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Preparing to confront Ebola – just in case

15 December 2014 -- Countries in Africa have been working on improving their preparedness in the event of an Ebola outbreak. WHO teams have provided simulated exercises in hospitals and technical trainings on immediate emergency response and communication, on infection prevention and control, safe burials, and other components of response. The Ebola outbreaks and response in Nigeria and Senegal showed that the disease can be stopped if a country is adequately prepared from the start.

Uniting to build stronger health systems in Ebola-affected countries

12 December 2014 -- Ministers of health and finance of Ebola-affected countries, international organizations and partners assembled for a high-level meeting on 10-11 December 2014 on strengthening health systems in these countries. They have agreed on what needs to be done to rebuild and strengthen essential health services so that they can both absorb the shock of an emergency like Ebola, and continue to provide regular health services such as immunization, maternal and child care.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: The country that knows how to beat Ebola

11 December 2014 -- DRC has a lot of experience with Ebola – this year the country witnessed its seventh outbreak of the disease. The country had the knowledge and the people needed to stop an outbreak, plus strong technical assistance and support from WHO. The well-coordinated response to Ebola shows that when national authorities in DRC set priorities and stuck to them they were able to end the outbreak.

Need to scale up violence prevention efforts globally

10 December 2014 -- Despite indications that homicide rates decreased by 16% globally between 2000 and 2012, violence remains widespread. Released today, the "Global status report on violence prevention 2014" reveals that 475 000 people were murdered in 2012. Homicide is the third leading cause of death globally for males aged 15–44 years. These facts highlight the importance of creating more decisive action to prevent violence.

Scaling-up of effective malaria control dramatically reduces deaths

9 December 2014 -- The number of people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000 and malaria cases are also steadily declining, according to the "World malaria report 2014". Between 2000 and 2013, the malaria mortality rate decreased by 47% worldwide and by 54% in the WHO African Region - where about 90% of malaria deaths occur.

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Highlights

  • Eight mobile health clinics to serve vulnerable populations in Iraq
    December 2014 -- These urgently needed clinics, procured by WHO and flown in by the World Food Programme from Amman, Jordan, will be immediately deployed to parts of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to help address the health needs of displaced populations residing in areas with limited access to health care services – in camps, informal settlements, and in urban and remote areas across the country.
  • Q&A on Ebola vaccines, therapies, and diagnostics
    Is there a vaccine to protect against Ebola virus disease?
    Which vaccines are being tested? When will these vaccines be available?
    What other treatments and therapies are available or being evaluated?
  • Webinar: Lessons learned from reforms aimed at improving efficiency in health systems
    December 2014-- Join the webinar on Thursday 18 December 2014, 14:30–16:30 CET for an overview of why addressing inefficiencies in health systems is essential for universal health coverage. Four case studies will be presented describing efforts to improve efficiency in medicines use, high cost health care, health workforce and health insurance markets.

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Commentary

Portrait of Marie-Paul Kieny, Assistant Director-General - Health Systems and Innovation.

Ebola: What you need to know

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Source: Stoltenborgh et al., 2011, 2012a-c, as quoted in the "Global status report on violence prevention, 2014."

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