[WHO]: Updates in November


Change@WHO: how WHO in Thailand is meeting new health challenges

5 December 2012 — WHO is reforming to be better equipped to address the increasingly complex challenges of the health of populations in the 21st century. WHO needs to be flexible enough to respond to an evolving environment. This feature story illustrates how a novel approach in Thailand has helped optimize the power, capacity, influence and resources of partners to meet the health challenges of the new century.

Creating an inclusive and accessible world

30 November 2012 — Around 15% of the world’s population, or one billion people, live with disabilities. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December, aims to mobilize support for people with disabilities and increase understanding of disability issues. This feature story shows how a woman living with disabilities in Papua New Guinea is helping to build a better future for other people with disabilities.

Closing in on global HIV targets

29 November 2012 — “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero deaths from AIDS-related illness. Zero discrimination” is the theme of World AIDS Day 2012 on 1 December. Life-saving medications called antiretrovirals have reduced new HIV infections and deaths. The 2015 target of 15 million HIV-infected people on antiretroviral medicines worldwide looks more achievable now than ever before.

Combating sexual and gender-based violence in Liberia

23 November 2012 — International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November, highlights the fact that violence against women is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights. This feature story describes the first health facility in Liberia to offer women affected by gender-based violence psychosocial and legal support alongside health services.


WHO highlights

  • November 2012

    Update on novel coronavirus infection

    As of 30 November, nine cases of laboratory-confirmed infection with novel coronavirus have been reported to WHO. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses; different members of this family cause illness in humans and animals. In humans, these illnesses range from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This update summarizes what is currently known about the virological, epidemiological and clinical features of the novel coronavirus.

  • November 2012

    Change@WHO – newsletter on WHO reform

    Change@WHO follows the developments of WHO reform; each issue will report on the three strands of programmes and priority setting, governance and managerial reform. Change@WHO will be published three times per year and this is the first issue.

  • November 2012

    New global mechanism to combat Substandard/Spurious/Falselylabelled/Falsified/Counterfeit medical products

    Representatives from 65 Member States of WHO and the European Union have agreed to promote the strengthening of national regulatory capacity to combat Substandard/Spurious/Falsely-labelled/Falsified/Counterfeit Medical Products.



Disease Outbreak News

Announcement: WHO to change the way it reports H5N1 cases

Henceforward, WHO will publish information on human cases with H5N1 avian influenza infection on a monthly basis on the Influenza webpage:

Cases of human infection with H5N1 will only be reported on Disease Outbreak News for events that are unusual or associated with potential increased risks.

Member States will be continued to require to report information on every sporadic case of H5N1 human infection or novel influenza virus infection to WHO as per Article 6 of the International Health Regulations (2005).

Most recent news items

World AIDS day 2012: Health Workers are a big part of ‘Getting to Zero’

As we mark World AIDS Day “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths”, the Global Health Workforce Alliance (the Alliance) underlines the central role of health workers, including community health workers who dedicate their lives to improving health in their communities and providing care for people living with HIV.

Global Forums on Human Resources for Health

The Alliance convened the First and the Second Global Forums on Human Resources for Health, in 2008 in Uganda, and 2011 in Thailand respectively. The Global Forums brought together key experts, fellow champions as well as frontline health workers around the common goal of improving the human resources for health to achieve the health related Millennium Development Goals.

Both Forums concluded with the adoption from committed participants of ambitious agendas suitable to translate political will, leadership and partnership into sustainable and effective actions.

The Third Global Forum will be held in Recife, Brazil, from 10 – 13 November 2013

Read more by browsing the Global HRH Forums web sites:

Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health

Latest news:

Countries commended for reaching important milestone in prevention and control of Meningitis


Cotonou, 15 November 2012 — The WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Luis SAMBO has commended the commitment of governments, development partners and other health stakeholders in the ongoing efforts to prevent and control meningitis in the Meningitis belt of the African Region.

Following the launch of the meningitis vaccine (MenAfriVac) in December 2010 in Burkina Faso, more than 58.5 million persons have so far been vaccinated in six countries including: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad. Since then, there has been no reported case of meningococcal meningitis type A among vaccinated individual.

Speaking at the launch of the MenAfriVac campaign in Cotonou, Benin, Dr Sambo highlighted the remarkable progress that has been made so far in the Region and said: “The event that we are celebrating today is a turning point in history and draws attention of all African people to the current success in the fight against meningitis”. He added that some important work still needs to be done and the introduction of the vaccine will continue in mass vaccination campaign in the sixteen (16) other remaining countries of the meningitis belt.

The activities planned from now till the end of year in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, North Sudan, Ghana, Benin and Senegal are expected to cover 54 million additional people, bringing together the total number of MenAfrivac™ doses given so far to 112.5 million.

In his remarks, the President of Benin, His Excellency Dr Boni Yayi who is also the current President of African Union called on development partners and African Governments to support the development of vaccines for the over types of meningitis, support the introduction of the vaccine in Expanded Programme of Immunization and mobilize themselves to tackle meningitis and other potential epidemic diseases.

“I would like to assure you of availability to advocate with my fellows Heads of State and Governments along with partners institutions to be able to mobilize the necessary resources for a more widespread use of the new vaccine”, he noted.

The complete role out of MenAfriVac™ in the 26 countries at risk in the meningitis belt his expected to contribute to the elimination of epidemic meningitis due to serogroup A meningococcal (responsible for 95% of epidemics). This will free up public health resources currently used for annual meningitis control, allowing them to be directed to other high-priority needs. It will also help removing refinancial drain on families from meningitis treatment cost ;lost income from illness, death, and disabilities ;and long- term treatment costs associated with permanent disabilities.
During the ceremony, Dr. Sambo was conferred the honour of “commandeur de l’ordre national du mérite du Bénin” for his meritorious service to public health  in African Region.

The Access and Control Newsletter

This newsletter will update you on both issues of drug control as well as access to controlled medicines, especially if the World Health Organization is involved. Generally speaking, these issues will be any matter related to the evaluation of substances within the framework of the UN drug conventions, especially the 1961 and 1971 Conventions, and any matter related to WHO’s Access to Controlled Medications Programme (ACMP) The newsletter will be published at irregular intervals, but certainly not more than once a month.

WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter

The aim of this Newsletter is to disseminate information on the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products, based on information received from our network of “drug information officers” and other sources such as specialized bulletins and journals. The information is produced in the form of résumés in English.

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WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter