Latest homepage stories

Below are the most recent top stories from the WHO homepage.

WHO provides 1.2 million antibiotics to fight plague in Madagascar

6 October 2017 – WHO has delivered 1 190 000 doses of antibiotics to the Ministry of Health and partners this week, and a further supply of 244 000 doses is expected in the days ahead. The different types of drugs will be used for both curative and prophylactic care. They are enough to treat up to 5000 patients and protect up to 100 000 people who may be exposed to the disease. WHO and the Ministry of Health are training local health workers on how to identify and care for patients, and how to trace people who have had close contact with symptomatic patients so that they may be given protective treatment.

Thailand’s physical activity drive is improving health

6 October 2017 – Globally almost half of all deaths are associated with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The Thai government is working to increase levels of physical activity to curb the threat of heart and other NCDs, which combined are responsible for 7 in 10 deaths in Thailand. Public parks are becoming beacons for health, with tai chi, yoga, dancing and other healthy programmes. This all fits within WHO's efforts to develop a global action plan to promote physical activity.

Committing to reduce cholera deaths by 90% by 2030

3 October 2017 – 3 October 2017 - Cholera kills an estimated 95000 people and affects 2.9 million more every year. Urgent action is needed to protect communities, prevent transmission and control outbreaks. A new strategy to reduce deaths from cholera by 90% by 2030 will be launched tomorrow by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC), a diverse network that supports countries affected by the disease.

New WHO senior leadership team

3 October 2017 - This morning, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced his senior leadership team. The new team includes former ministers of health, some of the world’s leading physicians, scientists and researchers, and programmatic experts in universal health coverage, health emergencies, communicable and noncommunicable diseases, climate and environmental health, and women’s, adolescents’ and children’s health.

Health services must stop leaving older people behind

29 September 2017 – Ahead of the International Day of the Older Person – 1 October – WHO calls for a new approach to providing health services for older people. WHO highlights the role of primary care and the contribution community health workers can make to keeping older people healthier for longer. Older adults are more likely to experience chronic conditions and often multiple conditions at the same time. Yet today’s health systems generally focus on the detection and treatment of individual acute diseases.

Large-scale deworming recommended for children’s health

29 September 2017 – Four species of intestinal worms affect almost a quarter of the world’s poorest and mostly marginalized people. They disrupt people’s ability to absorb nutrients, and impede the growth and physical development of millions of children. Periodic deworming programmes with a single-tablet treatment can drastically reduce the suffering of those infected and protect the 1.5 billion people currently estimated to be at risk.

Philippines embraces efforts to step up cardiovascular disease care

28 September 2017 – Starting in one area of the capital, Manila, the WHO-backed pilot project aims to step up prevention, detection and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, the world’s number one killer, responsible for one-third of all deaths in the Phillipines. Noncommunicable diseases, primarily cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic lung diseases and diabetes, impact all age groups in the Philippines, especially the nation’s young.

Education programmes save lives from rabies in India

28 September 2017 – Rabies almost always kills humans once symptoms appear. However, many of these deaths can be prevented if people can obtain a series of post-bite vaccinations as soon as possible after they are bitten. The challenge is that many people do not know the risks of animal bites. This story from Goa, India shows the importance of education in saving lives from rabies on World Rabies Day.

An estimated 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year

28 September 2017 – Worldwide, 25 million unsafe abortions (45% of all abortions) occurred every year between 2010 and 2014, according to a new study by WHO and the Guttmacher Institute published in The Lancet. The majority of unsafe abortions, or 97%, occurred in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In countries where abortion is completely banned or permitted only to save the woman’s life or preserve her physical health, only 1 in 4 abortions were safe.

Countries agree next steps to combat global health threat MERS-CoV

27 September 2017 – Critical next steps to accelerate the response to the global public health threat posed by Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been agreed by representatives from the Ministries of Health and Ministries of Agriculture of affected and at risk countries, and experts. The virus, which circulates in dromedary camels without causing visible disease, can be fatal for humans.

Sixty-ninth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Americas

25 September 2017 – The Sixty-ninth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Americas opened in Washington, DC today. Delegates will review recent progress and agree next steps to safeguard the health of people throughout the region.

The world is running out of antibiotics

20 September 2017 – A report launched today by WHO shows a serious lack of new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Most of the drugs currently in the clinical pipeline are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions. The report found very few potential treatment options for those antibiotic-resistant infections identified by WHO as posing the greatest threat to health, including drug-resistant tuberculosis which kills around 250 000 people each year.

Universal health coverage: a call to action

19 September 2017 – Universal health coverage is based on the conviction that health is a human right, not a privilege. People must not have to choose between buying medicine and buying food. Sickness should not plunge an entire family into poverty because a breadwinner is unable to work. A mother should not lose her baby because the services needed to save it are too far away.

WHO launches Noncommunicable Diseases Progress Monitor

18 September 2017 – Governments are making limited progress, so more action is needed to address noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and the main risk factors to meet global targets to reduce premature deaths. Limited national progress has been made in the fight against NCDs – primarily cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancers and diabetes – which are the world’s biggest killers, and claim the lives of 15 million people aged 30 to 70 years annually.

World hunger again on the rise

15 September 2017 – After steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again, affecting 815 million people in 2016, or 11% of the global population, says a new edition of the annual United Nations report on world food security and nutrition released today. The increase in global hunger is largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks.

Sixty-seventh WHO Regional Committee for Europe

11 September 2017 – The Sixty-seventh session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe opened in Budapest, Hungary today. Delegates will review recent progress and agree on next steps to safeguard the health of people throughout the region.

Preventing adolescent suicide: a mother’s story

6 September 2017 – Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–19 year-old girls. However, suicides are preventable. In this video, a mother from Switzerland explains how she coped when her teenage daughter told her that she was thinking about suicide. During the testimony, we hear how the family sought help and the support that helped them get through this difficult time.

Seventieth WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia

Young people enjoy time together on a bench near a road.

6 September 2017 – The Seventieth session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia opened in Maldives today. Delegates will review recent progress and agree on next steps to safeguard the health of people throughout the region.

Towards a rabies-free Thailand by 2020

5 September 2017 – Through mass dog vaccination and accessible and affordable measures, Thailand has reduced the number of human rabies cases by more than 90% since the 1980s. WHO recently welcomed Professor Dr Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol of Thailand – the Princess is a champion of efforts to make Thailand rabies-free by 2020.

Europe commits to staying malaria-free

4 September 2017 – Today the WHO European Region marks an important step on the road from malaria control to malaria elimination, and maintaining malaria-free status. The 10 Central Asia and Caucasus countries that had been the last stronghold for malaria in the region have confirmed their commitment to preventing malaria with the launch of The Ashgabat Statement.