News and top stories

New standards to improve adolescent care

6 October 2015 -- New Global Standards for quality health-care services for adolescents have been developed by WHO and UNAIDS. Existing health services often fail the world’s adolescents (10-19-year-olds). Many adolescents who suffer from mental health disorders, substance use, poor nutrition, intentional injuries and chronic illness do not have access to critical prevention and care services.

WHO calls to protect health from climate change

6 October 2015 -- WHO calls on the global health community to add its voice to the call for a strong and effective climate agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-21), that will save lives, both now and in the future. Changes to weather patterns result in extreme weather events that threaten lives and cause changes to infectious disease transmission patterns resulting in more outbreaks.

Palliative care improves quality of life

05 October 2015 -- Palliative care is a core component of health services, but only about 14% of people in need at the end of life are currently receiving it. WHO is working with governments to expand access to palliative care. Palliative care prevents and relieves suffering, whether physical, psychological or spiritual. Access to pain relief, including opiates, is a critical component. This feature story is about Godfrey, a South African boy whose quality of life improved because he received appropriate care.

WHO deplores bombing of MSF clinic in Kunduz

3 October 2015 -- WHO calls on all governments and military officers to observe their obligations under international law and to ensure the protection of health services in conflict – a time when they are most needed. Tragedies like this can and should be avoided, by warring parties consistently observing International Humanitarian Law and taking all necessary precautionary measures.

Patient advocates use past to change the future

02 October 2015-- Patient safety is a serious global public health issue. Estimates show that in developed countries as many as 1 in 10 patients is harmed while receiving care. In 2004, WHO launched a patient safety programme to develop policies and practices aimed at preventing harm to patients worldwide. This feature tells the story of a mother who lost her son because simple health measures were not taken and how she became one of WHO’s first 21 patient advocates.

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WHO fact sheets

Measles vaccination campaign, Liberia
WHO/M. Winkler


  • Food safety workshops at EXPO Milano 2015
    October 2015 -- WHO is organizing food safety workshops on 7 and 8 October at the Swiss Pavilion, at EXPO Milano 2015. The discussion on food safety continues from World Health Day 2015, where WHO addressed nutrition and food safety challenges.
  • Ebola outbreak is still a public health emergency of international concern
    October 2015 -- The Emergency Committee on the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, met for the 7th time on 1 October. The committee advised that the EVD outbreak continues to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and issued a series of new recommendations that supersede those issued previously.
  • Preventing and treating infections around childbirth
    October 2015 -- Bacterial infections around the time of childbirth (peripartum infections) account for about one tenth of maternal deaths globally. WHO's new recommendations help health professionals and policy makers reduce the global burden of maternal infections and their complications around the time of childbirth.

Emergency reform

WHO/V. Nguyen Hoan

WHO is reforming its work in outbreaks and emergencies with health and humanitarian consequences to ensure the Organization can respond rapidly to future crises.


Climate change: An opportunity for public health Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health

Ebola diaries

Tweets from WHO


- Annual rate of reduction 1990-2000: 1.8%
- Annual rate of reduction 2000-2015: 3.9%

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