Over one million people in low- and middle-income countries have been treated with a revolutionary new cure for hepatitis C since its introduction two years ago. The new medicines have a cure rate of over 95%, fewer side effects than previously available therapies, and can completely cure the disease within three months.
Lead is a toxic metal whose widespread use has caused extensive environmental contamination and health problems. In 2013 lead exposure accounted for 853 000 deaths and 16.8 million life years lost due to its long-term effects on health. An important source of lead exposure, particularly in children, is paint containing high levels of lead. From 23 to 29 October 2016 the international lead poisoning prevention week of action takes place, with a particular focus on eliminating lead paint.
The interim guidance on prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus has been updated with new evidence and advice. The primary transmission route of Zika virus is via the Aedes mosquito, however mounting evidence shows that sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible and more common than previously assumed. This is of concern due to an association between the Zika virus and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
This year, WHO is encouraging people to “Support mothers to breastfeed anytime, anywhere,” as all of society has a role to play in making our communities more breastfeeding-friendly. This year’s theme for breastfeeding week, "Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development" ensures that the importance of promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding is emphasized in the era of sustainable development.
18 May 2016
On 28 July 2016, WHO observes the World Hepatitis Day and encourages countries to address viral hepatitis. On World Hepatitis Day, WHO calls on policy-makers, health workers and the public to "Know hepatitis - Act now". The Organization urges everyone to inform themselves about the infection, take positive action to know their status by getting tested, and finally seek treatment to reduce needless deaths from this preventable and treatable infection.
7 June 2016
Thailand's the first country in Asia that's achieved elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis
On Monday 20 June 2016, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatdayadorn, Public Health minister along with representatives of UNICEF, UNAIDS and other international agencies met with General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Prime Minister of Thailand at the government house to congratulate Thailand on the validation of elimination mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Thailand is the first country in Asia and second in the world that has achieved validation.
7 June 2016
Thailand received validation from WHO for having eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, becoming the first country in Asia and the Pacific region and also the first with a large HIV epidemic to ensure an AIDS-free generation. Thailand’s pioneering success and leadership demonstrates how countries can make real change when good policy is followed up with high-level commitment.