World Health Organization News

World Health Organization

75th World Health Assembly will run from the 22-28 May

75th World Health Assembly to focus on “Health for Peace, Peace for Health” for recovery and renewal Geneva/ New Delhi 18th May 2022: In a world threatened by conflict, inequities, the climate crisis and pandemics, the Seventy-fifth session of the World Health Assembly will stress the importance of building a healthy and peaceful planet by harnessing science, data, technology and innovation. The theme of the 75th World Health Assembly This year’s session of the Health Assembly will focus on the theme of “Health for Peace, Peace for Health” and will run from 22-28 May at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. It will include the appointment of the next WHO Director-General. “The pandemic has undermined progress towards the health-related targets in Sustainable Development Goals and laid bare inequities within and between countries,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Sustained recovery will require more than ‘getting back on track’ and reinvesting in existing services and systems. We need a new approach, which means shifting priorities and focusing on the highest-impact interventions.” The Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly will kick off with a high-level segment on 22 May with speeches from the elected Health Assembly President, Heads of State, special guests, an address by the WHO Director-General and the presentation of the Director-General’s Health Awards. The Director-General’s speech will set out WHO’s five priorities going forward, expanding from the vision delivered at the Executive Board meeting held in January 2022. World Health Statistics will be published by WHO Ahead of the Health Assembly, on 20 May, WHO will publish the latest set of World Health Statistics, its annual compilation of health statistics for WHO’s 194 Member States. The latest edition summarizes trends in life expectancy and causes of death and reports on progress towards global health/development goals for 2020. The 2020-2021 Results Report, also published before WHA, summarizes the Organization’s achievements and challenges in implementing the programme budget. Key issues for the 75th World Health Assembly The Health Assembly will discuss global strategies on food safety, oral health, and tuberculosis research and innovation. It will also discuss the report of the Working…

COVID-19 News

WHO recommended two new drugs to treat COVID-19

The drugs add to an expanding toolbox for COVID-19 treatment COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines: In its latest COVID guidelines, WHO ‘strongly recommends’ the Baricitinib antibody treatment for critical patients. New Delhi/ Geneva 14 January 2021 | The world Health Organization (WHO) has recommended two new drugs for COVID-19, providing yet more options for treating the disease.  The extent to which these medicines will save lives depends on how widely available and affordable they will be. WHO ‘Strongly’ Recommends Baricitinib for COVID-19 Patients: What Is It? The first drug, baricitinib, is strongly recommended for patients with severe or critical COVID-19.  It is part of a class of drugs called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors that suppress the overstimulation of the immune system.  WHO recommends that it is given with corticosteroids. Baricitinib dose for COVID Baricitinib is an oral drug, used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.  It provides an alternative to other arthritis drugs called Interleukin-6 receptor blockers, recommended by WHO in July 2021. Sotrovimab covid treatment WHO has also conditionally recommended the use of a monoclonal antibody drug, sotrovimab, for treating mild or moderate COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of hospitalization. This includes patients who are older, immunocompromised, having underlying conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, and those unvaccinated. Sotrovimab: What to Know About the WHO Recommended COVID Treatment WHO has also clarified that it is not certain about Sotrovimab’s effect on Omicron variant infected COVID patients. Sotrovimab is an alternative to casirivimab-imdevimab, a monoclonal antibody cocktail recommended by WHO in September 2021. WHO has also clarified that studies are ongoing on the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies against Omicron but early laboratory studies show that sotrovimab retains its activity. The panel of experts developing the guidelines also looked at two other drugs for severe and critical COVID-19: ruxolitinib and tofacitinib.  Given their uncertain effects, WHO made a conditional recommendation against their use. According to WHO, the two newly recommended drugs – baricitinib and sotrovimab – have been invited for WHO Prequalification, which assesses the quality, efficacy and safety of priority health products to increase access in lower income countries….

