MANILA, 23 May 2013 – The closure of live bird markets in China seems to have reduced human infections with avian influenza A(H7N9), according to a new paper in the Western Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal. "Taken together the data do suggest that closure of LBMs (live bird markets) has reduced human infections in the areas where the closures were implemented," write the authors, all health specialists with the World Health Organization or the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. No new cases of H7N9 have been reported to WHO since 8 May. The total number of reported cases stands at 131, with 36 deaths.
GENEVA, 22 May 2012 – A milestone in the global fight against tobacco happened on 1 December 2012. This is when Australia’s path-breaking law on plain packaging of tobacco products came into full effect. The World Health Organization stands firmly behind Australia and all countries that face intimidation from the tobacco industry. New Zealand has announced its intention to introduce similar legislation, and France, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the European Union are also considering tougher packaging laws for tobacco products.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 9 MAY 2013 - The emergence in the Greater Mekong Subregion of resistance to artemisinin, the frontline drug against malaria, poses a serious potential threat to global health, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr Shin Young-soo warned on World Malaria Day. Dr Shin spoke at the launch of WHO's "Emergency Response to Artemisinin Response in the Greater Mekong Subregion" framework—a cross-border, multi-pronged initiative designed to provide the six countries of the Subregion with the strategic direction to beat resistance to artemisinin.
SOLOMON ISLANDS, 8 May 2013 – Early-warning surveillance systems are crucial to identify post-disaster disease outbreaks. This photo story tells how a surveillance system was implemented in Solomon Islands after a tsunami and shows some of the logistical challenges of deploying a new system in this remote island context.
Highlights from the Region
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.
15 March 2013
WHO Healthy Islands Recognition 2012-2013
FIJI – Healthy Pacific islands are places where children are nurtured in body and mind; where environments invite learning and leisure; where people work and age with dignity; where ecological balance is a source of pride; and where the oceans that sustain life are protected. They are places that fully address the islands' triple burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases and of diseases resulting from climate change. To recognize the great work that is being done in making the Healthy Islands concept a reality, WHO invites applications for the WHO Healthy Islands Recognition 2012-2013. Eligible applicants include communities—such as schools, workplaces, faith-based groups, villages, districts and provinces—and governmental and nongovernmental organizations and agencies in 21 Pacific Island countries, territories and areas. Recognition will be given in two categories: best practice and best proposal. For detailed information, including instructions on how to apply, please click on the link at the bottom of this announcement. The deadline for submission is 31 March 2013.