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Global Intellectual Property Filings Up in 2013, China Drives Patent Application Growth

WIPO Press Release - 16. December 2014 - 0:30
Global patent filings extended a run of strong annual increases in 2013, underpinned by double-digit growth in China where about a third of the world’s 2.6 million patent applications were filed, followed by the United States of America (US) and Japan as the next-largest recipients.
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Health partners unite to build stronger systems for health in Ebola-affected countries

WHO Press Releases - 12. December 2014 - 3:00
On 10-11 December 2014, Ministers of Health and Finance of Ebola-affected countries, international organizations and development partners assembled for a high-level meeting on how to strengthen systems of health in Ebola-affected countries and agreed on what needs to be done to rebuild and strengthen essential health services in these countries.

“People in Ebola-affected countries are dying – not only from Ebola but also from other causes – because the majority of health facilities in these countries are either not functional or people are not using them for fear of contracting Ebola,” says Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General of Health Systems and Innovation, World Health Organization. “A health system has to be able to both absorb the shock of an emergency like Ebola, and continue to provide regular health services such as immunization and maternal and child care.”
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New study highlights need to scale up violence prevention efforts globally

WHO Press Releases - 10. December 2014 - 5:01
The "Global status report on violence prevention 2014" reveals that 475 000 people were murdered in 2012, and homicide is the third leading cause of death globally for males aged 15–44 years, highlighting the urgent need for more decisive action to prevent violence.

Despite indications that homicide rates decreased by 16% globally between 2000 and 2012, violence remains widespread. Non-fatal acts of violence take a particular toll on women and children. One in four children has been physically abused; one in five girls has been sexually abused; and one in three women has been a victim of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence at some point in her lifetime.
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Scale-up in effective malaria control dramatically reduces deaths

WHO Press Releases - 8. December 2014 - 18:01
The number of people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000 and malaria cases are also steadily declining, according to the World malaria report 2014. Between 2000 and 2013, the malaria mortality rate decreased by 47% worldwide and by 54% in the WHO African Region - where about 90% of malaria deaths occur.

New analysis across sub-Saharan Africa reveals that despite a 43% population increase, fewer people are infected or carry asymptomatic malaria infections every year: the number of people infected fell from 173 million in 2000 to 128 million in 2013.
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New WHO guide to prevent and control cervical cancer

WHO Press Releases - 2. December 2014 - 18:01
New guidance from WHO aims to help countries better prevent and control cervical cancer. The disease is one of the world’s deadliest – but most easily preventable – forms of cancer for women, responsible for more than 270 000 deaths annually, 85% of which occur in developing countries.

The new "Comprehensive cervical cancer control: a guide to essential practice" will be launched at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Melbourne, Australia on 3 December 2014.
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WHO congratulates Spain on ending Ebola transmission

WHO Press Releases - 2. December 2014 - 2:00
Today the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declares the Ebola outbreak in Spain over and commends the country on its diligence to end transmission of the virus.

On 6 October 2014, the Spanish National Reference Laboratory confirmed the first human-to-human transmission of Ebola virus disease outside Africa in a healthcare worker. The healthcare worker had been part of a team at La Paz-Carlos III Hospital providing medical care for a person with Ebola virus disease repatriated from Sierra Leone on 22 September.
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Mali confirms 2 new cases of Ebola virus disease

WHO Press Releases - 24. November 2014 - 19:27
Mali’s Ministry of Health has confirmed an additional 2 new cases of Ebola virus disease. The first, confirmed on 22 November, occurred in the 23-year-old fiancée of the 25-year-old nurse who attended the Grand Imam from Guinea (the index case in this outbreak) and died of Ebola on 11 November.

The young woman developed symptoms on 19 November and, on 20 November, was hospitalized in isolation at Bamako’s Ebola treatment centre, a new facility which opened last week.
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Worldwide action needed to address hidden crisis of violence against women and girls

WHO Press Releases - 21. November 2014 - 3:01
Current efforts to prevent violence against women and girls are inadequate, according to a new Series published in The Lancet. Estimates suggest that globally, 1 in 3 women has experienced either physical or sexual violence from their partner, and that 7% of women will experience sexual assault by a non-partner at some point in their lives.

Yet, despite increased global attention to violence perpetrated against women and girls, and recent advances in knowledge about how to tackle these abuses, levels of violence against women – including intimate partner violence, rape, female genital mutilation, trafficking, and forced marriages – remain unacceptably high, with serious consequences for victims’ physical and mental health. Conflict and other humanitarian crises may exacerbate ongoing violence.
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WHO declares end of Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

WHO Press Releases - 21. November 2014 - 2:00
On 24 August, WHO was notified by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Jeera County, Equateur Province. This outbreak, which is unrelated to that affecting West Africa, caused a total of 66 cases of EVD including 8 among health care workers.

By 20 November, 42 days had passed since the last case tested negative twice and was discharged from hospital. According to WHO recommendations, the end of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in a country can be declared once 42 days have passed and no new cases have been detected. The 42 days represents twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola (21 days).
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Mali: Details of the additional cases of Ebola virus disease

WHO Press Releases - 19. November 2014 - 19:27
As of today (21 November), Mali has officially reported a cumulative total of 6 cases of Ebola virus disease, with 6 deaths. Of the 6 cases, 5 are laboratory confirmed and one remains probable as no samples were available for testing.