Antimicrobial resistance

Antibiotic resistance: A safe and easy process to produce antimicrobial agents

 New Delhi, Dec 14: A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)-Bhopal, has developed a safe and easy procedure to produce silver nanomaterials that can be used as antimicrobial agents. What is Antibiotic resistance? Antibiotic resistance is a serious condition in which bacteria and other microbes that invade the human body become resistant to the antibiotics/antimicrobials that are meant to kill them. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared bacterial antibiotic resistance as one of the most important crises facing humanity. The problem is particularly serious in India due to the rampant and indiscriminate use of antibiotics in humans, livestock, and agriculture. There is a dire need for antibiotic substitutes and Nano-technological solutions. The study by the IISER Bhopal team promises to fill the gap. Silver, the common ornamental metal, when present as Nano-sized particles – one hundred thousand times smaller than the width of a single human hair – has good antimicrobial properties. Medical practitioners have used silver in various forms to prevent infections and promote healing from ancient times. Generally, silver nanomaterials are produced using toxic precursors that often generate harmful by-products inside the system. The procedure developed by the IISER team has overcome this problem. The researchers used an amino acid called Tyrosine, which is present in many food items, including meat, dairy, nuts, and beans. They treated silver nitrate, the main component of the ‘election ink’ used to stain nails after voting in India, with tyrosine in the presence of caustic soda. Tyrosine functioned as a reducing agent and capping agent to produce silver nanomaterials. On examining the product under high-resolution microscopes they found two forms of silver nanostructures – nanoclusters and nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were found to kill microbes such as S. cerevisiae (associated with pneumonia, peritonitis, UTI etc.), C. Albicans (oral and genital infections), and E. coli (stomach infection), in about four hours. The smaller-sized nanoclusters, in turn, were luminescent and had the potential to be used as bioimaging probes.  The group also elucidated the mechanism by which the nanoparticles kill microbes. They found that the nanoparticles generate…

World Health Organization

More than half a billion people pushed or pushed further into extreme poverty due to health care costs

Monitoring universal health coverage – WHO COVID-19 pandemic disrupts health services worldwide DUBAI/GENEVA/WASHINGTON DC — 12 December 2021 — New evidence compiled by the World Health Organization and the World Bank shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to halt two decades of global progress towards Universal Health Coverage. The organizations also reveal that more than half a billion people are being pushed into extreme poverty because they have to pay for health services out of their own pockets. 2 reports launched Universal Health Coverage Day 2021 The findings are contained in two complementary reports, launched on Universal Health Coverage Day, highlighting the devastating impact of COVID-19 on people’s ability to obtain health care and pay for it. In 2020, the pandemic disrupted health services and stretched countries’ health systems beyond their limits as they struggled to deal with the impact of COVID-19. As a result, for example, immunization coverage dropped for the first time in ten years, and deaths from TB and malaria increased. Know about universal health coverage (UHC) Universal health coverage (UHC) is a priority goal for many countries and has also emerged as a possible goal in the post-2015 development agenda. Monitoring progress towards UHC is critical globally and especially in countries, including intervention coverage, financial risk protection, both with an equity dimension. Covid-19 pandemic triggered the worst economic crisis The pandemic also triggered the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, making it increasingly difficult for people to pay for care. Even before the pandemic, half a billion people were being pushed (or pushed still further) into extreme poverty because of payments they made for health care. The organizations expect that that number is now considerably higher. “There is no time to spare,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “All governments must immediately resume and accelerate efforts to ensure every one of their citizens can access health services without fear of the financial consequences. This means strengthening public spending on health and social support, and increasing their focus on primary health care systems that can provide essential care close to home.” He added: “Prior to…

World Health Organization

WHO’s World Patient Safety Day Goals 2021 promote safe maternal and newborn practices

