Emergencies

Spotlights of achievements

WHO has introduced organization-wide reforms to improve our performance during health emergencies. The new single programme marks a fundamental change for WHO, in which our traditional technical and normative functions are augmented by operational capacities.

Recent achievements in responding to health emergencies:

Zika outbreak

October 2016 --WHO and partners have issued the first quarterly update of the Zika Strategic Response Plan, July 2016 to December 2017, to guide the international response to Zika. The update provides key information on the epidemiological situation and global response by more than 60 partners.

Key numbers on WHO’s work on emergencies in 2016

December 2016 --WHO is committed to saving lives and reducing suffering in emergencies – whether caused by conflict, disease outbreak or a disaster. In 2016, Member States approved the establishment of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme to work with countries to address emergencies before they happen, and help respond to an emergency and with early recovery.

Yellow fever vaccination

October 2016 -- The biggest emergency yellow fever vaccination campaign ever held in Africa concluded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in August. With high risk of transmission of the mosquito-borne disease in the capital city of Kinshasa, the campaign aimed to protect as many people as possible and to stop the outbreak before the rainy season started. Vaccination of more than 10.5 million people was a complex logistical undertaking.

Iraq crisis

October 2016 --Iraq’s health system is faltering because of the conflict, displacement and disease outbreaks. WHO is leading the response to provide emergency health access people affected by the crises. Health cluster partners have been coordinated, mobilized and supported with critical pharmaceuticals to sustain the response in the country.

Global health security

October 2016 -- Since February 2016, 20 joint external evaluations (JEE) have been undertaken across all six WHO regions, with 15 more scheduled to be completed before the end of May 2017. An additional 38 Member States have expressed an interest in scheduling a JEE in 2017.

WHO seeks Health Cluster Coordinators to fill critical role in emergencies

The panel interviewed 42 candidates over six days to hire long-term Health Cluster Coordinators in 24 countries.
WHO/P. Haughton

October 2016 --To strengthen its operational presence in emergencies, WHO is in the midst of hiring 24 Health Cluster Coordinators for long-term positions that were externally advertised to ensure all 24 Health Clusters have the skilled leadership they need.

Nigeria crisis

Ministry of Health Surveillance Officers in Borno state receive training on the EWARS Mobile Application

October 2016 --In late August 2016, WHO rolled out its Early Warning Alert Response System (EWARS) in 56 health facilities in Borno state. By mid-October, as access to some hard-to-reach areas improved, the number of disease detection sites tripled. Now 160 sites in Borno state are using the system, covering around 85% of internally displaced persons (IDPs) – about 1.3 million people in the area.

Medical supplies to Syrian Arab Republic

October 2016 --WHO delivered more than 11 tonnes of medical supplies to health authorities in Al-Qamishli area, located in the northeastern part of Syria. This was the first WHO shipment by air of medical supplies to Al-Qamishli since December 2015.