies with health and humanitarian consequences to ensure the Organization can respond rapidly to future crises.


Climate change: An opportunity for public health Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health

Ebola diaries

Ebola health workers in personal protective equipment entering the Island Clinic in Monrovia, Liberia, 2014
WHO/C. Black

Tweets from WHO


- Annual rate of reduction 1990-2000: 1.8%
- Annual rate of reduction 2000-2015: 3.9%

Note: mouse over bars to see full information