Public health, environmental and social determinants of health (PHE)

Putting household water treatment products to the test

5 February 2016 -- Globally, an estimated 1.9 billion people rely on water supplies that are contaminated with faeces. In order to help prevent disease and make water safe for drinking, household water treatment technologies are marketed and distributed in countries around the world. WHO’s new International Scheme to Evaluate Household Water Treatment Technologies ensures that products used to treat water in homes are effective in protecting health.

The 138th session of the Executive Board opens

138th session of the Executive Board

The 138th Executive Board convenes in Geneva on 25-30 January 2016 at the headquarters of WHO. On the agenda: WHO reform, health systems, noncommunicable and communicable diseases, promoting health through the life course, and preparedness, surveillance and response to emergencies. Specifically related to health and environment, the Executive Board will discuss the draft roadmap for an enhanced global response to the adverse health effects of air pollution, and the role of the health sector in the sound management of chemicals.

COP21 Climate Agreement – Moving towards healthier people and a healthier planet

UN Photo/Mark Garten

Paris - On 12 December 2015 at the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP21), leaders from around the world reached the first global agreement on climate change, moving towards a future for a healthier planet, and healthier people.

The agreement reflects an ambitious aspiration to keep global warming “well below” 2° C, and its explicit references to health represent a milestone in recognizing the health impacts of climate change.

“This agreement is a critical step forward for the health of people everywhere. The fact that health is explicitly recognized in the text reflects the growing recognition of the inextricable linkage between health and climate,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health.

Improving nutrition outcomes with better water, sanitation and hygiene

Mother and baby in African market

19 November 2015 - A new document, jointly prepared by WHO, UNICEF and USAID, summarizes the current evidence on the benefits of WASH for improving nutrition outcomes and describes how WASH interventions can be integrated into national nutrition policies and programmes to add value. It will also serve as a valuable tool to help countries implement the policy options on WASH that are recommended in the Framework for Action adopted by the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) held in Rome in November 2014.