News & Information       http://info.owt.com

General Science & Health

04/06/2020   WHO News
A new report, The State of the World’s Nursing 2020, provides an in-depth look at the largest component of the health workforce. Findings identify important gaps in the nursing workforce and priority areas for investment in nursing education, jobs, and leadership to strengthen nursing around the world and improve health for all.
04/06/2020   WHO News

7 April 2020 - Nurses account for more than half of all the world’s health workers, providing vital services throughout the health system. Around the world they are demonstrating their compassion, bravery and courage as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and never before has their value been more clearly demonstrated.

A new report, by WHO in partnership with the International Council of Nurses and Nursing Now, released today, reveals that, there are just under 28 million nurses worldwide. Between 2013 and 2018, nursing numbers increased by 4.7 million. But this still leaves a global shortfall of 5.9 million - with the greatest gaps found in countries in Africa, South East Asia and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region as well as some parts of Latin America.

The State of the World’s Nursing 2020, provides an in-depth look at the largest component of the health workforce. Findings identify important gaps in the nursing workforce and priority areas for investment in nursing education, jobs, and leadership to strengthen nursing around the world and improve health for all.

Quotes:

Nurses are the backbone of any health system. Today, many nurses find themselves on the frontline in the battle against Covid-19This report is a stark reminder of the unique role they play, and a wakeup call to ensure they get the support they need to keep the world healthy.” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General

 Politicians understand the cost of educating and maintaining a professional nursing workforce, but only now are many of them recognising their true value. Every penny invested in nursing raises the wellbeing of people and families in tangible ways that are clear for everyone to see. This report highlights the nursing contribution and confirms that investment in the nursing profession is a benefit to society, not a cost.” Annette Kennedy, ICN President

 “This report places much-needed data and evidence behind calls to strengthen nursing leadership, advance nursing practice, and educate the nursing workforce for the future, said. The policy options reflect actions we believe all countries can take over the next ten years to ensure there are enough nurses in all countries, and that nurses use of the full extent of their education, training, and professional scope to enhance primary health care delivery and respond to health emergencies such as COVID-19.  This must start with broad and intersectoral dialogue which positions the nursing evidence in the context of a country’s health system, health workforce, and health priorities.” Lord Nigel Crisp, Co-Chair of Nursing Now

04/06/2020   WHO News
‘One World: Together At Home’ Global Special to Air on Saturday, April 18 in Celebration and Support of Healthcare Workes, Broadcast to Feature Real Experiences from Doctors, Nurses and Families Around the World. Historic Broadcast to be Hosted by Jimmy Fallon of ‘The Tonight Show,’ Jimmy Kimmel of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ and Stephen Colbert of ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’ Friends from Sesame Street Also on Hand to Help Unify and Inspire People Around the World to Take Meaningful Actions that Increase Support for the Global COVID-19 Response Curated in Collaboration with Lady Gaga, Broadcast to Include Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, FINNEAS, Idris and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Wonder
04/06/2020   Wired Science
That famous map of the tongue, with the different sections for bitter, sweet, salty, and sour? Way wrong. Here’s the fascinating truth.
04/06/2020   WHO News

Test de dépistage rapide du VIH falsifié circulant dans les régions OMS des Amériques et de l'Afrique 

This Medical Product Alert relates to a confirmed falsified human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in vitro diagnostic medical device (IVD) that has been identified circulating in Guyana and Kenya.

Through its Global Surveillance and Monitoring System (GSMS) for substandard/falsified medical products, WHO was informed that at least 8,240 falsified rapid diagnostic tests to detect HIV-1/2 have been distributed in Guyana at end-user level. The product is Uni-Gold™ HIV and claims to be manufactured by Trinity Biotech plc. Subsequent reports revealed that the same falsified product is also circulating in Kenya.
Uni-Gold™ HIV is a single-use rapid diagnostic test – an immunoassay for the qualitative detection of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in serum, plasma and whole blood. Uni-Gold™ HIV is intended for use in point of care settings as an aid in diagnosis of HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection.

The WHO testing strategy recommends three HIV reactive test results to confirm an HIV-positive status in a patient. The use of this falsified Uni-Gold™ HIV, subject of WHO medical product alert n°2 of 2020, is likely to lead to delayed diagnosis of HIV status.

Table 1: Specific details of the falsified product Uni-Gold™ HIV, subject of WHO Medical Product Alert n°2 of 2020

Product Name

Uni-Gold™ HIV

Uni-Gold™ HIV
Product code12065021206502

Lot Number

HIV7120026

HIV6120030

Expiry Date

5 DEC 2020

29 JUL 20

Stated manufacturer

Trinity Biotech

Trinity Biotech 

The packaging of this falsified HIV test kit is in English.

The genuine manufacturer (Trinity Biotech plc) has confirmed that:

  • They did not manufacture the falsified product in Table 1.
  • Genuine lot HIV7120026 and HIV6120030 was made by Trinity Biotech plc and expired in 2019.
  • The expiry date is incorrect and does not correspond with their batch manufacturing records.

Photographs of the above-referenced products are available on page 2 and advice to the public is available on page 3.

Figure 1 – Falsified Uni-Gold™ HIV, lot number HIV7120026, displaying falsified expiry date

Falsified UniGold HIV Images 1 and 2 Alert

Figure 2 – Falsified Uni-Gold™ HIV, displaying labelling inconsistencies

Falsified UniGold HIV Image 3 Alert

Figure 3 – Falsified Uni-Gold™ HIV, lot number HIV6120030, displaying falsified expiry date

Advice on action to be taken by end-users:

  • Please check to see if any Uni-Gold™ HIV test kits in your facility have lot number HIV7120026 or HIV6120030.
  • If you are in possession of these falsified test kits with lot number HIV7120026 or HIV6120030.

Please do not use.

  1. Please immediately contact the organization that supplied you with the product (either your HIV testing programme, nongovernmental organization or local distributor).
  2. Please contact Trinity Biotech plc
    Phone : +353 1 276 9800
    E-mail : hiv@trinitybiotech.com
  3. Please contact your national health authorities

All medical products must be obtained from authentic and reliable sources. Their authenticity and condition should be carefully checked.

Advice on action to be taken by national health authorities:

WHO requests increased scrutiny within the supply chains of all countries, particularly at testing sites (health facilities, community-based), clinical laboratories, medical stores/warehouses, and at the facilities of relevant economic operators (agents, authorized representatives, distributors, wholesalers, etc.).

