Get Vaccinated: Go for the gold!

29 April 2016 – Immunization stops 2 to 3 million deaths each year, however an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided with better vaccination coverage. During World Immunization Week 2016, WHO offices around the world have highlighted recent gains in immunization coverage and emphasized the work still needed to meet vaccination targets. In the Americas, the week has been supported by the 6 time Olympic Games Gold Medallist, Usain Bolt, with the theme “Go for the gold! Get vaccinated!”

Yellow fever vaccination essential for Angola

26 April 2016 – As efforts to bring an outbreak of yellow fever in Angola under control continue WHO is reminding all travellers to the country that they are required to receive the yellow fever vaccination and to have a valid certificate of vaccination to prove that they are protected from the disease and to prevent its further spread.

El Niño affects more than 60 million people

26 April 2016 – A warming of the central to eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, El Niño 2015-2016, is affecting more than 60 million people. Severe drought and associated food insecurity, flooding, rains, and temperature rises are causing a wide range of health problems including disease outbreaks, malnutrition, heat stress, and respiratory diseases. WHO requires US$ 51 million to provide urgent healthcare for those affected.

World Immunization Week in Nepal: An anniversary of remembrance

25 April 2016 – In April 2015 a major earthquake struck Nepal. In addition to the urgent need to care for people who are injured, WHO has identified measles outbreaks as a serious threat after earthquakes, other natural disasters and other emergency situations that leave people displaced. A year after the earthquake in Nepal, people in 1 village recall their struggles to keep their children safe through immunization.

World Immunization Week 2016: Close the immunization gap

21 April 2016 -- Immunization averts 2 to 3 million deaths annually; however, an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination coverage improves. Today nearly 1 in 5 children worldwide are still missing routine immunizations for preventable diseases. During World Immunization Week 2016, WHO highlights recent gains in immunization coverage, and outlines further steps needed to meet global vaccination targets by 2020.

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Highlights

  • Chernobyl: Thirty Years On
    April 2016 -- The world marks 30 years since the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in Ukraine - the disaster that affected millions of people in Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The accident had an important impact on the entire world by changing attitudes to nuclear safety on a global scale.
  • Process to elect next Director-General of WHO begins
    April 2016 -- Member States can now nominate candidates to be the new head of WHO, the global public health body. This is the first step in a rigorous process which will culminate in a final vote at the World Health Assembly in May 2017.
  • Health and social effects of nonmedical cannabis use
    April 2016 -- Cannabis is the most commonly used psychoactive drug across the globe. A new WHO report examines nonmedical cannabis use, with a focus on the impact of cannabis on young people and the effects of long-term frequent use.
  • Yellow fever vaccination campaign extended in Angola
    April 2016 -- With 250 deaths and 1908 suspected cases of yellow fever reported since December 2015, Angola’s Ministry of Health, WHO, and partners have extended the vaccination campaign to 2 of the 5 provinces reporting local transmission in Angola.

Zika virus and complications

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

Commentary

Vaccines: A global health success story that keeps us on our toes

Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General, Family, Women's and Children's Health
Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General, Health Systems and Innovation


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