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ECDC visit to the MediPIET Training Site in Moldova

ECDC - News - Fri, 05/24/2024 - 10:31
On 15 and 16 May 2024, staff from the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) visited the National Agency for Public Health (ANSP) in Moldova to assess its capacity as a training site for the MediPIET programme.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

COVID-19 eliminated a decade of progress in global level of life expectancy

WHO news - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 16:00

The latest edition of the World Health Statistics released today by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic reversed the trend of steady gain in life expectancy at birth and healthy life expectancy at birth (HALE).

The pandemic wiped out nearly a decade of progress in improving life expectancy within just two years. Between 2019 and 2021, global life expectancy dropped by 1.8 years to 71.4 years (back to the level of 2012). Similarly, global healthy life expectancy dropped by 1.5 years to 61.9 years in 2021 (back to the level of 2012).

The 2024 report also highlights how the effects have been felt unequally across the world. The WHO regions for the Americas and South-East Asia were hit hardest, with life expectancy dropping by approximately 3 years and healthy life expectancy by 2.5 years between 2019 and 2021. In contrast, the Western Pacific Region was minimally affected during the first two years of the pandemic, with losses of less than 0.1 years in life expectancy and 0.2 years in healthy life expectancy.

“There continues to be major progress in global health, with billions of people who are enjoying better health, better access to services, and better protection from health emergencies,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “But we must remember how fragile progress can be. In just two years, the COVID-19 pandemic erased a decade of gains in life expectancy. That's why the new Pandemic Agreement is so important: not only to strengthen global health security, but to protect long-term investments in health and promote equity within and between countries.”

Noncommunicable diseases remain the top killer

COVID-19 rapidly emerged as a leading cause of death, ranking as the third highest cause of mortality globally in 2020 and the second in 2021. Nearly 13 million lives were lost during this period. The latest estimates reveal that except in the African and Western Pacific regions, COVID-19 was among the top five causes of deaths, notably becoming the leading cause of death in the Americas for both years.

The WHO report also highlights that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as ischemic heart disease and stroke, cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and diabetes were the biggest killers before the pandemic, responsible for 74% of all deaths in 2019. Even during the pandemic, NCDs continued to account for 78% of non-COVID deaths.

Increasing obesity and malnutrition

The world faces a massive and complex problem of a double burden of malnutrition, where undernutrition coexists with overweight and obesity. In 2022, over one billion people aged five years and older were living with obesity, while more than half a billion were underweight. Malnutrition in children was also striking, with 148 million children under five years old affected by stunting (too short for age), 45 million suffering from wasting (too thin for height), and 37 million overweight.

The report further highlights the significant health challenges faced by persons with disabilities, refugees and migrants. In 2021, about 1.3 billion people, or 16% of the global population, had disability. This group is disproportionately affected by health inequities resulting from avoidable, unjust and unfair conditions.

Access to healthcare for refugees and migrants remains limited, with only half of the 84 countries surveyed between 2018 and 2021 providing government-funded health services to these groups at levels comparable to their citizens. This highlights the urgent need for health systems to adapt and address the persisting inequities and changing demographic needs of global populations.

Progress towards the Triple Billion targets and SDGs

Despite setbacks caused by the pandemic, the world has made some progress towards achieving the Triple Billion targets and health-related indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Since 2018, an additional 1.5 billion people achieved better health and well-being. Despite gains, rising obesity, high tobacco use and persistent air pollution hinder progress.

Universal Health Coverage expanded to 585 million more people, falling short of the goal for one billion. Additionally, only 777 million more people are likely to be adequately protected during health emergencies by 2025, falling short of the one billion target set in WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work. This protection is increasingly important as the effects of climate change and other global crises increasingly threaten health security.

“While we have made progress towards the Triple Billion targets since 2018, a lot still needs to be done. Data is WHO’s superpower. We need to use it better to deliver more impact in countries,” said Dr Samira Asma, WHO Assistant Director-General for Data, Analytics and Delivery for Impact. “Without accelerating progress, it is unlikely that any of the health SDGs will be met by 2030.”

Editors’ note:

The World Health Statistics report is WHO’s annual compilation of the most recent available data on health and health-related indicators. For inquiries, contact healthstat@who.int


Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) supports the implementation of WHO's extended 13th General Programme of Work with flexible funding

WHO news - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 15:12

Ahead of the World Health Assembly 77, Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have signed Core Contribution Agreement to support the implementation of the extended 13th WHO Programme of Work.

