News / Releases - WHO

Health care a priority for thousands affected by Kyrgyzstan violence

Copenhagen/Geneva, (22 June, 2010) --  The World Health Organization is coordinating the international health response to the humanitarian crises in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, where delivering health care to thousands of displaced people remains a major challenge.

At least 300 000 people, mainly ethnic Uzbeks, have reportedly been displaced in Kyrgyzstan since conflict erupted in the south of the country on 10 June. At least 75 000 more people have fled the violence into Uzbekistan where they are now registered as refugees. Many are living in temporary camps.

The official death toll in Kyrgyzstan is 192, with 2029 people wounded and 912 hospitalized in Osh and Jalal-Abad. Senior government figures and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have stated, however, that the real number of casualties is likely to be several times higher.    

WHO responds to importation of polio virus into the WHO European Region

Copenhagen (23 April 2010) -- On 16 April 2010, WHO deployed a team of experts to investigate a suspected polio outbreak in the south-west of Tajikistan, in the area bordering Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

A sharp increase of acute flaccid paralysis cases (AFP) in early April prompted the Tajik government to notify WHO of a possible polio outbreak. After further investigation by the Tajik national health authorities jointly with WHO, laboratory tests by the WHO Collaborating Centre in Moscow confirmed polio virus as the cause of the outbreak. Tests are ongoing to further characterize the virus. WHO immediately alerted all other countries in eastern Central Asia of this new public health risk, as required under the International Health Regulations.

WHO has also alerted the governments of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to intensify surveillance for AFP cases and to rapidly conduct national or sub-national polio immunization campaigns.

WHO assists emergency health care provision in Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek (12 April 2010) -- Civil unrest in Kyrgyzstan last week left over 70 people dead, more than 1500 injured and over 500 hospitalized. In response, WHO/Europe mobilized standard health kits from pre-positioned stocks in Bishkek, the capital. With nongovernmental organizations, WHO is coordinating the provision of trauma and surgical kits to local hospitals.

WHO/Europe started coordinating the health response and mapping both health needs and the health sector's response, supporting the Ministry of Health and collaborating with civil-society organizations and other partners.   

Maternal mortality ratio falling too slowly to meet goal
LONDON/GENEVA -- The world’s maternal mortality ratio (the number of maternal deaths per 100 000 live births) is declining too slowly to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, which aims to reduce the number of women who die in pregnancy and childbirth by three-quarters by 2015.
New guide on building age-friendly cities

LONDON/GENEVA -- WHO today releases the first guide on age-friendly cities. The guide, which is based on consultations with older people in 33 cities in 22 countries, has identified the key hysical, social and services attributes of age-friendly urban settings. Istanbul, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Moscow, Nairobi, New Delhi, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, and Tokyo were part of the consultation along with many other regional centres and towns.