WHO calls for evacuation of the sick and wounded from conflict areas

30 September 2016 – WHO is calling on belligerents in Syria to allow for the immediate and safe evacuation of the sick and wounded from all areas affected by the conflict, including eastern Aleppo, where more than 270 000 people are trapped with dwindling supplies of food, water and fuel. The Organization is also calling for a halt of attacks on health care workers and facilities.

Discrimination against older people is bad for health

29 September 2016 – New analysis shows that negative attitudes towards older people are widespread, and that these attitudes affect the physical and mental health of older people. More than 83 000 people in 57 countries took part in a WHO survey, in which 60 % of respondents reported that older people are not respected. The lowest levels of respect were reported in high income countries.

Treating cardiovascular disease in Barbados

29 September 2016 – Heart attacks, strokes, and other forms of cardiovascular disease kill millions of people each year. Many of these deaths can be prevented. In Barbados, a WHO-backed programme is improving treatment of people suffering from high blood pressure, and counselling them on lifestyle changes that can keep them healthier.

Rabies: Targeting zero human deaths by 2030

28 September 2016 – Rabies causes thousands of deaths every year in over 100 countries, mostly affecting underserved communities with limited access to health and veterinary systems. It is preventable however, and can be controlled with education and public awareness, mass vaccination of dogs, and access to post-bite treatment.

Interactive maps show high levels of air pollution

27 September 2016 – A new air quality model confirms that 92% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed WHO limits. The model uses a series of interactive maps to show, by country, the most detailed outdoor air pollution health data ever reported by WHO, based on data from more than 3000 rural and urban locations.

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Highlights

  • Neglected tropical diseases: 979 million people treated in 2015 alone
    September 2016 − WHO has released data for 2015 showing that a record 979 million people benefited from large-scale treatment of at least 1 neglected tropical disease in 2015 alone. This unprecedented achievement may be the first time that so many people have been treated globally as part of a public health intervention in one single year.
  • New financial arrangement improves WHO prequalification of medical products
    September 2016 – WHO, industry groups and key partners have agreed on a new financing arrangement to ensure the financial sustainability and quality of WHO’s prequalification programme. The arrangement is based on an improved fee structure and aims to address global quality challenges in medical products.
  • Region of the Americas is declared free of measles
    September 2016 --The Region of the Americas is the first in the world to have eliminated measles, a viral disease that can cause severe health problems, including pneumonia, blindness, brain swelling and even death. This achievement culminates a 22-year effort involving mass vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella throughout the Americas.
  • Collaboration against visceral leishmaniasis
    September 2016 − Besides donated medicines, financial assistance will expand leishmaniasis surveillance and control. A new five-year collaboration includes funding that will allow populations affected by visceral leishmaniasis to benefit from enhanced access to diagnosis and treatment.

Emergency reform

The WHO emergency reform process encompasses governance reform, managerial reform, and further development of emergency capacities.

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.

Commentaries

Political will needed to win fight against noncommunicable diseases

"For a long time, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) were thought to be the close companions of affluent societies. Not anymore."

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, and
Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)


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