News and top stories

Learn from the past to build better for the future

25 January 2015 -- Today, WHO Director-General opened the Executive Board's Special Session on Ebola. Dr Chan emphasized the need to maintain the momentum and guard against complacency and donor fatigue. UN Special Envoy for Ebola, Dr Nabarro, conveyed a message from the UN Secretary-General reinforcing the call to draw lessons from this outbreak for the future. He urged Member States to ensure that WHO has the resources it needs to end Ebola transmission and build structures for future pandemics. Nurse Rebecca Johnson brought a human touch to the session with her personal account as a health worker who contracted Ebola virus disease while working in a treatment centre in Sierra Leone.

136th Executive Board starts with special session on Ebola

23 January 2015 -- The 136th session of the WHO Executive Board will run from Monday, 26 January 2015. On Sunday, 25 January, the Board holds a special session on the Ebola emergency. The special session will review the current state of WHO’s Ebola response and make recommendations for future large-scale and sustained outbreaks and emergencies. It will also discuss preparedness in non-affected countries and regions.

Protecting fans from Ebola at the Africa Cup of Nations

23 January 2015 -- Thanks to preparedness activities by Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Health, FIFA and WHO, the one million people gathered in Equatorial Guinea for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations are able to focus more on footie than on fears of Ebola. So what does it take to ensure that capacities are in place to prevent, identify and respond to potential Ebola virus transmission at such a large mass gathering?

Noncommunicable diseases take 16 million lives prematurely annually

19 January 2015 -- Urgent government action is needed to meet global targets to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), and prevent the annual toll of 16 million people dying prematurely – before the age of 70 – from heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes, according to a new WHO report. The report states that most premature NCD deaths are preventable.

Ebola in West Africa: 12-months on

15 January 2015 -- One year after the first Ebola cases started to surface in Guinea, WHO is publishing this series of 14 papers that take an in-depth look at West Africa’s first epidemic of Ebola virus disease. The papers explore reasons why the disease evaded detection for several months and the factors, many specific to West Africa, that fueled its subsequent spread.

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Ebola outbreak


  • Anti-malarial medicines distributed to more than 2.5 million people in Sierra Leone
    January 2015 -- Two successive emergency response campaigns in Sierra Leone to distribute anti-malarial drugs to people living in areas affected by the Ebola virus disease outbreak have successfully reached more than 2.5 million people. The medicines have significantly reduced the number of people with fever that might be mistaken for Ebola virus disease.
  • More research and efforts needed to prevent and control the spread of herpes
    January 2015 -- New WHO-led global estimates for herpes simplex virus type 2, published by the journal PLOS ONE, show that over 400 million people worldwide were infected with the virus in 2012. WHO and partners are working to accelerate research to develop HSV vaccines and topical microbicides to improve current prevention strategies.
  • WHO certifies Ghana free of dracunculiasis
    January 2015 -- Ghana has become the latest country to be certified free of dracunculiasis (also known as guinea-worm disease). Only 4 countries – Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan – are currently reporting cases of dracunculiasis.

Fact sheets


Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General, Health Systems and Innovation.

Ebola: What you need to know

Mosquitoes do not spread Ebola.


Tweets from WHO


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