Latest homepage stories

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

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.

Using the law to improve public health

16 January 2017 – Soda tax in Mexico. Salt limits in South Africa. Plain tobacco packaging in Australia. National health insurance in Ghana. A new report produced by WHO and partners has case studies on how new laws have improved the health and safety of people, providing a resource for countries to learn from positive experiences in other parts of the world.

Millions of children to receive measles vaccine in north-eastern Nigeria

12 January 2017 – A mass vaccination campaign to protect more than 4 million children against a measles outbreak in conflict-affected states in north-eastern Nigeria is planned to start this week. The two-week campaign, which starts on 13 January, will target all children aged from 6 months to 10 years in accessible areas in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

Tobacco control can save billions of dollars and millions of lives

10 January 2017 – Policies to control tobacco use, including higher taxes and prices, can create significant revenues for health and development, according to a new landmark global report from WHO and the National Cancer Institute of the United States of America. Such measures can also greatly reduce tobacco use and protect people from cancers and heart disease.

Depression: let’s talk

6 January 2017 – Depression is an illness that can happen to anybody. It causes mental anguish and affects people’s ability to carry out everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends. Fortunately, depression can be prevented and treated. This year’s World Health Day, on 7 April, will focus on depression. The Day will be a highlight of the Depression: let’s talk campaign which aims to ensure that more people with depression both seek and get help.

Working as one UN for environmental health

3 January 2017 – There are many compelling reasons to clean up the global environment. One of the most pressing is that a polluted environment is deadly: every year, 1 in 4 people die from diseases associated with air, water or soil pollution. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and WHO are creating a global mechanism to bring together the environment and health sectors.

Can bacteria stop the spread of dengue and Zika?

29 December 2016 – Mosquitoes kill an estimated 700 000 people a year by transmitting viruses that cause diseases like chikungunya, dengue and Zika. With the help of WHO, researchers have discovered that mosquitoes artificially infected with a bacterium called Wolbachia do not transmit these diseases as easily. Wolbachia bacteria exist naturally, and it may be possible to create populations of mosquitoes that cannot transmit deadly viruses by infecting them with the bacteria.

Ebola vaccine provides high protection, trial confirms

23 December 2016 – An experimental Ebola vaccine was highly protective against the deadly virus in a major trial, according to results published today in The Lancet. The vaccine is the first to prevent infection from one of the most lethal known pathogens, and the findings add weight to early trial results published last year. The vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, was studied in a trial involving 11 841 people in Guinea during 2015.

WHO's Year in Review for 2016

19 December 2016 – 2016 has been a turbulent year, in which the World Health Organization has tackled disease outbreaks and humanitarian crises and championed efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance and move towards universal health coverage. It has helped countries eliminate infectious diseases and implement programmes to beat cancer, diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases.

WHO calls for urgent resumption of medical evacuations from besieged east Aleppo

16 December 2016 – The World Health Organization is calling for medical evacuation of the sick and injured from east Aleppo to be resumed as quickly as possible. Almost 200 patients were safely transferred to hospitals in western rural Aleppo, Idlib and Turkey before all evacuations were aborted this morning, leaving many more in need of medical care stranded.

Dr Halfdan T. Mahler, WHO’s third Director-General, dies at 93

14 December 2016 – WHO is saddened by the death of Dr Halfdan T. Mahler on 14 December 2016. Dr Mahler served as Director-General of WHO from 1973-1988. As WHO's third Director-General, Dr Mahler will be remembered as a champion for primary care. He played a key leadership role shaping the Alma Ata Declaration that defined the Health for All by the Year 2000 strategy.

One third of health facilities are destroyed in Borno State, Nigeria

14 December 2016 – According to a report released today by WHO, of those facilities remaining, one third are not functioning at all. WHO has been working with the Borno State Ministry of Health to set up a Health Resources Availability Monitoring System (known as HeRAMS) to collect information on the availability of health resources and services in this humanitarian crisis.

WHO steps up response in Aleppo

13 December 2016 – Conditions in Aleppo continue to deteriorate as thousands of people flee violence. WHO, is working to provide care in the midst of conflict and to assist internally displaced people. The Organization strongly urges all parties to the conflict in Syria to abide by international humanitarian law and protect civilians trapped in the conflict.

Malaria control improves in Africa, but global progress is off-track

13 December 2016 – Children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa have greater access to effective malaria control, according to WHO's World Malaria Report 2016. But in many countries in the region, substantial gaps in programme coverage remain. Sub-Saharan Africa carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2015, the region was home to 90% of malaria cases and 92% of malaria deaths.

Data portal tracks universal health coverage progress

12 December 2016 – To mark Universal Health Coverage Day, WHO today launched a new data portal to track progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) around the world. The portal shows where countries need to improve access to services, and where they need to improve information. The portal features the latest data on access to health services globally and in each of WHO’s 194 Member States.

Act with Ambition: Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day 2016

10 December 2016 – UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. On 12 December 2016, for the UHC Day, WHO and partners will demand political action from leaders to invest in policies and health systems that reach every person and community based on need, and not ability to pay.

Halting pig-transmitted tapeworm in Madagascar

9 December 2016 – WHO is supporting an initiative led by Madagascar's Ministry of Health to implement a pilot study to demonstrate how selected interventions against pig-transmitted tapeworm can reduce prevalence of the parasite to a level below 1%. The 3- year project is being implemented in Antanifotsy, a rural district southeast of the capital, Antananarivo.

Environmentally and socially responsible procurement

7 December 2016 – WHO today joined other international agencies in signing a Statement of Intent to align and “green” procurement of health commodities, in an effort to protect the environment and contribute to sustainable development. WHO and its sister UN agencies collectively procure an estimated $3 billion in health commodities each year.