WHO - World Health Organization

05/25/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/25/2023 11:36

Donors making a difference: Setting goals, producing results

Countries are making gains against liver disease through hepatitis B vaccination. Above, newly vaccinated triplets in Kyrgyzstan © WHO/Almaz Zhumaliev

At this week's 76th World Health Assembly Member States take stock of the work and progress done, while assessing the challenges, and planning for the future. One of the items in the packed agenda is the Results Report for 2022, a comprehensive look back at work and progress towards the triple billion targets, outcomes, outputs, based on the indicators of the results framework of the WHO General Programme of Work 13.

The report shows a period of remarkable progress in protecting people from diseases, health risks and harm. Among the highlights:

The world's first malaria vaccine is reducing illness and saving lives.

Lower-income countries have gained pandemic tools, including an mRNA hub in South Africa to expand vaccine manufacturing and a new Pandemic Fund for prevention, preparedness and response.

WHO's Contingency Fund for Emergencies released nearly US$ 90 million to respond to 70 health emergencies, acting in as little as 24 hours.

Taking aim at superbugs, new international targets were set on the use of antimicrobial agents across animal, farming and health sectors.

These achievements, and many more presented in the report, were made possible by support from WHO's Member States and others who have contributed funds, expertise, time, and energy.

This week's collection of stories focuses on how WHO continues to focus on results in 2023.

Video: 75 years of improving health

See also: WHO at 75 years: Combatting 21st century health challenges

Trachoma eliminated in Benin and Mali

Trachoma, a blinding bacterial disease, has been eliminated as a public health problem in Benin, Mali and other countries. Above: a Beninese farmer who regained his ability to work after eyelid surgery. ©Sightsavers

WHO this month validated Benin and Mali as the latest African countries to eliminate the blinding bacterial disease as a public health problem.

The countries implemented the WHO-recommended SAFE strategy: surgery to treat late trachoma complications; antibiotics to clear infection; facial cleanliness; and environmental improvement, particularly in access to water and sanitation.

"These are impressive public health achievements," said Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, Director of the WHO Global Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme. "Benin and Mali demonstrate how strong political will, cross-sector integration, surveillance and community engagement can work in concert to achieve disease elimination."

In reaching the milestone, the two countries follow Ghana (June 2018), Gambia (April 2021), Togo (May 2022) and Malawi (September 2022). WHO is following a roadmap to eliminate trachoma across the globe by 2030. Read more

Beyond the numbers: the real-world impact of the malaria vaccine in Kenya

In 2019, the new malaria vaccine became available in Ghana, Malawi and parts of Kenya. Above: In Ghana, during the piloting of the vaccine. ©WHO/Fanjan Combrink

The world's first malaria vaccine has become an important tool for reducing illness and saving lives.

Since the vaccine was introduced in parts of Kenya in 2019, hospitalizations of children under 5 for severe malaria have fallen substantially, along with a drop in child deaths.

"Over the past three years, we've witnessed a significant reduction in pediatric admissions from malaria," said Dr Gregory Ganda, Kisumu County Executive for Health. "It's a great feeling as a doctor when you are considering closing a ward because of lack of patients." Read more

Azerbaijan and Tajikistan join 42 other countries in ending malaria

A mother and baby visit at a health centre in Dushanbe, Tajikstan. ©WHO/Nozim Kalandarov

WHO recently certified Azerbaijan and Tajikistan as having eliminated malaria and recognized the two countries for their sustained, century-long battle against the disease. Azerbaijan detected its last case of locally transmittedPlasmodium vivax malaria in 2012. Tajikistan did so in 2014.

"Their accomplishment is further proof that, with the right resources and political commitment, eliminating malaria is possible," said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "I hope that other countries can learn from their experience." Read more

Also see: Mothers in Malawi value the first malaria vaccine, and WHO urges increased implementation of recommended tools to combat malaria

Bangladesh eliminates painful, disfiguring tropical disease

A lymphatic filariasis patient is treated at the Chini Para Community Clinic in Lalmonirhat Sadar, Bangladesh. ©RTI International

This month, Bangladesh became the fourth country in WHO's South-East Asia Region to eliminate lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem.

The country followed a strategy that included mass drug-administration campaigns in the 19 districts where lymphatic filariasis - also known as elephantiasis - was endemic.

"Strong partnership, several innovative operational research projects in surveillance methodologies, and well-trained programme personnel have been key to the country's success and will continue to be critical for the country to sustain its status of lymphatic filariasis elimination," said Dr Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia.

Lymphatic filariasis is caused by microscopic worms and spread by mosquitoes. The other countries in the region to eliminate the disease are Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Read more

Also see: WHO to hold its first global meeting on neglected tropical skin diseases

Countries move closer to eliminating hepatitis B, a cause of liver disease

A new mother in Kyrgyzstan, which is on the road to beating hepatitis B. ©WHO/Almaz Zhumaliev

Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan recently reached regional hepatitis B control targets, an important step toward eliminating the virus as a public health problem.

The countries join Georgia, Italy, the Netherlands, the Republic of Moldova and the United Kingdom, which reached the targets in 2021 and 2022.

Hepatitis B can cause chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer. Read more

Running water is restored to health facilities in Honduras

A young patient is examined at San Miguel Centro Integral de Salud in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. ©PAHO

Running water is now more widely available in priority health facilities in Honduras, thanks to renovations supported by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Government of Canada.

Among the upgraded facilities is the San Miguel Centro Integral de Salud in Tegucigalpa, where infrastructure problems and water shortages had long deprived parts of the centre of running water - some for almost 13 years. The centre had compensated by storing water in tanks and barrels.

"Now we don't need to go searching for places to wash our equipment or leave the clinic to wash our hands with soap and water," hospital Director Dr Javier Almendares said. "We have water 24 hours a day."

Proper hand hygiene prevents 50% of infections acquired in health care settings. Read more

New Vanuatu plant is part of a push to increase access to medicinal oxygen in Pacific Islands

Vanuatu's new medicinal oxygen plant was built with support from the European Union, France and WHO. Above, officials celebrate the plant's launch at Vila Central Hospital. ©WHO

Vanuatu opened a new oxygen plant in April that will greatly increase the country's access to medicinal oxygen, a critical resource for a strong health system and an essential treatment for respiratory diseases, in surgery and more.

The new plant is part of a larger plan to scale up oxygen access to nine Pacific Island countries with the support of the European Union, France, Germany, and WHO.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of having immediate access to medicinal oxygen," Vanuatu Health Minister Rick Tchamako Mahe said.

The plant has the capacity to supply about 25 critical COVID-19 patients with non-stop oxygen every day. Read more

Technicians prepare the new oxygen plant for startup. ©WHO/Stefan Adriaensens

WHO thanks all governments, organizations and individuals who are contributing to the Organization's work, with special appreciation for those who provide fully flexible contributions to maintain a strong, independent WHO.


European Technical Advisory Group of Experts

European Union


Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance


GET2020 alliance

Global Fund


International Trachoma Initiative

Médecins Sans Frontières

Open Philanthropy






United States Agency for International Development

WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies contributors in 2022-23: Canada, Estonia, Germany, Kuwait, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Slovakia, Switzerland, United States of America).