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Guinea ring vaccination trial extended to Sierra Leone to vaccinate contacts of new Ebola case

WHO Press Releases - 30. August 2015 - 19:00
Detection of a new case of Ebola virus disease in Kambia, Sierra Leone, after the country had marked almost 3 weeks of zero cases has set in motion the first "ring vaccination" use of the experimental Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone. The source of Ebola virus transmission is being investigated and all the people who may have been in contact with the infected person are being traced.

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WHO thanks health workers on World Humanitarian Day 2015

WHO Press Releases - 19. August 2015 - 1:55
On this 12th World Humanitarian Day, 19 August, WHO is drawing the world’s attention to the contributions and sacrifices of health workers who respond to humanitarian crises.

More than a decade since the first World Humanitarian Day, the demands on emergency responders are unprecedented, with 82.5 million people in 37 countries needing humanitarian assistance. The costs, too, are unprecedented, reaching an estimated US$20 billion.
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Vaccine hesitancy: A growing challenge for immunization programmes

WHO Press Releases - 18. August 2015 - 3:00
People who delay or refuse vaccines for themselves or their children are presenting a growing challenge for countries seeking to close the immunization gap. Globally, 1 in 5 children still do not receive routine life-saving immunizations, and an estimated 1.5 million children still die each year of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines that already exist, according to WHO.

In a special issue of the journal Vaccine, guest-edited by WHO and published today, experts review the role of vaccine hesitancy in limiting vaccine coverage and explore strategies to address it. Vaccine hesitancy refers to delay in acceptance or refusal of safe vaccines despite availability of vaccination services.
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Statement on the 6th IHR Emergency Committee meeting regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus

WHO Press Releases - 17. August 2015 - 6:01
The sixth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus was convened via teleconference by the Director-General on 4 August 2015. The following IHR States Parties submitted an update on the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 24 April 2015: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Committee noted that since the declaration that the international spread of polio constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), strong progress has been made by countries toward interruption of wild poliovirus transmission, implementation of Temporary Recommendations issued by the Director-General, and overall decline in occurrence of international spread of wild poliovirus. The Committee appreciated these commendable achievements.
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Sierra Leone down to the last chain of Ebola virus transmission

WHO Press Releases - 17. August 2015 - 3:00
Use of rapid response teams and strong community involvement in finding Ebola virus disease cases and contacts is yielding results in Sierra Leone. An epidemiological week has now passed with no new Ebola cases for the first time since the beginning of the outbreak.

"This is very good news but we have to keep doing this intensive working with communities to identify potential new cases early and to rapidly stop any Ebola virus transmission," said Dr Anders Nordstrom, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone.
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The Ebola virus vaccine is effective. But the fight goes on

WHO Press Releases - 16. August 2015 - 19:00
The President of Guinea, Mr Alpha Condé, stresses that the Ebola vaccine is 100% effective, as the trial had shown. But the fight should go on. It is necessary to move quickly towards full-scale production of the vaccine to benefit the whole population.

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WHO news on Ebola

WHO Press Releases - 16. August 2015 - 18:53



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WHO press releases on Ebola

WHO Press Releases - 16. August 2015 - 18:53


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World Humanitarian Day: WHO honours health workers, calls for their protection

WHO Press Releases - 14. August 2015 - 3:00
14 AUGUST 2015 ¦ GENEVA – Ahead of World Humanitarian Day, WHO is drawing attention to continued attacks on health staff and health facilities. In 2014 alone, WHO received reports of 372 attacks in 32 countries on health workers, resulting in 603 deaths and 958 injuries, while similar incidents have been recorded this year.

“WHO is committed to saving lives and reducing suffering in times of crisis. Attacks against health care workers and facilities are flagrant violations of international humanitarian law. Health workers have an obligation to treat the sick and injured without discrimination. All parties to conflict must respect that obligation,” says Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.
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Speeches on Ebola

WHO Press Releases - 13. August 2015 - 10:53


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An emergency within an emergency: caring for Ebola survivors

WHO Press Releases - 7. August 2015 - 3:00
New research shows Ebola survivors most commonly face severe joint pains, eye problems leading to loss of vision in some cases, severe fatigue, headaches, poor concentration, and mental health challenges after recovery from acute Ebola Virus Disease. However, there are very limited data on the types and frequency of the various reported health problems, or the best practices for clinical management.

