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WHO welcomes global momentum on viral hepatitis

WHO Press Releases - 23. July 2014 - 3:00
On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, WHO welcomes new progress in tackling one of the world’s most serious diseases. Viral hepatitis – a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E – affects millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year.

“For years, viral hepatitis has been largely neglected,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General at WHO. “But now we are beginning to see greater awareness and global momentum building to tackle it.”
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WHO Statement on Mr Glenn Thomas, WHO Media Officer who died in the MH17 plane

WHO Press Releases - 18. July 2014 - 6:01
It is with deep sadness that we have to inform you that WHO lost one of our colleagues on the Malaysian Airlines crash yesterday. Glenn Thomas from the Department of Communications was travelling to the International AIDS Conference in Australia. His twin sister says he died doing what he loved.

Glenn had been with WHO for more than a decade. He came here from the BBC and spent many years providing communications support to the TB Department. Since 2012 he had been working on the media team in the Department of Communications, regularly hosting press conferences and working with journalists to promote the work of WHO. Glenn will be remembered for his ready laugh and his passion for public health.
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Global Innovation Index 2014: Switzerland, UK and Sweden Lead Rankings with Encouraging Signs from Sub-Saharan Africa

WIPO Press Release - 17. July 2014 - 20:30
Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Sweden topped this year’s Global Innovation Index, while Sub-Saharan Africa posted significant regional improvement in the annual rankings published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
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Stop TB Partnership Board to move secretariat

WHO Press Releases - 16. July 2014 - 6:01
WHO welcomes the decision by the Stop TB Partnership (STBP) Board to move its secretariat’s hosting and administrative arrangements, which have been provided by WHO since the partnership was founded in 2001, to the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). The move will occur early in 2015.

The move will not change the close and complementary collaboration and working relationship between WHO and the STBP as they fulfil their respective mandates. WHO will continue its leading role in the fight against tuberculosis, setting global policy and targets, leading work to establish norms and standards, monitoring burden and global response, and providing technical support to Member States. The Partnership will continue to lead the global advocacy effort to raise awareness, funding and action against TB, coordinating the efforts of its 1000 partner organizations.
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Member States commit to reduce preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes and lung disease

WHO Press Releases - 11. July 2014 - 3:00
UN Member States have reaffirmed their commitment to take bold measures to reduce the avoidable burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). These ailments, including heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes and lung disease kill 38 million people every year, many of them before they reach the age of 70. Most of these largely preventable deaths occur in developing countries, where this epidemic threatens to undermine social and economic development.

Member States, gathered for the second time in 3 years at the United Nations in New York to discuss this topic, pledged to intensify efforts to combat the growing menace of NCDs. They acknowledged that progress has been too slow and uneven since 2011, when the UN General Assembly adopted the Political Declaration and pledged to better protect the lives of their people.
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WHO: People most at risk of HIV are not getting the health services they need

WHO Press Releases - 11. July 2014 - 3:00
Failure to provide adequate HIV services for key groups – men who have sex with men, people in prison, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender people – threatens global progress on the HIV response, warns WHO.

These people are most at risk of HIV infection yet are least likely to have access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services. In many countries they are left out of national HIV plans, and discriminatory laws and policies are major barriers to access.
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WHO highlights need for countries to scale up action on noncommunicable diseases

WHO Press Releases - 10. July 2014 - 6:00
As world leaders gather at the United Nations General Assembly to assess efforts made since 2011 in controlling noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, the new WHO "Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2014" show progress has been insufficient and uneven.

The report provides an updated overview of the NCD situation including recent trends and government responses in 194 countries. It reveals that:
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WIPO Director General Welcomes Ratification by China of Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, Inaugurates WIPO China Office

WIPO Press Release - 9. July 2014 - 10:37
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry today welcomed the ratification of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances by the People’s Republic of China during an official visit to Beijing at which the Director General also participated in the inauguration of the new WIPO China Office.
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WHO targets elimination of TB in over 30 countries

WHO Press Releases - 3. July 2014 - 1:00
WHO today, together with the European Respiratory Society (ERS), presented a new framework to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) in countries with low levels of the disease. Today there are 33* countries and territories where there are fewer than 100 TB cases per million population.

