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Tram 13 puts on a healthy colour

The right track for WHO

Tram 13 of the Geneva Public Transport Authority (TPG), which runs from Palette to the Place des Nations, proudly wears the colours of WHO. An innovative partnership has brought together the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Cercle Diplomatique, Genève in a campaign to inform and raise awareness of the role played by WHO in controlling communicable diseases in general and epidemics in particular.

The mandate of WHO is to promote and protect health throughout the world in collaboration with its 192 member countries. WHO monitors emerging diseases such as SARS, avian and pandemic human influenza, haemorrhagic fevers such as Marburg and Ebola and countless other diseases including malaria, polio, AIDS and tuberculosis. The Organization's role is to monitor the emergence and development of these health events, to detect and analyse them and to carry out the necessary measures for their containment, with the aim of reducing suffering and saving human lives.

"To achieve this goal, WHO cooperates with a very broad network of partners and institutions. Because Geneva is the Headquarters of WHO, we wanted to give the inhabitants of our host country a glimpse of what we do" says Dr Michael Ryan, Director of the Department of Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response.

Between 2002 and 2005, WHO detected and checked over 760 alerts with high epidemic potential in 138 countries. In 70 cases, international assistance was required, entailing the deployment of around 50 multi-disciplinary and international teams brought together in the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, which is run by WHO.

WHO has a staff of 2400 from all the continents at Geneva. Six thousand others work in the Organization's 147 country and regional offices.

"This advertising campaign is an opportunity for WHO staff to present themselves to the people of Geneva and to show part of what they do. Even if health-related topics might seem dull to some people and scare others, our aim is to build bridges between the people of Geneva and WHO staff" says Mr Robert Blum, President of the Cercle Diplomatique, Genève, a club to which some hundred members of the diplomatic corps and leading figures from the world of politics, economics and culture belong.

This campaign was made possible by the financial participation of several donors including Losinger Construction, MSC Cruises, Gemeco Evènements, Action Peintures, Radio Lac and Mathis SA.

The tram's official inauguration will take place on 10 January 2006 between 10.30 and 11.30 a.m. at the Place des Nations in the presence of representatives of the City of Geneva, the Diplomatic Circle, TPG and WHO.

For more information contact:

Fadéla Chaib
Telephone: +41 22 791 3228
Mobile phone: +41 79 475 5556

Mr Robert Blum
Le Cercle Diplomatique
Telephone: +41 79 206 3000
E-mail: info@cercle-diplomatique-genè

Isabelle Oppliger
Mobile phone: +41 79 287 5004