News and top stories

Ebola vaccine efficacy trial ready to launch in Guinea

5 March 2015 -- Based on promising data from initial clinical trials in late 2014, WHO, with the Health Ministry of Guinea, Médecins Sans Frontières, Epicentre and The Norwegian Institute of Public Health, will launch a Phase III trial in Guinea on 7 March to test the VSV-EBOV vaccine for efficacy and effectiveness to prevent Ebola. The vaccine was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. A second vaccine will be tested in a sequential study, as supply becomes available.

Reducing sugars intake among adults and children

4 March 2015 --- A new WHO guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. An additional reduction to below 5% of total energy intake or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits. Much of the sugars consumed today are “hidden” in processed foods that are not usually seen as sweets.

Keeping communities safe from contaminated waste

2 March 2015 -- Every day, every bed in an Ebola treatment unit creates approximately 300 litres of liquid waste. Managing this waste has been a challenge in the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. WHO is working with partners to ensure this waste is effectively decontaminated and no longer poses a threat to health.

1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss

27 February 2015 -- Some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events, according to WHO. Hearing loss has potentially devastating consequences for physical and mental health, education and employment.

Warning signals from the volatile world of influenza viruses

26 February 2015 -- The current global influenza situation is characterized by a number of trends that must be closely monitored. These include: an increase in the variety of animal influenza viruses co-circulating and exchanging genetic material, giving rise to novel strains; continuing cases of human H7N9 infections in China; and a recent spurt of human H5N1 cases in Egypt. Changes in the H3N2 seasonal influenza viruses, which have affected the protection conferred by the current vaccine, are also of particular concern

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Ebola outbreak


  • WHO Framework Convention celebrates 10 years action against tobacco
    February 2015 – Tomorrow marks 10 years since the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control came into being. Since then it has been endorsed by 180 Parties, covering 90% of the world’s population and “stands out as the single most powerful preventive instrument available to public health,” according to Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. “We know it works. It averts addiction to a deadly product.”
  • WHO calls for scaled-up vaccination against measles
    February 2015 -- The WHO Regional Office for Europe calls on policy-makers, health-care workers and parents to immediately step up vaccination against measles across age groups at risk. This will help to put an end to outbreaks occurring in countries in the WHO European Region and to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.

Fact sheets


Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, Head of the Convention Secretariat, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

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