Latest news

Pacific leadership in new WHO global commission on noncommunicable diseases

SUVA, Fiji, 13 March 2018: Globally communities are struggling to cope with the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancers. In another step forward in combatting this epidemic, WHO has established an Independent Global High-level Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases, where the Tongan Minister of Health and Public Enterprises, Dr Saia Ma’u Piukala, has been appointed as one of the commissioners who will help raise awareness of the issues and experiences of NCDs in the Pacific.

Working together to protect health after Cyclone Gita

26 February 2018 – The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with governments and partners to protect people's health in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Gita, a Category 4 storm with winds of more than 275 kilometres per hour that tore through the Pacific in early February.
As the country most affected by the cyclone, Tonga is the focus of WHO's support. From 12 to 13 February, the storm ravaged the main island of Tongatapu and nearby 'Eua.

Kiribati Butiraoi ferry disaster

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) send their deepest condolences to the people of Kiribati following the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. This is a tragic event for the country of Kiribati, and we extend our thoughts to those affected families and communities.

WHO and UNICEF are closely coordinating with the Government of Kiribati to support the emergency response.

Healthy Islands: South Pacific Tourism Organisation and World Health Organization forge new partnership

SUVA, Fiji, 17 January 2018 – The World Health Organization and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation join forces to promote healthy tourism in the Pacific. Through a new partnership, the organizations commit to promoting the health and well-being of tourists and the tourism workforce by establishing smoke-free public places, increasing access to healthy local food options and physical activities and improving accessibility for persons with disabilities in the tourism sector.

Director of Pacific Technical Support/WHO Representative

fact buffet

85%of children in most Pacific island countries and areas are vaccinated.

Public health successes in the Pacific

90%of most Pacific island countries and areas have access to clean water.

Environmental health

15%drop in under 5 mortality rate in the past two decades in the Pacific.

Child health

Highlights from WHO

  • Protecting children from unhealthy foods and drinks
    December 2016 - The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific today launched an important new tool to protect children from unhealthy foods and drinks. The regional Nutrient Profile Model will help governments and policy-makers to more easily identify food and non-alcoholic beverages that should not be marketed to children. Nutrient profiles rank foods by their nutritional composition. As such, they are critical tools for the implementation of restrictions on the marketing of foods and beverages to children.
  • Rehabilitation: Key to creating enabling environments
    December 2016 - The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 15% of the global population experience disability. This equates to around 270 million people in the Western Pacific Region. Many of these people encounter participation restrictions that significantly impact their ability to access health care and rehabilitation.
  • MOH and partners discussed ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the health sector
    March 2016 - 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.
  • WHO announces a Public Health Emergency of International Concern
    February 2016 - WHO announced today that the recent cluster of neurological disorders and neonatal malformations reported in the Americas region constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This comes after the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee agreed that a causal link between this cluster and Zika virus disease is strongly suspected. It constitutes an “extraordinary event” and a public health threat to other parts of the world.
  • Films showing smoking scenes should be rated
    February 2016 - Movies showing tobacco products have enticed millions of young people worldwide to start smoking, according to the new WHO "Smoke-free movies: from evidence to action".
  • Do your part to prevent hepatitis
    July 2015 - Nearly 40% of global deaths attributable to viral hepatitis occur in the Western Pacific, more than the combined death toll from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. To mark World Hepatitis Day on 28 July, WHO in the Western Pacific Region urges policy-makers, health workers and the public to take action to stop infection and death from hepatitis B and C.

WHO's work in the South Pacific

Contact information

World Health Organization
Level 4, Provident Plaza One
Downtown Boulevard, 33 Ellery Street
Suva, Fiji

P. O. Box 113,
Suva, Fiji

Telephone: (679) 323 4100
Fax: (679) 323 4166
(679) 323 4177