MANILA, 14 June 2013 – On ASEAN Dengue Day (15 June), the World Health Organization Western Pacific Region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) call on the public and private sectors to join forces in the fight against dengue. “Dengue has a significant impact on health, the economy and the entire society, making it our shared responsibility,” says Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific.
MANILA, 11 June 2013 – On the 10th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day (14 June), the World Health Organization (WHO) urges governments to strengthen national blood systems in building stable bases of voluntary, unpaid donors who regularly give blood. “Demand for blood continues to grow faster than supply, a fact that makes safe blood more precious than ever and today’s message even more urgent,” says WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr Shin Young-soo.
MANILA, 30 May 2013 – On World No Tobacco Day (31 May), the World Health Organization (WHO) calls for a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. "We must halt the tobacco industry's aggressive marketing of its products, which cause addiction, suffering and millions of deaths each year," says WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Shin Young-soo.
VIENTIANE, 29 May 2013 – To celebrate its 50 years in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the World Health Organization has published a commemorative book. Fifty years: working for health in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 1962–2012 details WHO’s experiences in the country, from the opening of the Country Liaison Office in 1962, to the upgrade in 1968 to a WHO Representative Office, to the current challenges that centre on supporting the Government to develop better primary health care and implement health reforms.
Highlights from the Region
14 June 2013
Drought continues in the Marshall Islands
MANILA – The state of drought disaster declared by the Marshall Islands Government on 8 May has been extended into early July, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The drought has depleted water tanks and made groundwater unsuitable for human consumption due to high salinity. In addition, it has damaged or destroyed food crops. More than 6300 people on 15 islands and atolls remain in urgent need of safe water. They, and an additional 11 000 people, are increasingly short of food. WHO deployed an epidemiologist to the Pacific island country from 21 to 30 May. There have been no significant disease outbreaks. However, an increased number of cases of influenza-like illness has been reported on Lae, Likiep and Namu and of diarrhoea on Mejit. The Government is appealing for an additional US$4.1 million to meet its emergency response requirements, including reinforcing surveillance of infectious diseases; informing and training health workers about outbreak detection, response and control; and ensuring that health facilities have sufficient antibiotics, oral rehydration salts and other medical supplies. The Government blames the drought on climate change.
21 April 2013
MANILA – An earthquake hit Sichuan province in central China on 20 April 2013, killing nearly 200 people and injuring thousands, according to the latest official reports. Almost all the homes collapsed in Longmen Township, Lushan County, at the earthquake’s epicentre. Local roads were badly damaged and blocked by landslides and dozens of bridges damaged to varying degrees. Medical teams have been dispatched and disaster relief funds allocated. Although the government has restored power and water to the municipality of Ya'an in western Sichuan and other parts of the province, there is still no access to communication, gas and water in the county of Baoxing and a few other severely affected areas. The World Health Organization and other United Nations agencies are in close contact with the relevant government ministries and prepared to assist upon request.