A few weeks ago, as the newly elected Director-General of the World Health Organization, I undertook one of my first official country visits, to Yemen. That country, after two years of conflict and the complete collapse of basic public services, is now suffering from the largest cholera outbreak in the world, in one of the greatest humanitarian crisis anywhere. Malnutrition is rampant, and famine appears imminent. Some 15 million people have no access to health care or to clean water and sanitation.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will lead WHO’s delegation to the “Belt and Road High Level Meeting for Health Cooperation: towards a Health Silk Road” to be held in Beijing, 18-19 August 2017, as part of his first official visit to the People’s Republic of China since taking office on 1 July 2017.
Earlier this year at the World Economic Forum, President Xi Jinping delivered a hearty defense of globalization. To people following world affairs for the last few decades this should not have come as a surprise. It is well known that China is the world’s second-largest economy and a global force in manufacturing and trade. What is less well known is that China has taken on increasingly critical roles in global health and development, which it views as necessary to sustain and accelerate global economic growth.
China is facing a tsunami of lifestyle diseases – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, lung cancer, and more. The built environment has a major influence on China’s ability to tackle these diseases. (PHOTO BY WHO /L. HE )
Highlights from the country
22 March 2016
On 22 March 2016, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr Shin Young-soo and National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) Minister Li launched the new WHO-China Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS). The CCS outlines the priorities for WHO’s work in China over the next 5 years.
14 March 2016
In 2014 WHO recommended offering pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to men who have sex with men (MSM). On the basis of further evidence of the effectiveness and acceptability of PrEP, WHO has now broadened the recommendation to include all population groups at substantial risk of HIV infection.
Offering PrEP should be a priority for populations with an HIV incidence of about 3 per 100 person-years or higher. PrEP should be an additional prevention choice in a comprehensive package of services that also includes HIV testing, counselling, male and female condoms, lubricants, ARV treatment for partners with HIV infection, voluntary medical male circumcision and harm reduction interventions for people who use drugs.
14 March 2016
WHO Technical Consultation on a comprehensive National Hepatitis Programme in China with a focus on viral hepatitis B and C treatment, Beijing, China, 21 February 2014 : meeting report
China has a heavy burden of viral hepatitis. About 90 million people are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus and about 7 to 10 million people are estimated to be infected with the hepatitis C virus. The consequence of chronic hepatitis is substantial - liver cancer is the second leading cause of death in China in the agegroup of 35-54 years of age. Effective treatment for hepatitis B and C is available. Studies show that treatment for hepatitis B and C is cost effective, and may reduce death due to chronic hepatitis-related liver disease including liver cancer.
In view of importance of chronic hepatitis in China, a technical consultation was held on 21 February 2014 in Beijing with national stakeholders to discuss the scientific evidence, current challenges and new opportunities for scaling up hepatitis treatment in China using the public health approach.