If falsified test kits with lot numbers HIV7120026 or HIV6120030 are discovered, please do not use.

National health authorities are asked to immediately inform WHO, if these falsified products are discovered in their country using the WHO IVD complaint form.

If you have any information concerning the manufacture, distribution, or supply of this product, please contact rapidalert@who.int

WHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for Substandard and Falsified Medical Products

For further information, please visit our website: https://www.who.int/medicines/regulation/ssffc/en/  

04/06/2020   Wired Science
Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan had flattened the curve. Then travelers from the US and Europe began reimporting the virus.
04/06/2020   WHO News

FIFA has joined forces with the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in supporting the #BeActive campaign launched on the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace to encourage people to be #HealthyAtHome as the world comes together in the fight against COVID-19, today and every day.

WHO recommends all healthy adults do at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity and children at least 60 minutes per day. As part of this, #BeActive and remain #HealthyAtHome include the following suggestions along with any other form of recreation to stay healthy at home:

  1. Taking some online exercise classes,
  2. Dancing,
  3. Playing active video games,
  4. Jumping rope, and
  5. Practising muscle strength and balance training.

“We are delighted that football is strongly supporting the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by asking everyone to #BeActive and to remain healthy at home during this difficult time,” said António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations. “FIFA has asked the football community, from member associations and clubs, to players and fans, to show their support, to put their rivalries aside and to show a new solidarity so we can overcome the coronavirus. This is an important lesson not only for today, but for every day.”

“More than ever, especially now, one thing must be clear to everyone, health comes first,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “FIFA is delighted to support both the United Nations and the World Health Organization in amplifying the #BeActive campaign today, and we are encouraged that the football community is also playing an active role in ensuring the message understood globally. For the first time ever, we are all on the same team and together, with team spirit and positive energy, we will win.” 

“WHO is proud to collaborate as part of the UN family with FIFA and football lovers worldwide to promote the importance of being active for both physical and mental health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “The #BeActive campaign supports WHO’s drive to help people be healthy at home.”

The campaign kicks off with Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC asking football fans to set aside their rivalries and to come together to #BeActive in order to defeat the coronavirus. Other clubs, including Club América, CD Guadalajara, Beijing Guoan FC, Shanghai Shenhua FC, Mohun Bagan AC, East Bengal FC, Melbourne City FC, Sydney FC, Auckland City FC, Team Wellington FC, CA River Plate, Olympique de Marseille, TP Mazembe, CR Flamengo and SE Palmeiras will also join the initiative in the coming days.

As part of the campaign, world-famous players share the following message: “At this time, even rivals need to stick together. We have to keep our distance, but we do not lose our focus. We can show solidarity by being active, and active means following the guidelines from the WHO.”

The video campaign will be published on various FIFA digital channels, with regular subsequent updates from clubs and players across the world during subsequent days. #BeActive is also being supported with graphics toolkits for the 211 FIFA member associations and various media agencies to facilitate additional localisation and to further amplify the message.

WHO, the UN’s specialized health agency, and FIFA, football’s world governing body, collaborate closely to promote healthy lifestyles through football globally and launched the “ Pass the message to kick out coronavirus” campaign last month to share advice effective measures to protect people from COVID-19.

The video campaign can also be downloaded here for editorial purposes.

 

 

04/06/2020   WHO News

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the resilience of robust health systems around the world. Recognizing the heavy toll that malaria exacts on vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the region’s fragile health infrastructure, WHO underlines the critical importance of sustaining efforts to prevent, detect and treat malaria.

“As COVID-19 continues its rapid spread, WHO would like to send a clear message to malaria-affected countries in Africa,” said Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “Do not scale back your planned malaria prevention, diagnostic and treatment activities. If someone living in a place with malaria develops a fever, he or she should seek diagnosis and care as soon as possible.”

Ensuring access to core malaria prevention measures is an important strategy for reducing the strain on health systems; these include vector control measures, such as insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying, as well as chemoprevention for pregnant women and young children (intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy, intermittent preventive treatment in infants and seasonal malaria chemoprevention). Additional special measures could ease the burden on health systems in the context of COVID-19, such as presumptive malaria treatment and mass drug administration.

Any interventions must consider the importance of both lowering malaria-related mortality and ensuring the safety of communities and health workers. WHO will provide guidance for countries to safely maintain essential health services in the context of the COVID-19 response.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Essential information on the COVID-19 pandemic can be found in a dedicated WHO site.

About malaria

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. In 2018, there were an estimated 228 million cases of malaria worldwide and 405 000 malaria-related deaths. For more on malaria, visit: www.who.int/malaria

04/06/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: CDC Urges All Americans to Wear Face Masks
Category: Health News
Created: 4/4/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 4/5/2020 12:00:00 AM
04/06/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: Can Coronavirus Spread Through the Air -- Talking, Exhalation?
Category: Health News
Created: 4/5/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 4/5/2020 12:00:00 AM
04/06/2020   MedicineNet Daily Health
Title: How Long Does Coronavirus Stay on Clothes and Laundry?
Category: Health News
Created: 4/5/2020 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 4/5/2020 12:00:00 AM
04/05/2020   Wired Science
Nobel Prize–winning physicist Steven Weinberg's new paper tackles the mystery of why the laws of nature appear to have been composed in triplicate.
04/05/2020   Wired Science
A new report weighs the damage from record heat and raging bushfires, and concludes that the environmental damage is on an “unprecedented scale.”
04/05/2020   Wired Science
WIRED editor in chief Nicholas Thompson and senior correspondent Adam Rogers answer reader questions about the scientific and social consequences of the pandemic.
04/04/2020   Wired Science
Earth aside, all the planets in our solar system were named after Greek and Roman gods.
04/04/2020   Wired Science
What could be better than sailing 30 feet through the air for a two-hand jam? Staying home and analyzing it\!
04/04/2020   WHO News
On Monday April 6, WHO will host a virtual meeting to facilitate communication, collaboration and exchange between National Ethics Committees from around the world.
04/03/2020   Wired Science
US Food and Drug Administration officials approved nationwide tests of two treatments, both derived from the blood of people who have survived the disease.
04/03/2020   WHO News

WHO and UNICEF today announced an agreement to work together on COVID-19 response, through the historic COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund powered by the United Nations Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation.  

