News and top stories

WHO’s humanitarian response to health crises in Iraq

18 September 2014 -- Intensified conflict has sparked a massive displacement of people across Iraq, especially in the north, posing a wide range of health threats. As part of the humanitarian response, WHO and partners are responding by controlling disease outbreaks, supplying medicines and strengthening hospitals, clinics and the health workforce.

Child mortality rates falling faster than ever

16 September 2014 -- New data released show that under 5 mortality rates have dropped by 49% between 1990 and 2013. But overall progress is still short of meeting the global target of a two-thirds decrease in under 5 mortality by 2015. In 2013, 2.8 million babies died within the first month of life, which represents about 44% of all under 5 deaths. This year WHO, UNICEF and partners issued the first-ever global plan to end preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths by 2035.

Protecting children from the harmful effects of food and drink marketing

18 September 2014 -- Food and drink marketing is vast and increasingly sophisticated, and children are among its prime targets. Food advertising and other forms of marketing influence children’s food preferences, purchasing behaviour and overall dietary behaviour. This feature story from the UK highlights how marketing restrictions have had a significant impact.

Strengthening international partnerships on health workforce development

15 September 2014 -- In 2010, as part of the effort to address the global shortage of health workers and to find ethical solutions to health worker migration, governments agreed to the principles of the WHO Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. This feature story describes how Ireland has successfully put into practice the provisions of the Code with a new training programme which supports universal health coverage.


  • Statement regarding deaths of children in northern Syria
    UNICEF and WHO have been shocked and saddened to learn of the deaths of at least 15 young children in Idlib, Syria. Establishing the precise cause of the children’s deaths is vital and WHO is sending a team of experts to provide assistance in investigating this event.
  • Prioritizing mHealth strategies for universal health coverage
    A new article on mobile health (mHealth) provides a framework to help prioritize investments and opportunities for collaboration. mHealth is seen as a potential tool to help achieve universal health coverage.
  • Responding to serious health concerns in conflict-affected Ukraine
    The crisis in eastern Ukraine is creating a looming health emergency as hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and are living in varying and often exposed conditions. Find out how WHO and partners are intensifying humanitarian health services.

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