Immunization can save a million and a half more lives in WHO’s Western Pacific Region

WHO/Y. Shimizu
Motorbike is the usual mode of transport for most of the health workers in Lao PDR to bring the vaccine carrier and other injection supplies to far-flung villages under their catchment areas.

MANILA, 24 April 2017 — Despite the proven effectiveness of vaccines and the tens of millions of lives they have saved, an estimated 400 000 people die needlessly every year in the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Western Pacific Region from diseases that vaccines could prevent. Vaccines save up to 3 million lives each year worldwide from infectious diseases, such as hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, measles and polio. Still, nearly 2.3 million children in the Region each year are not fully immunized against these threats.

World Malaria Day focuses on wiping out the disease

WHO/Y. Shimizu
A health worker from a community health station visits a family in Khanh Hoa province, Viet Nam as part of malaria rapid diagnostic testing, prevention and control activities.

MANILA, 24 April 2017 — On World Malaria Day, commemorated every 25 April, WHO is calling for increased political and financial commitment to wipe out a disease that continues to kill more than 400 000 people each year. This year’s theme — End Malaria for Good — focuses on the need for sustained investment and political commitment to reduce malaria cases and deaths with prevention, control and elimination efforts.

Tobacco - China’s addiction to an outdated and impoverishing economy

BEIJING, 14 April 2017 – Smoking-related diseases are on track to claim more than 200 million lives in China this century, a new joint WHO/UNDP report warns. The majority of these deaths will occur in China’s poorest and most vulnerable communities unless critical steps are taken to reduce China’s dependency on tobacco.

WHO “Depression: let’s talk” campaign calls for end to mental health stigma

7 April 2017 - Recently released data from the World Health Organization revealed depression as the leading contributor to disability worldwide. Moreover, between 2005 and 2015, the number of people living with depression grew to over 300 million people globally – an increase of over 18%. Less than half of people living with depression are receiving treatment – because of fear and discrimination arising from stigma, and lack of available services.

WHO Highlights

  • 7 April 2017

    World Health Day 2017
    Depression: Let's Talk

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.