These numbers include the 2-year-old girl who initially imported the virus into Mali and died of the disease on 24 October.
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Countries vow to combat malnutrition through firm policies and actions

WHO Press Releases - 19. November 2014 - 6:01
In a major step towards eradicating malnutrition worldwide, over 170 countries today made a number of concrete commitments and adopted a series of recommendations on policies and investments aimed at ensuring that all people have access to healthier and more sustainable diets.

Ministers and senior officials responsible for health, food or agriculture and other aspects of nutrition adopted the Rome Declaration on Nutrition, and a Framework for Action, which set out recommendations for policies and programmes to address nutrition across multiple sectors. The move came at the opening, in Rome, of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO.
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UN reveals major gaps in water and sanitation – especially in rural areas

WHO Press Releases - 18. November 2014 - 23:01
Global efforts to provide improved water and sanitation for all are gaining momentum, but serious gaps in funding continue to hamper progress, according to a new report from WHO on behalf of UN-Water.

The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS 2014), published biannually, presents data from 94 countries and 23 external support agencies. It offers a comprehensive analysis of strengths and challenges in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) provision within and across countries.
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Urgently needed: rapid, sensitive, safe and simple Ebola diagnostic tests

WHO Press Releases - 17. November 2014 - 18:27
The goal of interrupting chains of Ebola virus transmission depends heavily on laboratory support. This support is needed to confirm or discard suspected cases, guide triage and clinical decisions, aid contact tracing, and facilitate the early detection of cases in people with an exposure history. The WHO goal of aggressive case detection and isolation likewise depends on laboratory support.

Efforts to contain the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa are currently hampered by cumbersome, slow and complex diagnostic tests that impose a number of additional logistical challenges, including requirements for a high level of laboratory biosafety and staff expertise in using sophisticated machines.
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WHO highlights devastating global impact of drowning

WHO Press Releases - 17. November 2014 - 8:01
WHO’s first "Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer" reveals that drowning claims the lives of 372 000 people each year and is among the 10 leading causes of death for children and young people in every region.

Other stark findings from the report include:
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WHO statement on the third meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus

WHO Press Releases - 14. November 2014 - 6:01
The third meeting of the Emergency Committee under the IHR (2005) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus in 2014 was convened by the Director-General through electronic correspondence from 2 through 7 November 2014.1 The following IHR States Parties submitted an update on the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 31 July 2014: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Committee noted that the international spread of wild poliovirus has continued since 31 July 2014, with at least 3 new exportations from Pakistan into neighbouring Afghanistan. There has been no other documented international spread of wild poliovirus since March 2014.
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WHO warns that progress towards eliminating measles has stalled

WHO Press Releases - 13. November 2014 - 12:01
WHO warned today that progress towards the elimination of measles has stalled. The number of deaths from measles increased from an estimated 122 000 in 2012 to 145 700 in 2013, according to new data published in the WHO Weekly Epidemiological Report and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The estimated number of measles deaths in 2013 represents a 75% decline in mortality since 2000, significantly below the target of a 95% reduction in deaths between 2000 and 2015.

“Poor progress in increasing measles vaccination coverage has resulted in large outbreaks of this highly contagious disease, throwing the 2015 elimination targets off-track,” said Dr Peter Strebel from the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals.
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WHO sets benchmarks to reduce health damage from indoor air pollution

WHO Press Releases - 12. November 2014 - 3:01
WHO recommendations, released today, highlight the dangers of burning fuels like unprocessed coal and kerosene in the home, and set targets for reducing emissions of health-damaging pollutants from domestic cookstoves, space heaters and fuel-based lamps.

The new "WHO guidelines for indoor air quality: household fuel combustion" stress the need to improve access to cleaner home energy sources such as liquefied petroleum gas, biogas, natural gas and ethanol, or electricity, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
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Mali confirms its second fatal case of Ebola virus disease

WHO Press Releases - 11. November 2014 - 19:27
Mali’s Ministry of Health has confirmed the country’s second fatal case of Ebola virus disease. The case occurred in a nurse who worked at a privately-run clinic in the capital city, Bamako.

The nurse, who was showing Ebola-like symptoms, was isolated on the evening of 10 November following suspicions of Ebola infection in a patient from Guinea who was treated at the clinic in late October. These suspicions were raised by an alert from health authorities in Guinea. The nurse died during the night of 11 November.
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Mali case, Ebola imported from Guinea

WHO Press Releases - 9. November 2014 - 19:27
Investigations undertaken by Ministries of Health in Mali and Guinea, assisted by WHO, have clarified the early exposure history of Mali’s first Ebola case.

The index case in Mali, a 2-year-old girl who resided with her family in the urban commune of Beyla, Guinea, was diagnosed with Ebola, in Kayes, Mali, on 23 October and died on the following day.
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New WHO safe and dignified burial protocol - key to reducing Ebola transmission

WHO Press Releases - 7. November 2014 - 6:00
A new WHO protocol for safe and dignified burial of people who die from Ebola virus disease emphasizes inclusion of family members and encouraging religious rites as an essential part of safe burials.

“At least 20% of new Ebola infections occur during burials of deceased Ebola patients. By building trust and respect between burial teams, bereaved families and religious groups, we are building trust and safety in the response itself.” says Dr Pierre Formenty, one of WHO’s top Ebola experts. “Introducing components such as inviting the family to be involved in digging the grave and offering options for dry ablution and shrouding will make a significant difference in curbing Ebola transmission.”
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