The agreement entails a contribution of $4 million from the State of Qatar to WHO, through QFFD, aimed at enhancing the Organization's efforts in addressing global health challenges. This partnership underscores the State of Qatar and QFFD's unwavering commitment to improving health outcomes and promoting sustainable development goals worldwide.

"Our partnership with WHO is a testament to our dedication to leaving no one behind in the pursuit of health equity worldwide. By supporting WHO, we aim to empower communities, enhance healthcare access, and contribute to a healthier future for all." Said Mr Sultan Ahmed Al-Aseeri, Acting Director-General of QFFD.

“Flexible funds are critical for WHO’s life-saving work. With thanks to long-standing partners like the Qatar Fund for Development, WHO can use these funds to swiftly respond to global health needs as they arise. I am grateful to the State of Qatar for their support and for allowing us the flexibility we need to carry out our mission and mandate,‘’ said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The extended 13th WHO Programme of Work (GWP13) focuses on a comprehensive approach to health, addressing communicable and non-communicable diseases, strengthening health systems, and promoting health through the life course. This collaboration will particularly emphasize supporting countries in crisis and post-crisis contexts, aligning with the State of Qatar and QFFD's mission to provide crucial aid where it is needed most.

As the world continues to navigate complex health challenges, the partnership between QFFD and WHO represents a beacon of hope and a model for international cooperation in the realm of global health. This agreement is a significant step towards achieving the shared goal of a healthier, more resilient world.

ECDC and Egypt organise workshop addressing the impact of climate change on infectious diseases

ECDC - News - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 13:56
On 21–23 May 2024, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in collaboration with Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population organised a workshop addressing the intersection of climate change and infectious diseases.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

Tobacco and nicotine industry tactics addict youth for life

WHO news - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 11:01

The World Health Organization (WHO) and STOP, a global tobacco industry watchdog, are launching today “Hooking the next generation,” a report highlighting how the tobacco and nicotine industry designs products, implements marketing campaigns and works to shape policy environments to help them addict the world’s youth.

This comes just ahead of World No Tobacco Day marked on 31 May, where WHO is amplifying the voices of young people who are calling on governments to protect them from being targets of the tobacco and nicotine industry.

The report shows that globally an estimated 37 million children aged 13–15 years use tobacco, and in many countries, the rate of e-cigarette use among adolescents exceeds that of adults. In the WHO European Region, 20% of 15-year-olds surveyed reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.

Despite significant progress in reducing tobacco use, the emergence of e-cigarettes and other new tobacco and nicotine products present a grave threat to youth and tobacco control. Studies demonstrate that e-cigarette use increases conventional cigarette use, particularly among non-smoking youth, by nearly three times.

"History is repeating, as the tobacco industry tries to sell the same nicotine to our children in different packaging,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “These industries are actively targeting schools, children and young people with new products that are essentially a candy-flavoured trap. How can they talk about harm reduction when they are marketing these dangerous, highly-addictive products to children?”

These industries continue to market their products to young people with enticing flavours like candy and fruit. Research in the United States of America found that more than 70% of youth e-cigarette users would quit if the products were only available in tobacco flavour.

"These industries are intentionally designing products and utilizing marketing strategies that appeal directly to children," said Dr Ruediger Krech, Director, WHO Director of Health Promotion. "The use of child-friendly flavours like cotton candy and bubblegum, combined with sleek and colourful designs that resemble toys, is a blatant attempt to addict young people to these harmful products."

These deceptive tactics highlight the urgent need for strong regulations to protect young people from a lifetime of harmful dependence.

WHO urges governments to protect young people from the uptake of tobacco, e-cigarettes and other nicotine products by banning or tightly regulating these products. WHO recommendations include creating 100% smoke-free indoor public places, banning flavoured e-cigarettes, bans on marketing, advertising and promotion, higher taxes, increasing public awareness of the deceptive tactics used by the industry and supporting youth-led education and awareness initiatives.

“Addicted youth represent a lifetime of profits to the industry,” said Jorge Alday, Director, STOP at Vital Strategies. “That’s why the industry aggressively lobbies to create an environment that makes it cheap, attractive and easy for youth to get hooked. If policy makers don’t act, current and future generations may be facing a new wave of harms, characterized by addiction to and use of many tobacco and nicotine products, including cigarettes.”

Youth advocates around the world are taking a stand against the tobacco and nicotine industry’s destructive influence and manipulative marketing. They are exposing these deceptive practices and advocating for their own tobacco-free future. Youth organizations from around the world participated in the latest session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (COP10) to deliver a powerful message to policy makers: “Future generations will remember you as the ones who protected them or the ones who failed them and put them in danger.”

