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07 April 2008 | Statement by WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan on World Health Day, 7 April 2008
Last year marked a turning point in the debate on climate change. The scientific evidence continues to mount. The climate is changing, the effects are already being felt, and human activities are a principal cause.In selecting climate change as the theme for this year’s World Health Day, WHO aims to turn the attention of policy–makers to some compelling evidence from the health sector. While the reality of climate change can no longer be doubted, the magnitude of consequences, and — most especially for health — can still be reduced.
30 March 2007 | WHO proposes global agenda on transplantation
at the second Global Consultation on Transplantation the World Health
Organization (WHO) presented countries and other stakeholders with a blueprint
for updated global guiding principles on cell, tissue and organ donation and
23 March 2007 | UN health agency adds 4 TB drugs to pre-qualified list, easing access to treatment
At a time when the tuberculosis virus is producing increasingly drug-resistant strains, the United Nations health agency today added four new medicines to its list of pre-qualified products, one of them the first to be included for strains of TB that are resistant to standard treatment.
15 November 2006 | WHO and partners accelerate fight against counterfeit medicines
The World Health Organization and more than 20 international partners
launched last week a comprehensive package of measures to help national authorities
safeguard their populations from the dangers of counterfeit
09 November 2006 | Dr Margaret Chan to be WHO's next Director-General
Dr Margaret Chan of China will be the next Director–General of the World
Health Organization (WHO). After her appointment, she told the World Health
Assembly she wanted to be judged by the impact WHO's work has on the people of
Africa and on women across the globe.
25 October 2006 | Diagnostics for tuberculosis: an untapped market
Most people in the world who have tuberculosis (TB), or live in TB risk areas, do not have good access to rapid and accurate testing, states the report, the most comprehensive review of the TB diagnostics market to date. Improved tests could bolster international TB control efforts and respond to a significant market demand
23 October 2006 | WHO Global Task Force outlines measures to combat XDR-TB worldwide
Health experts have confirmed that the emergence of extensively
drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) poses a serious threat to public health,
particularly when associated with HIV. At its first meeting, the World Health
Organization Global Task Force on XDR-TB also outlined a series of measures that
countries must put in place to effectively combat XDR-TB.
05 October 2006 | WHO challenges world to improve air quality
The World Health Organization (WHO) is today challenging governments around the world to improve air quality in their cities in order to protect people's health. The call comes as WHO unveils its new Air Quality Guidelines with dramatically lower standards for levels of pollutants. WHO believes that reducing levels of one particular type of pollutant (known as PM10) could reduce deaths in polluted cities by as much as 15% every year.
26 September 2006 | WHO Influenza Pandemic Task Force holds first meeting
The World Health Organization (WHO) Influenza Pandemic Task Force (IPTF) met for the first time on 25 September at WHO Headquarters in Geneva. The Task Force is a temporary body which will advise WHO until the International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR) come into force on 15 June 2007.
18 September 2006 | Largely preventable chronic diseases cause 86% of deaths in Europe
Aware of the rising costs and burden of chronic disease, countries across the WHO European Region are taking a comprehensive approach to curbing the epidemic. As many chronic diseases are closely linked to lifestyles, an estimated 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, and 40% of cancer, could be avoided if common lifestyle risk factors were eliminated.
31 July 2006 | WHO appeals for US$ 32.4 million as part of UN appeal
WHO is appealing for funds for the health of the people of Lebanon, who require urgent and secure access to health care.
To date, the current conflict has resulted in more than1200 injured and 346 killed. Several hundred thousand people have fled their homes, including to neighbouring Syria.
18 July 2006 | G8 commitments to infectious disease can improve global health security
At the G8 meeting the Group of Eight vowed to improve the ways in which
the world cooperates on surveillance for infectious diseases, including
improving transparency by all countries in sharing information. The G8 also
committed to continued support to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and to
eradication of polio.
03 July 2006 | Ensuring safer food for everyone Codex Alimentarius Commission meets in Geneva
Codex Alimentarius Commission, the international food standards body of the
United Nations, is conducting a meeting in Geneva from 3-7 July 2006 to consider
the adoption of a number of important proposals to improve protection of
consumers from disease-causing organisms and substances by reducing their
contamination of foods.
22 May 2006 | The World Health Organization announces new standards for registration of all human medical research
Health Organization (WHO) is urging research institutions and companies to
register all medical studies that test treatments on human beings, including the
earliest studies, whether they involve patients or healthy volunteers.
04 May 2006 | UN bird flu coordinator stresses need for countries to plan for pandemic
The top United Nations coordinator for bird flu today stressed the importance of national plans for tackling a possible human pandemic of the disease, acknowledging that while the task is difficult and complex, the effects of a human-to-human outbreak would be so dramatic it would be “wrong” not to make coordinated preparations.
