WHO

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The WHO has declared a state of emergency to mobilise funds for research and greater awareness. Salvatore Di Nolfi/AAP

Zika emergency status a cause for alert, not alarm

Overnight, World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan declared the outbreak of Zika virus a public health emergency. So what does this mean?
Illustration of the zika virus. Zika by Shutterstock

Why it’s wrong to compare Zika to Ebola

Zika is quite different to Ebola – and experts would do well to wait before making recommendations this time.
A mosquito. Jaime Saldarriaga/Reuters

What really threatens America: Zika, cancer or ISIS?

The unfolding information about the Zika virus and saddening images of babies infected with microcephaly should really scare us all. The disease has spread “explosively” throughout the Americas, with 32…
Humans didn’t evolve to deal with the unique conditions of space travel. Bluedharma/Flickr

What medicines would we pack for a trip to Mars?

Hollywood may already have done it but when we eventually send real astronauts to Mars, what medicines should we arm them with? And will they work the same way as they do on Earth?
Improving maternal mortality and ending preventable deaths in children are some of the health targets in the Sustainable Development Goals. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Flickr

More is less? Health in the Sustainable Development Goals

Health has secured its place as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. But without clear mechanisms to report, finance or engage other sectors, could more end up as less?
Non-communicable diseases were responsible for 38 million (68%) of the world’s 56 million deaths in 2012. Dave/Flickr

Global report shows how to beat the world’s biggest killers

The World Health Organization (WHO) has just released its Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases, the second in a series tracking worldwide progress in the prevention and control of cancers…
Despite all we know about tobacco harm, many countries still look the other way. Ehab Edward

Five reasons why some countries are so lax at regulating smoking

Tobacco policy is a global issue. Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the world. There are well over one billion smokers in the world, smoking rates are still rising in…
Most of the world continues with a criminal justice approach to drug use despite ample evidence of its harmfulness. Jason Verwey/Flickr

What works best in the war on drugs

In 1967, the Beatles took out a full-page advertisement in The Times describing Britain’s marijuana laws as “immoral in principle and unworkable in practice”. Almost half a century later, both past and…
Polio is still not adequately controlled in Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan. Wen-Yan King/Flickr

Explainer: ridding the world of polio

Polio (poliomyelitis) is a viral disease that can lead to incurable paralysis. The World Health Organisation is coordinating a programme to eradicate this disease from the face of the earth, and we are…
Suicidal thoughts among women were more common in developed countries but men were three times more likely to die by suicide. `Etienne/Flickr

WHO report maps global suicide problem for the first time

One person takes their own life every 40 seconds, equating to 803,900 deaths across the world every year, according to the…
Second-hand news. Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA

WHO Ebola ethics panel excluded those most affected

The World Health Organisation has been in a rush to deal with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Last week it declared it an international health emergency, and after two infected US doctors were given…

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