Latest homepage stories

Below are the most recent top stories from the WHO homepage.

New rabies guidelines and recommendations on lifesaving immunization

20 April 2018 – WHO has published the third report of its Expert Consultation on Rabies, which incorporates the latest recommendations on rabies immunization made by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization. Some of the key updates include surveillance strategies, recommendations on human and immunization and palliative care in low-resource settings.

Unveiling vaccine hesitancy in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

18 April 2018 – Immunization rates in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are as low as 40% in some areas and continuing to decline putting the country at risk of large disease outbreaks. But, no one knows precisely why.

Growing vaccine hesitancy, misinformation in social media, lack of trust in the health system, a shortage of health workers and supply issues are all suspected reasons for low coverage rates. However, these are mostly assumptions with little evidence.

Addressing Emergency Care in Afghanistan

17 April 2018 – After fighting broke out in the rural district of Chark-Logar, Salim and his family were forced to flee their home. During the firefight, Salim was shot in the stomach. It took Salim two hours until he reached a first aid post.

Salim's story is not unusual in today's Afghanistan, where the already overwhelmed health facilities are often unable to absorb the burden. The Ministry of Health, with support from the Health Cluster, led by WHO, is struggling to rebuild a health system badly damaged after years of conflict.

Belize prioritizes health challenges faced by its youth

16 April 2018 – Violence, particularly homicide, sexual violence and bullying, is a significant adolescent health issue in Belize. Teenage boys are more likely to drop out of school and become involved with violent gangs or other illegal activities. To improve the situation, WHO is working with the Belize Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to develop a national adolescent health strategy that targets all health challenges holistically, rather than focusing on one or two.

Guidance to promote breastfeeding in health facilities

11 April 2018 – Breastfeeding all babies for the first 2 years would save the lives of more than 820 000 children under age 5 annually.

WHO and UNICEF today issued new 10-step guidance to increase support for breastfeeding in health facilities that provide maternity and newborn services.

Nearly one billion in Africa to be protected against yellow fever by 2016

10 April 2018 – Nearly one billion people will be vaccinated against yellow fever in 27 high-risk African countries by 2026 with support from WHO, Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and more than 50 health partners. The commitment is part of the Eliminate Yellow fever Epidemics (EYE) in Africa strategy, which was launched by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole, Nigeria’s Minister of Health and partners at a regional meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, today.

Healing the mental scars of violence in northeastern Nigeria

9 April 2018 – Nearly 7 million people are living in camps for internally displaced people (IDP) in northeastern Nigeria. In emergency settings, the rate of common mental disorders can double. Gender based violence, abductions, and gross atrocities can trigger psychological problems which take years to heal. WHO estimates that as many as 1 in 5 people in IDP camps may need mental health care.

This feature tells the story of Aisha, a 13-year-old girl in northeastern Nigeria who witnessed her brother's killing. Her story is one of the many.

Celebrating World Health Day

6 April 2018 – On World Health Day, 7 April, WHO marks its 70th anniversary. Over the past 7 decades, WHO has spearheaded efforts to rid the world of killer diseases like smallpox and to fight against deadly habits like tobacco use.

To celebrate this occasion, UN Postal Administration, has issued stamps to highlight universal health coverage, this year's theme for the World Health Day, as a subject of universal concern to the peoples of the world.

Explosive hazards pose fatal risks to children and families in Syria

4 April 2018 – Marking the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, WHO and UNICEF are calling for concerted international action in response to the devastating health consequences of explosive hazards in the Syrian Arab Republic. More than 8 million people are exposed to explosive hazards in the country, including over 3 million children.

Tuberculosis services in Moscow extend "health for all"

3 April 2018 – Moscow created a new organizational model of TB services in the spirit of providing universal health coverage to everyone, without causing financial hardship. It included: providing people-centred care; strengthening human resource capacity for TB; and monitoring the epidemiological situation. This feature describes how the new initiative ensures that all people have access to the TB services they need.

WHO keeping hospitals and feeding centres alive in Yemen

2 April 2018 – Recently, the WHO Representative to Yemen Dr Nevio Zagaria visited 4 districts in Hajjah plagued by poverty and fatal diseases. The visit was to discuss urgent health needs with local health authorities, enhance partnerships, and scale-up WHO support to health needs for people living in remote areas. This feature tells of the situation in Aslam district, Hajjah governorate, one of the most impoverished and remote areas of Yemen.

Tajikistan builds towards universal health coverage

28 March 2018 – In 2013 the Tajik Ministry of Health and Social Protection, with the support of WHO, set up a disability and rehabilitation programme to develop national policy and services.

In the spirit of universal health coverage, all services are free of charge to people with disabilities. More than 170 000 men, women and children have benefitted from the Programme since 2017.

Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world

23 March 2018 – The theme of World TB Day 2018 is "Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world". The day focuses on building commitment to end TB, not only at the political level with Heads of State and Ministers of Health, but at all levels from Mayors, Governors, parliamentarians and community leaders, to people affected with TB, civil society advocates, health workers, doctors or nurses, NGOs and other partners. All can be leaders of efforts to end TB in their own work or terrain.

On the trail of Lassa fever in southern Nigeria

21 March 2018 – Some 3675 contacts of the 376 confirmed Lassa fever cases in Nigeria had been identified and more than three-quarters had completed their 21 days of monitoring as of 18 March. WHO, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the local government are reaching out to communities with a large-scale awareness raising campaign. This feature story tell of the importance of contact tracing in controlling the disease outbreak.

Safe drinking-water in Europe?

20 March 2018 – Millions of people in the WHO European Region drink contaminated water, often without knowing it. WHO estimates that, every day, 14 people die of diarrhoeal disease due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Clean and safe drinking-water at home is frequently unavailable, particularly for those living in rural areas. In the Region, 57 million people do not have piped water at home, and 21 million people still lack access to basic drinking-water services.

Health can be a bridge for peace between Israel and Palestine

19 March 2018 – WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus concluded his first visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Dr Tedros saw the challenges that many people in Gaza face in accessing quality health services. For example, chronic electricity shortages in Gaza are hindering the delivery of life-saving medical services. In Israel, he recognized the progress made in the Israeli health system, such as introducing a digital health system, stronger food labeling laws, and extending free dental care to older people and children under 18.

Health can be a bridge for peace between Israel and Palestine

19 March 2018 – WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus concluded his first visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Dr Tedros saw the challenges that many people in Gaza face in accessing quality health services. For example, chronic electricity shortages in Gaza are hindering the delivery of life-saving medical services. In Israel, he applauded the progress made in the Israeli health system, such as introducing a digital health system, stronger food labelling laws, and extending free dental care to older people and children under 18.

India takes on malaria in its highest burden state

14 March 2018 – India has made major inroads in reducing the toll of malaria. But the path towards elimination has proven a challenge in the eastern state of Odisha, which carries more than 40% of the country’s malaria burden. This photo story illustrates how in recent years, the state government has dramatically scaled up efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria – with impressive results in a short span of time.

Seven years of Syria’s health tragedy

14 March 2018 – After seven years of conflict in Syria, WHO has renewed its call for the protection of health workers and for immediate access to besieged populations. Attacks on the health sector have continued at an alarming level in the past year. The 67 verified attacks on health facilities, workers, and infrastructure recorded during the first two months of 2018 amount to more than 50% of verified attacks in all of 2017.

Egypt eliminates lymphatic filariasis

13 March 2018 – Egypt has become the first country in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region to eliminate lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem. This success comes after almost twenty years of sustained control and prevention measures (including mass treatment of populations) and surveillance in affected/at-risk localities.