On 28 July WHO observes World Hepatitis Day to encourage the elimination of hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.
Each year viral hepatitis infects millions of people across the Region, causing around 410 000 deaths. It is estimated that just one in ten people infected with the disease know their status. WHO urges everyone to inform themselves about the infection, get tested and seek treatment to reduce needless deaths from this preventable and treatable infection.
More people than ever before are covered by life-saving tobacco control policies, including in the South-East Asia Region. That’s one of the findings of a new WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, which documents how 63% of the world’s population is now covered by at least one comprehensive tobacco control measure mandated by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), from graphic warnings on tobacco packages to bans on tobacco advertising. Tobacco currently kills more than 7 million people annually.
Sri Lanka is witnessing an increase in dengue cases this year. Over 80,000 cases have been reported, with a significant number from the western provinces.
The Ministry of Health is scaling up vector control measures and community engagement to ensure people protect themselves against mosquito bites and prevent mosquito breeding sites.
WHO is supporting the government in its dengue outbreak response, to bring down the caseload and reduce case fatality.
Ms Saima Wazed Hossain, a globally renowned champion for the cause of autism spectrum disorder, has been appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in South-East Asia Region.
Her support is expected to boost WHO’s effort to generate awareness and action to address the suffering of children with autism spectrum disorder, as well as their parents and caregivers.