Public health surveillance ethics

26 June 2017 -- Public health officials regularly collect and analyse data to map disease, spot patterns, identify causes and respond to outbreaks. But surveillance can lead to harm if people’s privacy is violated, or they are stigmatized on the basis of the information they provide about themselves. WHO’s new Guidelines on ethical issues in public health surveillance offer 17 guidelines that can assist everyone involved in surveillance to make the right decisions.

Cholera outbreak in Yemen

24 June 2017 – The rapidly spreading cholera outbreak in Yemen has exceeded 200,000 suspected cases, increasing at an average of 5,000 a day. We are now facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world. UNICEF, WHO and our partners are racing to stop the acceleration of this deadly outbreak.

What is people-centred care?

22 June 2017 – Globally, 1 in 20 people still lacks access to essential health services that could be delivered at a primary care clinic instead of a hospital. Where services are accessible, they can be fragmented and of poor quality. WHO is supporting countries to progress towards universal health coverage by designing health services for people instead of diseases and health institutions, so that everyone gets the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

#WithRefugees: WHO-trained Syrian health workers provide services in Turkey

19 June 2017 – More than 3 million Syrian refugees are now living in Turkey. In 2016, the Turkish government enacted a law that allows Syrian health professionals to enter the workforce in the Turkish health system, with the aim of both integrating Syrian professionals into the health system and also ensuring that Syrian refugees can receive health care without encountering language or cultural barriers. WHO and the Public Health Institution of Turkey created an adaptation training for Syrian health workers.

Abuse of older people on the rise – 1 in 6 affected

14 June 2017 – Around 1 in 6 older people experience some form of abuse, a figure higher than previously estimated and predicted to rise as populations age worldwide. Awareness about elder abuse, still largely a taboo topic, has started to increase across the world. It is defined as actions or lack of appropriate action which can cause harm or distress to an older person, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust.

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Fact sheets


  • Inaugural Africa Health Forum in Kigali, Rwanda
    June 2017 – For the first time, WHO’s Regional Office for Africa is convening global leaders and thinkers to explore Africa’s healthcare priorities and challenges and find new ways to achieve better health for all.
  • More can be done to restrict sunbeds to prevent increasing rates of skin cancer
    June 2017 – WHO underscores national actions to limit the use of artificial tanning devices (sunbeds) in a bid to reduce the associated health risks, such as melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. For more than three decades, the deliberate sunbed exposure to ultraviolent radiation (UVR) for cosmetic purposes has been driving up the incidence of skin cancers and driving down the age of their first appearance.
  • WHO toolkit for the care and support of people affected by complications associated with Zika virus
    June 2017 – Zika virus is associated with severe neurological complications, particularly congenital Zika virus syndrome and Guillain Barré syndrome. The associated complications have a marked impact on the people affected and their communities, including both physical and mental health. The toolkit has been developed to serve as a model guide, with the goal of enhancing country preparedness for Zika virus outbreaks.
  • Paris is 500th member of WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities
    June 2017 – Today, 19 June, WHO’s Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC) welcomed Paris, France, as its 500th member. The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo and her deputy Dominique Versini - responsible for early childhood, the protection of children and the fight against exclusion and the elderly - formalised their commitment to become an age-friendly city during a presentation of the plan "2017-2021 Seniors in Paris".

Eliminate hepatitis

World Hepatitis Day - 28 July

This is an opportunity to add momentum to all efforts to implement the global hepatitis strategy and help countries eliminate hepatitis.

Report by Director-General

Ten years in public health 2007-2017

A report that chronicles the evolution of global public health over the decade that Dr Margaret Chan has served as Director-General at WHO.

Tweets from WHO


Elizabeth Wezena with babies in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital in the Upper East region of Ghana.

"Controlling vectors is a constant challenge, and both old and emerging diseases are exposing new threats."