Regional Director's Report

The work of WHO in the Western Pacific Region

1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004

The period covered by this report began with the breaking of the chain of transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). However, within six months the Region was hit by avian influenza outbreaks. WHO and countries were able to apply many of the lessons that had been learned during the SARS outbreaks and a major epidemic in the human population, an event that could have had global implications, was averted.

WHO’s support for strengthening of public health systems, including improving access to essential medicines and reforming health financing, is covered. All Member States in the Region have now signed the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, making the Western Pacific the first WHO Region to achieve this landmark. Progress was also made in addressing the rising tide of noncommunicable diseases, reducing maternal injuries and illnesses, and combating childhood diseases.

In communicable disease control, the report details the challenges ahead if the tuberculosis goals for 2005 are to be reached. WHO’s work in combating malaria and other vectorborne diseases, HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases is also described.

More details of WHO’s work in the Western Pacific Region can be found at: http://www.wpro.who.int

List of abbreviations

Introduction

Organizational structure

Table of contents


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