Health Advice Lifestyle 

Dynamic WHO dashboard for island states highlights barriers and progress on climate change and health

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face particularly acute health risks as a result of the climate crisis. Warming temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, rising sea levels and extreme weather events lead to increased risks of injuries, deaths, food insecurity and the spread of vector-borne, waterborne and foodborne diseases.  Despite these growing challenges, island states are leading in the global response to climate change by advocating for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C; implementing adaptation actions; and establishing climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable health systems. A new SIDS dynamic data dashboard, launched today,…

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WHO issues new guidance for research on genetically modified mosquitoes to fight malaria and other vector-borne diseases

New guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) sets essential standards to inform future research and development on genetically modified mosquitoes, particularly in addressing issues relating to ethics, safety, affordability and effectiveness. Malaria and other vector-borne diseases, including dengue and Zika, affect millions globally. More than 400 000 people a year die from malaria alone. If proven safe, effective and affordable, genetically modified vector mosquitoes could be a valuable new tool to fight these diseases and eliminate their enormous health, social and economic burden. The guidance framework for testing genetically…

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World Health Assembly to focus on ending COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for next one

In a year when COVID-19 threatens the health and well-being of everyone on the planet, the seventy-fourth session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) will stress the urgency of ending the current pandemic and preventing the next one by building a healthier, safer and fairer world. The Health Assembly is WHO’s highest decision-making body and is attended by delegations from all around the world. It will also be open to Associate Members, Observers, invited representatives of the UN and other participating inter-governmental organizations, and non-State actors. This year’s session will run…

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New international expert panel to address the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases

International organizations have come together to launch a new One Health High-Level Expert Panel to improve understanding of how diseases with the potential to trigger pandemics, emerge and spread. The panel will advise four international organizations – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE); the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); and the World Health Organization (WHO) – on the development of a long-term global plan of action to avert outbreaks of diseases like H5N1 avian influenza; MERS; Ebola; Zika, and,…

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G20 leaders boost support of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator but urgent and immediate action is needed to maintain momentum

World leaders today met at the Global Health Summit, co-hosted by the European Commission and Italy as part of its G20 presidency, to adopt an agenda to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, and develop and endorse a Rome Declaration of principles, at a time when the virus is surging and spreading uncontrollably in many parts of the world. With nine people losing their lives to COVID-19 every minute, and as the risk of even more transmissible and dangerous variants increases, the Global Health Summit comes at a critical juncture. The future…

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WHO and Switzerland launch global BioHub for pathogen storage, sharing and analysis

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Swiss Confederation today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the first WHO BioHub Facility as part of the WHO BioHub System, which was announced in November 2020. This facility will enhance the rapid sharing of viruses and other pathogens between laboratories and partners globally. Based in Spiez, Switzerland, the facility will serve as a centre for the safe receipt, sequencing, storage and preparation of biological materials for distribution to other laboratories, in order to inform risk assessments, and sustain global preparedness against…

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COVAX Joint Statement: Call to action to equip COVAX to deliver 2 billion doses in 2021

Countries that are advanced in their vaccination programmes are seeing cases of COVID-19 decline, hospitalisations decrease and early signs of some kind of normality resume. However, the global picture is far more concerning. At no point in this pandemic have we seen such an acute need to look to the future challenges and not rest on the patchy achievements made so far. We are seeing the traumatic effects of the terrible surge of COVID-19 in South Asia – a surge which has also severely impacted global vaccine supplies. We are…

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Update from the Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly – 27 May 2021

New resolutions on diabetes, health for people with disabilities; malaria; oral health Decisions on eye care; HIV, Hepatitis and STIs; neglected tropical diseases, noncommunicable diseases WHO programme budget approved 2022-2023 RESOLUTIONS Diabetes A new  resolution urges Member States to raise the priority given to the prevention, diagnosis and control of diabetes as well as prevention and management of risk factors such as obesity. It recommends action in a number of areas including: the development of pathways for achieving targets for the prevention and control of diabetes, including access to insulin;…

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Update from the Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly – 28 May 2021

New resolutions on the health and care workforce and strategic directions for nursing and midwifery Decisions on patient safety; health, environment and climate change; chemicals management; coordination of work on noncommunicable diseases Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Wellbeing for All Prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment Protect, safeguard and invest in the health and care workforce The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical role of all health and care workers at the forefront of the pandemic, who have faced multiple risks related to their health, well-being and…

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Health Advice Lifestyle 

Update from the Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly – 29 May 2021

New resolutions on: Local production of medicines Ending violence against children Addressing social determinants of health   Strengthening local production of medicines and other health technologies to improve access Member State requests for WHO’s support in strengthening local production have been increasing in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to highlight even more the urgent need for enhancing quality manufacturing capacity in all regions of the world, including for innovative, highly effective health products such as mRNA technologies. Such capacity is necessary to address or even avert future…

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