The framework outlines an initial “pre-elimination” phase, aiming to have fewer than 10 new TB cases per million people per year by 2035 in these countries. The goal is to then achieve full elimination of TB by 2050, defined as less than 1 case per million people per year.
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Accessible Books Consortium Launched, Joins Effort to End “Book Famine” for People with Print Disabilities

WIPO Press Release - 30. June 2014 - 5:03
The World Intellectual Property Organization and a group of key partners are launching a new alliance to boost the number of books in accessible format for use by hundreds of millions of people around the globe who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled, most of whom live in less-developed regions.
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India Is First to Ratify “Marrakesh Treaty” Easing Access to Books for Persons Who Are Visually Impaired

WIPO Press Release - 30. June 2014 - 4:54
India has become the first nation to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.
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Ebola challenges West African countries as WHO ramps up response

WHO Press Releases - 26. June 2014 - 3:01
The emergence of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa in 2014 has become a challenge to the 3 countries involved, as the Governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone work intensively with WHO and other partners to ramp up a series of measures to control the outbreak.

Since March 2014, more than 600 cases of Ebola and over 390 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. While the number of suspected, probable and confirmed cases and deaths changes rapidly, the outbreak is causing concern among health authorities because the deadly disease is being transmitted in communities and in health-care settings, and it has appeared in cities as well as rural and border areas. The disease, which causes severe haemorrhaging and can kill up to 90% of those infected, is spread by direct contact with the blood and body fluids of infected animals or people.
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WHO statement on the Sixth Meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee concerning MERS-CoV

WHO Press Releases - 17. June 2014 - 4:01
The sixth meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) concerning Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was held by teleconference on Monday, 16 June 2014, from 12:15 to 16:19 Geneva time (CEST).

In addition to Members of the Emergency Committee, three expert advisors participated in the informational session only. These advisors did not participate in the formulation of advice to the Director-General.
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World Blood Donor Day 2014: Safe blood needed to save mothers

WHO Press Releases - 10. June 2014 - 1:00
On World Blood Donor Day – 14 June – WHO is calling on countries to improve access to safe blood for saving the lives of mothers.

Every day, almost 800 women die from causes related to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Severe bleeding during pregnancy, delivery or after childbirth is the single biggest cause of maternal death and can kill a healthy woman within 2 hours if she is unattended. Urgent access to safe supplies of blood for transfusion is critical to saving these women’s lives.
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Investment in midwifery can save millions of lives of women and newborns

WHO Press Releases - 3. June 2014 - 1:00
A report released today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund together with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), WHO and partners reveals that major deficits in the midwifery workforce occur in 73 countries where these services are most desperately needed. The report recommends new strategies to address these deficits and save millions of lives of women and newborns.

The 73 African, Asian and Latin American countries represented in the "State of the World’s Midwifery 2014: A Universal Pathway – A Woman’s Right to Health" suffer 96% of the global burden of maternal deaths, 91% of stillbirths and 93% of newborn deaths, but have only 42% of the world’s midwives, nurses and doctors. The report urges countries to invest in midwifery education and training to contribute to closing the glaring gaps that exist. Investments in midwifery education and training at agreed international standards can yield – as a study from Bangladesh shows – a 1600% return on investment.
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WHO calls for higher tobacco taxes to save more lives

WHO Press Releases - 27. May 2014 - 1:00
On World No Tobacco Day (31 May), WHO calls on countries to raise taxes on tobacco to encourage users to stop and prevent other people from becoming addicted to tobacco. Based on 2012 data, WHO estimates that by increasing tobacco taxes by 50%, all countries would reduce the number of smokers by 49 million within the next 3 years and ultimately save 11 million lives.

Today, every 6 seconds someone dies from tobacco use. Tobacco kills up to half of its users. It also incurs considerable costs for families, businesses and governments. Treating tobacco-related diseases like cancer and heart disease is expensive. And as tobacco-related disease and death often strikes people in the prime of their working lives, productivity and incomes fall.
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Noncommunicable diseases: news

WHO Press Releases - 26. May 2014 - 3:45
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Communicable diseases: news

WHO Press Releases - 26. May 2014 - 3:45
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Health systems: news

WHO Press Releases - 26. May 2014 - 3:45
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World Health Assembly closes

WHO Press Releases - 24. May 2014 - 1:00
The Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly closed today, after adopting more than 20 resolutions on public health issues of global importance.

“This has been an intense Health Assembly, with a record-breaking number of agenda items, documents and resolutions, and nearly 3 500 registered delegates,” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO’s Director-General. “This is a reflection of the growing number of complexity of health issues, and your deep interest in addressing them.”
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