News and top stories

Heatwaves and health: guidance on warning-system development

1 July 2015 -- Heatwaves are among the most dangerous of natural hazards that have a significant impact on society. “Heatwaves and health”, the new report launched today by WHO and the World Meteorological Organization, reviews how heatwaves contribute to a rise in mortality and morbidity and strain resources such as water, power, and transport. The report considers who is at risk from heat and outlines steps that can be taken towards effective warning systems.

WHO validates elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis in Cuba

30 June 2015 -- Cuba today became the first country in the world to receive validation from WHO that it has eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. WHO/PAHO have been working with partners in Cuba and other countries in the Americas since 2010 to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.

Viet Nam: Closer to bringing drinking water and sanitation to all

1 July 2015 -- A robust 15-year commitment helped Viet Nam exceed the Millennium Development Goal target for water and sanitation. Twenty-five years ago, roughly 2 out of 5 people in Viet Nam did not have access to improved sources of drinking water. Today, 98% of Viet Nam’s more than 90 million residents have access to improved drinking water sources and 78% uses toilets and latrines that meet international standards.

Lack of sanitation for 2.4 billion people is undermining health improvements

30 June 2015 -- A WHO and UNICEF report, launched today, assesses the target of safe drinking water and basic sanitation under Millennium Development Goal, environmental sustainability. The report, Progress on sanitation and drinking water, highlights that access to improved drinking water sources has been a major achievement, however, only 68% of the world’s population uses an improved sanitation facility – 9 percentage points below the MDG target of 77%.

Risk communication

26 June 2015 -- Risk communication is an integral part of any public health emergency response. In epidemics and pandemics, in humanitarian crises and natural disasters, risk communication allows people at risk to understand and adopt protective behaviours.

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Prevent hepatitis. Act now

WHO facts

Data from 54 low- and middle-income countries shows that 38% of health care facilities lack access to even rudimentary levels of water, 19% lack sanitation and 35% do not have water and soap for handwashing.


Highlights

  • WHO calls for stepping up vigilance for MERS, Thailand confirms case
    June 2015 -- Thailand confirmed Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) disease in a traveller from the Middle East region, the first case in the WHO South-East Asia Region, as WHO urged countries in the region to step up vigil and review preparedness to respond to the disease. WHO has been working with countries in the Region to build their capacities and strengthen preparedness to effectively detect and respond to outbreaks and other hazards.
  • Frequently asked questions on MERS-CoV
    June 2015 -- What is Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus? Find the answer to questions regarding the disease, the current outbreak and how WHO is responding.

Fact sheets

Commentary

Dr Ties Boerma, Director of the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems.
WHO

Ebola diaries

Dr Olu Olushayo, deployed to Sierra Leone to coordinate the WHO response to Ebola virus disease.
WHO/C. Black

Tweets from WHO


Data

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Resources