24 May 2013 -- The Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly is taking place from 20 to 28 May 2013 in Geneva. Officials from 194 Member States have begun their annual review of the activities of WHO and will set new priorities for the future. The Health Assembly discusses specific health topics like noncommunicable diseases, universal health coverage, women and children’s health, as well as the programme budget, administration, reform and management matters of WHO.
17 May 2013 -- The yellow fever ‘booster’ vaccination given ten years after the initial vaccination is not necessary. WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) has reviewed the latest evidence and concluded that a single dose of vaccination is sufficient to confer life-long immunity against yellow fever disease. This information is crucial for countries where yellow fever is endemic, because it will allow them to reconsider their vaccine scheduling. It is also important for travellers.
17 May 2013 – Australia has recently introduced a law on tobacco plain packaging with active support from WHO. Other countries are watching this pioneering measure and are considering tougher packaging laws. Increasing plain packaging is one of the aims for this year’s World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2013 whose theme is Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
15 May 2013 – The world has made dramatic progress in improving health in the poorest countries and narrowing the gaps between countries with the best and worst health status in the past two decades, according to the World Health Statistics 2013. “Intensive efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals have clearly improved health for people all over the world,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO.
Preventing the onset of adolescent drug use
The "Strengthening Families" programme promotes family environments that protect 10–14-year-old children in order to prevent substance abuse and other risky behaviors. During the workshops, parents learned effective disciplinary techniques and gained skills in connecting emotionally with their children, getting closer to them with more confidence and empathy.
WHO welcomes GAVI’s announcement on a new record low price for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines – a major step forward in helping protect millions of girls in developing countries against cervical cancer.