Latest homepage stories

Below are the most recent top stories from the WHO homepage.


High levels of antibiotic resistance found worldwide

29 January 2018 – Surveillance data on antibiotic resistance reveals high levels of resistance to serious bacterial infections in high- and low-income countries. The bacteria that cause some of the world’s most common infections – such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae – are proving drug-resistant. And most worrying of all, pathogens don’t respect national borders.

World Leprosy Day: ending transmission among children

26 January 2018 – National programmes must boost active case-finding, strengthen surveillance, improve contact-tracing and focus more on early detection of leprosy cases among children to ensure achievement of the global target of zero child infections by 2020. This call comes as the world observers World Leprosy Day on Sunday, 28 January.

Historic yellow fever vaccination campaigns launched in Brazil and Nigeria

26 January 2018 – This week the governments of Brazil and Nigeria launched mass immunization campaigns to protect people against yellow fever. With support from WHO and partners, an estimated 23.8 million people in Brazil, and 25 million people in Nigeria, are expected to be vaccinated.

Historic yellow fever vaccination campaigns launched in Brazil and Nigeria

26 January 2018 – This week the governments of Brazil and Nigeria launched mass immunization campaigns to protect people against yellow fever. With support from WHO and partners, an estimated 23.8 million people in Brazil, and 25 million people in Nigeria, are expected to be vaccinated.

142nd session of the WHO Executive Board

22 January 2018 – This week the WHO Executive Board is setting the agenda for the World Health Assembly, and determining how to best promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. The session takes place on
22–27 January 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nearly half a million children being vaccinated against diphtheria in Cox’s Bazar

16 January 2018 – As part of an intensified response to the current diphtheria outbreak, WHO, UNICEF and health sector partners are working with the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to vaccinate more than 475 000 children in Rohingya refugee camps, temporary settlements and surrounding areas.

"Kangaroo Mother Care" helps premature triplets thrive in India

12 January 2018 – When Renuka Hadapad gave birth to triplets in India she saw little reason to celebrate: despite a seamless birth, the triplets were born each weighing less than 1500 grams, making it difficult for them to nurse, stay warm or gain weight. Through "Kangaroo Mother Care," and the support of health workers and her family, Renuka persevered, and the triplets recently celebrated their first birthday.

UN Environment and WHO collaboration on environmental health

10 January 2018 – The wide-ranging collaboration to accelerate action to curb environmental health risks that cause an estimated 12.6 million deaths a year. This represents the most significant formal agreement on joint action across the spectrum of environment and health issues in over 15 years. The two agencies will develop a joint work programme and hold an annual high-level meeting to evaluate progress and make recommendations for continued collaboration.

Dr Tedros: invest in health to end plague in Madagascar

8 January 2018 – The Director-General of WHO has outlined his vision for a Madagascar free of plague epidemics during a three-day visit to the island nation. Madagascar can make plague epidemics a thing of the past through strategic investments in its health system – including better access to healthcare, improving preparedness, surveillance and response capabilities, and implementing the International Health Regulations.

Diphtheria vaccination in Cox’s Bazar schools

4 January 2018 – As schools reopened after the winter break, children in the Ukhia sub-district of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, lined up not only to receive new books, but also a dose of diphtheria tetanus (DT) vaccine. 



School children living in areas close to the Rohingya camps are being administered a dose of DT vaccine as part of the diphtheria outbreak response.

2017 Year in review: Key health issues

This was a year of major achievements for WHO - from responding to disease outbreaks and crises, to shaping global policy, to the election of a new Director-Genecal.

Review and relive some of the biggest health stories from WHO in 2017.

Addressing health inequalities in Indonesia

19 December 2017 – WHO has published its first ever joint report with a Member State presenting a comprehensive assessment of health inequalities within a country. Age, sex, economic status, education and where a person lives, can all affect peoples’ state of health and access to health services. State of health inequality: Indonesia identifies priority areas for action to ensure that, when it comes to essential health, ‘no one is left behind’.

Tokyo declaration on universal health coverage

18 December 2017 – Health is a human right. But we have a long way to go until everyone can get the quality health care they need and deserve. The historic Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Forum in Tokyo between 12-15 December culminated in a declaration to galvanize action toward #HealthforAll.

Up to 650 000 people die of respiratory diseases due to seasonal flu yearly

14 December 2017 – According to new calculations, this marks an increase on the previous global estimate of 250 000 – 500 000, which dates from over ten years ago and covered all influenza-related deaths, including cardiovascular disease or diabetes. The new figures of 290 000 – 650 000 deaths are based on more recent data from a larger, more diverse group of countries, including lower middle income countries, and exclude deaths from non-respiratory diseases.

Half the world lacks access to essential health services

13 December 2017 – At least half of the world’s population cannot obtain essential health services, according to a new report from the World Bank and WHO. And each year, large numbers of households are being pushed into poverty because they must pay for health care out of their own pockets. Currently, 800 million people spend at least 10% of their household budgets on health expenses for themselves, a sick child or other family member.

Universal Health Coverage Day

12 December 2017 – Health is a human right.
But we have a long way to go until everyone – no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have – can get the quality health care they need and deserve.

For this year’s Universal Health Coverage Day there will be a historic forum in Tokyo, Japan, from 12–15 December to galvanize action toward #HealthforAll.

Health is a fundamental human right

10 December 2017 – “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition”.  

Almost 70 years after these words were adopted in WHO's constitution, they are more powerful and relevant than ever.  Since day one, the right to health has been central to WHO’s identity and mandate.

Marburg virus disease: Uganda ends outbreak

8 December 2017 – Uganda has successfully controlled an outbreak of Marburg virus disease and prevented its spread only weeks after it was first detected.

Within 24 hours of being informed by Ugandan health authorities in early October, WHO deployed a rapid response team to the remote mountainous area. The Organization also released US$ 623 000 from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to finance immediate support and scale up of the response.

Dementia: number of people affected to triple in next 30 years

7 December 2017 – As the global population ages, the number of people living with dementia is expected to triple from 50 million to 152 million by 2050. The estimated annual global cost of dementia is US$ 818 billion, equivalent to more than 1% of global gross domestic product. By 2030, the cost is expected to have more than doubled, to US$ 2 trillion, a cost that could undermine social and economic development and overwhelm health and social services, including long-term care systems.

Diphtheria is spreading fast in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

6 December 2017 – Diphtheria is rapidly spreading among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, WHO warned today. More than 110 suspected cases, including 6 deaths, have been clinically diagnosed by health partners, including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).