News and top stories

Patient advocates use past to change the future

02 October 2015-- Patient safety is a serious global public health issue. Estimates show that in developed countries as many as 1 in 10 patients is harmed while receiving care. In 2004, WHO launched a patient safety programme to develop policies and practices aimed at preventing harm to patients worldwide. This feature tells the story of a mother who lost her son because simple health measures were not taken and how she became one of WHO’s first 21 patient advocates.

Healthy ageing: major societal change needed

30 September 2015 -- By 2050, the number of people over the age of 60 is set to double. The "World report on ageing and health" highlights the need for major societal change, to ensure that people are not just living longer, but also healthier, lives. The report outlines key areas for action, in the organization of health systems, in our wider physical and social environments, and in the way society as a whole views older people.

Treat all people living with HIV and those at risk

30 September 2015 -- WHO’s new guideline recommends that antiretroviral therapy should be offered to everyone living with HIV or those at substantial risk for HIV. Daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis is recommended as a prevention choice for people at substantial risk of HIV infection as part of the approach to prevention. These new policies could help avert more than 21 million deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030.

Targeting early detection, management of heart disease in Lebanon

29 September 2015 -- Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. For World Heart Day, 29 September 2015, these feature stories show how the WHO "package of essential NCD interventions for primary health care in low-resource settings" help prevent cardiovascular diseases and has been successful in Lebanon and Bhutan.

Rabies fatal once symptoms appear

25 September 2015 -- Worldwide, there is about 1 rabies death every 15 minutes. For World Rabies Day, 28 September, this feature story from Malawi reminds us that once rabies symptoms appear, the disease is almost always fatal. However, rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease. And vaccinating dogs is the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people.

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WHO fact sheets

Measles vaccination campaign, Liberia
WHO/M. Winkler


  • Preventing and treating infections around childbirth
    October 2015 -- Bacterial infections around the time of childbirth (peripartum infections) account for about one tenth of maternal deaths globally. WHO's new recommendations help health professionals and policy makers reduce the global burden of maternal infections and their complications around the time of childbirth.
  • Launch of mHealth toolkit for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health
    September 2015 -- A new toolkit has been launched for mobile health innovators to help improve maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. The MAPS Toolkit (mHealth Assessment and Planning for Scale) helps developers around the world use WHO’s guidelines, monitoring and evaluation tools on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.

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.


Dr M. Chan, WHO Director-General

Ebola diaries

Tweets from WHO


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

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