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WHO Statement on the Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

August 12, 2014 Comments off

WHO Statement on the Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa
Source: World Health Organization

The current EVD outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013. This outbreak now involves transmission in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. As of 4 August 2014, countries have reported 1 711 cases (1 070 confirmed, 436 probable, 205 suspect), including 932 deaths. This is currently the largest EVD outbreak ever recorded. In response to the outbreak, a number of unaffected countries have made a range of travel related advice or recommendations.

In light of States Parties’ presentations and subsequent Committee discussions, several challenges were noted for the affected countries:

  • their health systems are fragile with significant deficits in human, financial and material resources, resulting in compromised ability to mount an adequate Ebola outbreak control response;
  • inexperience in dealing with Ebola outbreaks; misperceptions of the disease, including how the disease is transmitted, are common and continue to be a major challenge in some communities;
  • high mobility of populations and several instances of cross-border movement of travellers with infection;
    several generations of transmission have occurred in the three capital cities of Conakry (Guinea); Monrovia (Liberia); and Freetown (Sierra Leone); and
  • a high number of infections have been identified among health-care workers, highlighting inadequate infection control practices in many facilities.

See: More on Ebola virus disease

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Inter-agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings

August 8, 2014 Comments off

Inter-agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings (PDF)
Source: World Health Organization

Reproductive health is a human right, and like all other human rights, it applies to refugees, internally displaced persons and others living in humanitarian settings. To realize this right, affected populations must have access to comprehensive reproductive health information and services so they are free to make informed choices about their health and well-being.

The provision of comprehensive and high-quality reproductive health services requires a multisectoral integrated approach. Personnel from sectors such as protection, health, nutrition, education and community service all have an important role in planning and delivering reproductive health services. Needs are best met through involving affected communities in every phase of action: from assessing needs to designing programmes, to launching and maintaining programmes and evaluating their impact.

The Inter-agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings is the result of a collaborative and consultative process engaging over 100 members from United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations that make up the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health in Crises.

The updated information in this Field Manual is based on normative technical guidance of the World Health Organization. It also reflects the good practices documented in crisis settings around the world since the initial field-test version of the Field Manual was released in 1996, followed by the 1999 version, Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations: An Inter-agency Field Manual. This latest edition reflects the wide application of the Field Manual’s principles and technical content beyond refugee

Global status report on alcohol and health 2014

May 16, 2014 Comments off

Global status report on alcohol and health 2014
Source: World Health Organization

The report provides a global overview of alcohol consumption in relation to public health (Chapter 1) as well as information on: the consumption of alcohol in populations (Chapter 2); the health consequences of alcohol consumption (Chapter 3); and policy responses at national level (Chapter 4). In addition the report contains country profiles for WHO Member States and appendices with statistical annexes, a description of the data sources and methods used as well as references.

WHO — Guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of persons with hepatitis C infection

May 1, 2014 Comments off

Guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of persons with hepatitis C infection
Source: World Health Organization

These are the first guidelines dealing with hepatitis C treatment produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and complement existing guidance on the prevention of transmission of bloodborne viruses, including HCV. They are intended for policy-makers, government officials, and others working in low- and middleincome countries who are developing programmes for the screening, care and treatment of persons with HCV infection.

These guidelines serve as a framework that can allow the expansion of clinical services to patients with HCV infection, as they provide key recommendations in these areas and discuss considerations for implementation. The guidelines are also intended for health-care providers who care for persons with HCV infection in low- and middle-countries and provide them guidance in the management of patients infected with HCV.

WHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health

May 1, 2014 Comments off

WHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health
Source: World Health Organization

A new report by WHO–its first to look at antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, globally–reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Antibiotic resistance–when bacteria change so antibiotics no longer work in people who need them to treat infections–is now a major threat to public health.

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” says Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security. “Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine. Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”

7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution

March 25, 2014 Comments off

7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution
Source: World Health Organization

In new estimates released today, WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

Guideline on the Use of Devices for Adult Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention

March 14, 2014 Comments off

Guideline on the Use of Devices for Adult Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention
Source: World Health Organization (via National Center for Biotechnology Information)

This guideline provides an evidence-based recommendation on the use of adult male circumcision devices for HIV prevention in public health programmes in high HIV prevalence, resource-limited settings. It also presents key programmatic considerations for the introduction and use of these devices in public health HIV prevention programmes. The primary audiences are policy- and decision-makers, programme managers, health-care providers, donors and implementing agencies.

The guideline was developed according to the WHO standards and requirements for guideline development. The process involved internal and external consultations with technical experts, national programme managers, consumer advocates and an evidence review methodologist. Two complementary annexes are also available.

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