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Universal Health Coverage Day

12 December 2017 – Health is a human right.
But we have a long way to go until everyone – no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have – can get the quality health care they need and deserve.

For this year’s Universal Health Coverage Day there will be a historic forum in Tokyo, Japan, from 12–15 December to galvanize action toward #HealthforAll.

Health is a fundamental human right

10 December 2017 – “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition”.  

Almost 70 years after these words were adopted in WHO's constitution, they are more powerful and relevant than ever.  Since day one, the right to health has been central to WHO’s identity and mandate.

Uganda ends outbreak of Marburg virus disease

8 December 2017 – Uganda has successfully controlled an outbreak of Marburg virus disease and prevented its spread only weeks after it was first detected.

Within 24 hours of being informed by Ugandan health authorities in early October, WHO deployed a rapid response team to the remote mountainous area. The Organization also released US$ 623 000 from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to finance immediate support and scale up of the response.

Number of people affected by dementia to triple in next 30 years

7 December 2017 – As the global population ages, the number of people living with dementia is expected to triple from 50 million to 152 million by 2050. The estimated annual global cost of dementia is US$ 818 billion, equivalent to more than 1% of global gross domestic product. By 2030, the cost is expected to have more than doubled, to US$ 2 trillion, a cost that could undermine social and economic development and overwhelm health and social services, including long-term care systems.

Diphtheria is spreading fast in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

6 December 2017 – Diphtheria is rapidly spreading among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, WHO warned today. More than 110 suspected cases, including 6 deaths, have been clinically diagnosed by health partners, including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).

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Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

"I envision a world in which everyone can live healthy, productive lives, regardless of who they are or where they live."


  • New perspectives on global health spending for universal health coverage
    December 2017 – WHO global health financing report summarizes the latest internationally comparable data on health spending in all WHO Member States between 2000 and 2015. For the first time the report uses the new international classification for health expenditures in the revised System of Health Accounts.
  • The Latvian eHealth Journey
    December 2017 – In a journey that started over a decade ago, and in line with the 2013 World Health Assembly resolution on eHealth standardization and interoperability, the Ministry of Health of Latvia demonstrated its commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage by creating a national programme of eHealth – which was seen as a key effort in ensuring that Latvian people receive the right care in the right place and time. The WHO Country Office in Latvia has provided coordination and technical support for Latvia’s eHealth efforts.
  • Recruitment for external members for WHO’s Guideline Review Committee
    December 2017 – The WHO Guideline Review Committee (GRC) seeks new external members for the 2018-2020 term. The GRC oversees WHO’s quality assurance process for all of its guidelines (information products that contain technical recommendations across a wide variety of topics). GRC members serve a 3-year term and involves 40-50 hours of work per year, including virtual attendance at ten 2-hour monthly meetings and the performance of peer review of 3-4 documents.
  • New guidance on insecticide resistance monitoring and management
    December 2017 – This framework provides guidance on developing a national insecticide resistance monitoring and management plan. It is designed to help countries ensure adherence to the Global plan for insecticide resistance management in malaria vectors.

Violence against women

Health care workers have an important role to play in identifying women who experience violence, and responding to them with empathy.

In order for health care providers to be able to respond appropriately, health systems need to be strengthened so that women receive high-quality and respectful care.

Fact sheets

Tweets from WHO


A girls' feet are seen touching the floor as she sits with hands folded on a wooden bench.
A 7 year old girl who was sexually abused by an 18 year old.

"Violence against women – both physical and sexual – is a gross violation of human rights. As we continue to hear so many #MeToo stories, it’s time for #YouToo to do your part."

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