WHO announces a Public Health Emergency of International Concern


1 February 2016 — WHO announced today that the recent cluster of neurological disorders and neonatal malformations reported in the Americas region constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This comes after the International Health Regulation Emergency Committee agreed that a causal link between this cluster and Zika virus disease is strongly suspected. It constitutes an “extraordinary event” and a public health threat to other parts of the world.

Saving newborn babies’ lives

"Dr Chris Becha, Under Secretary of Health Improvement, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, together with health workers and stakeholders launch Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC) in the Solomon Islands.”

HONIARA, Solomon Islands – The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) today launched the Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC) package at the National Referral Hospital in an effort to save newborn babies’ lives. EENC is a package of actions and interventions that address the most common causes of newborn death or disease, such as prematurity (being born too soon), low birth weight and severe infection.

Universal Health Coverage – a Foundation for the Sustainable Development Goals

MANILA, 12 December 2015 – Held every year since 2012 on 12 December, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day gathers partners globally to reaffirm the urgency for greater action and progress towards UHC. WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific calls for countries to ensure good quality health services are accessible to all as it celebrates UHC Day. Dr. Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific said, “Every country – no matter how rich or poor – can do something now to improve access to good quality services, to improve financial protection and to improve efficiency.”

Malaysia and WHO tackle the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children

WHO/H. Lee

KUALA LUMPUR, 7 December 2015 – Recognizing the need to protect children from unhealthy diet, the Malaysian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) regional offices for South-East Asia and the Western Pacific convened a bi-regional workshop to guide Member States in restricting the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children.

Regional Director

Dr Shin Young-soo


Sixty-sixth session of the Regional Committee

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WHO Highlights

  • 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.

  • March 2015

    WHO response to Cyclone Pam

    The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with the Vanuatu Ministry of Health, international partners and aid organizations to assess the health impact caused by Cyclone Pam, the most powerful storm to pass through the South Pacific in more than a decade. Lives have been lost and thousands of homes have been destroyed in the cyclone, and WHO and the Ministry of Health are coordinating the response to address the challenges the Vanuatu people now face in its aftermath.

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.