Noncommunicable diseases prematurely take 16 million lives every year, WHO urges countries to invest in "best buy" interventions

WHO/C. Doan

MANILA, 19 January 2015 – Urgent action is needed to reduce the increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and prevent the annual toll of 16 million people dying prematurely – before the age of 70 – from heart and lung disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, according to a new World Health Organization report. The Western Pacific Region is one of two WHO regions in which deaths due to NCDs have increased the most, from 8.6 million in 2000 to 10.9 million in 2012. It is also the WHO region which accounts for the highest number of lives lost to NCDs.

Update on the cluster of HIV cases, Roka Commune, Sang Ker District, Battambang Province

WHO/V. Houssiere
WHO Technical Officer Dany Eng interviews a resident of Roka Commune.

PHNOM PENH, 9 January 2015 – Between 8 to 31 December, 2014, a total of 1940 people from Roka Commune, voluntarily undertook HIV testing and counselling and 212 people tested positive for HIV. Among the people who tested HIV positive, 174 (82%) are from Roka Village. Among the total of 212 diagnoses, 39 people (18%) are 14 years old or younger, 127 (60%) are between 15 and 59 years old and 46 (22%) are 60 years old or older.

2014: Pacific year in review

WHO/J. Rivaca

2 January 2015 – The Pacific responded to a number of challenges in 2014, from outbreaks of vector-borne diseases to strengthening capacity to respond to public health threats such as Ebola. At the same time, work to combat the NCD crisis accelerated, through, for example, the launch of the Tobacco Free Pacific initiative and salt reduction activities. The Pacific voice was heard on the global stage at the World Health Assembly and the 3rd International Conference on Small Islands Developing States.

Infection prevention and control in the Pacific

22 December 2014 – Infection prevention and control (IPC) are at the heart of infectious disease control. Whether it is preparation for the unlikely event of an imported case of Ebola, or controlling outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases, well-understood and implemented IPC procedures significantly reduce disease in both patients and healthcare workers. In order to ensure the Pacific is ready to respond to various outbreaks – including but not limited to Ebola - a three day workshop on IPC was carried out.

Regional Director

Dr Shin Young-soo


Sixty-fifth session of the Regional Committee

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WHO Highlights

  • 9 December 2014

    World Malaria Report 2014

    GENEVA, Switzerland – The number of people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000 and malaria cases are also steadily declining, according to the World Malaria Report 2014. The report reveals that emerging parasite resistance to antimalarial medicines and mosquito resistance to insecticides, if unaddressed, could render some of the current tools ineffective and trigger a rise in global malaria mortality.

  • 20 November 2014

    WHO leads meeting to strengthen health security in the Pacific

    SUVA, Fiji – Health leaders from 21 Pacific island countries and areas will meet in Nadi, Fiji to discuss progress in the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) in the Pacific. Preparedness to respond to the deadly Ebola virus, should the virus be imported into the Pacific region by a traveller returning from West Africa, will be a key item for discussion.

  • October 2014

    WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific releases latest ageing and health fact sheet

    In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates. This population ageing can be seen as a success story for public health policies and for socioeconomic development, but it also challenges society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and functional capacity of older people and their participation and security.

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 2014—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.