News and top stories

Clean hands protect patients

4 May 2015 -- In Ebola-affected countries, the lack of running water can make hand hygiene a challenge. WHO is working with health care administrators in Sierra Leone to encourage them to provide access to a safe, continuous water supply and to the necessary facilities to perform hand washing, and a readily accessible alcohol-based hand rub at the point of patient care. Hand hygiene is so important in public health that 5 May every year is marked as Hand Hygiene Day.

WHO and UNCHR issue new guide on mental health in humanitarian emergencies

5 May 2015 - The mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide contains first-line management recommendations for mental, neurological and substance use conditions for non-specialist health-care providers working in humanitarian emergencies. The Guide will help accelerate the provision of mental health care to children and adults in countries impacted by humanitarian emergencies such as Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen, and more recently Nepal.

WHO setting up Gorkha, Nepal field office

3 May 2015 -- In a major step to boost the health-care assistance to earthquake survivors who have been unreachable since last week’s disaster, WHO announced today the establishment of a new field office in the Gorkha district of Nepal. From there, WHO and the national authorities will be able to coordinate land and air support to rush medicines, health care professionals and other life-saving resources to some of the most remote regions impacted by the earthquake.

Funds for long-term spinal cord treatment after Nepal

2 May 2015 -- Among the estimated 14 000 injuries incurred as a result of the April 25 earthquake, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and has so far resulted in 6200 recorded fatalities, approximately 1 in 3 (or around 4700) will require follow-up rehabilitation treatment. Of this number, approximately 12% have damage to their spinal cord.

WHO report finds systems to combat antibiotic resistance lacking

29 April 2015 -- WHO urges countries to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance by implementing a national plan that prevents the misuse of antibiotics. A new WHO report highlights the need for governments to take active measures to preserve the efficacy of antimicrobial medicines, such as antibiotics. WHO, countries and partners have developed a draft Global Action Plan to combat antimicrobial resistance to be reviewed by the sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015.

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Highlights

  • Celebrate International Day of the Midwife, 5 May 2015
    May 2015 -- WHO supports the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) theme of “Midwives for a better tomorrow.” This is a special year to highlight the role of midwives in progress towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 – improving newborn and maternal health – as the MDGs come to an end in September and the world moves forward to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Hand hygiene in the control of Ebola and health system strengthening
    May 2015 -- For any infection that can be spread through touch, including those carried in bodily fluids, hand hygiene is vital. It is the key action that protects every individual. WHO highlights a number of key messages on hand hygiene in the prevention of Ebola virus disease, and how improving hand hygiene action can positively affect the whole country.
  • Quality of care for every pregnant woman and newborn
    May 2015 -- In a new commentary published in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, WHO states that quality of care must improve if the world is to end preventable deaths of mothers and newborn babies globally.

Fact sheets

Commentary

Dr Okwo-Bele, WHO
WHO

Ebola diaries

Ebola awareness campaign, Sierra Leone
WHO/N. Alexander

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