Latest news

Progress on Early Essential Newborn Care in the Western Pacific Region, but millions of newborn infants remain at risk


DA NANG, Viet Nam, 14 August 2017 – A newborn baby dies every two minutes in the Western Pacific Region. A major contributor to newborn deaths is the early separation from the mothers after birth. Not only do separated babies not benefit from skin-to-skin contact, they are exposed to hypothermia and hospital-acquired infections. Further, babies are often given infant formula instead of breast milk, which increases the risk of infection, malnutrition and death many fold. Early initiation of breastfeeding and colostrum, as well as exclusive breastfeeding have been scientifically verified to benefit babies.

Congratulations, Tonga! Pacific island state eliminates lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem


MANILA, 31 JULY 2017 - The Kingdom of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean may be small in population, but it is kicking big goals in public health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has validated that the country has eliminated lymphatic filariasis — also known as elephantiasis — as a public health problem.

Lymphatic filariasis is a mosquito-borne disease that damages the lymphatic system, leading to severe disfigurement, pain and disability. For people affected by this disease, the impacts of disfigurement and the associated stigma are profound: people often lose their livelihoods, and suffer from psychological impacts such as depression and anxiety.

Papua New Guinea making significant strides in its battle against HIV

Over 95% of HIV cases in the Pacific are reported from just one country – Papua New Guinea. With a population of 7.6 million people, it has the most serious HIV burden of the 22 Pacific island countries and areas in the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region. However, Papua New Guinea is making significant strides in the formidable battle against HIV.

WHO Director-General

On 1 July 2017, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus begins his 5-year term as WHO’s new Director-General. Dr Tedros previously served as Minister of Health and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia and as Board Chair of the Global Fund and Roll Back Malaria Partnership. Dr Tedros plans to focus on five main areas of work during his tenure. They are: achieving universal health coverage; strengthening the capacity of national authorities and local communities to detect, prevent and manage health emergencies; improving the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents; addressing the health impacts of climate and environmental change; and building a transformed, transparent and accountable WHO.


Zika virus and complications

Zika virus and complications

Based on available information to date, it is highly likely that the Western Pacific Region will continue to report cases, and possibly new outbreaks of Zika virus infection.

Special Briefing on Zika

A special session on Zika was held on 10 October as part of the Western Pacific Regional Committee Meeting. This presentation was made by Dr Li Ailan, Director of Health Security and Emergencies.

Infographics

Download infographics on Zika virus and complications

World Hepatitis Day - 28 July

World Hepatitis Day 2017: Eliminate hepatitis

The World Hepatitis Day on 28 July 2017 is an opportunity to add momentum to all efforts to implement the WHO's first global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis for 2016-2021 and help Member States achieve the final goal - to eliminate hepatitis.

Tweets from WHO WPRO


WHO Highlights

  • WHO Director-General
    On 1 July 2017, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus begins his 5-year term as WHO’s new Director-General. Dr Tedros previously served as Minister of Health and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia and as Board Chair of the Global Fund and Roll Back Malaria Partnership. Dr Tedros plans to focus on five main areas of work during his tenure. They are: achieving universal health coverage; strengthening the capacity of national authorities and local communities to detect, prevent and manage health emergencies; improving the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents; addressing the health impacts of climate and environmental change; and building a transformed, transparent and accountable WHO.
  • World Health Day 2017 - Depression: Let's Talk
    7 April 2017 - World Health Day, celebrated on 7 April every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization, provides us with a unique opportunity to mobilize action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. The theme of our 2017 World Health Day campaign is depression. Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds.
  • Strategy for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Subregion (2015-2030)
    5 June 2017 - 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.

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 2016—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.