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World Health Organization

FIFA, European Commission and World Health Organization launch #SafeHome campaign to support those at risk from domestic violence

WHO news - 28.05.2020
FIFA, WHO, and the European Commission have joined forces, to launch the #SafeHome campaign to support women and children at risk of domestic violence. The campaign is a joint response from the three institutions to the recent spikes in reports of domestic violence as stay-at-home measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have put women and children experiencing abuse at greater risk.

Countries failing to stop harmful marketing of breast-milk substitutes, warn WHO and UNICEF

WHO news - 28.05.2020
A new report by WHO, UNICEF, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) reveals that despite efforts to stop the harmful promotion of breast-milk substitutes, countries are still falling short in protecting parents from misleading information.

WHO Foundation Established to Support Critical Global Health Needs

WHO news - 28.05.2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes the creation of the WHO Foundation, an independent grant-making entity, that will support the Organization’s efforts to address the most pressing global health challenges.

Headquartered in Geneva, the Foundation will support global public health needs by providing funds to WHO and trusted implementing partners to deliver on the Organization’s “triple billion” goals. Featured in WHO’s five-year strategic plan, these goals aim to: protect 1 billion people from health emergencies; extend universal health coverage to 1 billion people; and assure healthy lives and wellbeing to 1 billion people by 2023.

The Foundation which is legally separate from WHO, will facilitate contributions from the general public, individual major donors and corporate partners to WHO and trusted partners to deliver on high-impact programmes. Its goal is to help broaden WHO’s donor base and work towards more sustainable and predictable funding.  The WHO Foundation will simplify the processing of philanthropic contributions in support of WHO and make such contributions possible on all aspects of health and WHO’s mission.

“An important part of WHO's future success is broadening its donor base and increasing both the quantity and quality of funds at its disposal," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "The creation of the WHO Foundation, as part of WHO's transformation, is an important step towards this goal, and towards achieving our mission to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.”

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of more than two years of preparation and hard work by countless individuals and partner organizations. I would like to thank Professor Thomas Zeltner for spearheading this incredible adventure and founding the organization.”

“The work of the WHO is vital for both safeguarding and promoting global health – a role that has become all the more crucial in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO’s achievements and contributions to global health and the wellbeing of humanity are tremendous, but we cannot take those accomplishments for granted. The WHO deserves a strong, independent, external advocate who can support and strengthen its impact. I am proud to lead these efforts and to create this missing piece in global health by establishing the WHO Foundation,” said Professor Thomas Zeltner, Founder of the WHO Foundation and former Secretary of Health of Switzerland and Director-General of the Swiss National Health Authority.

Established under the laws of Switzerland, the Foundation has benefitted from the guidance of an Advisory Group that has included experts in global health, philanthropy, ethics, and finance.  The Foundation’s Board will now assume all governance responsibilities and will review all strategic decisions and serve as the highest decision-making body of the Foundation. Founding Board Members are: Mr. Bob Carter, Ms. Clare Akamanzi and Professor Thomas Zeltner.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO Foundation will initially focus on emergencies and pandemic response, and it will also raise and disburse funds for all WHO global public health priorities in full alignment with the WHO Member State adopted General Programme of Work.

A Call to Action: Get Involved with the WHO Foundation

Global health matters for everyone, everywhere. The WHO Foundation is an exceptional opportunity to shape the future of global health together. Be part of this journey, donate now or engage in a long-term strategic partnership and contact the team at partnerships@whofoundationproject.org.  Online giving is active at www.whofoundationproject.org, and tailored donations can be received by contacting donations@whofoundationproject.org. All donations made to the WHO Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent feasible by relevant national laws.

About WHO

The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.

About WHO Foundation

The WHO Foundation is an independent grant-making foundation focused on addressing the most pressing global health challenges of today and tomorrow. By funding high-impact initiatives and advancing strategies of innovation, effectiveness, and rapid response, it will support the global health ecosystem. Headquartered in Geneva and legally independent from the WHO, the Foundation will work responsibly with individual donors, the general public and corporate partners to strengthen health systems globally. Specifically, the WHO Foundation will support global public health needs, from prevention, mental health, and non-communicable diseases to emergency preparedness, outbreak response and health system strengthening.