13 April 2006 | World Health Organization report explains the health impacts of the world's worst-ever civil nuclear accident
As the world marks the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the United Nations is renewing efforts to revitalise the social and economic life of the regions of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, the countries most affected by fall-out from the reactor explosion.
29 March 2006 | Global access to HIV therapy tripled in past two years, but significant challenges remain
A new report by the World
Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
(UNAIDS) shows that the number of people on HIV antiretroviral treatment (ART)
in low- and middle-income countries more than tripled to 1.3 million in December
2005 from 400 000 in December 2003.
27 March 2006 | Improved formula for oral rehydration salts to save children’s lives
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF today announced a new formula for the manufacture of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). The new formula will better combat acute diarrhoeal disease and advance the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds before 2015.
21 March 2006 | WHO launches new stop TB strategy to fight the global tuberculosis epidemic
A new strategy to fight one of the world’s leading killers – tuberculosis
(TB) – was launched last week by the World Health Organization (WHO). The new
“Stop TB Strategy” addresses the current challenges facing countries in
responding to TB – how to continue scaling-up TB control activities while also
addressing the spread of TB and HIV coinfection and multidrug-resistant TB
12 March 2006 | Water: a crisis of governance, says second UN World Water Development Report
Although unevenly distributed, the world has plenty of freshwater. However, mismanagement, limited resources and environmental changes mean that almost onefifth of the planet’s population still lacks access to safe drinking water and 40 per cent lack access to basic sanitation says the United Nations World Water Development Report 2.
10 March 2006 | Global measles deaths plunge by 48% over past six years
An ambitious global immunization drive has cut measles deaths by nearly
half between 1999 and 2004, the World Health Organization and the United Nations
Children's Fund announced. Global deaths due to measles fell by 48%, from 871
000 in 1999 to an estimated 454 000 in 2004, thanks to major national
immunization activities and better access to routine childhood immunization, the
07 February 2006 | WHO, UNESCAP launch Chronic Diseases Report
Organization (WHO) projections show that globally 388 million lives will be lost
in the next 10 years to chronic diseases and close to 270 million of these
deaths will be in the UNESCAP region. The WHO's global report Preventing chronic
diseases: a vital investment, will be jointly presented on 14 February
03 February 2006 | World Cancer Day: Global action to avert 8 million cancer-related deaths by 2015
Cancer is a leading cause of death globally: an estimated 7.6 million people died of cancer in 2005 and 84 million people will die in the next 10 years if action is not taken. The World Health Organization (WHO) has proposed a global goal of reducing chronic disease death rates by 2% per annum from 2006 to 2015.
23 November 2005 | UNICEF and partners celebrate 15th anniversary of breastfeeding declaration
the 15th anniversary of a landmark declaration promoting breastfeeding, the
United Nations agencies most directly concerned with child survival listed such
gains as six million infants’ lives saved per year, global breastfeeding rates
up 15 per cent and thousands of hospitals in 150 countries now “baby-friendly.”
21 November 2005 | HIV infection rates decreasing in several countries but global number of people living with HIV continues to rise
new evidence that adult HIV infection rates have decreased in certain countries.
The new UN report also indicates, however, that overall trends in HIV
transmission are still increasing, and that far greater HIV prevention efforts
are needed to slow the epidemic.
09 November 2005 | Helping Chernobyl survivors face the future
UNDP is bringing together governments, international experts and business to help residents of Chernobyl-hit regions break out of the dependency culture that continues to stunt development nearly two decades after the world's worst nuclear accident.
17 October 2005 | WHO launches global patient safety challenge; issues guidelines on hand hygiene in health care
To fight the spread of health care-associated infections, which take a high toll in human lives and affect hundreds of millions of patients worldwide each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners are launching the Global Patient Safety Challenge with the theme, "Clean Care is Safer Care". As part of the launch, an advanced draft of the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care is being made available, to encourage simple measures to prevent the spread of these infections.
10 October 2005 | New WHO report urges global effort against chronic diseases
Currently, chronic diseases are by far the leading cause of death in the world and their impact is steadily growing. The report projects that approximately 17 million people die prematurely each year as a result of the global epidemic of chronic disease. Faced with the prospect of millions of people dying prematurely and suffering needlessly from heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, the WHO says the global epidemic of chronic disease must be stopped.
07 October 2005 | Immunization maintains strong performance made in last quarter century
Immunization at the global level has progressed very well during the past 25 years, but further increases in coverage would save the lives of millions more who do not yet benefit from this protection, said a group of immunization partners at the World Vaccine Congress in Lyon, France.
