WHO's where in October



  • WHO and its partners launched the largest ever global polio immunization campaign in October to reach more than 300 million children in Asia and Africa and to quell an epidemic in Africa that threatens to paralyse millions of children. The campaign kicked off on 8 October in Africa, where health workers aimed to vaccinate 80 million children in 25 countries in four days (see story).
  • WHO linked up with the International Association on the Study of Pain (IASP) and the European Federation of IASP Chapters in a new campaign on 11 October to draw global attention to the need for better pain relief for people with diseases like cancer and AIDS.
  • WHO launched its new "five keys" strategy on 13 October, which promotes five simple ways to reduce disease caused by unsafe food.
  • With the release of a new study on 21 October in the Western Pacific Region, WHO called on governments in developing countries to do more to improve prevention and treatment of epilepsy. WHO said 70–90% of people with epilepsy in developing countries do not receive appropriate treatment.
  • Health experts from WHO, governments and civil society gathered on 21 and 22 October to find ways to improve immunization coverage in the European Region, following a recent spate of measles outbreaks that prompted concern over whether enough is being done to get children vaccinated (see story).
  • Following a resolution passed by the World Health Assembly in 2002, WHO Director-General LEE Jong-wook launched a campaign on 27 October to improve the safety of millions of patients who become ill, disabled or die from adverse effects of health care such as errors or drug side-effects (see story).
  • David Byrne, the outgoing European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection (see picture) took up his newly-created post as WHO Special Envoy on the revision of the International Health Regulations on 31 October. Byrne, an Irish national, will be responsible for steering the revision of the 1969 Regulations, the main piece of international legislation governing the control of infectious diseases, when officials from WHO's 192 Member States meet from 1 November to 12 November. The final draft will be presented to the World Health Assembly in May 2005.
  • WHO's Stop TB and HIV/AIDS departments are setting up a new joint task force to streamline efforts to get treatment to patients who are co-infected with the two diseases, a double scourge that has a devastating effect particularly in Africa (see story).
  • The MDG goals table published in the Bulletin (2004;82:806) have been updated with progress on tuberculosis control. This table is available from: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/82/10/en/mdg_table.pdf



For more on these and other WHO news: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2004/en/

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E-mail: bulletin@who.int