Latest homepage stories

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


About 17 million people are affected by crisis in the Lake Chad Basin

23 February 2017 – Years of violent conflict have deprived millions of people in north-eastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, western Chad and south-east Niger of even the most basic health care services. Malnutrition is widespread and in the 3 worst-affected states of Nigeria nearly 6 million men, women, children and infants urgently need health assistance. WHO is working with the Nigerian Ministry of Health and partners to reach those in need with lifesaving health care.

Number of people with depression increases

23 February 2017 – The number of people living with depression is increasing, 18% between 2005 and 2015. In the lead-up to World Health Day on 7 April, which this year will focus on this increasingly important issue, WHO is releasing today a new global report on health estimates on depression.

Migrant Health: Resetting the agenda

21 February 2017 – The health problems of refugees and migrants are similar to those of the rest of the population. The most frequent health problems of newly arrived refugees and migrants include accidental injuries, hypothermia, burns, cardiovascular events, pregnancy and delivery-related complications, diabetes, and hypertension. Stakeholders are discussing improving their health aspects, in the 2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health, on 21–23 February 2017, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health: Resetting the agenda

21 February 2017 – Member States, international organizations, academia, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders are engaging in a meaningful platform for multisectoral dialogue and commitment to discuss the health aspects of refugees and migrants, in the 2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health, on 21–23 February 2017, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

WHO teams assist people in hard-to-reach areas of Nigeria

17 February 2017 – Medical teams supported by WHO set up mobile clinics in hard to access areas of north-eastern Nigeria. The teams are called "hard-to-reach" teams (HTR) because their mission is to reach remote and insecure areas to provide urgently needed care to populations deprived of essential health services. Two-thirds of hospitals, clinics and other health facilities in the most affected states have been completely or partially damaged.

Yellow fever outbreak ends in Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo

14 February 2017 – The Democratic Republic of Congo declared the end of the yellow fever outbreak following a similar announcement in Angola on 23 December 2016, bringing an end to the outbreak in both countries after no new confirmed cases were reported from both countries for the past 6 months.

Reducing maternal and newborn deaths by half

14 February 2017 – Today, 9 countries – Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda – committed to halving preventable deaths of pregnant women and newborns in their health facilities within the next 5 years. Through a new network supported by WHO, UNICEF, and other partners, these countries will improve the quality of care mothers and babies receive.

Approximately 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy

13 February 2017 – Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain that affects people worldwide. It is characterized by recurrent seizures. The estimated proportion of the general population with active epilepsy at a given time is between 4 and 10 per 1000 people. As an initiative established in 1997, WHO and partners are carrying out a global campaign – "Out of the Shadows" – to provide better information and raise awareness about epilepsy.

Urgent health needs in Yemen

8 February 2017 – WHO has deployed medical teams to provide urgently needed health services for internally displaced persons in Yemen. Roughly 22 000 people are affected by intense fighting in Al-Mokha city. More than 8000 people have fled to neighbouring regions to escape, while thousands more remain trapped and caught in the crossfire.

Urgent health needs in Yemen

8 February 2017 – WHO has deployed medical teams to provide urgently needed health services for internally displaced persons in Yemen. Roughly 22 000 people are affected by intense fighting in Al-Mokha city. More than 8000 people have fled to neighbouring regions to escape, while thousands more remain trapped and caught in the crossfire.

Urgent health needs in Yemen

8 February 2017 – WHO has deployed medical teams in Yemen to districts receiving internally displaced persons to identify the most urgent health needs. Roughly 22 000 people are affected by intense fighting in Al-Mokha city. More than 8000 people have fled to neighbouring regions to escape, while thousands more remain trapped and caught in the crossfire.

In India, 410 million children to be vaccinated against measles-rubella

7 February 2017 – India has launched one of the world’s largest vaccination campaigns against measles and rubella. The campaign to vaccinate more than 410 million children aged 9 months to 15 years over the next 2 years is a big step towards improving child survival and preventing birth defects.

Yearly, 8.8 million people die from cancer

3 February 2017 – Launched ahead of the World Cancer Day (4 February), the new WHO guidance aims to improve the chances of survival for people living with cancer by ensuring that health services can focus on diagnosing and treating the disease earlier. Strategies to improve early diagnosis can be built into health systems at a low cost. In turn, effective early diagnosis can help detect cancer in patients at an earlier stage, enabling treatment that is generally more effective, less complex, and less expensive.

Zika: We must be ready for the long haul

2 February 2017 – One year ago, WHO Director-General, Dr Chan declared that the Zika outbreak sweeping through the Americas was a public health emergency of international concern. Like every other explosive outbreak, Zika revealed fault lines in the world’s collective preparedness. Poor access to family planning services was one. The dismantling of national programmes for mosquito control was another.

Worldwide, 81% of school-aged children are not active enough

1 February 2017 – A lack of physical activity is a significant risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Less and less physical activity is occurring in many countries. Regular physical activity helps to maintain a healthy body. Some physical activity is better than none. WHO's Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020, calls for a 10% reduction in physical inactivity by 2025.

WHO Executive Board announces nominees

25 January 2017 – The WHO Executive Board opened on 23 January and will close on 1 February 2017. The annual Board meeting will set the agenda for, and the resolutions to be considered by, the 70th World Health Assembly (22–31 May 2017). Today, the WHO Executive Board selected 3 nominees for the post of WHO Director-General.

10 things to know about the Syrian crisis

24 January 2017 – WHO has made important strides in its work during the Syrian crisis. A successful negotiation led to the evacuation of patients in critical condition from east Aleppo. Thousands more, fleeing besieged areas, received health care from mobile clinics. As the crisis continues, WHO's work in Syria remains crucial.

140th session of the Executive Board

22 January 2017 – The WHO Executive Board opened on Monday 23 January and will close on 1 February 2017. The annual Board meeting will set the agenda for, and the resolutions to be considered by, the 70th World Health Assembly when it meets on 22–31 May 2017. This year the WHO Executive Board will select a short list of 3 nominees for WHO Director-General from a pool of 6 candidates. The next Director-General will be chosen by vote of all Member States at the World Health Assembly.

140th session of the Executive Board

22 January 2017 – The WHO Executive Board will open at 09:30 CET on Monday 23 January and close at 17:30 CET on 1 February 2017. The annual Board meeting will set the agenda and the resolutions to be considered by the 70th World Health Assembly when it meets in 22-31 May 2017. This year the WHO Executive Board will select a short list of 3 nominees for WHO Director-General, from a pool of 6 candidates. The next Director-General will be chosen by vote of all Member States at the World Health Assembly.

Finding priorities for health research and development

20 January 2017 – Today’s investments in health R&D are poorly aligned with global public health needs. As little as 1% of all funding for health R&D is allocated to diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, although they account for more than 12% of the global disease burden. The WHO Global Observatory on Health R&D builds on existing data to enable decisions on R&D priorities.