05 September 2005 | Chernobyl: The True Scale of the Accident
A total of up to four thousand people could eventually die of radiation
exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) accident nearly 20 years
ago, an international team of more than 100 scientists has concluded. As of
mid-2005, however, fewer than 50 deaths had been directly attributed to
radiation from the disaster, almost all being highly exposed rescue workers,
many who died within months of the accident but others who died as late as
25 August 2005 | Donation of three million treatments of oseltamivir to WHO will help early response to an emerging influenza pandemic
The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes Roche's donation of three million treatment courses of the antiviral oseltamivir to a WHO international antiviral stockpile. WHO would use this stockpile to respond quickly to an emerging influenza pandemic.
12 August 2005 | New Bangkok charter for health promotion adopted to address rapidly changing global health issues
A new Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion has been adopted today by participants at the 6th Global Conference on Health Promotion, co-hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand. It identifies major challenges, actions and commitments needed to address the determinants of health in a globalized world by engaging the many actors and stakeholders critical to achieving health for all.
08 August 2005 | Treaty to prevent water-related diseases in Europe enters into force
The Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes enters into force on 4 August 2005, following ratification by the minimum 16 countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Norway, Romania, the Russian Federation, Slovakia and Ukraine. The Protocol will improve health by contributing to the prevention, control and reduction of water-related diseases.
28 July 2005 | International Aids Research Conference concludes with call for expanded and integrated global response to AIDS
The 3rd International AIDS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment was held in Rio de Janeiro from 24-27 July. The biannual conference brought together more than 5,500 leading scientists, public health experts and clinicians to examine the latest scientific developments – and continuing challenges – in the global response to AIDS.
31 May 2005 | WHO urges health professionals to engage in tobacco control
The World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging health professionals to be proactive in minimizing the problems caused by tobacco addiction, consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. As a result, this year's World No Tobacco Day on May 31st was dedicated to the important role of health professionals in tobacco control under the banner of 'Health Professionals against tobacco, action and answers'.
30 May 2005 | International Health Regulations approved by World Health Assembly
Health Assembly approved a new set of International Health Regulations to manage
public health emergencies of international concern. The new rules will "prevent,
protect against, control and provide a public health response to the
international spread of disease."
28 April 2005 | Number of Work related Accidents and Illnesses Continues to Increase
Faced with a rising toll of occupational related death, injury and sickness, the International Labour Office (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) today mark the World Day for Safety and Health at Work by highlighting the need for a preventative safety culture worldwide.
According to new estimates by the ILO, the number of job related accidents and illnesses, which annually claim more than two million lives, appears to be rising because of rapid industrialization in some developing countries.
14 April 2005 | UN Expert Group Meeting in Vienna calls for measures to stop illicit drug trade through Internet
Illicit trade of controlled drugs through the Internet was the topic of an expert group meeting organized by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) in Vienna from 11 to 13 April 2005. The meeting concluded that serious national and international efforts were urgently required to counteract the illicit trade of controlled drugs through the Internet, in order to prevent an increasing risk of misuse of controlled substances by children and adolescents, and to protect individual consumers and public health.
08 April 2005 | WHO report calls for new approach to save lives of mothers and children
Hundreds of millions of women and children have no access to
potentially life-saving care with often fatal results, the WHO says in a report
published last week. The report says the resulting death toll could be sharply
reduced through wider use of key interventions and a "continuum of care"
approach for mother and child that begins before pregnancy and extends through
childbirth and into the baby's childhood.
31 March 2005 | United Nations condemns irresponsible attack on antiretroviral therapy
A recent advertising campaign is touting the benefits of vitamin
therapy above antiretroviral therapy and claiming that antiretroviral therapy is toxic. These
advertisements are wrong and misleading, said the World Health Organization (WHO), the
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Joint United Nations Programme on
04 March 2005 | Fried, roasted and baked food contaminant may be health concern, UN warns
A contaminant shown to cause cancer in animals that forms in the high-temperature frying, roasting or baking of such foods as potato chips and crisps, coffee, and cereal-based products like pastries and sweet biscuits, breads, rolls and toast, may be a public health concern, according to two United Nations agencies.
27 February 2005 | Global tobacco treaty enters into force with 57 countries already committed
The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) entered into force on Sunday 27 February 2005. This represents an historical moment in public health, as the Treaty gives countries more tools to control tobacco use and save lives. On the 27th, the provisions of the Treaty will be legally binding for the first 40 countries that became Contracting Parties before 30 November 2004.