Menstrual hygiene and health - a call for dignity, rights and empowerment

Authors: Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, PMNCH Board Chair and former Prime Minister of New Zealand; and Mr. Elhadj As Sy, Chair of the Board of the Kofi Annan Foundation and Chair, Advisory Group of the Sanitation and Hygiene Fund/WSSCC
First published in The Guardian

We stand as advocates for addressing women’s issues. Because gender equity is so closely linked to health, we also see the achievement of universal health coverage - the need for which has only been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic - as a global priority. We therefore take the opportunity of Menstrual Hygiene Day – 28 May – to highlight an unacceptable crisis: girls’ and women’s health issues with regards to stigma, taboo and lack of knowledge about menstruation, and unmet needs for essential health interventions and access to sanitation and hygiene systems.

Women leaders take action for women and children during COVID-19

Women leaders from countries ranging from Estonia, New Zealand, Senegal and Costa Rica (full list below) convened to take action to protect some of the most vulnerable communities around the world in the context of COVID-19 and highlight the unique role of women and adolescents in responding to the pandemic. Meeting at a high-level roundtable event organized by Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) alongside The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) and Women Deliver, the leaders agreed that the pandemic represents an unprecedented threat to the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents worldwide that must be addressed by targeted policy and resource allocation.

“COVID-19 is not the great leveller, but rather the great amplifier of inequality. That gives us a clear duty to protect the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, and to address the root causes of inequality. We must act now – while the storm is raging – or be ashamed by the number of lives swept away on our watch,” said Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Board Chair of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, in an OpEd published ahead of the event, co-authored by H.E. Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia and Co-Chair of the High-Level Steering Group for Every Woman Every Child; Jorge Alcocer Varela is Mexico's Secretary of Health; and Graca Machel the founder of the Graca Machel Trust.

COVID-19 intensifies the urgency to expand sustainable energy solutions worldwide

WHO news - 28.05.2020
Despite accelerated progress over the past decade, the world will fall short of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy by 2030 unless efforts are scaled up significantly, reveals the new Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA) the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Disease outbreak news - 28.05.2020
From 20 to 26 May 2020, no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Figure 1).

The World Health Organization, UN Foundation and Illumination partner on health messages

WHO news - 27.05.2020
WHO, the United Nations Foundation and Illumination have partnered to launch a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that reinforces safe and healthy practices during these challenging times, featuring Illumination’s globally beloved Gru and the Minions.

Women and children will pay for this pandemic – unless we act

By H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia; Rt Hon. Helen Clark, PMNCH Board Chair, former Prime Minister of New Zealand; H.E. Jorge Alcocer Varela, Secretary of Health of Mexico; and Hon. Graça Machel, PMNCH former Board Chair and Founder of the Graça Machel Trust.

First published on news.trust.org here: https://news.trust.org/item/20200526130612-rofbs

Wherever COVID-19 strikes, it magnifies unfairness and inequality. In every nation and every community touched by the virus, hard-won progress for women, newborns and young people is being reversed.

WHO and UNHCR join forces to improve health services for refugees, displaced and stateless people

WHO news - 25.05.2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency today signed a new agreement to strengthen and advance public health services for the millions of forcibly displaced people around the world.

The agreement updates and expands an existing 1997 agreement between the two organizations. A key aim this year will be to support ongoing efforts to protect some 70 million forcibly displaced people from COVID-19. Around 26 million of these are refugees, 80 per cent of whom are sheltered in low and middle-income countries with weak health systems. Another 40 million internally displaced people also require assistance.

 For more than 20 years, UNHCR and WHO have worked together worldwide to safeguard the health of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. They have collaborated to provide health services to refugees in every region - from the onset of an emergency and through protracted situations, consistently advocating for the inclusion of refugees and stateless people in the national public health plans of host countries.

Today, the two organizations are working side by side to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that forcibly displaced people can access the health services they need, to keep safe from COVID-19 and other health challenges.

“UNHCR’s long-term partnership with WHO is critical to curb the coronavirus pandemic and other emergencies – day in, day out, it is improving and saving lives of millions of people forced to flee their homes,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. “Our strengthened partnership will directly benefit refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people, and those who are stateless. It leads to better emergency response and will make the best use of the resources of both our two organizations for public health solutions across all our operations globally.”

"The principle of solidarity and the goal of serving vulnerable people underpin the work of both our organizations," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "We stand side by side in our commitment to protect the health of all people who have been forced to leave their homes and to ensure that they can obtain health services when and where they need them. The ongoing pandemic only highlights the vital importance of working together so we can achieve more."

During Thursday’s signing UNHCR also joined the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The Fund was launched on 13 March and has so far raised $214m to date. The Fund, first-of-its-kind, allows individuals, companies, and organizations all over the world to directly contribute to the global response being led by WHO to help countries prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19.