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has been set up to facilitate an unprecedented global response by supporting the WHO Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. As part of the agreement, an initial portion of the money from the Fund – which currently stands at more than $127 million – will flow to UNICEF for its work with vulnerable children and communities all over the world.

“COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic requiring extraordinary global solidarity to urgently respond,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “I’m pleased that UNICEF joined the Solidarity Response Fund. With their extensive experience both in fundraising and in implementing programmes, this partnership will help us to work together closely to save lives.”

The money collected through the fund will be used, among others, to train and equip communities and health-care workers to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19. It will help countries expand their health-care capacity and mitigate its social impact, especially on women, children and vulnerable social groups. And it will accelerate research and development of treatments and preventive vaccines.

As a key partner in this joined-up effort, UNICEF will lead emergency efforts to ensure families and communities in the most vulnerable countries are fully engaged in the response and have access to water, sanitation and hygiene and other infection prevention and control measures. UNICEF will also ensure children, caretakers, and frontline responders such as social workers, teachers and healthcare workers are supported through evidence-based guidance through its vast community outreach and country programs.

“This is an extraordinary emergency that demands an extraordinary response, and we need all-hands on deck—individuals, corporations, foundations, governments and other organizations around the world,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “UNICEF is pleased to join the Solidarity Response Fund. It will bolster our efforts to strengthen health and sanitation systems and help protect the most vulnerable families from knock-on impacts of COVID-19 on already overstretched health systems.”

Funds raised will be spent in alignment with the global response plan, and where needs are greatest. At the direction of WHO leadership, it is expected that resources will go directly toward:

  • WHO, for its work to track the spread of the virus, assess gaps and needs, equip frontline health workers with personal protective equipment, ensure lab and testing tools are available in countries around the world, and keep communities and frontline responders informed with the latest technical guidance.
  • UNICEF, to ensure children and families around the world are equipped with all the evidence-based information and latest WHO guidance as well as locally relevant information to protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19; to support vulnerable countries by providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and basic infection prevention and control measures; and to provide access to care for vulnerable families and children.
  • CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a key partner leading the financing for research and development for novel vaccines to combat COVID-19, working closely with WHO.

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund was set up at WHO’s request by the UN Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation and launched three weeks ago. It is the only way for individuals and organizations to contribute directly to WHO’s global efforts to tackle the pandemic. To date the fund has $127 million raised or committed from more than 219,000 individuals from all over the world plus more than 90 global companies and organizations. The partnership is also a tremendous demonstration of solidarity across UN organizations in coordinating, partnering and supporting each other in dealing with the immediate and longer-term impact of the pandemic. 

“There has never been a more urgent need for global cooperation,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO of the UN Foundation. “The COVID-19 pandemic shows us that we all can play a part to stop the spread. The incredible generosity shown to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund from around the world will help WHO, UNICEF, CEPI and partners accelerate their lifesaving work, especially to support the most vulnerable communities and speed the development of a vaccine.”

###

Notes to editors

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

About WHO

WHO is the United Nations’ specialized agency for health. It is an inter-governmental organization and works in collaboration with its Member States usually through the Ministries of Health. The World Health Organization is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. Learn more at www.who.int.

About the United Nations Foundation

The UN Foundation brings together ideas, people, and resources to help the United Nations drive global progress and tackle urgent problems. Our hallmark is to collaborate for lasting change and innovate to address humanity’s greatest challenges. Learn more at www.unfoundation.org.

04/03/2020   Wired Science
The search giant is disclosing trends in visits to broad categories of places, as a tool for public health officials.
04/03/2020   Wired Science
No, drinking water won’t flush the virus out of your mouth. Here’s how to inoculate yourself against bad Covid-19 information.
04/03/2020   WHO News
WHO has received overwhelming pro-bono support from technology companies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has triggered an unprecedented demand for digital health technology solutions and has revealed successful solutions such as for population screening, tracking the infection, prioritizing the use and allocation of resources, and designing targeted responses.
04/03/2020   Wired Science
Scientists can’t say for certain why the current pandemic is discriminating by sex, but it likely comes down to biology, lifestyle, and behavior. 
04/03/2020   Wired Science
To swap out the spent uranium rods, hundreds of technicians from around the country must work in close quarters for weeks. That’s a challenge during a quarantine.
04/03/2020   Wired Science
Instead of coding a mechanical quadruped's movements line by line, Google researchers fed it videos of real-life pups. Now it can even chase its tail.
04/02/2020   Wired Science
The US is short of ventilators to help Covid-19 patients breathe. Ford, GM, and satellite-launch company Virgin Orbit are trying to fill the gap.
04/02/2020   WHO News
Documentation leading to the donation of an essential antiparasitic medicine for the treatment of Chagas disease to the World Health Organization (WHO) is in the final stage of preparation. A three-year agreement, between the Mundo Sano Foundation (Brazil) and WHO, is expected to make available 108 000 tablets of the paediatric formulation of benznidazole – a first-line medicine against Chagas disease. Treatment with benznidazole in the early stages of infection can cure Chagas disease.
04/02/2020   WHO News
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Catalan Ministry of Health say they will jointly support the dissemination of a programme that provides support to patients suffering from Chagas disease to manage their own health and promote self-care.
04/02/2020   Wired Science
As the coronavirus spreads, unhoused people are among the most vulnerable to infection.
04/02/2020   Wired Science
The president is presiding over a public health nightmare and a mounting economic crisis. So why are voters warming up to him?
04/02/2020   WHO News

The COVID-19 pandemic and other global emergencies show us once again the heroic efforts health workers on the front lines make every day to keep their communities—and the world—safe and healthy.  The WHO and the Global Health Workforce Network is pleased to partner with civil society partners—the Frontline Health Workers Coalition and its members—to honor health workers during World Health Worker Week: April 5-11, 2020. The Eighth Annual World Health Worker Week is yet another opportunity to mobilize communities, partners, and policymakers to increase support of health workers worldwide.

The 2020 theme is Leaders on the Front Line. This theme highlights the need to provide greater leadership opportunities for frontline health workers—particularly women health workers, who make up more than 70% of the global health workforce. At the same time, this theme emphasizes how health workers often put themselves on the line, often at great personal risk to themselves and their families, to save and improve lives.