11 February 2005 | WHO recommends influenza vaccine composition for Northern Hemisphere 2005-2006 influenza season
Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Influenza Programme convenes meetings to analyse the global data on circulating influenza virus strains and make recommendations for the vaccine to be used for the coming influenza season. WHO also provides the vaccine manufacturing industry with prototype strains for the seasonal vaccine as well as materials to ensure and validate that global vaccine standards are met.
08 February 2005 | HIV Vaccine Global Partners strengthen collaboration to speed up progress
As new developments in the search for an HIV vaccine take
place, vaccine researchers from around the world are joining forces to accelerate progress
towards an effective and safe HIV vaccine, with the full and equal involvement of countries
most affected by the AIDS epidemic.
"With so many HIV vaccine clinical trials testing novel products ongoing and planned by a
wide variety of investigators, it is time to intensify global collaboration. Lessons learned must
benefit all working in this challenging, but advancing, field," said Dr Marie-Paule Kieny,
Director, Initiative for Vaccine Research, World Health Organization (WHO).
27 January 2005 | 700 000 people living with AIDS in developing countries now receiving treatment
By the end of 2004, 700 000 people living with AIDS in developing countries were
receiving antiretroviral (ART) treatment thanks to the efforts of national governments, donors and
other partners. This is an increase of approximately 75% in the total number receiving treatment
from a year ago, and is up from 440 000 in July 2004.
07 September 2004 | Marc Danzon nominated to second term as WHO Regional Director for Europe
Danzon has been nominated to a second five-year term as the World Health
Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe at this week's session of the
WHO European governing body of 52 Member States. Dr Danzon, a French national
and the first representative of France to lead a WHO region, announced in
February this year that he would run again. No candidate opposed him.
04 June 2004 | WHO report finds most serious mental health disorders are untreated
Serious mental health disorders remain largely untreated around the world, with developing countries faring worst but even relatively affluent countries in North America and Western Europe unable to help up to half of their sufferers, according to the findings of a first in a series of studies by the United Nations health agency.
17 May 2004 | HIV/AIDS, SARS, the global strategy on diet, physical activity and health and road safety amongst issues for countries at 57th meeting of the Assembly
The World Health Assembly, bringing the 192 Member States of the World Health Organization
together, is set to consider several critical health issues next week. The
Assembly is the supreme decision-making body for WHO, and runs this year from 17
- 22 May. It will discuss actions needed to fight HIV/AIDS, to increase safety
on the world's roads, a proposed strategy on diet, physical activity and health,
a proposed strategy for reproductive health, a resolution on family health, and
will receive updates on progress in eradicating polio, controlling measles and
12 May 2004 | World at 'critical moment' in fight against HIV/AIDS
With more money, more political will and more attention being paid to HIV/AIDS than ever before, the world has reached a crucial moment in the history of the pandemic and now has an unprecedented opportunity to alter its course, according to a new report released by the World Health Organization (WHO).
29 March 2004 | WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control now signed by 100 countries
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with the signatures of Ecuador and the Republic of Congo, a total of 100
countries and the European Community have so far signed the World Health
Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
18 March 2004 | Drug resistant tuberculosis levels ten times higher in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Tuberculosis patients in
parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are 10 times more likely to have
multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) than in the rest of the world, according to a
World Health Organization (WHO) report into the deadly infectious disease.
China, Ecuador, Israel and South Africa are also identified as key
15 March 2004 | World Health Organization and scientific journal editors vow to help galvanize mental health research in developing countries
11 March 2004 | UN health agency launches photo contest to fight pregnancy and abortion deaths
a backdrop of over half a million pregnancy and childbirth deaths, 5 million new
cases of HIV infection, and nearly 70,000 fatal abortions each year, a United
Nations agency launched a photographic contest as part of its efforts to
highlight the importance of sexual and reproductive health. The UN World Health
Organization (WHO) is inviting photographers from around the world, both amateur
and professional, to submit images that capture four key stages in the “River of
Life” – as the exhibition is called – Love, Life, Illness and Death.
24 February 2004 | WHO releases new report on global problem of oral diseases
diseases such as dental caries (tooth decay), periodontitis (gum disease) and
oral and pharyngeal cancers are a global health problem in both industrialized
and increasingly in developing countries, especially amongst poorer communities,
the World Health Organization (WHO) said today. Announcing the findings of the
World Oral Health Report, WHO said that an estimated five billion people
worldwide had experienced dental caries.
22 January 2004 | Plan to improve diet and health habits to be on agenda of UN agency’s annual meeting
A strategy for dealing with major risk factors responsible for the growing worldwide burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer and obesity will be on the agenda of the United Nations health agency’s annual meeting later this year.