World Health Organization

Polio strategies developed

These strategies came about following lessons learnt in the last 100 days of the emergency response.

The polio outbreak response plan of Papua New Guinea focuses on three main components: 

  • Supplementary immunisation activities
  • Enhanced surveillance; and
  • Communication

The supplementary immunisation activities have seen two national immunisation campaigns targeting more than 3.26 million children under 15 years old across 22 provinces.

Pacific health chiefs meet in Rarotonga

The World Health Organisation says the biennial meeting is an opportunity to develop a unified view of NCDs as a development priority rather than a health concern.

The WHO said Pacific Island countries are struggling to cope with NCDs, including childhood obesity and diabetes, which it says are a burden on health systems and Pacific economies.

It said the causes of NCDs are diverse, therefore, the solutions must be multi-sectoral.

Developing the Pacific's health workforce will also be brought to the attention of ministers.

Depression can be treated and prevented: WHO

The theme of 2017 World Health Day campaign is “Depression- Let’s Talk”.

Globally, around 350 million people of all ages, from all walks of life, suffer from depression.

It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living.

Polluted environments kill 1.7 million children each year, WHO says

The causes include unsafe water, lack of sanitation, poor hygiene practices and indoor and outdoor pollution, as well as injuries.

The new numbers equate to these pollutants being the cause of one in four deaths of children 1 month to 5 years old.

One new report highlights that the most common causes of child death are preventable through interventions already available to the communities most affected. These causes are diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia, which can be prevented using insecticide-treated bed nets, clean cooking fuels and improved access to clean water.

WHO says travellers could be spreading dengue in the Pacific

In the Solomon Islands more than 10-thousand dengue fever cases have been confirmed since an outbreak last August, Vanuatu has had more than 1700 since November, and New Caledonia has had more than 1-thousand cases since September.

WHO surveillance officer Viema Biaukula said many of the outbreaks had been identified as dengue serotype 2 which she said was likely being spread by travel.

Zika shrinks mice testicles, damaging fertility

Not only did male mice infected with the Zika virus have a tougher time getting females pregnant, their levels of sex hormones crashed, and their testicles shrunk by 90%, possibly permanently, according to new researchby the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Of course, these are mice, not men.

Hospital staff set for training

This is to ensure that they are up-to-date with screening and blood donation guidelines and have the right information to deal with any scenario during a blood drive.

Director of Corporate and Youth Blood Drives, Ms Anna Megueria says the staff training conducted by International SOS (ISOS) on clinical aspects of dealing with blood donations assists staff in maintaining their skills in looking after our donors during blood collection.

HIV effort let down by test shortages, says WHO

They looked at responses to annual surveys that the WHO had sent to 127 countries between 2012 and 2014 asking about capacity and usage of blood tests that check HIV status and health.

They found worrying gaps in provision.

They warn that United Nation targets for HIV could be missed as a result.

Nigeria revels in removal from list of polio-endemic nations

Polio which can cause life-long paralysis can be prevented with a simple vaccination.

Polio is no longer endemic in Nigeria, the World Health Organization said late Friday, leaving only Pakistan and its war-battered neighbor Afghanistan in the list of countries where the disease is prevalent.

UN official: Ebola epidemic could be defeated by end of 2015

Dr. Margaret Chan told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that there have been no new cases in Liberia, and only three new cases in Sierra Leone and Guinea, in each of the last two weeks, the lowest numbers in well over a year.

She says fears that the Ebola virus could be permanently established in humans in the region have also been defeated, which is "very good news."

But Chan also cautions against "a false sense of security."