19 January 2015 - While the Cook Island’s population is fewer than 15 000, it has still managed to make significant strides in expanding actions to control noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) aligned with WHO’s global action plan. For example, they raised tobacco taxes for the past three consecutive years and recently launched a tobacco cessation programme. A new status report provides a baseline for the Cook Islands and other Pacific countries to measure success implementing NCD targets.
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.
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.
Highlights from WHO
The rates of childhood obesity are rising rapidly in many countries, and the number of overweight and obese children aged under 5 years is predicted to increase from more than 42 million in 2013 to 70 million by 2025. This second meeting of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO), 13–14 January, will consider evidence, interventions and options for tackling the epidemic.
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.