Dr Tedros recognized the following youth organizations among the 2024 World No Tobacco Day Awards:

  • Thailand Youth Institute, Kingdom of Thailand
  • Tobacco Abstinence Club, Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Argentine Republic

These inspiring young leaders are protecting their generation from an industry that sees them as profits, not people.

By working together, governments, public health organizations, civil society, and empowered youth can create a world where the next generation is free from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine addiction.

"All for Health, Health for All" sets the stage for the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly

WHO news - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 16:34

As the world continues to grapple with the aftermath of the most severe pandemic in a century, the Seventy-seventh session of the World Health Assembly will convene under the banner of "All for Health, Health for All." Scheduled to run from 27 May to 1 June, with the participation of ministers of health and other high-level country representatives, the Health Assembly serves as a critical platform for addressing existing global health challenges such as HIV, measles and polio, amidst the climate emergency and the rise of conditions like hypertension and obesity. 

One of the pivotal moments anticipated during the Health Assembly is the Pandemic prevention, preparedness and response accord and the amendments to the International Health Regulations, signaling a concerted effort by Member States to bolster global preparedness and response mechanisms.  

A pre-Health Assembly opening event on Sunday 26 May will kickstart the WHO Investment Round efforts, an engagement with current and potential donors aimed at ensuring sustainable funding for WHO. Additionally, the launch on Tuesday 28 May of WHO’s third Investment case will explain the value proposition, in terms of additional lives saved, if the Fourteenth General Programme of Work (GPW 14), WHO’s strategy for 2025–2028, is carried out in its entirety.  

"The cumulative effects of climate change, disease outbreaks and conflict mean ever more pressure on WHO to respond to the world's health needs,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "This Health Assembly presents our Member States with key opportunities to promote, provide and protect health and well-being for everyone, by adopting the Fourteenth General Programme of Work, the global health strategy for the next four years; by supporting WHO's continued transformation through the WHO Investment Round; and by making the world safer through the Pandemic Agreement and the amendments to the International Health Regulations.” 

Key highlights and decisions 
Key moments and outcomes expected during the Health Assembly include the approval on 28 May of WHO’s 2025–2028 strategy, GPW 14, to address health-related implications of such megatrends as climate change, ageing, migration, and advances in science and technology. The four-year period represents a window to get the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) back on track. 

Crucial decisions are expected on a range of health priorities such as climate and health, WHO’s work in health emergencies, access to transformative tools, communicable diseases, noncommunicable diseases, mental health, women's health and the reform of WHO itself.  

The Health Assembly will feature high-level participation from political leaders and ambassadors, and representatives from civil society and non-State actors, underscoring the global commitment to advancing the public health agenda. 

On Friday 31 May, the Health Assembly President will present six 2024 public health awards to eight laureates for outstanding contributions to public health.

Pre-Health Assembly opening events 

Some events will take place on Sunday 26 May, prior to the Health Assembly official opening on Monday morning. The fifth edition of the Walk the Talk: Health for All challenge will start at Place des Nations at 08:00 CEST to promote physical and mental health. Sports and entertainment leaders will be participating, including WHO Goodwill ambassador Didier Drogba; basketballer and childhood obesity control champion Pau Gasol; Olympic and World 800m champion David Rudisha; Swiss, world Paralympic wheelchair marathon champion Marcel Hug; and choreographer and development advocate Sherrie Silver.  

Later on Sunday, 26 May, from 17:00 to 20:00, the All for Health, Health for All event at WHO headquarters will launch WHO’s first Investment Round and host the Grand Prix awards for the Health for All Film Festival. Mezzo-soprano opera singer Farrah El Dibany will also perform. The event will be live-streamed.  

On Monday 27 May, the Health Assembly will open at 09:00 at the Palais des Nations. The high-level segment is expected to begin at 09:30 with the WHO Director-General presenting the Director-General's Global Health Leaders awards to laureates at about 10:00. (Note: one laureate will receive their award at the 26 May event.) Dr Tedros’ main address will starts at approximately 14:30.   

Strategic Roundtables 
Strategic Roundtables will take place throughout Health Assembly with the theme of “Invest in global health – Invest in WHO.” These events will host discussions among Health Assembly delegates, partner agencies, representatives of civil society and WHO experts on public health priorities. Sessions run from 28 May to 1 June 2024 at 13:00–14:15. A session will also take place on Tuesday evening, 28 May. All sessions can be followed online.  

