News and top stories

Government tax action needed to curb tobacco epidemic

7 July 2015 -- According to the "WHO Report on the global tobacco epidemic 2015", launched today, not enough governments levy appropriate tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. They therefore miss out on a proven, low-cost measure to curb the demand for tobacco, save lives and generate funds for stronger health services. The report found that raising taxes is the most effective tobacco control measure, yet the least implemented.

Progress in the Ebola response

6 July 2015 -- Since July 2014, we’ve made real progress towards tackling the Ebola outbreak, yet new cases continue to emerge. As we work together in partnership with the affected countries and the international health community, we can see that we are better off today than we were a year ago. Scroll through an interactive story of the progress made and the challenges that remain, as we continue to work towards our final goal of #GettingtoZero.

Heatwaves and health: guidance on warning-system development

1 July 2015 -- Heatwaves are among the most dangerous of natural hazards that have a significant impact on society. “Heatwaves and health”, the new report launched today by WHO and the World Meteorological Organization, reviews how heatwaves contribute to a rise in mortality and morbidity and strain resources such as water, power, and transport. The report considers who is at risk from heat and outlines steps that can be taken towards effective warning systems.

Cholera risks high across world, but deadly disease can be controlled

6 July 2015 -- Intensive control efforts are ongoing, by WHO and partners, to respond to outbreaks of cholera - including new ones in South Sudan and Tanzania. Vaccination programmes have been rolled out to communities at risk to effectively control this deadly water-borne disease. In Yemen and Nepal, WHO has been working on the ground to prepare for any outbreak.

Recurrence of Ebola transmission in Liberia

3 July 2015 -- Although transmission of the Ebola virus had ceased, Liberia remained at high risk of a recurrence of Ebola due to ongoing transmission in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone. Liberia entered a 90-day period of vigilance involving testing anyone with features of Ebola virus disease and testing post-mortem swabs for Ebola virus. On Monday, 29 June, a post-mortem swab, taken from a 17-year-old male who died from a febrile illness managed as malaria, tested positive for Ebola.

More top stories »

WHO facts

Data from 54 low- and middle-income countries shows that 38% of health care facilities lack access to even rudimentary levels of water, 19% lack sanitation and 35% do not have water and soap for handwashing.


Highlights

  • WHO calls for stepping up vigilance for MERS, Thailand confirms case
    June 2015 -- Thailand confirmed Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) disease in a traveller from the Middle East region, the first case in the WHO South-East Asia Region, as WHO urged countries in the region to step up vigil and review preparedness to respond to the disease. WHO has been working with countries in the Region to build their capacities and strengthen preparedness to effectively detect and respond to outbreaks and other hazards.
  • Frequently asked questions on MERS-CoV
    June 2015 -- What is Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus? Find the answer to questions regarding the disease, the current outbreak and how WHO is responding.

Fact sheets

Commentary

Dr Ties Boerma, Director of the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems.
WHO

Ebola diaries

Dr Olu Olushayo, deployed to Sierra Leone to coordinate the WHO response to Ebola virus disease.
WHO/C. Black

Tweets from WHO


Data

Note: mouse over data points to see full information

Resources