Emergencies preparedness, response

World on the verge of an effective Ebola vaccine

31 July 2015 -- Preliminary results from Guinea show that a new vaccine is highly effective against Ebola, and trials of the VSV-EBOV vaccine should continue. "This is an extremely promising development," said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. "The credit goes to the Guinean Government, the people living in the communities and our partners in this project. An effective vaccine will be another very important tool for both current and future Ebola outbreaks."

Partners in the Ebola response

Participants of health worker training coming out of protective isolation, Margibi, Liberia
WHO/C. Bailey

28 July 2015 -- The West African Ebola outbreak outpaced the ability of any one government or organization to contain and stop it. The international community responded to the appeals for help from the United Nations and other international organizations with a vast array of much-needed support. Such support came in a variety of ways: from sending medical teams and mobile laboratories, to building treatment centres, to donating funds and supplies, to providing training, to deploying specialists in areas such as epidemiology, community engagement and anthropology. Here we look at all the different roles partners have played and continue to play in the Ebola response.

Progress in the Ebola response

Foreign Medical Teams in Ebola-affected country.
WHO/Rob Holden

6 July 2015 -- Since July 2014, we’ve made real progress towards tackling the Ebola outbreak, yet new cases continue to emerge. As we work together in partnership with the affected countries and the international health community, we can see that we are better off today than we were a year ago. Scroll through an interactive story of the progress made and the challenges that remain, as we continue to work towards our final goal of #GettingtoZero.

Ebola health worker infections

Hospital staff of the Ebola Treatment Centre, Sierra Leone
WHO/W. Romeril

May 2015 -- Health workers have borne the brunt of the west african Ebola outbreak, not only working tirelessly to treat the sick but risking their lives every time they went to work. A new WHO report into health worker infections has found that health workers are between 21 and 32 times more likely to be infected with Ebola than people in the general population. It has also shown that such infections can be prevented - health worker infection rates have dropped considerably as measures to prevent infection improved.

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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