Infection prevention and control in the Pacific

22 December 2014 – Infection prevention and control (IPC) are at the heart of infectious disease control. Whether it is preparation for the unlikely event of an imported case of Ebola, or controlling outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases, well-understood and implemented IPC procedures significantly reduce disease in both patients and healthcare workers. In order to ensure the Pacific is ready to respond to various outbreaks – including but not limited to Ebola - a three day workshop on IPC was carried out.

The Wantok Effect: Key populations and the HIV response in Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY, 18 December 2014 – Papua New Guinea has the highest HIV prevalence in the Pacific region, estimated at 0.8% in 2012. The nation is grappling with an HIV epidemic that is concentrated in marginalized and criminalized key populations including female sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM). Stigma associated with HIV and advice from influential churches for people to rely on prayer rather than antiretroviral treatment (ART) to heal themselves further complicate the situation.

Ensuring a future that is free from measles and rubella

WHO/D. Hodgson
Child receives the measles and rubella vaccine from a health worker.

VIENTIANE, 15 December 2014 – An estimated 1.6 million children aged between nine months and 10 years old benefited from an immunization campaign designed to eliminate measles and accelerate rubella disease control in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. International field monitors were deployed to all 17 provinces in the Lao People's Democratic Republic in one of the largest measles and rubella immunization campaigns in the country's history.

Preparing for Ebola to strengthen Solomon Islands' health systems

5 December 2014 — The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), is taking action to prepare for a possible imported case of Ebola virus disease. This has long-term benefits for the health system and frontline healthcare workers in Solomon Islands. Although the risk of Ebola spreading to Solomon Islands is still very low, the consequences of not responding quickly and effectively to a case could be severe.

Regional Director

Dr Shin Young-soo


Sixty-fifth session of the Regional Committee

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WHO Highlights

  • 9 December 2014

    World Malaria Report 2014

    GENEVA, Switzerland – The number of people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000 and malaria cases are also steadily declining, according to the World Malaria Report 2014. The report reveals that emerging parasite resistance to antimalarial medicines and mosquito resistance to insecticides, if unaddressed, could render some of the current tools ineffective and trigger a rise in global malaria mortality.

  • 20 November 2014

    WHO leads meeting to strengthen health security in the Pacific

    SUVA, Fiji – Health leaders from 21 Pacific island countries and areas will meet in Nadi, Fiji to discuss progress in the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) in the Pacific. Preparedness to respond to the deadly Ebola virus, should the virus be imported into the Pacific region by a traveller returning from West Africa, will be a key item for discussion.

  • October 2014

    WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific releases latest ageing and health fact sheet

    In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates. This population ageing can be seen as a success story for public health policies and for socioeconomic development, but it also challenges society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and functional capacity of older people and their participation and security.

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.