The Western Pacific Region takes part in a global switch to a new polio vaccine: A key step in achieving a polio free world

WHO/S. Gurung

MANILA, 5 May 2016 – In the largest synchronized event in the history of vaccines, 155 countries and areas have simultaneously participated in the switch to a new oral polio vaccine (OPV) between 17 April and 1 May. 16 Member States in the Western Pacific Region successfully made the switch.

Leave no one behind: Global meeting in Manila highlights programmes to reduce health disparities


MANILA, 4 May 2016 – Leaving no one behind has been recognized globally as the overarching principle of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is a critical concern for Member States in the Western Pacific region as they move towards universal health coverage. Significant health gains have been made in recent decades, but evidence suggests these gains have been unequally distributed and have largely failed to reach the poor and other marginalized or socially excluded groups.

WHO calls for action to protect young people from alcohol-related harm


HONG KONG SAR (CHINA), 30 APRIL 2016 – Every minute one person dies from alcohol-related harm in the Western Pacific Region. Alcohol is one of the biggest risk factors for deaths among young people in the Region. "One in three current drinkers in the Western Pacific aged 15 to 19 has engaged in excessive drinking," notes Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. "Alcohol abuse is associated with depression and anxiety. Excessive drinking is closely linked to self-harm and suicide."

WHO report highlights health impacts of climate change

WHO/Y. Shimizu

MANILA, 26 April 2016 – The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific has released a new report with scientific evidence of climate change affecting health and recommended actions for countries in the Region. The report highlights close links between health and climate change and the need for the health sector to respond to the threats posed by climate change, particularly focusing on the most vulnerable populations.

Regional Director

Dr Shin Young-soo


Sixty-seventh session of the Regional Committee

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Complete list of news releases, by year


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WHO Highlights

  • 7 April 2016

    World Health Day 2016: Together on the front lines against diabetes

    Diabetes can lead to blindness, amputation and a shorter lifespan. The illness is affecting people at a younger age. Financial and health impacts are devastating families and threatening health systems. On the frontline of the epidemic are individuals, families, communities and health workers that can take action to halt the rise of diabetes and its complications. Join us on 7 April 2016 for World Health Day as we take a stand against diabetes. Through collective action we can protect our families from this disease.

  • February 2016

    Tropical Cyclone Winston

    Tropical Cyclone Winston tore through Fiji on 20-21 February, resulting in 44 deaths, over 125 injured, and thousands without shelter, food, and safe water. In all, the cyclone affected the lives of an estimated 350,000 people. WHO is supporting the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services in the health response to this disaster with help from many humanitarian partners.

  • 5 June 2015

    Strategy for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Subregion (2015-2030)

    In close consultation with countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion, the WHO Regional Offices for the Western Pacific and South-East Asia have developed a malaria elimination strategy for the Subregion, where emerging antimalarial multidrug resistance, including resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies, is threatening our recent gains. The elimination strategy is fully aligned with the Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030, which has just been endorsed by the World Health Assembly. The first subregional document that effectively operationalizes the global strategy, it is a prime example of partnership and collaboration, with six countries, WHO (two regions and headquarters) and multiple development partners joining forces to fight a common threat.

  • April 2015

    20 years of the Healthy Island journey

    Yanuca Island, Fiji – The Eleventh Pacific Health Ministers meeting commenced in Yanuca Island, Fiji from 15-17 April 2015. The Pacific Ministers reviewed progress over the last 20 years in health and charted the course for the years to come. The first Pacific Health Ministers meeting in 1995 was also held in Yanuca Island, where ministers created a unifying Healthy Islands vision for Pacific island countries and areas. The meeting articulated a response to the specific needs of the region.

Highlighted publications

  • Regional Director's Report
    This report to the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific focuses on WHO’s work in the Region for the year ending 30 June 2014—a year of decisive action to tackle the Region’s health challenges.
  • Partners Coordination and Engagement Strategy 2013-2019
    This document outlines the Regional Office’s coordination and engagement strategy with health sector actors in the Western Pacific. WHO seeks to achieve better health outcomes for the people of the Region through improved coordination and strengthened partnerships.
  • The Health Systems in Transition (HiT)
    HiT profiles are health system reviews that systematically describe and assess the core components of a health system: organization and governance, financing, physical and human resources, service provision, and health reforms.