News and top stories

Kenya: Closing the gap on pneumonia through immunization

17 April 2015 – As World Immunization Week approaches, WHO reports on Kenya’s successes preventing deaths from pneumonia among babies and young children through national implementation of the PCV-10 vaccine. A mother in Kilifi tells the story of her daughter’s near-fatal episode of pneumonia and how her younger children were protected through immunization.

Liberia succeeds in fighting Ebola with local, sector response

14 April 2015 -- The story of how Montserrado Liberia, turned around an exponentially-growing Ebola outbreak is intriguing. WHO’s team and national officials, aided by veterans from WHO’s polio eradication group in India, decentralized the response, using quality management principles that empowered local teams and held them accountable for results. These local sector teams involved community members and used business best practices as well as an incident management system to improve surveillance, case finding, contact tracing, and overall management of key response activities.

A month after Cyclone Pam, Vanuatu continues to face health challenges

15 April 2015 -- Working with the Ministry of Health of Vanuatu and other partners, WHO has made significant progress in addressing the health needs of the more than 160 000 people affected by Cyclone Pam. However, a month after the Category 5 storm ravaged the Pacific island country, many pressing health challenges remain.

Caesarean sections should only be performed when medically necessary

10 April 2015 -- Caesarean section is one of the most common surgeries in the world, with rates continuing to rise, particularly in high- and middle-income countries. Although it can save lives, caesarean section is often performed without medical need, putting women and their babies at-risk of short- and long-term health problems. A new statement from WHO underscores the importance of focusing on the needs of the patient, on a case by case basis, and discourages the practice of aiming for “target rates”.

Building a global emergency workforce ready to go

8 April 2015 -- WHO’s new registration system will help build a global roster of foreign medical response teams ready to deploy for emergencies. The Global Foreign Medical Teams Registry sets minimum standards for international health workers and allows teams to clearly outline their services and skills. This new system helped ensure a fast and efficient international response to the cyclone in Vanuatu and help create better coordination between aid providers and recipients.

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Highlights

  • World No Tobacco Day 2015
    April 2015 -- One in every 10 cigarettes, and many other tobacco products, consumed worldwide are illegal, making the illicit trade of tobacco products a major global concern from many perspectives, including health, legal, economic, governance and corruption. Stop illicit trade of tobacco products is the theme of this years' World No Tobacco Day.
  • WHO’s humanitarian response in Yemen
    April 2015 -- WHO is working to meet humanitarian health needs in Yemen. WHO has identified five key activities in its response; one for example is strengthening delivery of trauma care by making sure that sufficient life-saving emergency medicines, surgical supplies, and qualified medical staff are available throughout the country, especially in areas witnessing escalated violence.
  • WHO calls for increased transparency in medical research
    April 2015 – WHO today issued a public statement calling for the disclosure of results from clinical trials for medical products, whatever the result.The move aims to ensure that decisions related to the safety and efficacy of vaccines, drugs and medical devices for use by populations are supported by the best available evidence.

Ebola diaries

WHO training on PPE in Guinea, during the Ebola outbreak 2014
WHO /M.A. Heine
  • Changing health worker culture
    Cota Vallenas talks about her experiences in the early days of the Ebola outbreak as an expert in infection prevention and control

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