We invite all health workforce stakeholders to join us by raising public awareness and engaging on health workforce issues, and recognize the lifesaving contribution of the health workforce. All activities will be filtered through a World Health Worker Week portal, hosted by the Frontline Health Workers Coalition secretariat at IntraHealth International.

 Some key ways to get involved:

  • Add your voice to the #WHWWeek conversation on social media! Use the WHWW Social Media Guide with key messages, graphics, and suggested tweets.
  • Participate in the WHWW Video Testimonial Series and tell health policymakers why frontline health workers are Leaders on the Line and how we can better support them. It's easy to take part—see the guidance and upload your video.
  • Celebrate World Health Day on Tuesday, April 7. In this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, World Health Day will shine a light on the vital role nurses and midwives play in providing health care around the world, and call for a strengthening of the nursing and midwifery workforce. Share and promote World Health Day assets here.

 

 

04/02/2020   Wired Science
As the government fumbled Covid-19 testing, researchers at UC Berkeley's Innovative Genomics Institute stepped up—with their own time and funding.
04/02/2020   Wired Science
You may have seen recent videos of goats roaming an empty town. But for more vulnerable species, like rhinos, this shutdown poses a great danger.
04/02/2020   WHO News

 

 

The harmful use of alcohol causes approximately 3 million deaths every year and the overall burden of disease and injuries attributable to alcohol consumption remains unacceptably high. The pace of development and implementation of alcohol policies has been uneven in WHO regions, and resources and capacities for implementation of the WHO Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol 10 years after its endorsement do not correspond to the magnitude of the problems. On this basis, the WHO Executive Board in its decision EB146 (14) called for accelerated action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. 

The Board considered the report on the political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, particularly Annex 3, entitled “Implementation of the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol,” and the report on the findings of the consultative process on implementation of the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol and the way forward.

The Board, in its decision EB146 (14),  requested  the WHO Director-General, inter alia, “to develop an action plan (2022-2030) to effectively implement the Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol as a public health priority, in consultation with Member States and relevant stakeholders, for consideration by the 75th World Health Assembly through the 150th session of the WHO Executive Board in 2022”, and “to develop a technical report on the harmful use of alcohol related to cross-border alcohol marketing, advertising and promotional activities, including targeting youth and adolescents, before the 150th session of the WHO Executive Board, which could contribute to the development of the action plan”,  as well as “to adequately resource the work on the harmful use of alcohol.

In response to decision EB146 (14), the WHO Secretariat will implement the following:

  • March - April 2020: Commissioning of the scoping review on the harmful use of alcohol related to cross-border alcohol marketing, advertising and promotional activities, including targeting youth and adolescents.  Commissioning background papers for the report development. 
  • ­April - May 2020: Producing zero draft of the working document for development of an action plan (2022-2030) to effectively implement the Global strategy to reduce the harmful use with proposed essential elements and components.  
  • ­June 2020: Technical expert meetings organized by WHO headquarters to discuss zero draft of the working document for development of the action plan and the content of the technical report on the harmful use of alcohol related to cross-border alcohol marketing, advertising and promotional activities.  
  • ­July - September 2020: Finalization of the working document for subsequent consultation process. Web-based consultation on the working document for development of the action plan open to Member States, UN organizations and other international organizations, and non-State actors. All relevant feedback received will be published on WHO website. 
  • ­October 2020 - March 2021: Regional technical consultations with Member States on the working document for development of the action plan (2022-2030). 
  • ­March - April 2021: Development of the first draft of the action plan based on the input received on the working document in the process of the regional consultations.
  • April - June 2021: The web-based consultation on the first draft of the action plan open to Member States, UN organizations and other international organizations, and non-State actors.  All relevant feedback received will be published on WHO website. Discussion of the first draft at the Third WHO Forum on alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviours attended by technical focal points from Member States, representatives of UN entities, civil society organizations, WHO collaborating centres, and academia. Consultation with economic operators in alcohol production and trade on their contribution to reducing the harmful use of alcohol within their core roles.  An informal consultation with Member States on the first draft of the action plan.
  • ­July - August 2021: Development of the second draft of the action plan based on the feedback received on the first draft during the previous stages of the consultation process. 
  • ­August - November 2021: Briefings on the second draft of the action plan organized at the Regional Committee meetings.  Release of the technical report on the harmful use of alcohol related to cross-border alcohol marketing, advertising and promotional activities, including targeting youth and adolescents, with a summary of main findings and conclusions available in six languages.  A formal meeting of Member States for consideration of the second draft of the action plan. Finalization of the draft action plan taken into consideration feedback and inputs received from Member States and other stakeholders during the consultation process in April -October 2021.  Development and submission of the report by the Secretariat to 150th session of the Executive Board. 
  • ­January - February 2022: The 150th session of the WHO Executive Board will consider the report of the WHO Director-General containing the draft action plan (2022-2030) to effectively implement the Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.

strategy

 

 

04/02/2020   WHO News

Geronimo Stilton author to kickstart exclusive children’s book reading initiative amid COVID-19 pandemic

Much-loved children’s authors are joining an initiative to read extracts of their books to millions of children and young people currently living in isolation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the World is a collaboration between the International Publishers Association (IPA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. It kicks off today, on International Children’s Book Day, at 15.00 GMT/17.00 CET with Italian author Elisabetta Dami, creator of the popular character Geronimo Stilton.

“These are uncharted waters for us all, and the psycho-social effects of prolonged isolation and social distancing are yet to be seen and understood,” said IPA President Hugo Setzer. “All of us should take particular care of our mental health at the moment, and especially that of young minds. The IPA wanted to do something positive to bring children and their favourite writers closer, to stimulate their interest in books and to create a carefree moment for families to share during this difficult period of confinement.”

“Children’s lives and routines have been turned upside down in just a few short weeks,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Even when the outside world is out of bounds for now, reading can remind children and young people that the transportive power of books is unlimited.”

“WHO is committed to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic on all fronts, especially when it comes to protecting young people,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We understand the fear and anxieties many feel and know how the joy of reading can stimulate young minds, ease tensions and provide hope.”

Elisabetta Dami will read on her personal Instagram account in English from 15.00-15.30 GMT 17.00-17.30 CET. Dami, whose books have sold more than 180 million copies around the world and are published in 50 different languages, will also respond to comments and questions via the platform.

