WHO

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".

Cigarette plain packs to 'go global'

The body said moves to introduce standardised packaging in the UK, France and Australia will influence policy around the globe.

But the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association said policy was being "driven more by dogma than hard fact".

Around six million deaths each year are linked to smoking.

Plain, or standardised, packaging has a uniform colour across all brands except for health warnings. Any brand names are in small, non-distinctive lettering.

WHO revises sex guidelines for Zika prevention

This is even if you have no symptoms of the disease, the World Health Organization said today. Previous guidance suggested taking precautions or abstaining for only four weeks.

Men who have had any Zika-like symptoms such as rash, fever, red eyes and painful joints or muscles should practice safe sex or consider abstaining for at least six months, the organization says.

WHO declares Zika virus international emergency

The agency convened an emergency meeting of independent experts on Monday to assess the outbreak after noting a suspicious link between Zika's arrival in Brazil last year and a surge in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads.

Global malaria target met amid sharp drop in cases

According to a new United Nations report: “Global malaria control is one of the great public health success stories of the past 15 years,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO). “It’s a sign that our strategies are on target, and that we can beat this ancient killer, which still claims hundreds of thousands of lives, mostly children, each year.”

Meningitis epidemic threat in West Africa, but few vaccines

The first large-scale outbreak of the C strain in decades has already killed 800 of 12,000 infected people in Nigeria and in neighboring Niger this year, according to the World Health Organization.

"We've never seen this before with meningitis C," William A. Perea, coordinator of WHO's Control of Epidemic Diseases Unit, said of the resurgence of the strain.

Pacific youth call on WHO to help change local policies

A recent WHO report shows that Pacific nations make up the top five countries with the world's highest obesity rates.

Four commissioners from the organisation's Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, or ECHO, have been meeting with regional leaders in Auckland this week to discuss ways to combat the issue.

They hosted a discussion with students and teachers, which included a Skype link-up with students in the Cook Islands and Tonga.

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Pacific nations should look at fat tax

The World Health Organisation ranks eight Pacific island countries among the world's top 10 most obese nations.

Unless drastic measures are introduced the region is headed for disaster, says the Secretariat of the Pacific Community's director-general, Colin Tukuitonga.

"Small fragile health systems in the region just won't be able to cope," Dr Tukuitonga told AAP.