A $10 million contribution from the Solidarity Response Fund will support UNHCR’s work on urgent needs such as risk communication and community engagement around hygiene practices; provision of hygiene and medical supplies and the establishment of isolation units in countries such as Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, South Sudan and Uganda.The funds will also support innovative global preparedness activities.

“By joining forces with the Solidarity Response Fund, UNHCR can work together on the ground with WHO to better ensure that the preparedness, prevention and public health response measures to COVID-19 are in place and that much-needed aid can reach refugees, displaced people and their host communities,” said Grandi.

For more information on UNHCR's COVID-19 operations

For information about WHO's COVID-19 operations and work on Refugee and Migrant Health

 

Solidarity Response Fund

The Fund was launched at WHO’s request by the UN Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation in mid-March and it is only way for companies and individuals to contribute directly to the work of WHO and partners on the ground, and the fastest way to get resources where they are needed most urgently. More than $100m from the Fund has already been disbursed, ensuring early vital work in the long fight against the pandemic.

 

UNHCR

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. We also work to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.

UNHCR is taking measures to help respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and prevent further spread. Working together with governments, UNHCR ensures refugees are included in national health response plans and are well-informed on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, have access to soap and clean water, and continue to receive the life-saving aid and assistance they need.

 

The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.

For updates on COVID-19 and public health advice to protect yourself from coronavirus, visit www.who.int and follow WHO on TwitterFacebookInstagramLinkedInTikTokPinterestSnapchatYouTube

 

Online: EWEC 2019 progress reporting questionnaire for non-State commitment makers

PMNCH and Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) and Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) Secretariats would like to invite all EWEC non-State commitment makers to provide progress updates on the Every Woman Every Child Commitments Platform portal by 5 June 2020.

This 2020 Progress Questionnaire cycle will cover progress made from the period of September 2015 (or the start of the EWEC commitment) to the end of December 2019. All non-State commitment makers to EWEC and FP2020 with ongoing commitments are encouraged to report on the progress achieved via the EWEC 2019 Commitments Progress Questionnaire form.

Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) – Ethiopia

Disease outbreak news - 25.05.2020
Between 2 and 8 April 2020, six suspected human cases of dracunculiasis in Duli village, Gog district, Gambella region, Ethiopia, were reported to WHO.

At least 80 million children under one at risk of diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio as COVID-19 disrupts routine vaccination efforts, warn Gavi, WHO and UNICEF

WHO news - 22.05.2020

 

 

 

COVID 19 is disrupting life-saving immunization services around the world, putting millions of children – in rich and poor countries alike – at risk of diseases like diphtheria, measles and polio. This stark warning comes from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance ahead of the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June, at which world leaders will come together to help maintain immunization programmes and mitigate the impact of the pandemic in lower-income countries.

According to data collected by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Gavi and the Sabin Vaccine Institute, provision of routine immunization services is substantially hindered in at least 68 countries and is likely to affect approximately 80 million children under the age of 1 living in these countries.

Since March 2020, routine childhood immunization services have been disrupted on a global scale that may be unprecedented since the inception of expanded programs on immunization (EPI) in the 1970s. More than half (53%) of the 129 countries where data were available reported moderate-to-severe disruptions, or a total suspension of vaccination services during March-April 2020. 

“Immunization is one of the most powerful and fundamental disease prevention tools in the history of public health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Disruption to immunization programmes from the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to unwind decades of progress against vaccine-preventable diseases like measles.”

“At the 4 June Global Vaccine Summit in London, donors will pledge their support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to sustain and accelerate this lifesaving work in some of the most vulnerable countries. From the bottom of my heart, I urge donors to fully fund the Alliance. These countries, these children especially, need vaccines, and they need Gavi.”

The reasons for disrupted services vary. Some parents are reluctant to leave home because of restrictions on movement, lack of information or because they fear infection with the COVID-19 virus. And many health workers are unavailable because of restrictions on travel, or redeployment to COVID response duties, as well as a lack of protective equipment.

“More children in more countries are now protected against more vaccine-preventable diseases than at any point in history,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO. “Due to COVID-19 this immense progress is now under threat, risking the resurgence of diseases like measles and polio. Not only will maintaining immunization programmes prevent more outbreaks, it will also ensure we have the infrastructure we need to roll out an eventual COVID-19 vaccine on a global scale.”

Transport delays of vaccines are exacerbating the situation. UNICEF has reported a substantial delay in planned vaccine deliveries due to the lockdown measures and the ensuing decline in commercial flights and limited availability of charters. To help mitigate this, UNICEF is appealing to governments, the private sector, the airline industry, and others, to free up freight space at an affordable cost for these life-saving vaccines. Gavi recently signed an agreement with UNICEF to provide advance funding to cover increased freight costs for delivery of vaccines, in light of the reduced number of commercial flights available for transport. 