Several other noted children’s authors have agreed to join the Read the World initiative, details of which will be available soon at https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/read-the-world

 


About IPA

The IPA is the world’s largest federation of publishers associations. Established in 1896, it is an industry body with a human rights mandate, whose mission is to promote and protect publishing and raise awareness of publishing as a force for economic, cultural and social development. Working in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other supranational bodies, the IPA champions the interests of book and journal publishing at national and supranational level. Internationally, the IPA actively opposes censorship and promotes copyright, freedom to publish (including through the IPA Prix Voltaire), and literacy.

Follow the IPA on Twitter and Facebook

 

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

 

About WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the United Nations’ specialized agency for health. It is an inter-governmental organization and works in collaboration with its Member States usually through the Ministries of Health. The World Health Organization is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. Learn more at www.who.int.

Follow WHO on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

 

 

04/01/2020   COVID-19 News
Since 17 February 2020, no new cases have been reported in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While this is a positive development, there is still a high risk of re-emergence of EVD given the current challenges related to limited resources amidst other local and global emergencies, continued insecurity and population displacement in previous hotspots, and limited access to some affected communities. It is therefore critical to maintain surveillance and response operations in the period leading up to the declaration of the end of the outbreak, as well as after the declaration – as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the EVD outbreak.

Ongoing outbreak response efforts continue, which include investigating and validating new alert cases, supporting appropriate care and rapid diagnosis of suspected cases (which continue to be detected), supporting survivors through a multi-disciplinary programme, and strategically transitioning activities. From 24 to 31 March, an average of 4082 alerts were reported and investigated daily. Of these alerts, 274 were validated as suspected cases, requiring specialized care and laboratory testing to rule-out EVD. From 23 to 29 March, 2376 samples were tested including: 1322 blood samples from alive, suspected cases; 365 swabs from community deaths; and 689 samples from re-tested patients. Overall, laboratory activity decreased by 14% compared to the prior week.
04/01/2020   Wired Science
Many Americans who may need a Covid-19 test still can't easily get one. What's going on?
04/01/2020   WHO News

In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, we are all vulnerable. The virus has shown that it does not discriminate - but many refugees, those forcibly displaced, the stateless and migrants are at heightened risk. 

Three-quarters of the world’s refugees and many migrants are hosted in developing regions where health systems are already overwhelmed and under-capacitated.  Many live in overcrowded camps, settlements, makeshift shelters or reception centers, where they lack adequate access to health services, clean water and sanitation. 

The situation for refugees and migrants held in formal and informal places of detention, in cramped and unsanitary conditions, is particularly worrying. Considering the lethal consequences a COVID-19 outbreak would have, they should be released without delay. Migrant children and their families and those detained without a sufficient legal basis should be immediately released.

This disease can be controlled only if there is an inclusive approach which protects every individual’s rights to life and health.  Migrants and refugees are disproportionately vulnerable to exclusion, stigma and discrimination, particulary when undocumented.  To avert a catastrophe, governments must do all they can to protect the rights and the health of everyone. Protecting the rights and the health of all people will in fact help control the spread of the virus.

It is vital that everyone, including all migrants and refugees, are ensured equal access to health services and are effectively included in national responses to COVID-19, including prevention, testing and treatment. Inclusion will help not only to protect the rights of refugees and migrants, but will also serve to protect public health and stem the global spread of COVID-19.  While many nations protect and host refugee and migrant populations, they are often not equipped to respond to crises such as Covid-19. To ensure refugees and migrants have adequate access to national health services, States may need additional financial support. This is where the world’s financial institutions can play a leading role in making funds available. 

While countries are closing their borders and limiting cross-border movements, there are ways to manage border restrictions in a manner which respects international human rights and refugee protection standards, including the principle of non-refoulement, through quarantine and health checks. 

More than ever, as COVID-19 poses a global threat to our collective humanity, our primary focus should be on the preservation of life, regardless of status.  This crisis demands a coherent, effective international approach that leaves no-one behind.  At this crucial moment we all need to rally around a common objective, fighting this deadly virus. Many refugees, displaced, stateless people and migrants have skills and resources that can also be part of the solution.

We cannot allow fear or intolerance to undermine rights or compromise the effectiveness of responses to the global pandemic. We are all in this together. We can only defeat this virus when each and every one of us is protected. 

04/01/2020   Wired Science
The Pentagon's Institute of Infectious Diseases has been handling the world’s most dangerous organisms for decades. Now they're researching the new coronavirus.
04/01/2020   WHO News

This Medical Product Alert warns consumers, healthcare professionals, and health authorities against a growing number of falsified medical products that claim to prevent, detect, treat or cure COVID-19. 

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic (caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2) has increased demand for medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and reagents, all related to COVID-19, creating an opportunity for ill-intended persons to distribute falsified medical products 

Due diligence is required from all actors in the procurement, use and administration of medical products, in particular those affected by the current crisis of, or related to, COVID-19. 

1. FALSIFIED IN VITRO DIAGNOSTICS AND LABORATORY REAGENTS 

WHO has received multiple reports regarding falsified in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) and laboratory reagents for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. Please refer to WHO’s Emergency Use Listing for a list of diagnostics approved for clinical use by WHO. To date, eight countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, PR China, Russian Federation, Singapore, Republic of Korea, United States of America) have listed IVDs for COVID-19 diagnosis based on expedited regulatory assessments. Please note that, in the European Union, regulatory compliance for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics are self-declared by the manufacturer.  

To assist Member States and stakeholders, WHO has published the links to these emergency lists, together with contact details. These links provide information on IVDs authorized for use in the jurisdictions of the International Medical Device Regulators Forum, as well as policies and guidance. WHO will provide updated versions as new information becomes available.

End-users are encouraged to check the labelling against the information posted by regulatory authorities upon listing to ensure they are in possession of the genuine product. This information might include product name, product code, expiry date, instructions for use and manufacturer details. 

Unregulated websites supplying medicines and/or vaccines, particularly those concealing their physical address or landline telephone number, are frequently the source of unlicensed, substandard and falsified medical products. WHO has been made aware of various unregistered websites claiming that products on sale can treat or prevent COVID-19. Such products are likely to be falsified medicines. In addition, some websites may appear to provide easy access to legitimate medicines that are otherwise not readily available. End-buyers and consumers should be especially wary of such online scams and exert due diligence when purchasing any medical product, whether online or not.