As WHO’s highest decision-making body, the Health Assembly sets out the Organization’s policy and approves its budget. The Health Assembly is attended by delegations from all 194 WHO Member States. The Health Assembly’s agenda is preceded by the 40th meeting of the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board, meeting on 22–24 May 2024. After the Health Assembly, the 155th meeting of the Executive Board will take place on 3–4 June. 

Challenges and approaches for effective communication around the benefit and risk balance of vaccination

ECDC - News - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 11:56
A recent ECDC study shows that communication around the benefit and risk balance of vaccination is a complex undertaking and therefore requires a mix of different communication approaches to ensure impact across multiple audiences.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

New research flags the urgent need for research and evidence on the impact of climate change on neglected tropical diseases and malaria

WHO news - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 10:54
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Task Team on Climate Change, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and Malaria, in partnership with Reaching the Last Mile (RLM), has released a major scoping review published in Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Joint meeting of the EU/EEA and WHO European Region Surveillance Network for Tuberculosis 2024

ECDC - News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 17:09
ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) recently concluded a crucial joint meeting focused on enhancing tuberculosis (TB) surveillance and monitoring across the WHO European Region.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

New report flags major increase in sexually transmitted infections, amidst challenges in HIV and hepatitis

WHO news - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 10:50
Global HIV, viral hepatitis epidemics and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to pose significant public health challenges, causing 2.5 million deaths each year, according to a new WHO report - Implementing the global health sector strategies on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, 2022–2030.

Largest number of regulatory agencies for medical products approved as WHO Listed Authorities

WHO news - Mon, 05/20/2024 - 10:46
WHO has approved designation of 33 national and regional regulatory authorities as WHO Listed Authorities (WLAs) that can be relied on for fulfilling the highest level of regulatory standards and practices for quality, safety and efficacy of medicines and vaccines.

Ground-breaking progress made in Member State negotiations on amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR)

WHO news - Sat, 05/18/2024 - 19:27

In an historic milestone for global public health, State Parties today agreed in principle on a large, ground-breaking package of amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005). These amendments build on over 300 proposals made by countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. They set out to improve the ability of countries to prepare for, detect and respond to Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEICs), and will be part of a package to be put forward to the World Health Assembly (WHA). The WHA takes place from 27 May–1 June 2024. Negotiators will meet again next week to wrap up their work on the few remaining issues that need to be finalised.

The IHR, which were first adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1969 and last revised in 2005, were conceived to maximize collective efforts to manage public health events while at the same time minimizing their disruption to travel and trade. They have 196 State Parties, comprising all 194 WHO Member States plus Liechtenstein and the Holy See. These Parties have led the process to amend the IHR through the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (WGIHR). Today marked the end of the resumed session of the eighth meeting of the WGIHR.  

This process has been running in parallel to an intergovernmental process to develop an international agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. The draft pandemic agreement, with its own Member State-led negotiating process which resumes on 20 May, is also due to go to the World Health Assembly.

“The International Health Regulations have served the world well for nearly 20 years but our collective experience in using this vital tool for the management of multiple public health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic, has demonstrated important areas in which they could be strengthened for the benefit of all 196 State Parties,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This is historic. Countries have come together around improved international mechanisms to protect every person in the world and future generations from the impact of epidemics and pandemics, with a commitment to equity and solidarity. I thank all the Member States for their unswerving dedication.”

WGIHR Co-Chair Dr Ashley Bloomfield, of New Zealand, said: “It has been a long but very productive and gratifying process to achieve consensus on the majority of the proposed amendments. This shows the importance the world places on being able to prepare effectively for and respond better to epidemic and pandemic threats, and that there is strong international consensus on how to go about international public health protection.”

Fellow WGIHR Co-Chair, Dr Abdullah Assiri, of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said: “Amending the International Health Regulations reflects the critical need to bolster our collective defences against current and future public health risks, all whilst firmly adhering to the principle of national sovereignty and respecting equity. Today, we have coalesced around a robust set of amendments which will make international cooperation more effective and easier to implement.”

A potential new pandemic agreement and the amended IHRs would be complementary international instruments designed and negotiated by Member States to help countries protect their peoples better from future pandemic threats. The IHRs focus on building countries’ capacities to detect and respond to public health events which could take on international dimensions, whilst the draft pandemic accord focuses on a coordinated international response to pandemics, with equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics at the centre.

