News and top stories

Central African Republic: health emergency at a crossroads

25 March 2015 -- While there have been slight improvements in the security situation in parts of the Central African Republic in recent months, the country is still in the grips of a major health crisis, following years of conflict and underdevelopment. Only 55% of health facilities in the country are functioning. The country’s Ministry of Health and WHO lead the group of humanitarian partners are working together to fill the gaps in health care and to care for people affected by the crisis.

Ebola diaries

23 March 2015 -- The Ebola outbreak has been the largest, longest, most severe, and most complex in human history. Starting from the initial detection of the outbreak, to the arrival of the first responders, to the overwhelming spread of cases in West Africa — The Ebola Diaries is a series of first-person accounts describing what it has been like working on the front lines of a global health crisis of unprecedented proportion.

World Tuberculosis Day - 24 March

23 March 2015 -- On World TB Day 2015, WHO calls on governments, affected communities, civil society organizations, health-care providers, and international partners to join the drive to roll out the strategy to end TB and to reach, treat and cure all those who are ill today. World TB Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of tuberculosis worldwide and the status of TB prevention and control efforts.

Vaccination must be scaled up in Ebola-affected countries

20 March 2015 -- A growing risk of outbreaks of measles, pertussis, and other vaccine-preventable diseases in countries affected by Ebola must be countered by urgent scaling up of routine immunization activities. The Ebola outbreak, which has infected some 24 000 people and killed around 10 000 of them, has reduced vaccination coverage in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as health facilities and staff focus on halting the outbreak.

WHO responds to health needs caused by Cyclone Pam

23 March 2015 -- WHO in the Western Pacific Region is coordinating response efforts with Vanuatu's Ministry of Health and other humanitarian partners to bring much-needed health support to the Pacific island country, following the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam. The cyclone ravaged Vanuatu on 13–14 March with winds of more than 250 kilometres per hour and one-metre storm surges.

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Ebola outbreak


Highlights

  • First Ebola vaccine to be tested in affected communities
    March 2015 -- The Guinean Government with WHO initiated the very first efficacy trial of an Ebola vaccine this week in an affected community of the Basse-Guinée, one of the areas where most Ebola cases are found in the country.
  • Cholera coalition urges stepped-up support of water for Haiti
    March 2015— On World Water Day 2015, the Regional Coalition for Water and Sanitation to Eliminate Cholera in Hispaniola is calling for stepped-up support from the international community to help Haiti and the Dominican Republic end the cholera epidemic on their shared island.
  • Lassa fever
    March 2015 -- Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness that occurs in West Africa. It is difficult to distinguish from other viral haemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola virus disease, especially early in the course of the disease. Early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival. Read more in this updated fact sheet.

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