WHO

UN agencies tell Pacific to vaccinate against measles

They said this should to happen before travelling internationally, attending major events or community gatherings.

Vaccination provided the best protection against measles and parents should get their children immunised, the agencies said.

In October, Samoa and Tonga both declared measles outbreaks.

Both UNICEF and the WHO said they were continuing to provide resources to Pacific states to respond to the measles threat.

     

WHO recognizes burnout as medical condition

The decision, reached during the World Health Assembly in Geneva, which wraps up on Tuesday, could help put to rest decades of debate among experts over how to define burnout, and whether it should be considered a medical condition.

In the latest update of its catalogue of diseases and injuries around the world, WHO defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

Pacific Community's Tukuitonga nominated for top WHO role

Mr Tukuitonga tweeted he was honoured to be nominated by New Zealand and Pacific health ministers, alluding to it being time for change.

Samoa, American Samoa and WHO talk filariasis

WHO official Dr Jonathon King said that there had been a resurgence in the disease and it had been found in children.

Known in Samoan as mumu, filariasis is characterised by massive swelling of the legs.

Dr King said that because the disease is spread by mosquitoes, they aim to piggy back on vector control programme that are now being done in the territory to stop the spread of dengue, zika and other mosquito borne illnesses.

He said they were planning to have a mass treatment campaign similar to one carried out in American Samoa a number of years ago.

     

WHO cancels Robert Mugabe goodwill ambassador role

"I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns," WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

He had previously praised Zimbabwe for its commitment to public health.

But critics pointed out that Zimbabwe's healthcare system had collapsed in recent years.

During the first 20 years of his 37-year rule, Mr Mugabe widely expanded health care, but the system has badly been affected by the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy since 2000.

Mugabe named goodwill ambassador by WHO

New WHO head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised Zimbabwe for its commitment to public health.

But critics say that during Mr Mugabe's 37-year rule Zimbabwe's health services have deteriorated, with staff regularly unpaid and medicines in short supply.

Dr Tedros, who is Ethiopian, is the first African to lead the WHO.

He was elected with a mandate to tackle perceived politicisation in the organisation.

Dr Tedros replaced Margaret Chan, who stepped down from her 10-year post in June.

WHO says blood donation guidelines don't single out gay men

Activists in Fiji say its Health Ministry's policy of preventing homosexual men from donating blood was unconstitutional and discriminatory.

But the Ministry said its policy was informed by WHO guidelines.

WHO HIV Medical Officer Madeleine Salva said the guidelines also recommend deferring blood donation from people engaging in other high risk sexual behaviours such as having multiple partners, sex workers and their clients.

She said the guidelines don't single out gay men.

Syria conflict: Aleppo evacuation corridors needed, WHO says

A spokeswoman said there were only 35 doctors left to care for hundreds of trapped patients, and that the number of casualties was rising.

Medical supplies are also running out, and there is a shortage of blood.

Russian-backed Syrian government forces launched an assault on eastern Aleppo on Thursday after a truce collapsed.

Eastern parts of the city are held by rebels.

WHO strengthens Zika safe sex guidance

The advice applies even if a person has no symptoms.

It comes a few weeks after doctors discovered the virus in the sperm of an Italian man six months after he first had Zika symptoms.

Zika is spread in bodily fluids.

The main risk of catching the disease is from infected mosquitoes via bites.

Previously, WHO had said men without symptoms only needed to use condoms or abstain from sex for eight weeks as a precaution against spreading Zika.

Rio 2016: WHO says low risk of Zika virus spread at Olympics

The statement came as worry mounted that the mosquito-borne virus, which has spread across much of Latin America and which can lead to severe birth defects in babies, might spread further when the Olympics begin in August.

"The Committee concluded that there is a very low risk of further international spread of Zika virus as a result of the Olympic and Paralympic Games as Brazil will be hosting the Games during the Brazilian winter," the WHO said.

The global health agency explained that the intensity of the transmission of viruses like dengue and Zika "will be minimal".