Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages could reduce childhood overweight and obesity in the Western Pacific Region

Emerging evidence identifies taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages as a key part of a comprehensive set of policies to address NCDs.

MANILA, 22 September 2016 - In the Western Pacific Region, childhood overweight and obesity are serious public health problems. More than 6.2 million children under 5 years of age are overweight in the Region. The prevalence of overweight among adolescents is increasing at alarming rates, reaching almost 60% in some Pacific island countries and more than 20% in some Asian countries.

Hong Kong SAR (China) achieves measles-free status

WHO/P. Virot

SYDNEY, 21 August 2016 – – The World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Verification Commission has confirmed that Hong Kong SAR (China) has achieved the interruption of endemic measles virus transmission. The city of more than 7 million joins Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Japan, Macao SAR (China) and the Republic of Korea as the countries and areas in the Western Pacific to have achieved measles-free status.

Member States call for stronger tobacco control measures to end tobacco industry interference

Viet Nam Tobacco Control Fund

MANILA, 16 September 2016 – Tobacco use kills approximately six million people every year worldwide. The Western Pacific Region has one third of the world's smokers and two people die every minute from tobacco-related diseases. It is estimated that in 2025, one fourth of the adult population would still be current smokers. As governments strive to put in place measures to reduce the rate of tobacco use, the tobacco industry continuously invents new tactics to interfere with such policies.

Growing antibiotic resistance forces updates to recommended treatment for sexually transmitted infections

GENEVA, 30 August 2016 – In response to the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, WHO has issued new treatment guidelines for 3 common sexually transmitted infections: chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. All 3 are generally curable with antibiotics, however they are becoming more difficult to treat, as some antibiotics are now failing due to misuse and overuse. The new recommendations are based on the latest available evidence.

Regional Director

Dr Shin Young-soo


Sixty-seventh session of the Regional Committee

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WHO Highlights

  • July 2016

    Mosquito borne diseases: Mosquitoes cause thousands of deaths every year

    Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Their ability to carry and spread disease to humans causes thousands of deaths every year. In 2015 malaria alone caused 438 000 deaths. The worldwide incidence of dengue has risen 30-fold in the past 30 years, and more countries are reporting their first outbreaks of the disease. Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever are all transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

  • 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.

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.