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Stop overuse and misuse of antibiotics: combat resistance


MANILA, 10 November 2017 – Amid growing concern over drug-resistant superbugs, the World Health Organization (WHO), communities, health workers, and government officials around Asia and the Pacific are joining together in calling for overuse and misuse of antibiotics to stop. Antibiotic resistance is rising to very concerning levels in all parts of the world, threatening the ability to treat common infections.

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.

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.


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World Antibiotic Awareness Week

13-19 November 2017

Stop overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Combat resistance.



Antibiotic Awareness Week aims to increase awareness of antibiotic resistance and promote the correct use of antibiotics across all sectors to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

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Countries in focus

  • Philippines: Four years after Haiyan: Building national teams following lessons learnt
    November 2017
    On 8 November 2013, the world watched as the strongest typhoon ever seen pummelled through the Philippines, taking over seven thousand lives and affecting an estimated sixteen million people in the archipelagic country. Within days international emergency medical teams rushed to help but were met with many challenges that prompted the government-led coordination of over 150 teams in the response.
  • Standardizing TB service delivery in Papua New Guinea
    November 2017
    Papua New Guinea’s National Department of Health through its National TB Programme in partnership with WHO has successfully completed two batches of Training of Trainers (TOT) using new standardized training modules for TB and drug resistant TB (DR-TB). This TOT will help in nationwide capacity building of the trainers who in turn will roll out similar trainings at the provincial level.
  • Republic of Korea: Learning from an outbreak to improve health security
    October 2017
    The Republic of Korea has translated hard lessons from the 2015 MERS outbreak into enhanced capacity to manage health threats. This is a key conclusion of the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) mission to the country, which took place 28 August to 1 September 2017. A JEE assesses a country’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond rapidly to public health threats, in line with the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005). External evaluators work with national teams to evaluate 19 technical areas of work covering 48 indicators.
  • Pacific Resilience Week
    October 2017
    From the 2nd to 6th October, regional leaders and experts from the climate change, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian sectors came together for Pacific Resilience Week in Suva, Fiji. Under the banner ‘Pathways to a Resilient Pacific’, the event covers disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery and climate change and brings together community leaders and experts from across the region with key agencies to strengthen partnerships for a Resilient Pacific.

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.