WHO calls for preventive measures against Zika virus in South-East Asia


WHO is urging countries in South-East Asia Region to strengthen surveillance and take preventive measures against the Zika Virus disease which is strongly suspected to have a causal relation with clusters of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities.

The Zika virus is of concern in the Region as the Aedes aegyptii mosquito, responsible for its spread, is found in many areas and immunity to the disease in many populations of the Region is unknown.

Take action against cancer

WHO/Richard Warren

Every year across the world 8.2 million people die from cancer. The fact that two-thirds of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries, and that more than 50% of deaths could have been prevented, is a cause for reflection and action.

In the South-East Asia Region, occupational hazards and exposure to environmental substances continue to be a source of cancer and premature death. Outdoor air pollution increases the risk of cancer for us all.

Another case of MERS CoV importation, WHO urges continued vigilance

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) disease has been confirmed in a traveler in Thailand. This is the second case of MERS CoV importation in the country and in WHO South-East Asia Region.

WHO has cautioned member states in the Region against the continuing risks and the need to remain vigilant.

Five polio-free years; efforts must continue

On 13 January, WHO South-East Asia Region completes five years without any case of wild poliovirus. This is a remarkable achievement in view of the continued threat of poliovirus importation from the remaining polio-endemic countries. WHO South-East Asia Region reported its last case of wild poliovirus in West Bengal, India, in 2011, which facilitated polio-free certification of the Region on 27 March 2014.

Completing half a decade without any case of wild poliovirus is yet another achievement and a reminder that we need to continue our efforts until the disease is eradicated globally.

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Home to a quarter of the world population, WHO SEARO provides leadership on health matters, articulates evidence-based policy options,
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Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh

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