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Unlocking access to vital health information in Papua New Guinea

Access to the latest information is vital for today's health workers, but in places where resources are constrained, getting it can be challenging. In response to this, the World Health Organization (WHO) established the HINARI Access to Research for Health Programme together with major publishers in January 2002. Through HINARI, users in a number of low- and middle-income countries have free or low-cost access to one of the world's largest collections of biomedical and health literature.

Countries pledge to fund priority public health services; make medicines, the health workforce and food safer

BRISBANE, Australia, 12 October 2017 – Governments from across the Region today pledged to take action to ensure the safety of medicines and competence of health workers. They also agreed on frameworks for the financing of priority health services and for making food safer. Ministers and senior officials at the 68th session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for the Western Pacific also noted progress in areas of public health including: noncommunicable diseases, tobacco control, mental health, tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis, traditional medicine, and gender and health. WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attending the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific for the first time since he took office in July, said “I have come to realize that the world expects WHO to do three things: to keep the world safe, to improve health, and to serve the vulnerable And in many ways, we already do all three. But we can and must do better.”

World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros appoints Cook Islands’ Elizabeth Iro as WHO’s Chief Nursing Officer

BRISBANE, Australia, 12 October 2017 – Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today appointed Ms Elizabeth Iro as the Chief Nursing Officer at the World Health Organization (WHO). Ms Iro is a registered nurse, and the Cook Islands’ current Secretary of Health. With this announcement, Dr Tedros fulfils a commitment he made during his transition to the Director-General role to appoint a nurse to his senior team. “I am thrilled to welcome Ms Iro to our team as WHO’s Chief Nursing Officer,” said Dr Tedros.

Regional health leaders target elimination of: measles and rubella; HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis in babies

BRISBANE, Australia, 11 October 2017 – Ministers of health and senior officials from 37 countries and areas today endorsed regional action plans for eliminating measles and rubella, as well as mother-to-child transmission of HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis. They also called for action to protect children from the harmful impact of food marketing. In addition, they took steps to strengthen health promotion for sustainable development. On the third day of the 68th session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, delegates noted progress in the area of health security—making people safer from infectious disease outbreaks and health emergencies.

Zika virus and complications

Zika virus and complications

Based on available information to date, it is highly likely that the Western Pacific Region will continue to report cases, and possibly new outbreaks of Zika virus infection.

Special Briefing on Zika

A special session on Zika was held on 10 October as part of the Western Pacific Regional Committee Meeting. This presentation was made by Dr Li Ailan, Director of Health Security and Emergencies.


Download infographics on Zika virus and complications

World Hepatitis Day - 28 July

World Hepatitis Day 2017: Eliminate hepatitis

The World Hepatitis Day on 28 July 2017 is an opportunity to add momentum to all efforts to implement the WHO's first global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis for 2016-2021 and help Member States achieve the final goal - to eliminate hepatitis.

Tweets from WHO WPRO

WHO Highlights

  • WHO Director-General
    On 1 July 2017, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus begins his 5-year term as WHO’s new Director-General. Dr Tedros previously served as Minister of Health and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia and as Board Chair of the Global Fund and Roll Back Malaria Partnership. Dr Tedros plans to focus on five main areas of work during his tenure. They are: achieving universal health coverage; strengthening the capacity of national authorities and local communities to detect, prevent and manage health emergencies; improving the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents; addressing the health impacts of climate and environmental change; and building a transformed, transparent and accountable WHO.
  • World Health Day 2017 - Depression: Let's Talk
    7 April 2017 - 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.
  • Strategy for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Subregion (2015-2030)
    5 June 2017 - 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 2017—a year of decisive action to tackle the Region’s health challenges.