Although a decline in cases of Zika virus infection has been reported in some countries, there is still a need for heightened vigilance, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today, issuing fresh guidance on the virus that has been linked to birth defects and neurological complications.
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Lack of funding for heath in Sudan has resulted in the closure of 11 health facilities and left another 49 facilities at risk of closure, impacting around a million people including 323,000 women of child-bearing age and children under 5 who will lack access to maternal/child health care.
Most stillbirths and neonatal deaths are preventable with quality health care during pregnancy and childbirth, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) stressed today as it launched three new publications to help countries address and strengthen their classification, review, and investigation processes on these deaths, which are unrecorded or underreported.
The day of birth is potentially the most dangerous time for mothers and babies. Every year, worldwide, 303,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth, 2.7 million babies die during the first 28 days of life and 2.6 million babies are stillborn. Most stillbirths and neonatal deaths are preventable with quality health care during pregnancy and childbirth.
Concerted global efforts have led to a 60% drop in new infections among children, which has averted 1.2 million new HIV infections among children in 21 priority countries since 2009.
The World Health Organization congratulates Thailand and Belarus for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of both HIV and syphilis. WHO also applauds Armenia and the Republic of Moldova for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and syphilis, respectively. "To ensure children are born healthy is to give them the best possible start in life..."
The World Health Organization has determined that based on the current assessment of the Zika virus circulating in almost 60 countries globally and 39 countries in the Americas, there is no public health justification for postponing or cancelling the 2016 Olympic Games.
Laws to protect breastfeeding against the growing multi-billion-dollar breast-milk substitute business are inadequate in most countries, exposing small children to a greater risk of childhood diseases, according to a United Nations report released today.
Since the Zika outbreak gained global attention earlier this year, photos of babies with microcephaly have appeared on television screens and newspapers around the world. They have become emblems of the human cost of the virus, though a causal link between Zika and the congenital birth defect is yet to be confirmed.
The World Health Organization has launched a global Strategic Response Framework and Joint Operations Plan to guide the international response to the spread of Zika virus infection and the neonatal malformations and neurological conditions associated with it.