Ireland and WHO work together to improve access to assistive technology globally

WHO news - Fri, 05/17/2024 - 16:17

Ireland is becoming a global leader in the field of innovation in harnessing digital technologies as a tool to address various barriers for access to care. In alignment with WHO, Ireland recognizes the importance of mobilizing assistive technology to help the 2.5 billion people in need globally, including older persons, people with disabilities, and those living with health conditions. This includes ensuring equitable access to assistive products such as glasses, hearing aids, walking aids, wheelchairs, prosthetics, and communication and memory devices.

In March 2024, Anne Rabbitte, T.D., Ireland’s Minister of State with special responsibility for disabilities at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, agreed to a €12.5 million donor agreement between the Government of Ireland and WHO, aimed at accelerating affordability and availability of assistive technology for those in need.

The cooperation has been building throughout the years. Back in 2022, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, TD, launched the Global report on assistive technology, along with the Director-General of WHO and the Executive Director of UNICEF. The Taoiseach highlighted the importance of international cooperation to ensure more equitable access to assistive technology, in order to achieve a society where everyone is included and enabled to live their best life.

Minister Rabbitte stated that: “Ireland has identified the serious need to invest in public health systems alongside the WHO. The present risk of rising health needs coupled with a decreasing pool of health and social care professionals globally reveals an urgent need for all of us to act now. Ireland’s contribution aligns with the recommendations of the Global Report on Assistive Technology and supports a five-year initiative towards achieving national health system models that include assistive technology. The programme will explore and demonstrate how digital technology can facilitate people-centred services, assistive technology policy, improve the affordability and appropriateness of assistive products, enable effective provision systems, and boost the capacity of health personnel to identify, screen, refer and provide assistive technology for all those in need.”

Health personnel in Tanzania participating in on-line training on assistive products, as part of an overall program aimed at provision of simple assistive products through community and primary health care facilities - making products such as walking aids and reading glasses more readily available for people within their local area. Digital technology was instrumental in facilitating efficient learning through the platform, and enabling support for health workers from their mentors through communication apps after the training. Credit: WHO/Kylie Shae

With an ageing global population and a rise in noncommunicable diseases, an estimated 3.5 billion people will need assistive technology by 2050. Dr Yukiko Nakatani, WHO Assistant Director-General, Access to Medicines and Health Products, welcomes this important contribution from Ireland and their leadership in the digital initiative. She said: “The 2018 World Health Assembly resolution on assistive technology calls upon WHO to take the necessary steps to promote equitable access to assistive technology in our endeavour to build a more inclusive world. Our partnership with the Government of Ireland will support WHO in achieving our mission to ensure health for all, everywhere, with assistive technologies as an important enabler of well-being, inclusion, and participation.”

Through Ireland’s contribution, and in collaboration with its broad network of partners, WHO will develop evidence-based guidance for Member States on strengthening access to assistive technology through understanding, prioritising and stimulating increased innovation and use of digital solutions. The work will also involve national, regional, and global projects that test digital solutions designed to address persistent access barriers such as: digital platforms that empower users with information about assistive technology and how to access it; digital tracking of products to manage supply; and online training and support for health workers. The results and lessons learned will help countries expand their knowledge, skills, and capacities in the provision of assistive technology as an integral component of Universal Health Care.

‘Leaving no one behind’ means ensuring that people with disabilities, the older population, those affected by chronic diseases and everyone who needs assistive technology are included in society and able to live healthy and dignified lives.

* * * *

Click below to find out what is assistive technology, who needs it, and how it improves lives

Assistive technology is an umbrella term for external products used by individuals to help maintain or improve their bodily functions. Common examples are wheelchairs, glasses, prosthetic limbs, white canes, and hearing aids as well as digital solutions such as speech recognition or time management software. Assistive technology helps people in all aspects of their lives, including in education, employment, fitness, leisure and other everyday activities such as self-care, cooking and reading.

Most people will need assistive technology at some point in their lives, especially as they age. While some may require assistive technology temporarily, such as after an accident or illness, others may require it for a longer period or throughout their lifespan. It is commonly needed by older people, children and adults with disabilities, people who have been injured or who have a health condition such as diabetes, stroke and dementia.

