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.
5 December 2014 - The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), is taking action to prepare for a possible imported case of Ebola virus disease. This has long-term benefits for the health system and frontline healthcare workers in Solomon Islands. Although the risk of Ebola spreading to Solomon Islands is still very low, the consequences of not responding quickly and effectively to a case could be severe.
3 December 2014 – Hundreds of families in Vanuatu accessed free health services such as eye screening and child immunization, thanks to the leadership of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu, with support from the Vanuatu Ministry of Health and WHO. This event is part of growing Pacific-wide movement where communities and local organizations are reaching beyond their normal activities to promote health.
1 December 2014 - World AIDS Day 2014, today, is an opportunity to harness the power of social change to close the access gap. Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 is possible, but only by closing the gap between people who have access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services and people who are being left behind. Closing the gap means empowering and enabling all people, everywhere, to access the services they need.
Highlights from WHO
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". Between 2000 and 2013, the malaria mortality rate decreased by 47% worldwide.
While the risk of a travel-related case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Western Pacific Region is not high, the consequences could be significant. To assess Member State preparedness for a potential EVD outbreak, the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific conducted a country preparedness survey and facilitated a simulation exercise in October 2014.
WHO’s first Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer reveals that drowning claims the lives of 372 000 people each year and is among the 10 leading causes of death for children and young people in every region.