 2. FALSIFIED MEDICINES AND VACCINES

At this stage, WHO does not recommend any medicines to treat or cure COVID-19. However, the SOLIDARITY trial, led by WHO, is reviewing potential treatments for COVID-19. 

WHO requests increased vigilance from national health authorities, healthcare professionals, members of the public and supply chain stakeholders worldwide to prevent the distribution of these falsified medical products. Increased vigilance should focus on hospitals, clinics, health centres, clinical laboratories, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies and any other suppliers of medical products. All medical products must be obtained from authentic and reliable sources. Their authenticity and condition of the product should be carefully checked. Consumers are advised to seek advice from a healthcare professional in case of doubt. 

National health authorities are requested to immediately notify WHO if these falsified products are discovered in their country. If you have any information concerning the manufacture, distribution, or supply of these products, please contact rapidalert@who.int

WHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for Substandard and Falsified Medical Products
For further information, please visit our website: https://www.who.int/medicines/regulation/ssffc/en/ 

03/31/2020   WHO News

Millions of people around the world depend on international trade for their food security and livelihoods. As countries move to enact measures aiming to halt the accelerating COVID-19 pandemic, care must be taken to minimise potential impacts on the food supply or unintended consequences on global trade and food security. 

When acting to protect the health and well-being of their citizens, countries should ensure that any trade-related measures do not disrupt the food supply chain. Such disruptions including hampering the movement of agricultural and food industry workers and extending border delays for food containers, result in the spoilage of perishables and increasing food waste. Food trade restrictions could also be linked to unjustified concerns on food safety. If such a scenario were to materialize, it would disrupt the food supply chain, with particularly pronounced consequences for the most vulnerable and food insecure populations. 

Uncertainty about food availability can spark a wave of export restrictions, creating a shortage on the global market. Such reactions can alter the balance between food supply and demand, resulting in price spikes and increased price volatility. We learned from previous crises that such measures are particularly damaging for low-income, food-deficit countries and to the efforts of humanitarian organizations to procure food for those in desperate need.

We must prevent the repeat of such damaging measures. It is at times like this that more, not less, international cooperation becomes vital. In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdowns, every effort must be made to ensure that trade flows as freely as possible, specially to avoid food shortage. Similarly, it is also critical that food producers and food workers at processing and retail level are protected to minimise the spread of the disease within this sector and maintain food supply chains. Consumers, in particular the most vulnerable, must continue to be able to access food within their communities under strict safety requirements.  

We must also ensure that information on food-related trade measures, levels of food production, consumption and stocks, as well as on food prices, is available to all in real time. This reduces uncertainty and allows producers, consumers and traders to make informed decisions. Above all, it helps contain ‘panic buying’ and the hoarding of food and other essential items.

Now is the time to show solidarity, act responsibly and adhere to our common goal of enhancing food security, food safety and nutrition and improving the general welfare of people around the world.  We must ensure that our response to COVID-19 does not unintentionally create unwarranted shortages of essential items and exacerbate hunger and malnutrition.

03/30/2020   WHO News

WHO’s   new user guide for countries, ‘Selection of medicines at country level’, is based on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines. It sets out the key actions countries should undertake to develop and update their own national essential medicines lists based on the treatment needs of their populations and their capacity to reimburse payments for medicines.

The document also aims to support countries in progressing towards universal health coverage. Today, approximately half of the world’s population is unable to  access essential medicines. The large majority of these people live in poorer countries, but rising prices of new medicines are also becoming a challenge for health systems in wealthy countries.

A careful selection of essential medicines is the first step in ensuring a population can obtain the quality-assured medicines it needs at an affordable price.  Countries need to do more to ensure that all people and communities can access highly effective medicines. WHO’s new manual is a resource to do just that. 

The document, intended for policy makers in charge of national medicines and reimbursement lists, aims to increase transparency on how essential medicines are selected. Most national lists of essential medicines have several differences when compared with WHO’s model list, which lists only medicines of proven safety and efficacy. Some national lists include medicines that bring little extra benefit to patients. Decision-makers should refer to the WHO global list to gauge the public health value of listing certain medicines for their populations.

The essential medicines concept 

Essential medicines are: 

  • those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population
  • selected with due regard to disease prevalence and public health relevance, evidence of efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness
  • intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality and adequate information, and at a price the individual and community can afford.  


The essential medicines concept is global and forward-looking. It incorporates the need to regularly update medicines selections to reflect new therapeutic options and changing therapeutic needs; the need to ensure drug quality; and the need for continued development of better medicines, medicines for emerging diseases and medicines to meet changing resistance patterns.

Achieving universal health coverage and equity in public health depends on access to essential, high-quality and affordable health related technologies for all. To achieve access for all by 2030, at least two billion more people will need to have access to essential health services by 2030.

In an effort to make the Model List of Essential Medicines more readily accessible, WHO recently developed an electronic version of the list, bringing the traditional EML to computer screens, tablets and smartphones in a freely accessible, downloadable, online database.

Link to manual: Selection of essential medicines at country level

Link to e-EML: Model List of Essential Medicines

03/30/2020   WHO News

The COVID-19 pandemic is straining health systems worldwide. The rapidly increasing demand on health facilities and health care workers threatens to leave some health systems overstretched and unable to operate effectively.

Previous outbreaks have demonstrated that when health systems are overwhelmed, mortality from vaccine-preventable and other treatable conditions can also increase dramatically. During the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak, the increased number of deaths caused by measles, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis attributable to health system failures exceeded deaths from Ebola [1,2]

“The best defense against any outbreak is a strong health system,” stressed WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “COVID-19 is revealing how fragile many of the world’s health systems and services are, forcing countries to make difficult choices on how to best meet the needs of their people.”

To help countries navigate through these challenges, the World Health Organization (WHO) has updated operational planning guidelines in balancing the demands of responding directly to COVID-19 while maintaining essential health service delivery, and mitigating the risk of system collapse. This includes a set of targeted immediate actions that countries should consider at national, regional, and local level to reorganize and maintain access to high-quality essential health services for all.

