Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Ebola in West Africa: looking back, moving forward

WHO/N. Alexander

22 September 2014 -- This week marks 6 months since WHO was notified of an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Guinea. This outbreak has since evolved into the largest, most severe and most complex outbreak in the history of the disease. The 3 most-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – face enormous challenges in stopping transmission and providing care for all patients. This series of essays reflects on the evolution of this unprecedented outbreak – the multiple challenges, small successes and despairing setbacks.

Ebola response roadmap

WHO has issued a roadmap to guide and coordinate the international response to the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in west Africa. The roadmap aims to stop ongoing Ebola transmission worldwide within 6-9 months while rapidly managing the consequences of any further international spread. It also recognises the need to address, in parallel, the outbreak’s broader socioeconomic impact.

Ebola news


Our vision

An integrated global alert and response system for epidemics and other public health emergencies based on strong national public health systems and capacity and an effective international system for coordinated response.


Core functions

  • Support Member States for the implementation of national capacities for epidemic preparedness and response in the context of the IHR(2005), including laboratory capacities and early warning alert and response systems;
  • Support national and international training programmes for epidemic preparedness and response;
  • Coordinate and support Member States for pandemic and seasonal influenza preparedness and response;
  • Develop standardized approaches for readiness and response to major epidemic-prone diseases (e.g. meningitis, yellow fever, plague);
  • Strengthen biosafety, biosecurity and readiness for outbreaks of dangerous and emerging pathogens outbreaks (e.g. SARS, viral haemorrhagic fevers); Maintain and further develop a global operational platform to support outbreak response and support regional offices in implementation at regional level.

Latest publications

Website for Information and Communication Technologies for Public Health Emergency Management launched


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Highlights

Global Infection Prevention and Control Network (GIPC Network) Launch

WHO Unit on Disease Control in Humanitarian Emergencies - DCE

Natural ventilation design project website launched

Communicable disease alert and response for mass gatherings