Why is Patient Safety important? World patient safety day theme 2021. World safety day 2021 date. Geneva, 16 September 2021 – The World Health Organization is calling on healthcare facility managers, leaders and health workers around the world to adopt a set of 5 World Patient Safety Day Goals 2021 to improve maternal and newborn safety at the points of care, particularly around childbirth. The goals will be launched at a Virtual Global Conference “Together for safe and respectful maternal and newborn care” on World Patient Safety Day on 17 September, with this year’s theme – Safe maternal and newborn care. Every day, approximately 800 women and 6 700 babies lose their lives around the time of childbirth. In addition, nearly 5 400 babies are stillborn daily, with 40% of these deaths occurring in relation to labour and childbirth. Most stillbirths, maternal and newborn deaths and harm are avoidable through the provision of safe, respectful and quality care during pregnancy, childbirth and in the first days of life. What are 5 World Patient Safety Day Goals 2021? The 5 World Patient Safety Day Goals 2021 aim to improve maternal and newborn safety at the point of care and to accelerate action towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of reducing maternal mortality and ending avoidable deaths of newborns by 2030. The goals are to: –    Reduce unnecessary and harmful practices to women and newborns during childbirth –    Strengthen the capacity of and support to health workers for safe maternal and newborn care –    Promote respectful care for safe childbirth –    Improve safe use of medication and blood transfusion during childbirth –    Report and analyze safety incidents in childbirth. WHO is urging health care facility leaders, managers and health workers to sign up to these goals on an online platform recently created by WHO. History of World Patient Safety Day 2021 World Patient Safety Day, established by the World Health Assembly in 2019, aims to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and work towards global solidarity and action by countries and partners to promote safety in health care. This year’s…

World Health Organization

Call for experts to join Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens

Deadline extended to 17 September (from 10 September) New Delhi/Geneva 11th September 2021: The World Health Organization (WHO) extended today to 17th September (previously set for 10th September) an open call for experts to serve as members of the new WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO). The SAGO will advise WHO on technical and scientific considerations regarding the origins of emerging and re-emerging pathogens of epidemic and pandemic potential, and will be composed of a wide range of experts acting in their personal capacity. SAGO will also guide WHO on next steps for understanding the SARS-CoV-2 origins. There have been an increasing number of high threat pathogens emerging and re-emerging in recent years with, for example, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, Lassa, Marburg, Ebola, Nipah, avian influenza, the latest being SARS-CoV-2. There is a clear need for robust surveillance and early actions for rapid detection and mitigation efforts, as well as systematic processes to study the emergence of these pathogens and routes of transmission from their natural reservoirs to humans. This is critical to helping WHO, Member States and partner institutions to prepare for future spillover threats and to minimize the risk of a disease outbreak growing into a pandemic. From SARS-CoV-2, which continues to wreak havoc around the world, to the next “Disease X”, this global framework to study the emergence of new and known high threat pathogens needs to be comprehensive and coordinated based on a One Health approach. It should also encompass biosafety and biosecurity. And it needs to be scientific, transparent, comprehensive, rapid and inclusive. Functions of SAGO In its capacity as an advisory body to WHO, the SAGO will have the following functions: To advise WHO on the development of a WHO global framework to define and guide studies into the origins of emerging and re-emerging pathogens of epidemic and pandemic potential; To advise WHO on prioritizing studies and field investigations into the origins of emerging and re-emerging pathogens of epidemic and pandemic potential, in accordance with the WHO global framework described in point (1) above; To provide information and views to assist…

World Health Organization

Know whether WHO has announced the COVID-19 Compensation Lottery Prize?