Countries should identify essential services that will be prioritized in their efforts to maintain continuity of service delivery and make strategic shifts to ensure that increasingly limited resources provide maximum benefit for the population. They also need to comply with the highest standard in precautions, especially in hygiene practices, and the provision of adequate supplies including personal protective equipment This requires robust planning and coordinated actions between governments and health facilities and their managers.

Some examples of essential services include: routine vaccination; reproductive health services including care during pregnancy and childbirth; care of young infants and older adults; management of mental health conditions as well as noncommunicable diseases and infectious diseases like HIV, malaria and TB; critical inpatient therapies; management of emergency health conditions; auxiliary services like basic diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, and blood bank services, among others.

Well-organized and prepared health systems can continue to provide equitable access to essential service delivery throughout an emergency, limiting direct mortality and avoiding increased indirect mortality.   

The guidelines stress the importance of keeping up-to-date information. This requires frequent transparent communications with the public, and strong community engagements so the public   can maintain trust in the system to safely meet their essential needs and to control infection risk in health facilities. This will help ensure that people continue to seek care when appropriate, and adhere to public health advice.


1. Elston, J. W. T., Cartwright, C., Ndumbi, P., & Wright, J. (2017). The health impact of the 2014–15 Ebola outbreak. Public Health, 143, 60-70.

2. Parpia, A. S., Ndeffo-Mbah, M. L., Wenzel, N. S., & Galvani, A. P. (2016). Effects of response to 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak on deaths from malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis, West Africa. Emerging infectious diseases, 22(3), 433.

 

For interviews please contact:  Tarik Jasarevic

To access the full guidance please visit: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/maintaining-essential-health-services-and-systems

For further information and guidance on COVID-19 please visit: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

 

 

03/30/2020   WHO News

Latest news and updates from WHO

Dear colleagues and friends,

World TB Day, this year, comes at a sobering time – as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. We stand in solidarity with those affected, those at the frontlines of the fight to combat COVID-19, as well as those who continue efforts to support those ill with longstanding health problems like TB, HIV and other diseases. However, we cannot forget the millions and their families who battle TB every day and lose their lives to this ancient disease – which remains the world’s top infectious killer.

As eloquently emphasized by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in his press briefing on COVID-19 yesterday, “I’d like to remind everyone that although COVID-19 is dominating the world's attention-there is another respiratory disease that is both preventable and treatable, but kills 1.5 million people every year - that disease is tuberculosis"

“It’s Time”, the focus for World TB Day this year is therefore on urgently accelerating the TB response to save lives and end suffering, even in times of crisis. This will be essential if we are to reach the targets and commitments made by Heads of State at the 2018 UN High Level Meeting on TB. 

We have made important strides against the TB epidemic to date.

We announced last year, that more people received life-saving treatment for tuberculosis in 2018 than ever before, largely due to improved detection and diagnosis. Globally, 7 million people were diagnosed and treated for TB - up from 6.4 million in 2017 – enabling the world to meet one of the milestones towards the United Nations political declaration targets on TB and the WHO Director-General Flagship Initiative Find.Treat.All End TB jointly with Stop TB Partnership and the Global Fund. This has been a big win for the TB community.

WHO is working with countries to roll out important guidelines, including a comprehensive package on TB preventive treatment released today, and updated MDR TB guidelines to promote the use of all-oral regimens for patients with drug-resistant TB which would be helpful – particularly at this point, when visiting health centers is a challenge. Furthermore, WHO has developed a note to guide and urge countries to ensure continuity of TB services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are strengthening our collaboration with civil society - more information is highlighted in the WHO Civil Society Taskforce Progress Review released today.

Youth mobilization is being ramped up through the WHO 1+1 Youth Initiative to end TB and the Global Youth Declaration to End TB. Multisectoral accountability is being promoted in countries through our framework and we have finalized a new global strategy on TB research and innovation, that will be reviewed by the World Health Assembly.

Yet, the gains we have made are at risk - if there is any slackening of commitment and action, especially in times of crisis.

We are at a crossroads and we need to unite forces to take the path of success that will save lives and end suffering.

I was especially heartened today, to see the TB community coming together like never before. We all took our events to the virtual realm due to COVID-19 lockdowns. The WHO Online Talk Show held this afternoon, had a powerful line up of speakers that included, TB survivors and advocates, civil society, high level government representatives, heads of agencies, researchers and partners. As of this evening we have surpassed 10,000 views on YouTube. I also participated in townhalls organized by Stop TB Partnership. Our joint efforts have indeed ensured a continuing spotlight on those affected by TB, and clearly shows that no matter what the barrier, we can surpass it if we work together.

I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you all virtually – and recommit to champion End TB efforts till we reach the finish line.

It’s time to deliver on our promises and ensure no one is left behind.

It’s time to End TB!

Dr Tereza Kasaeva
Director
Global TB Programme
World Health Organization


World TB Day Talk Show


In the backdrop of the global battle against COVID-19, WHO organized a special online talk show to mark World TB Day 2020. The talk show had a powerful line up of speakers from among TB survivors and advocates, civil society, high-level government representatives, heads of agencies, researchers and partners. The video was streamed live on WHO’s Youtube channel crossing over 10,000 views in a few hours. Watch the talk show video


Spotlight on TB Preventive Treatment

New WHO recommendations to prevent tuberculosis aim to save millions of lives

24 March 2020 News release

Geneva –  New World Health Organization (WHO) guidance will help countries accelerate efforts to stop people with tuberculosis (TB) infection becoming sick with TB by giving them preventive treatment. A quarter of the world‘s population is estimated to be infected with TB bacteria. These people are neither sick nor contagious. However, they are at greater risk of developing TB disease, especially those with weakened immunity. Offering them TB preventive treatment will not only protect them from becoming sick but also cut down on the risk of transmission in the community. Read more

The full package is available below and at our World TB Day Campaign Page


WHO Civil Society Taskforce on TB: Progress Review

The WHO Civil Society Taskforce provides a platform for meaningful engagement of civil society, building on the commitment of the Director-General, with emphasis on harnessing the untapped potential in engagement with civil society and affected communities al all levels. To mark World TB Day 2020, the Task Force has released a Progress Review highlighting key achievements since its formation in 2018.

