Dr Margaret Chan appointed to a second term as Director-General

The World Health Assembly today appointed Dr Margaret Chan for a second five-year term as Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). In her acceptance speech to health ministers and representatives of WHO’s Member States, Dr Chan pledged her continued commitment to improve the health of the most vulnerable. In addition she said that the biggest challenge over the next five years will be to lead WHO in ways that will help maintain the unprecedented momentum for better health that marked the start of this century.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Launches 'Together on Diabetes' in Asia

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has announced a $15 million commitment to bring its Together on Diabetes initiative to China and India. According to the International Diabetes Foundation, more than 9 percent of the population in China and 8.3 percent of the Indian population suffers from type 2 diabetes, and IDF projects those numbers will rise significantly by 2030.

740,000 Lives Saved: Benefits of AIDS Relief Program

The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the government's far-reaching health-care foreign aid program, has contributed to a significant decline in adult death rates from all causes in Africa, according to a new study by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

Brazil’s Ministry of Health and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Announce Strategic Alliance to Advance Innovation in Global Health

BRASÍLIA, Brazil – The Brazilian Ministry of Health today announced a strategic alliance with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to prioritize the development of solutions for pressing global health issues. This Alliance will dedicate resources to explore new ways of tackling challenges associated with vaccines, nutrition, maternal and child health, and infectious disease control.

US, Haiti launch vaccination campaigns to curb or keep out infectious diseases

Haiti, the United States and international partners are launching a nationwide vaccination campaign in the Caribbean country that seeks to curb or prevent infectious diseases. The campaign will be supported in part by the GAVI Alliance, a group of international health organizations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. In 2012, the GAVI Alliance will provide Haiti with $2.15 million for the pentavalent vaccine in Haiti. The Haitian government will contribute $177,500, which is being paid for by the CDC. GAVI also provided $100,000 to the Haitian government to train health workers.

World Health Day 2012 - good health adds life to years

The World Health Organization will be hosting a panel discussion on April 7, 2012 to mark World Health Day 2012. The topic of World Health Day in 2012 is Ageing and Health with the theme "Good health adds life to years". The panel discussion aims to address public health challenges associated with ageing populations and to provide recommendations and strategies to address them. It also intends to contribute to the deliberations of the “UN General Assembly open-ended working group on ageing”.

How to meet 111 million children in four days

Health Ministries, UN agencies and communities are uniting with tens of thousands of volunteer immunizers over four days to go door-to-door and hut to hut for a vaccination campaign against polio in 20 African countries starting on 23 March. Across West and Central Africa, over 111.1 million children below the age of five are expected to be vaccinated through this campaign.

"This year's progress in India has proven what is possible when we focus on the task at hand," he said. "In Africa, the end of polio is in sight, but we still have hard work ahead. Failure is not an option."

World TB Day message from the United Nations Secretary-General

WHO/David Rochkind

March 24th is World TB Day (#WorldTBDay). Now is the time to be even more ambitious and "Stop TB in our lifetime," the theme of this year's World TB Day.

WHO online consultation on the prevention and control of NCDs through effective partnership

The WHO has opened a web-based consultation (19 March 2012 – 9 April 2012). The aim of the consultation is to generate comments from Member States, as well as views of relevant NGOs and selected private sector, on a possible set of specific policy options and recommendations for strengthening and facilitating multisectoral action for the prevention and control of NCDs through effective partnership.

ARV given to HIV-positive children boosts preventive power of key malaria drug, study shows

An antiretroviral (ARV) drug given to HIV-positive children "can boost the preventive power of a key malaria drug," according to a study conducted in Uganda and presented last week at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, ScienceNow reports.