Fraudulent “COVID-19 Compensation Lottery Prize” scam, falsely alleges association with WHO and others WHO Alert on “COVID-19 Compensation Lottery Prize” scam New Delhi-11th August 2021–The World Health Organization (WHO) has been made aware of correspondences being circulated by scammers (acting under the name of Capital Finance, Inc. London), falsely notifying recipients of such correspondences that they have been selected as a beneficiary/winner of a US$1 million lottery compensation prize payment for losses and damages suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scammers falsely state that they have been appointed by WHO These fraudulent correspondences falsely allege that the so-called “COVID-19 Lottery Compensation Prize” is brought to you by WHO, in association with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).   These scammers—who claim to be a financial management firm in London—falsely state that they have been appointed by WHO to process payment of the “COVID-19 Lottery Compensation Prize”.  In addition, these scams seek to obtain personal details and, in some cases, money from the recipients of such fraudulent correspondences, including (but not limited to) by requesting recipients to urgently send the scammers: (1) a copy of the recipient’s passport or proof of identification, (2) his/her nationality, (3) his/her occupation, and (4) the recipient’s mailing address, email address and telephone number, in order to enable the scammers to process the fraudulent lottery compensation prize payment. WHO warns the public WHO seeks to warn the public at large that the “COVID-19 Lottery Compensation Prize” is a fraudulent scam being falsely perpetrated in the name of WHO through different channels (e.g., via email, from Internet websites such as, etc.). In this respect, WHO would like to clarify to the public the following: The “COVID-19 Lottery Compensation Prize” is a fraudulent scam; According to our records, WHO has never appointed or entered into any contractual relationship with any entity by the name of Capital Finance, Inc.; WHO is not involved or associated in any way with the “COVID-19 Lottery Compensation Prize” fraudulent scam; WHO is not offering or conducting a lottery prize to compensate individuals, whose names or…

World Health Organization

COVID-19 booster strategy as Delta multiplies, highlights ‘disappointing inequality’: WHO

Geneva 12th July 2021. The COVID-19 Delta variant is travelling around the world at a “scorching pace” driving a new spike in cases and deaths, but it’s exposing a ‘hugely uneven and inequitable’ global gap in vaccine supply, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. Who DG Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus said, “We don’t know whether booster vaccines will be needed to maintain protection against COVID-19 until additional data is collected, but the question is under consideration by researchers.”  He said, “Clinical trials on these vaccines only began a year ago, and roll-out across populations even more recently. There is, therefore limited data available on how long the protection from current doses lasts and whether an additional booster dose would be beneficial and for whom.” 

COVID-19 News

Interleukin-6 antagonists improve outcomes in hospitalised COVID-19 patients

New Delhi, 07th July 2021: Findings from a study published on 6 July 2021 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) have prompted new World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations to use interleukin-6 antagonists in patients with severe or critical COVID-19 along with corticosteroids. A trial done on 11,000 people A new analysis of 27 randomised trials involving nearly 11,000 patients found that treating hospitalised COVID-19 patients with drugs that block the effects of interleukin-6 (the interleukin-6 antagonists tocilizumab and sarilumab) reduces the risk of death and the need for mechanical ventilation. The study, which was coordinated by WHO in partnership with King’s College London, University of Bristol, University College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, found that interleukin-6 antagonists were most effective when administered with corticosteroids. In hospitalised patients, administering one of these drugs in addition to corticosteroids reduces the risk of death by 17%, compared to the use of corticosteroids alone. In patients not on mechanical ventilation, the risk of mechanical ventilation or death is reduced by 21%, compared to the use of corticosteroids alone. About NIHR Bristol BRC NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre’s (NIHR Bristol BRC) innovative biomedical research takes science from the laboratory bench or computer and develops it into new drugs, treatments or health advice. About the University of Bristol The University is ranked within the top 10 universities in the UK and top 60 in the world (QS World University Rankings 2021); it is also ranked among the top five institutions in the UK for its research, according to the analysis of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014; and is the 7th most targeted university by top UK employers. In severely ill COVID-19 patients, the immune system overreacts, generating cytokines such as interleukin-6. Clinical trials have been testing whether drugs that inhibit the effects of interleukin-6, such as tocilizumab and sarilumab, benefit hospitalised patients with COVID-19. These trials have variously reported benefits, no effects and harm. This prompted researchers from WHO’s Rapid Evidence Appraisal for COVID-19 Therapies [REACT] Working Group, to examine the clinical benefit of treating hospitalised COVID-19 patients…