Latest homepage stories

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

2017 Public health prizes awarded

26 May 2017 – Every year, national health administrations and former prize recipients submit nominations for prizes awarded for accomplishments in the field of public health. This year’s winners were presented with their awards during the plenary meeting of the Seventieth World Health Assembly.

Report: Ten years of transformation

26 May 2017 -- WHO has made extraordinary progress
 in its bold reform agenda over the past decade. Innovative leadership, managerial structures and systems have resulted in increased effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, transparency and accountability. This report tells the story of WHO's transformation from 2007 through to the current day.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus elected WHO Director-General

23 May 2017 – Today the Member States of the 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.

Seventieth World Health Assembly

19 May 2017 – The seventieth session of WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, takes place on 22–31 May in Geneva, Switzerland. Attended by delegations from all Member States, the Health Assembly determines organizational policies and approves the proposed programme budget. This year Member States will elect a new Director-General on 23 May.

WHO standards on reporting clinical trial results

18 May 2017 – Some of the world’s largest funders of medical research and international non-governmental organizations agreed on new standards that will require all clinical trials they fund or support to be registered and the results disclosed publicly. Currently, about 50% of clinical trials go unreported, often because the results are negative. These unreported trial results leave an incomplete and potentially misleading picture of the risks and benefits of vaccines, drugs and medical devices, and can lead to use of suboptimal or even harmful products.

World Health Statistics: Cause of almost half of all deaths recorded

17 May 2017 – Almost half of all deaths globally are now recorded with a cause, new data from WHO show, highlighting improvements countries have made on collecting vital statistics and monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WHO’s World Health Statistics compiles data from the organization’s 194 Member States on 21 health-related SDG targets, providing a snapshot of both gains and threats to the health of the world’s people.

Happier people in Bhutan by beating noncommunicable diseases

17 May 2017 – In Bhutan, protecting people from cardiovascular and lung diseases, cancers, and diabetes is a national priority: the country has put in place a national plan to prevent and control these noncommunicable diseases. Bhutan is also the first country in the WHO South-East Asian Region to implement WHO’s package of essential noncommunicable disease interventions for primary health care in low-resource settings nationwide.

More than 1.2 million adolescents die every year

16 May 2017 – More than 3000 adolescents die every day, totalling 1.2 million deaths a year, from largely preventable causes, according to a new report from WHO and partners. In 2015, more than two thirds of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries in Africa and South-East Asia. Road traffic injuries, lower respiratory infections, and suicide are the biggest causes of death among adolescents.

Healthier, fairer, safer

15 May 2017 – This independent report, commissioned by WHO and written by Sir Liam Donaldson, reflects on the trends, achievements and challenges in global health over the past decade during which Dr Margaret Chan has been Director-General of WHO. It discusses the role of WHO in dealing with such issues as the rise of noncommunicable diseases, leaps in life expectancy, and emerging threats like climate change and antimicrobial resistance.

Regional Director travels to Kinshasa to discuss Ebola response

13 May 2017 – The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti today visited Kinshasa (DR Congo) to discuss with national authorities and partners ways to mount a rapid, effective and coherent response in order to stop the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

Statement on Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

12 May 2017 -- WHO has been informed of a cluster of illness and deaths including haemorrhagic symptoms in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province in the north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bordering Central African Republic. On 11 May, the Ministry of Health informed WHO that of 5 laboratory samples tested for Ebola virus, 1 tested positive. Additional laboratory samples are currently being tested. Since 22 April, there have been 9 suspected cases including 3 deaths.

WHO improves transparency of financial data

12 May 2017 – WHO is improving transparency and accountability with the launch of a redesigned Programme Budget Web Portal that makes budget and spending information easier to access, use and understand. The redesigned portal provides timely and detailed budget, financing and expenditure data on WHO activities and how they are funded in countries, regions and internationally.

Access to medicines: making market forces serve the poor

11 May 2017 -- Nearly 2 billion people have no access to basic medicines, causing a cascade of preventable misery and suffering. WHO and its partners have launched a number of initiatives such as the WHO prequalification programme to improve access to safe, effective and quality-assured products. The price of medicines prices also presents a major challenge to health systems in all countries. WHO is also convening the Fair Pricing Forum to bring together governments, industry, payers and patient groups.

WHO calls for immediate action in Somalia

11 May 2017 – WHO is concerned by the shortage of funding for life-saving work in Somalia in response to the ongoing drought that has plunged the country further towards famine, disease, and health insecurity. Drought in Somalia led to the destruction of crops and livestock, leaving more than 3.3 million people hungry. If this continues, famine could soon be a reality, creating a devastating cycle of hunger and disease.

Ebola vaccines for Guinea and the world

6 May 2017 -- More than 11 000 people in Guinea participated in a WHO-led trial to develop the world’s first vaccine against Ebola virus disease. The ground-breaking trial, which ended in January 2016, resulted in a vaccine that is highly protective against the deadly virus. Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, visited some of the communities who participated in the vaccine trial in the city of Conakry.

Speed management key to safe, liveable cities

5 May 2017 – Around 1.25 million people die every year on the world’s roads. A new report from WHO suggests that excessive speed contributes to 1 in 3 road traffic deaths worldwide, and that road traffic crashes are the number one cause of death among young people aged 15–29 years. Measures to address speed prevent road traffic deaths and injuries, make populations healthier, and cities more sustainable.

Clean hands saving lives in Chile

5 May 2017 – Starting in 1983, a national initiative in Chile has been fighting infections acquired in hospitals – a key component of which is proper hand-washing. The results of the initiative have been dramatic and almost instantaneous: for some infections, such as those involving catheters, infection rates fell within months. Between 2000 and 2009, infections during surgery fell by as much as 30%.

Midwives: good hand hygiene prevents infections

5 May 2017 – In India and many low- and middle-income countries, practicing good hand hygiene is not easy. Bandana Das, like many midwives in India, often does not have access to water, a toilet, or soap. When she washes her hands it is not simply routine, it is a critical step in reducing infection and saving the lives of mothers and newborns.

WHO to begin pilot prequalification of biosimilars for cancer treatment

4 May 2017 – 4 May 2017 – This year WHO will launch a pilot project for prequalifying biosimilar medicines, a step towards making expensive treatments for cancer more accessible. Manufacturers will be invited to apply for prequalification of two products in the WHO Essential Medicines List: rituximab, used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and trastuzumab, used to treat breast cancer.

HIV: from a devastating epidemic to a manageable chronic disease

3 May 2017 – WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, in her chronicle for the last 10 years that she has served, highlights how in the decade since the United Nations declared HIV an unprecedented human catastrophe, the AIDS response has underscored the ethical imperative of fair access to medicine. WHO’s standard-setting work helped make prevention and treatment more accessible, safe, effective and efficient, and encouraged integrating HIV services into existing health systems.