Protecting 10.5 million people from yellow fever

26 August 2016 – The biggest emergency yellow fever vaccination campaign ever held in Africa is underway in Democratic Republic of the Congo. With high risk of transmission of the mosquito-borne disease in the capital city of Kinshasa, the campaign aims to protect as many people as possible and to stop the outbreak before the rainy season begins. Vaccination of more than 10.5 million people has been a complex logistical undertaking.

Methadone programme in Dar es Salaam gives hope to thousands

24 August 2016 – In recent years, the city of Dar es Salaam in the United Republic of Tanzania has seen an increase in illicit drug use, particularly heroin. As a result, 2 hospitals in the city now make methadone available as a treatment for addiction. Methadone maintenance treatment is regarded by WHO as the most effective therapy for heroin users, and methadone was added to WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines 2005.

Ghanaian health workers use mobile phones to collect maternal health data

24 August 2016 – An estimated 2800 women in Ghana died during childbirth in 2015. In order to improve maternal care in health facilities, WHO and partners are seeking to first understand why these deaths are occurring through improved data collection. The use of mobile phones to record this data in countries such as Ghana is a key component of WHO’s work to implement Maternal Death Surveillance and Response (MDSR).

WHO scales up response to humanitarian crisis in Nigeria

22 August 2016 – A WHO emergency health team arrived 19 August 2016 in Maiduguri city to assess and respond to the health needs of people in north eastern Nigeria, formerly held by militant insurgency groups.

WHO is scaling up its emergency response activities, together with partners, to assist ,800 000 people in desperate need of health services.

New report on public financing for health in Africa

23 August 2016 – Fifteen years ago, African leaders pledged to increase health spending to 15% of total government expenditure. Since then health spending has reached an average of 10%. Still, as economies have grown, a number of challenges are hampering progress towards universal health coverage. A new WHO report examines trends in public financing in Africa and the critical role played by public financial management systems.

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Mosquito-borne diseases

Deadliest animal in the world

Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Their ability to carry and spread disease to humans causes millions of deaths every year.


Highlights

  • Improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes for young people
    August 2016 − New research evaluates interventions which can help to improve reproductive health outcomes in young people aged between 10–24 years. Effective strategies include addressing early unintended and repeat pregnancies, preventing sexually transmitted infections and HIV, and ending child marriages.
  • South Sudan health crisis worsens as more partners pull out
    August 2016 − The recent escalation of the conflict in South Sudan has forced many people to flee, including those that were supporting the health response. Diseases that are already major causes of death in the country, such as malaria and acute watery diarrhoea, can become even more fatal with a lack of health workers.
  • Michael R. Bloomberg becomes WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases
    August 2016 − WHO has today named Mr Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and former three-term Mayor of the City of New York, as Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). In his new role, Mr Bloomberg will work with national and local political leaders to highlight the burden of NCDs and injuries.
  • Heightened response to cholera outbreak in Central African Republic
    August 2016 − Amid an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic, WHO and partners are working with the country’s Ministry of Health respond to a cholera outbreak declared on 10 August 2016 with 46 confirmed cases and 13 deaths from the cities of Djoujou, Damara and Bangui.

Emergency reform

The WHO emergency reform process encompasses governance reform, managerial reform, and further development of emergency capacities.

Zika virus and complications

After a spike in cases of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with Zika virus, WHO declared a public health emergency.

Commentaries

Birth in a time of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

"Saving the lives of mothers and infants will require us to address the problem of access as well as excess. Simply put, those who need lifesaving antibiotics must get them, and those who do not must not."

Dr Anthony Costello, WHO Director of Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health
Dr Stefan Swartling Peterson, UNICEF Chief of Health


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