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World on the verge of an effective Ebola vaccine

WHO Press Releases - 30. July 2015 - 19:00
Results from an interim analysis of the Guinea Phase III efficacy vaccine trial show that VSV-EBOV (Merck, Sharp & Dohme) is highly effective against Ebola. The independent body of international experts - the Data and Safety Monitoring Board – that conducted the review, advised that the trial should continue. Preliminary results from analyses of these interim data are published today in the British journal The Lancet.

"This is an extremely promising development," said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. "The credit goes to the Guinean Government, the people living in the communities and our partners in this project. An effective vaccine will be another very important tool for both current and future Ebola outbreaks."
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Africa risks large meningitis outbreak

WHO Press Releases - 28. July 2015 - 3:30
With Africa at risk of a large meningitis outbreak, an acute shortage of meningitis C-containing vaccine threatens to severely limit the world’s ability to minimize the number of people affected, 4 international public health organizations warned today.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the WHO (the 4 organizations, which together constitute the International Coordinating Group for Vaccine Provision for Epidemic Meningitis Control - ICG) are therefore calling today on vaccine manufacturers to step up meningitis C-containing vaccine production by 5 million doses before the 2016 meningitis season starts in January.
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WHO calls for urgent action to curb hepatitis

WHO Press Releases - 23. July 2015 - 4:40
On World Hepatitis Day (28 July) WHO highlights the urgent need for countries to enhance action to prevent viral hepatitis infection and to ensure that people who have been infected are diagnosed and offered treatment. This year, the Organization is focusing particularly on hepatitis B and C, which together cause approximately 80% of all liver cancer deaths and kill close to 1.4 million people every year.

WHO is alerting people to the risks of contracting hepatitis from unsafe blood, unsafe injections, and sharing drug-injection equipment. Some 11 million people who inject drugs have hepatitis B or C infection. Children born to mothers with hepatitis B or C and sex partners of people with hepatitis are also at risk of becoming infected.
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Global health workforce, finances remain low for mental health

WHO Press Releases - 13. July 2015 - 18:52
Worldwide, nearly 1 in 10 people have a mental health disorder, but only 1% of the global health workforce is working in mental health. This means, for example, that nearly half of the world’s population lives in a country where there is less than one psychiatrist per 100 000 people.

Huge inequalities in access to mental health services exist depending on where people live. On average globally, there is less than one mental health worker per 10 000 people, according to the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Atlas 2014, released today. In low and middle-income countries rates fall below 1 per 100 000 people, whereas in high-income countries the rate is 1 per 2000 people.
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WHO lays out plans for financing new global health goal: to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

WHO Press Releases - 10. July 2015 - 2:40
WHO is urging countries to move towards universal health coverage and to scale up international investment in catalytic development funding. The call comes as world leaders travel to the Third UN Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa to discuss ways to pay for the new Sustainable Development Goals, to be launched in New York in September 2015.

“The best way to assure meaningful progress towards the new global health goal is for countries to move closer to universal health coverage,” says Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.
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Liberia update: New information from genetic sequencing

WHO Press Releases - 9. July 2015 - 19:27
On 29 June 2015, a new case of Ebola virus disease was identified in Liberia 50 days after interruption of active transmission was achieved on 9 May. Since then, a cluster of cases has been identified, all of them from Nedowein in Margibi county. Currently, 5 people have been confirmed with Ebola virus disease by laboratory testing.

As part of the investigation into the source of this new cluster of infections, samples taken from the first person found to have Ebola were sent to the Liberian National Reference Laboratory for genetic sequencing. Tests on these samples have shown that the virus is genetically similar to viruses that infected many people in Margibi County more than 6 months ago, in late 2014.
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WHO statements on Ebola

WHO Press Releases - 7. July 2015 - 10:53


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WHO: Stepped up government tax action needed to curb tobacco epidemic

WHO Press Releases - 6. July 2015 - 23:30
Too few governments levy appropriate levels of tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. They therefore miss out on a proven, low-cost measure to curb demand for tobacco, save lives and generate funds for stronger health services, according to the "WHO Report on the global tobacco epidemic 2015".

The report focuses on raising taxes on tobacco. Although 33 countries impose taxes that represent more than 75% of the retail price of a packet of cigarettes, many countries have extremely low tax rates. Some have no special tax on tobacco products at all.
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WHO response to the Ebola Interim Assessment Panel report

WHO Press Releases - 6. July 2015 - 18:01
WHO welcomes the report from the Ebola Interim Assessment Panel and thanks the hard-working members for their rapid review, analysis and recommendations.

The panel members divided their review and recommendations into 3 areas: the International Health Regulations, WHO’s health emergency response capacity and WHO’s role and cooperation with the wider health and humanitarian systems.
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