“We cannot let our fight against one disease come at the expense of long-term progress in our fight against other diseases,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “We have effective vaccines against measles, polio and cholera. While circumstances may require us to temporarily pause some immunization efforts, these immunizations must restart as soon as possible, or we risk exchanging one deadly outbreak for another.”

Next week, WHO will issue new advice to countries on maintaining essential services during the pandemic, including recommendations on how to provide immunizations safely.

Mass immunization campaigns temporarily disrupted

Many countries have temporarily and justifiably suspended preventive mass vaccination campaigns against diseases like cholera, measles, meningitis, polio, tetanus, typhoid and yellow fever, due to risk of transmission and the need to maintain physical distancing during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Measles and polio vaccination campaigns, in particular, have been badly hit, with measles campaigns suspended in 27 countries and polio campaigns put on hold in 38 countries. At least 24 million people in 21 Gavi-supported lower-income countries are at risk of missing out on vaccines against polio, measles, typhoid, yellow fever, cholera, rotavirus, HPV, meningitis A and rubella due to postponed campaigns and introductions of new vaccines.

In late March, concerned that mass gatherings for vaccination campaigns would enflame transmission of COVID-19 WHO recommended countries to temporarily suspend preventive campaigns while assessments of risk, and effective measures for reducing COVID virus transmission were established.

WHO has since monitored the situation and has now issued advice to help countries determine how and when to resume mass vaccination campaigns. The guidance notes that countries will need to make specific risk assessments based on the local dynamics of COVID-19 transmission, the health system capacities, and the public health benefit of conducting preventive and outbreak response vaccination campaigns.

Based on this guidance, and following growing concerns about increasing transmission of polio, the  Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), is advising countries to start planning for the safe resumption of polio vaccination campaigns, especially in polio high-risk countries.

Despite the challenges, several countries are making special efforts to continue immunization. Uganda is ensuring that immunization services continue along with other essential health services, even funding transportation to ensure outreach activities. And in Lao PDR, despite a national lockdown imposed in March, routine immunization in fixed sites continued with physical distancing measures in place.

Notes to editors

Download photos and broll from UNICEF  and WHO. New polio guidance available here.

About the Analysis Vaccination campaigns  Total # of  countries with postponed campaigns as of 15 May* Measles/ Measles Rubella/ Measles Mumps Rubella (M/MR/MMR) 27 Polio (IPV) 7 Bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine (bOPV) 26 Monovalent Oral Poliovirus Type 2 (mOPV2) 13 Meningitis A (MenA) 2 Yellow Fever (YF) 4 Typhoid (TCV) 2 Cholera (OCV) 5 Tetanus (Td) 7

The online immunization pulse survey was conducted with over 800 immunization experts, including representatives of Ministries of Health and global health organizations across 107 countries. 53 of these were lower-income countries supported by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The data on campaigns is based on data reported to WHO by member states as of 15 May 2020. Data on reasons for the disrupted services also came from regions and a survey on the training platform Scholar with 1600 respondents. 

On 4 June the UK government will host the Global Vaccine Summit, which will aim to raise at least US$ 7.4 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to protect 300 million children in 68 lower-income countries against deadly diseases from 2021-25. This funding will help support the mass vaccination campaigns and rebuilding of health systems needed over the coming years to help address the damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a public-private partnership led by national governments with six partners – the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the vaccine alliance. Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 760 million children – and prevented more than 13 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines

The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. For more information about COVID-19, visit www.unicef.org/coronavirus. Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

Results of an updated analysis of trends in human African trypanosomiasis from 2000 to 2018

WHO news - 22.05.2020
A detailed analysis of human African trypanosomiasis data systematically collected by WHO in the years 2000-2018 in the HAT Atlas was published in PloS NTDs showing the updated picture of the elimination trends in this disease.

Exciting new results from long-acting PrEP study show it to be effective in preventing HIV acquisition in men who have sex with men and transgender women

WHO news - 22.05.2020
The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN 083) study on the safety and efficacy of the long-acting injectable antiretroviral drug cabotegravir (CAB LA), for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in HIV-uninfected cisgender men who have sex with men and transgender women who have sex with men, was stopped early by the trial Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as results showed CAB LA to be highly effective in preventing HIV acquisition.

World No Tobacco Day 2020 awards - the winners

WHO news - 22.05.2020
World No Tobacco Day 2020 awards - the winners

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