Access link here


WHO eTB guidelines: A digital platform to promote adolopment of TB recommendations

WHO Global TB Programme / McMaster University

The WHO Global Tuberculosis (TB) Programme, in collaboration with McMaster University, Canada, is developing a smart platform to improve access to and use of all WHO recommendations on TB prevention and care. The WHO eTB guidelines platform will facilitate the adoption, adaptation and implementation (“adolopment”) by countries of recommendations across the continuum of care. This digital platform will provide a variety of users – TB programme managers, healthcare workers including nurses, researchers, patients and affected communities - with easy access to all essential information about WHO-s current policy guidance on TB.

The first set of recommendations on TB preventive treatment were released on this new platform on World TB Day.

WHO eTB guidelines platform

Infographic


TB and COVID-19

24 March 2020 News release

Geneva -  As the world comes together to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to ensure that essential health services and operations are continued to protect the lives of people with TB and other diseases or health conditions. Health services, including national programmes to combat TB, need to be actively engaged in ensuring an effective and rapid response to COVID-19 while ensuring that TB services are maintained. Read more


Let's never forget: It's time to end TB

Ksenia Schenina

Ksenia Schenina

24 March 2020 Photo story

On World TB Day 2020, the theme - “Its time” - stresses the urgency to end the TB epidemic. TB survivor and advocate, Ksenia Schenina, talks about her struggle with the disease, the persistence of stigma and the role that remembrance can play in fighting it.   Through her TB memorial project, she aims to remember those who passed away from this terrible and ancient disease. “We do it to show what kind of people they were – what kind of things they liked, what kind of music they listened to and what their favorite movies were; if they liked fishing or dreamt of a flight to space,” she says. Read more


Commentary

To end TB, we must invest in research and innovation

24 March 2020 Commentary

If the world is to get anywhere near ending TB, a disease that killed more than 1.5 million people in 2018, something significant needs to change.

TB remains the world’s leading infectious killer and yet, in the last 50 years, only three new drugs and regimes have been developed to combat the disease. “What we need is more research and more tools in the pipeline; better diagnostics, more effective vaccines, and safer, shorter drug regimes,” explains Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of the World Health Organization Global Tuberculosis Programme. Read more


Emily: A Day in the Life of a TB Nurse

Maria Emily C. Ballesteros

Watch this story of Emily, a nurse managing the tuberculosis (TB) program of the City Health Office in Tuguegarao City. Her dream for Tuguegarao is to one day see zero TB cases and that no one dies from this infectious disease. Nurses and healthcare workers play a critical role in TB prevention and care. It’s time to invest in them to improve healthcare for all. We thank all the nurses, midwives and healthcare workers working to #EndTB! Watch the video


Updates and messages

New research tool supports scale-up of digital technologies to End TB

24 March 2020 TDR news item

National anti-tuberculosis efforts are increasingly involving digital technologies, such as mobile applications to support treatment adherence and electronic surveillance systems that enable real-time monitoring of a country’s TB situation. Read more

World TB Day 2020: It's Time for solidarity

24 March 2020 HIV/TB news item

At this unique time in history when the world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes stands in solidarity with governments and communities as they seek to maintain health services and continue to address the needs of patients suffering from HIV and tuberculosis (TB).  Read more

New, shorter treatment to prevent TB to be rolled out in five high TB burden countries

24 March 2020 news item

Three-month regimen expected to prevent TB in those at highest risk of developing the disease, including people living with HIV and children under the age of five Today, the Aurum Institute and its partners, as part of the IMPAACT4TB project, announced that five high-burden TB countries will roll out a new, shorter drug regimen (known as 3HP) to prevent TB. The announcement comes as countries around the world mark World TB Day, which takes place every year on March 24th. Countries that will initially provide the new regimen with funding from Unitaid, U.S. PEPFAR and the Global Fund include Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. More than 120,000 patient courses of 3HP will be delivered by the project to 12 countries in 2020. An additional 1 million patient courses are expected to reach low- and middle-income countries by the end of the year, through the combined support of Unitaid, Global Fund, the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility (GDF) and PEPFAR. Read more

03/25/2020   COVID-19 News
No new cases have been reported in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 17 February 2020 (Figure 1).
03/18/2020   COVID-19 News
There have been no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 17 February 2020. However, because there is still a risk of re-emergence of EVD, it is critical to maintain surveillance and response operations until and after the end of outbreak declaration – as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the EVD outbreak.

Unfortunately, the response faces increasing limitations that could result in delayed detection and control of flare-ups. These limitations include a funding shortfall, ongoing insecurity and lack of access to some areas, and limited staffing and resources amidst other local and global emergencies.
03/11/2020   COVID-19 News
On 18 February 2020, the National IHR Focal Point for Qatar reported one laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus infection (MERS-CoV) to WHO.
03/11/2020   COVID-19 News
It has been over 21 days since the last confirmed case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been reported (Figure 1). On 9 March, the last 46 contacts finished their follow-up. These are important milestones in the outbreak as over one maximum incubation period has passed without any confirmed cases of EVD. However, there is still a high risk of re-emergence of EVD, and a critical need to maintain response operations – as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the EVD outbreak.

Extensive surveillance, pathogen detection, clinical management and other response activities are currently ongoing. These include, but are not limited to, investigating and validating new alert cases, supporting appropriate care and rapid diagnostics of suspected cases which continue to be detected each day, and supporting survivors through a multi-disciplinary programme to help mitigate potential risks of re-emergence. Over the course of the past week (4–10 March 2020), over 32 000 alerts were reported and investigated, and 2584 alerts were validated as suspected cases; requiring specialized care and laboratory testing to rule-out EVD. From 2 to 8 March, 2818 samples were tested including: 1574 blood samples from alive, suspected cases; 376 swabs from community deaths; and 868 samples from re-tested patients. Overall, this was a 16% decrease in testing compared to the previous week.
03/09/2020   COVID-19 News
On 12 February 2020, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported an increase in the number of cases of dengue infection in French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint-Martin. In January 2020, health authorities in the region declared a dengue epidemic in Guadeloupe and Saint-Martin and indicated that Martinique is also at-risk of an epidemic.

Dengue epidemics in these territories usually occur when there is a shift in the predominant circulating DENV serotype, and non-immune populations (e.g., tourists, new immigrants, or people not previously exposed to the circulating serotypes) are exposed to the new serotype through human movements within the territories or across neighboring countries. Local transmission occurs through the Aedes mosquito vector present on the islands and in French Guiana.