Promoting health through the life-course

Reaching the every newborn national 2020 milestones: country progress, plans and moving forward

A mother smiles with her newborn.
Save the Children

21 JUNE 2017 – A new WHO and UNICEF report details progress made by countries towards the goals and recommendations set out in the Every Newborn Action Plan, an initiative contributing towards the goals of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health for Every Woman Every Child. In 2016, 51 countries completed the Every Newborn Tracking Tool. The report also highlights specific activities which have taken place in different countries and exemplifies some of the partner efforts to support country progress.

More can be done to restrict sunbeds to prevent increasing rates of skin cancer

Tanning beds

21 JUNE 2017 – Sunbed use has been estimated to be responsible for more than 450 000 non-melanoma skin cancer cases and more than 10 000 melanoma cases each year in the United States of America, Europe and Australia combined. The largest portion of users are women, and in particular adolescents and young adults. A new WHO publication underscores national actions to limit the use of sunbeds in a bid to reduce the associated health risks, such as melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress 2017

WHO has a significant presence at the 31st ICM Congress where over 4000 midwives, policymakers, donors, civil society and government representatives from 116 midwifery associations will gather in Toronto for the 31st annual congress of midwives. The theme for this year is “Midwives - Making a difference in the world” with daily themes of: leadership, partnerships, professionalism and supporting women’s and girls’ rights.

Paris becomes 500th member of WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities

19 JUNE 2017 – WHO’s Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC) welcomed Paris, France, as its 500th member. The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo and her deputy Dominique Versini - responsible for early childhood, the protection of children and the fight against exclusion and the elderly - formalised their commitment to become an age-friendly city during a presentation of the plan "2017-2021 Seniors in Paris".

Abuse of older people on the rise – 1 in 6 affected

An old woman sitting alone on a bench near a pond in Thailand
WHO/C. Tephaval

15 JUNE 2017 – Around 1 in 6 older people experience some form of abuse, a figure higher than previously estimated and predicted to rise as populations age worldwide. Awareness about elder abuse, still largely a taboo topic, has started to increase across the world. It is defined as actions or lack of appropriate action which can cause harm or distress to an older person, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust.

WHO Director-General elect welcomes new funding for polio eradication

13 JUNE 2017 – WHO Director-General elect, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has welcomed contributions and pledges of US$1.2 billion for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. A proportion of the money pledged will help WHO fund disease surveillance in more than 70 countries and enable it to provide expertise to help countries vaccinate 450 million children per year against polio. The Organization will also provide guidance on vaccination policy and participate in research into vaccine delivery methods, operational tactics and other approaches that can help accelerate eradication.

Statement on Dr Babatunde Osotimehin

5 JUNE 2017 – The WHO community is profoundly saddened by the news that Dr Babatunde Osotimehin passed away on 4 June 2017. As Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Osotimehin was a champion of health for all, but especially for women and adolescent girls. His work to reduce preventable maternal deaths and family planning highlighted these issues on the global health agenda. Dr Osotimehin also worked tirelessly to prevent violence against women.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus elected WHO Director-General

23 MAY 2017 – The Member States of WHO elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of WHO. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will succeed Dr Margaret Chan, who has been WHO’s Director-General since 1 January 2007.

Health throughout the life-course at WHA70

Dr Margaret Chan WHO Director General addresses WHA70
WHO/L. Cipriani

22 MAY 2017 - The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The 70th session of the World Health Assembly is being held from 22 to 29 May 2017

Latest life-course news


Promoting good health through the life-
course cuts across all areas of WHO’s
work including the health of women
before, during and after pregnancy, and
of newborns, children, adolescents,
and older people, taking into account
environmental risks, social
determinants of health, gender, equity,
and human rights.

Contact us

Dr Flavia Bustreo
Assistant Director-General
Family, Women's and Children's Health
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27