International perspectives on spinal cord injury
This World Health Organization (WHO) report assembles and summarizes information on spinal cord injury. It makes recommendations for actions based on this evidence that are consistent with the aspirations for people with disabilities as expressed in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
WHO Calls for Narrative Submissions - “What does ‘Health’ mean to you?”
WHO invites members of the public to reflect on their concept of health and submit a short 60-word narrative outlining what health means to them, or in other words, how do they define health. Participation is open to all; submissions from youth are particularly encouraged. Submissions must be in Arabic, French, or English, must be the original work of the author and previously unpublished.
A WHO panel will choose five submissions for their creativity and originality, and each will be awarded US$ 200.
The deadline for submissions is Monday 30 September 2013.
10 September World Suicide Prevention Day
10 September is the annual World Suicide Prevention Day, organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and supported by the World Health Organization. Its purpose is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide is preventable.
2013 video statement by IASP President: http://youtu.be/ollRR2x6JnA
World Health Report 2013
The World Health Organization launched its 2013 World Health Report today, entitled “Research for Universal Health Coverage.” Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, describes universal coverage as “the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer.” The report calls on countries to continue investing in local research in order to develop a system of universal health coverage tailored to each individual country’s situation.
Campaign in Somalia to Stop Growing Polio Outbreak
A serious polio outbreak in Somalia that began in May, according to WHO investigation, has grown such that there are now more confirmed cases in Somalia than in all other countries combined. Substantial areas of central and southern Somalia had not conducted vaccination activities since 2009.
To contain the outbreak, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and their partners have helped procure and distribute vaccines for 5 rounds of house-to-house vaccinations thus far. The Government of Japan, among other donors, has provided an emergency grant to provide oral polio vaccinations for more than 2.8 million children under 10 years old.
Resources on Polio
WHO Publishes New Malaria Prevention Field Guide
Across the Sahel sub-region of Africa, most childhood malaria mortality and morbidity occurs during the rainy season, which is generally short. The provision of effective malaria treatment at intervals during this period has been shown to prevent illness and death from malaria among children.
The World Health Organization’s new field guide provides the necessary technical and operational information and tools for country-level policy-makers and programme managers to decide on how to adopt and implement Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention.
WHO Releases New Guidelines on Post-Trauma Mental Healthcare
The World Health Organization has released new clinical protocols and guidelines to health-care workers for treating the mental health consequences of trauma and loss, having received “numerous requests for guidance for mental health care after trauma and loss” (Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health).
WHO is extending the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), scaling up care for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress and bereavement.
Mental Health Resources from the WHO:
Colombia Becomes First Country to Eliminate River Blindness
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan congratulated the Government of Colombia in an official letter of notification verifying elimination of onchocerciasis (“river blindness”), and urged it to “maintain vigilance to detect any future outbreaks” of the disease, which continues to circulate in other countries of Latin America.
Above image was retrieved from paho.org and is credited to WHO/TDR/Mark Edwards
World Hepatitis Day
Every year on 28 July, WHO and partners mark World Hepatitis Day to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes.
For 2013, the overall theme continues to be “This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it.” The campaign emphasizes the fact that hepatitis remains largely unknown as a health threat in much of the world.
WHO’s Hepatitis Resources:
Above Hepatitis B 3-D model was retrieved from sciencedaily.com and is credited to the Scripps Research Institute
United Nations to Establish Task Force on Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a resolution requesting the UN Secretary-General to establish a United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control on Noncommunicable Diseases. The Task Force will be convened and led by the WHO and will coordinate the activities of all UN organizations to implement the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020.
WHO Adolescent Health Report - Call for Participants
The World Health Organization is developing a report called “Health for the world’s adolescents” for publication in May 2014. The report will look at the health and development of adolescents, present summaries of what is known about adolescent health – including what promotes or undermines their health – and how communities and countries are meeting adolescents’ needs for health and development.
12-19-year-olds are encouraged to contribute with consent from a parent or guardian by: taking a survey, entering a photo competition, submitting a health story, or submitting another creative work. Health workers who work with adolescents are encouraged to take a survey.
Above photo was retrieved from who.int, attributed to Family Care International/Joey O’Loughlin.
Emergency Committee on MERS Coronavirus
An International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of international experts has been appointed to provide technical advice to the WHO Director-General on procedures and monitoring of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus.
The first meeting was convened on July 9, 2013, and a second scheduled for July 17.
Above image is credited to Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, retrieved from http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider
Further WHO Resources on MERS-CoV:
WHO: Global and regional estimates of violence against women
The WHO, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and South African Medical Research Council present the first global systematic review of scientific data on the prevalence of two forms of violence against women: violence by an intimate partner (intimate partner violence) and sexual violence by someone other than a partner (non-partner sexual violence). Global and Regional Estimates of Violence Against Women: Prevalence and health Effects of Intimate Partner Violence and Non-Partner Sexual Violence shows, for the first time, global and regional estimates of the prevalence of these two forms of violence, using data from around the world. Previous reporting on violence against women has not differentiated between partner- and nonpartner violence.
Above image is an infographic from the report, copyrighted by the World Health Organization.
WHO/UNICEF Progress Report on Sanitation & Drinking Water
Some 2.4 billion people will remain without access to improved sanitation in 2015, according to a new joint WHO/UNICEF report.According to the report, the world remains off track to meet the Millennium Development goal (MDg) sanitation target.
Among the key findings from the latest 2011 data, the report highlights:
- Almost two-thirds (64%) of the world’s population had access to improved sanitation facilities, an increase of almost 1.9 billion people since 1990.
- Approximately 2.5 billion people lacked access to an improved sanitation facility. Of these, 761 million use public or shared sanitation facilities and 693 million use facilities that do not meet minimum standards of hygiene.
- In 2011, one billion people still defecated in the open. 90% of all open defecation takes place in rural areas.
- By the end of 2011, 89% of the world population used an improved drinking-water source, and 55% had a piped supply on premises. This left an estimated 768 million people without improved sources for drinking water, of whom 185 million relied on surface water for their daily needs.
- There continues to be a striking disparity between those living in rural areas and those who live in cities. Urban dwellers make up three-quarters of those with access to piped water supplies at home. Rural communities comprise 83% of the global population without access to improved drinking water source and 71 per cent of those living without sanitation.
The report titled Progress on sanitation and drinking-water 2013 update is available here in english.
World Malaria Day, 25 April, 2013
On World Malaria Day, 25 April, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes significant accomplishments in preventing and controlling malaria, including in high-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but highlights the threat of antimalarial drug resistance in south-east Asia’s Greater Mekong subregion, where an emergency response is now being launched.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Malaria kills an estimated 660,000 people worldwide, mainly children under five years of age, according WHO.
World Malaria Day was instituted by WHO Member States in 2007. It is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. It is also an opportunity for new donors to join the global malaria partnership, and for research and academic institutions to showcase their scientific work.