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Commentaries 2017

Commentaries bring the view of WHO’s leadership on current public health issues

Seeing Through Big Tobacco’s Smokescreen

"Enough is enough; at this critical moment, we must not let the momentum slip."

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, Dr Tabaré Ramón Vázquez, President of Uruguay

Survivors of sexual and physical abuse need #youtoo

"Violence against women – both physical and sexual – is a gross violation of human rights. As we continue to hear so many #MeToo stories, it’s time for #YouToo to do your part"

Ian AskewWHO Director, Department of Reproductive Health and Research

Towards a healthier and safer environment

"Today, we have more knowledge, evidence, and understanding than ever before about how and through what pathways climate and environmental change impact health."

Maria Neira, Michaela Pfeiffer, Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Annette Prüss-Ustün; WHO Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health

Malnutrition: It’s about more than hunger

"Globally, nearly 1/3 of people suffer from as a result of malnutrition: wasting, stunting, vitamin and mineral deficiency, overweight or obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases."

Dr Francesco Branca, WHO Director, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development

Beating NCDs can help deliver universal health coverage

"Changing the NCD paradigm is essential. No longer can NCDs—and health in general—be seen as a matter of only stocking hospitals with medicines and training health-care workers."

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, Dr Tabaré Ramón Vázquez, President of Uruguay

China can help WHO improve global health

"China's support is an example of the solidarity the world needs to deal with crises. It is a demonstration of the strong commitment to global health that China has been making for years."

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

Breastfeeding is not a one-woman job

"Breastfeeding helps provide children everywhere with the healthiest start to life. It acts as the child’s first vaccine by providing antibodies."

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director

Women, decent jobs, economic growth: an opportunity to recalibrate investments in the global health and social workforce

"To reduce the gender gap and add up to US$ 6 trillion to the global economy by 2025, nations must eliminate gender biases and inequities for women at work, including in the health labour market.

Jim Campbell, Director, WHO Health Workforce Department

All roads lead to universal health coverage

"Universal health coverage is ultimately a political choice. It is the responsibility of every country and national government to pursue it."

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO

Ending discrimination in health care settings

"Discrimination runs counter to global commitments to reach universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals."

Jim Campbell, Director, WHO Health Workforce Department; Gottfried Hirnschall, Director, WHO Department of HIV and Global Hepatitis Programme; Veronica Magar, Team leader, WHO Gender, Equity and Human Rights Mainstreaming Team

Commitment and action – for every newborn

"Now, at the halfway point, 51 high-burden countries are taking stock of progress."

Anthony Costello, WHO, Director, Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, and Stefan Swartling Peterson, UNICEF, Chief of Health

Renewed push to strengthen vector control globally

"Controlling vectors is a constant challenge, and both old and emerging diseases are exposing new threats."

Pedro Alonso, Director, WHO Global Malaria Programme, Dirk Engels, Director, WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), and John Reeder, Director, TDR, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases

Tobacco is a deadly threat to global development

"Tobacco use hits the poorest people the hardest and exacerbates poverty. Spending on tobacco products often represents more than 10% of total household income."

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO

Superbugs: The world is taking action, but low-income countries must not be left behind

"The lack of preparedness in low-income countries should concern us all, no matter how rich a country we live in. "

Dr Marc Sprenger, Director, Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat

Double-duty actions for ending malnutrition within a decade

"There is a need to leverage existing actions designed to address one type of malnutrition to simultaneously reduce other types."

Francesco Branca and Alessandro R Demaio, WHO Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, and Corinna Hawkes, Centre for Food Policy, School of Arts and Social Sciences, City, University of London

Reducing speed to save lives

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, and Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)

Embrace the facts about vaccines, not the myths

"Vaccines are available but myths around them discourage parents from immunizing their children. We need to bust myths and promote the benefits of immunization more widely. #VaccinesWork"

Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General of WHO and Vice-Chair of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance

Neglected tropical diseases: A proxy for equitable development and shared prosperity

"Increased donations of essential medicines have enabled access to treatment for almost a billion people."

Dr Dirk Engels, WHO Director, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD)

Antimicrobial resistance: translating political commitment into national action

"In the past two years, we have seen global political momentum for addressing antimicrobial resistance."

Dr Hajime Inoue, Senior Advisor to the Director-General and Special Representative for Antimicrobial Resistance and Dr Ren Minghui, Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases

She decides on her health, her future

"On International Women’s Day, we must all unequivocally reaffirm our commitment to gender equality and women's and girls' fundamental rights."

Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General of WHO and Vice-Chair of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance

Reaching everyone, everywhere with life-saving vaccines

"Immunization is a cornerstone of global health security in an interconnected world where diseases do not respect national borders."

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, Chris Elias, President of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, Seth Berkley, Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Zika: We must be ready for the long haul

"Like every other explosive outbreak, Zika revealed fault lines in the world’s collective preparedness."

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO

Working as one UN to address the root environmental causes of ill health

"We now know that the single greatest environmental risk to human health is through our most basic need – the air that we breathe."

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization and Erik Solheim, Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme

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