Vaccination must be scaled up in Ebola-affected countries
A growing risk of outbreaks of measles, pertussis, and other vaccine-preventable diseases in countries affected by Ebola must be countered by urgent scaling up of routine immunization activities, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
“We are calling for the intensification of routine immunization services in all areas, and for mass measles vaccination campaigns in areas that are free of Ebola transmission,” says Dr Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals at WHO.
WHO calls on the world to “Gear up to End TB”
As countries mark World Tuberculosis Day on March 24, WHO is calling for “global solidarity and action” to support a new 20-year strategy, which aims to end the global tuberculosis epidemic.
Recent years have seen tremendous progress in the fight against TB, with over 37 million lives saved, but much more needs to be done. In 2013, 9 million people fell ill with TB, almost half a million of whom have a multi-drug resistant disease which is far harder to treat. An estimated 1.5 million people still die of tuberculosis each year.
Tobacco use declining but major intensification needed in reduction and control efforts
New data show a declining rate of tobacco use and an increase in numbers of non-smokers. But governments must intensify action to combat the tobacco industry and dramatically reduce consumption of tobacco products to, in turn, protect public health, according to WHO.
Non-smoking is becoming the new norm worldwide, according to a new online WHO Global Report on Trends in Tobacco Smoking, launched today during the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) which opened yesterday in Abu Dhabi and ends on 21 March. The conference is focussing on tobacco control and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), namely lung and heart diseases, cancers and diabetes.
Governments commit to advancements in dementia research and care
At the WHO-hosted Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland today announced that over US$ 100 million will be invested in a pioneering new global Dementia Discovery Fund. Major pharmaceutical companies have committed in principle to investing in promising research efforts for dementia through the project, along with the nongovernmental organization Alzheimer’s Research UK and the United Kingdom Government. The announcement was welcomed as the type of innovative mechanism that could bring about a breakthrough in treatment.
At this WHO Conference, supported by the Department of Health of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 80 countries joined experts from the research, clinical and advocacy communities to discuss how, collectively, they could move forward action on dementia at the global level.
People’s health at the centre of new global blueprint to reduce disaster risks
Ten years since adopting the Hyogo Framework for Action shortly after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, government representatives have gathered in Sendai to negotiate a new framework for global action to reduce the risks of disasters. For the first time, protecting people's health is at the centre of such a framework.
“In the 10 years since Hyogo, governments have increasingly recognized that healthy people are resilient people, and that resilient people recover much more quickly from emergencies and disasters," says Dr Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General for Emergencies at the World Health Organization (WHO). "Recent and ongoing disasters – from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to the Ebola crisis in West Africa – highlight the centrality of human health to our collective goals in disaster risk reduction by all sectors."