WHO & Regional Offices [to 13 May 2017]
WHO: Access to medicines: making market forces serve the poor
11 May 2017
Nearly 2 billion people have no access to basic medicines, causing a cascade of preventable misery and suffering. Since the landmark agreement on the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, WHO and its partners have launched a number of initiatives that are making market forces serve the poor. The WHO prequalification programme is now firmly established as a mechanism for improving access to safe, effective and quality-assured products.
Access to medicines
WHO has struggled to improve access to medicines throughout its nearly 70-year history, and rightly so. Good health is impossible without access to pharmaceutical products. Universal health coverage depends on the availability of quality-assured affordable health technologies in sufficient quantities.
Lack of access to medicines causes a cascade of misery and suffering, from no relief for the excruciating pain of a child’s earache, to women who bleed to death during childbirth, to deaths from diseases that are easily and inexpensively prevented or cured. Lack of access to medicines is one inequality that can be measured by a starkly visible yardstick: numbers of preventable deaths.
Efforts to improve access to medicines are driven by a compelling ethical imperative. People should not be denied access to life-saving or health-promoting interventions for unfair reasons, including those with economic or social causes.
Millions of yearly childhood deaths from diseases that could have been prevented or cured by existing medical products would be unthinkable in a fair and just world.
The world is neither. An estimated two billion people have no access to essential medicines, effectively shutting them off from the benefits of advances in modern science and medicine.
WHO improves transparency of financial data
12 May 2017 – WHO is improving transparency and accountability with the launch of a redesigned Programme Budget Web Portal that makes budget and spending information easier to access, use and understand. The redesigned portal provides timely and detailed budget, financing and expenditure data on WHO activities and how they are funded in countries, regions and internationally.
WHO calls for immediate action in Somalia
11 May 2017 – WHO is concerned by the shortage of funding for life-saving work in Somalia in response to the ongoing drought that has plunged the country further towards famine, disease, and health insecurity. Drought in Somalia led to the destruction of crops and livestock, leaving more than 3.3 million people hungry. If this continues, famine could soon be a reality, creating a devastating cycle of hunger and disease.
WHO list of priority medical devices for cancer management
May 2017 – From kick buckets to MRI units, medical devices are an indispensable part of preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer, as well as for palliative care for cancer patients. WHO’s new List of priority medical devices for cancer management describes hundreds of devices that are needed for six types of cancer: breast, cervical, colorectal, leukemia, lung and prostate.
WHO responds to resurgent cholera in Yemen
May 2017 – WHO and partners are responding to an upsurge in cholera transmission in several parts of Yemen that has claimed 51 lives and caused around 2752 suspected cases since 27 April 2017. WHO has rapidly distributed medicines and medical supplies, including cholera kits, oral rehydration solutions and intravenous (IV) fluids as well as medical furniture and equipment for diarrhoea treatment centres.
Preparing for the next influenza pandemic
May 2017 – This year the World Health Assembly will receive the first review of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework – an agreement helping to prepare the world for the next influenza pandemic by ensuring that all countries, whether rich or poor, have access to influenza vaccines.
Weekly Epidemiological Record, 12 May 2017, vol. 92, 19 (pp. 241–268)
Human papillomavirus vaccines: WHO position paper, May 2017
WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO
:: Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo 13 May 2017 [See Milestones above for more detail]
:: Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Public Health, announces an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Likati district, Bas-Uélé Province (northern DRC) following confirmation by the National Biomedical Research Institute. – 12 May 2017
:: Ebola vaccines for Guinea and the world – 08 May 2017
WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
No new announcements identified.
WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
:: Amitabh Bachchan appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia Region SEAR/PR/1649
Mumbai, 12 May 2017 – World Health Organization today appointed legendary Indian movie star Mr Amitabh Bachchan as its Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia Region to boost awareness and intensify action to arrest the hepatitis epidemic.
WHO European Region EURO
:: Reviewing the health impact and effectiveness of urban green space interventions 11-05-2017
:: Reducing the SDG reporting burden: WHO/Europe’s initiative presented at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 09-05-2017
WHO Western Pacific Region
:: DOH, WHO Launch Cooperation Strategies Toward a Healthy Philippines
DAVAO CITY, 11 May 2017 – Health statistics over the years indicate that more Filipinos live longer now as a result of collaborative efforts of the government, various development partners and stakeholders. Several health sector reforms have been made to expand the breadth and depth of health service delivery and coverage. The World Health Organization has been a staunch partner of the Government in developing strategies to improve the health of the people.