Latest homepage stories

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

Director General rescinds Goodwill Ambassador appointment

22 October 2017 – Over the last few days, I have reflected on my decision to appoint President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs in Africa. As a result I have decided to rescind the appointment.

Towards a healthier and safer environment

19 October 2017 – Today, we have more knowledge, evidence, and understanding than ever before about how and through what pathways climate and environmental change impact health. We know which sector policies and interventions effectively address environmental root causes of disease and in which settings these interventions will likely have the greatest impact.

Daily, 7 000 newborns die, despite decrease in under-five mortality

19 October 2017 – Every day in 2016, 15 000 children died before their fifth birthday, 46% of them – or 7 000 babies – died in the first 28 days of life, according to a new UN report. At current trends, 60 million children will die before their fifth birthday between 2017 and 2030, half of them newborns, according to the report released by UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and the Population Division of UNDESA which make up the Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation.

WHO mourns the death of Dr Mahmoud Fikri

18 October 2017 – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO announces with great sadness the death of Dr Mahmoud M Fikri, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. The Organization extends its sincere condolences to Dr Fikri’s family and his colleagues and friends throughout WHO and the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Reducing suffering and deaths from noncommunicable diseases

18 October 2017– Heads of State and Government and ministers from around the world endorsed the Montevideo Roadmap 2018-2030 on NCDs as a Sustainable Development Priority. They committed to the Roadmap at the opening of the three-day Global Conference on Noncommunicable Diseases in Montevideo, hosted by WHO and the Presidency of Uruguay. The pledge follows agreement by world leaders to reduce “premature” deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030 as part of the United Nations’ Agenda for Sustainable Development.

WHO supports yellow fever immunization campaign in Nigeria

16 October 2017– The Government of Nigeria has launched a campaign to immunize 873 837 people against yellow fever in the states of Kwara and Kogi. The ten-day campaign began on Friday and mobilizes more than 200 health workers and volunteers. It targets residents aged 9 months to 45 years old. WHO and health partners have been supporting the Government’s response to the outbreak since the first case of yellow fever was confirmed in Kwara state on 12 September.

Tenfold increase in childhood and adolescent obesity in four decades

11 October 2017– The number of obese children and adolescents (aged five to 19 years) worldwide has risen tenfold in the past four decades. If current trends continue, more children and adolescents will be obese than moderately or severely underweight by 2022, according to a new study led by Imperial College London and WHO. Children and adolescents have rapidly transitioned from mostly underweight to mostly overweight in many middle-income countries, including in East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Oral cholera vaccination campaign kicks off at Rohingya camps in Bangladesh

10 October 2017 – A massive cholera immunization campaign started today near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to protect newly arrived Rohingya and host communities from the life-threatening diarrheal disease. More than 200 vaccination teams will immunize 900 000 people. The International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision, with support from partners, has released vaccines from the global stockpile to prevent the spread of cholera.

WHO to establish commission on noncommunicable diseases

10 October 2017– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's Director-General, today announced the establishment of a new High-level global Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). The announcement came at the 64th Session of WHO’s Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean being held in Islamabad, 9-12 October. The commission’s aim is to identify innovative ways to curb the world’s biggest causes of death and extend life expectancy for millions of people.

Oral cholera vaccination campaign kicks off at Rohingya camps in Bangladesh

10 October 2017 – A massive cholera immunization campaign started today near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to protect newly arrived Rohingya and host communities from the life-threatening diarrheal disease. More than 200 vaccination teams will immunize 900 000 people, making it the second largest oral cholera vaccination campaign ever. The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision, with support from partners, has released these vaccines from the global stockpile to prevent the spread of cholera.

World’s second largest oral cholera vaccination campaign kicks off at Rohingya camps in Bangladesh

10 October 2017 – A massive cholera immunization campaign started today near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to protect newly arrived Rohingya and host communities from the life-threatening diarrheal disease. More than 200 vaccination teams will immunize 900 000 people, making it the second largest oral cholera vaccination campaign ever.

Mental health in the workplace

9 October 2017 – During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing. Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. Mental health in the workplace is the theme of World Mental Health Day 2017.

Gearing up for world’s second largest oral cholera vaccination campaign in Cox’s Bazar

9 October 2017 – The vaccine has arrived. Micro-plans are complete. And hundreds of health workers and volunteers have been mobilized and trained to carry out an epic mission: The delivery of 900 000 doses of oral cholera vaccine to more than 650 000 men, women and children now crowded into settlements and camps near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Sixty-fourth session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean

9 October 2017 – Health ministers and high-level representatives of the 22 countries and territories of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, partner organizations and civil society, will take part in the Sixty-fourth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean, Islamabad, Pakistan, from 9 to 12 October 2017.

Sixty-eighth session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific

9 October 2017 - The WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific today opened its 68th session in Brisbane, Australia. The annual meeting brings together ministers of health and senior officials from 37 countries and areas to decide on issues that affect the health and well-being of the Region’s peoples.

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.