Zika: We must be ready for the long haul

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO

Commentary
1 February 2017

On 1 February 2016, I declared that the Zika outbreak sweeping through the Americas was a public health emergency of international concern. That was not an easy call. But looking back, it was the right one.

Tobacco control boosts economies

09 January 2017- Tobacco control policies are not harmful to the economy and have untapped potential for protecting and promoting growth and development, according to a report jointly released last month by the National Cancer Institute of the United States of America and WHO.

Pacific islands continue to progress towards Tobacco Free Pacific 2025

Representatives from Fiji and Cook Islands sharing experiences. Photo - WHO DPS

29 September 2016 – Representatives from 13 Pacific islands countries shared their progress and identified actions to address barriers to tobacco control at a Workshop for Progressing Toward Tobacco Free Pacific from 28-29 September in Nadi, Fiji.

Safe drinking water for rural communities in Fiji

Staff of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, WHO and UNICEF with newly purchased Potalab and Potatest water testing kits in September 2016

SUVA, 25 September 2016 – More than 220 000 people living in rural areas in Fiji rely on creeks and rivers to supply fresh water. Fiji’s Ministry of Health & Medical Services (MOHMS), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are working together to improve capacities for water quality monitoring.

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

  • December 2016

    Protecting children from unhealthy foods and drinks

    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.

  • December 2016

    Rehabilitation: Key to creating enabling environments

    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.

  • March 2016

    WHO support Fiji in response to Tropical Cyclone Winston.

    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.

  • February 2016

    WHO announces a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

    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.

  • February 2016

    Films showing smoking scenes should be rated

    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".

  • July 2015

    Do your part to prevent hepatitis

    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

2014 Pacific year in review

Major stories from the Pacific in 2014

Working with Pacific partners

Collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

WHO Multi-Country Cooperation Strategy for the Pacific 2013–2017 (MCCS)

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
Email: wpfjiwr@who.int