Equitable access is key

Improving access to assistive technology enables the inclusion and participation of users in their family, community and all areas of society, including the political, economic and social spheres. Assistive technology positively impacts a person, their family and friends, and has broader socioeconomic benefits. For example:

  • early provision of hearing aids for young children supports their development of language and communication skills, limiting negative impacts on their education, future employment and community participation;
  • provision of appropriate wheelchairs facilitates mobility, improving individuals’ access to education and employment while reducing healthcare costs due to a reduction in secondary complications such as pressure sores and contractures;
  • therapeutic footwear for diabetes reduces the incidence of foot ulcers, preventing amputations and the associated impact on individuals and burden on health-care systems; and
  • timely provision of assistive technology for older people can improve their independence and safety as well as enable them to live at home for as long as possible.
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Cases of invasive meningococcal disease reported in travellers returning from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

ECDC - News - Fri, 05/17/2024 - 10:20
ECDC is monitoring reports from three countries (France, the United Kingdom and the United States) of cases of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) associated with travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

WHO updates list of drug-resistant bacteria most threatening to human health

WHO news - Thu, 05/16/2024 - 17:09
The list provides guidance on the development of new and necessary treatments to stop the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Experts from Western Balkans and Türkiye attend conference on healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance

ECDC - News - Wed, 05/15/2024 - 13:01
In a concerted effort to combat healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Belgian EU Presidency on 6-7 May co-hosted a conference at the national public health institute of Belgium, Sciensano, in Brussels.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

ECDC launches new framework for prevention of communicable diseases

ECDC - News - Wed, 05/15/2024 - 12:00
ECDC has developed a new framework for the prevention of infectious diseases, which is based on social and behavioural sciences, health promotion, health literacy and health education, and which provides an extra focus on socio-economic risk factors.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

WHO prequalifies new dengue vaccine

WHO news - Wed, 05/15/2024 - 11:23
A new vaccine for dengue received prequalification from the World Health Organization (WHO) on 10 May 2024. TAK-003 is the second dengue vaccine to be prequalified by WHO. Developed by Takeda, it is a live-attenuated vaccine containing weakened versions of the four serotypes of the virus that cause dengue.

Cases of Crimean-Congo haemorragic fever cases linked to tick bites reported in Europe

ECDC - News - Mon, 05/13/2024 - 09:46
Additional cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), a potentially life threatening tick-borne viral disease, have been reported in the EU/EEA, according to new data published by ECDC. Experts have warned of an increased risk of transmission on the continent.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

Governments agree to continue their steady progress on proposed pandemic agreement ahead of the World Health Assembly

WHO news - Fri, 05/10/2024 - 22:15

Governments of the world today agreed to continue working on a proposed pandemic agreement, and to further refine the draft, ahead of the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly that starts 27 May 2024.

Governments meeting at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva agreed to resume hybrid and in-person discussions over coming weeks to advance work on critical issues, including around a proposed new global system for pathogen access and benefits sharing (i.e. life-saving vaccines, treatments and diagnostics); pandemic prevention and One Health; and the financial coordination needed to scale up countries’ capacities to prepare for and respond to pandemics.

"During more than two years of intensive negotiations, WHO’s Member States have shown unwavering commitment to forging a generational agreement to protect the world from a repeat of the horrors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “I welcome the determination that all countries have shown to continue their work and fulfill the mission on which they embarked.”

The Member State-led Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) was established over two years ago to take this effort forward. The Bureau of the INB, which is guiding the process, will submit its outcome for consideration at the World Health Assembly.

INB Bureau Co-Chair Dr Precious Matsoso, from South Africa, said progress had been made during this latest round of discussions on a wide range of issues contained in the draft agreement.

“We are witnessing history play out before our eyes during this process, with the coming together of all countries to decide a binding pact to protect all citizens of the world,” said Ms Matsoso. “This is not a simple exercise. This is the first ever process to develop a proposed agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. Getting this done means getting it right, and the INB Bureau is committed to help finalize a meaningful, lasting agreement.”

Fellow INB Bureau Co-Chair, Mr Roland Driece, from the Netherlands, said when countries launched the process two years ago to develop a pandemic agreement, they did so knowing they had set an ambitious timeline to reach an ambitious goal.

“This unprecedented effort by all WHO Member States was launched in response to an unprecedented global emergency – the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr Driece. “These sovereign states did so recognizing that great collaboration and coordination were needed in the face of pandemics. While negotiations have been challenging at times, all countries agree that the world must be better prepared for the next pandemic. It is not a matter of if a pandemic will happen again; it is a matter of when. We cannot afford to miss this historic opportunity to make the world safer from the next pandemic threat.”

In March 2021, heads of state and government from two dozen countries issued a statement of commitment calling for global collaboration to prepare for, prevent and respond to pandemics. In December 2021, WHO Member States decided to launch a global process to draft and negotiate a legally binding convention, agreement or other international instrument to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.



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