Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Coordinated rapid outbreak response

WHO offers assistance to affected state(s) in the form of technical advice, supplies and in a number of cases by mounting coordinated international investigations/responses. These responses draw technical resources from within the WHO system and from the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) which is a collaboration of 110 technical institutions, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and networks; it represents a pooled resource for alert and response operations.

Specific support available includes on-the-spot investigations, confirmation of diagnosis, handling of dangerous (biosafety level IV) pathogens, case detection, patient management, containment, and provision of logistics in the form of staff and supplies. Investigative teams from GOARN are prepared to arrive at an outbreak site within 24 hours.

Since early 2000, WHO and GOARN have launched international responses to naturally occurring outbreaks in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kosovo, India, Pakistan, Republic of Congo, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Yemen.The following list characterizes WHO's activities in outbreak response:

  • Rapid, appropriate and effective assistance to affected state(s)
  • Level of response geared to needs (epidemic potential + national capacity to contain)
  • Daily response coordination meetings
  • Field presence and coordination when needed
  • Systematic communications and information management
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