Humanitarian Health Action

Reducing health consequences of disasters

March 2015 -- Governments from all over the world gathered in Sendai, Japan to negotiate a new plan to guide global action to reduce the health consequences of disasters. To protect people’s health from the risk of disasters, all sectors of society must work together. We must adopt a people-centred, all-hazards approach to all health-related risks from earthquakes, storms, floods and heatwaves, to nuclear hazards, conflict and disease outbreaks. WHO will keep supporting countries to strengthen their ability to manage the risks before, during and after disasters, to increase action on climate and health, and to implement the International Health Regulations.

Cyclone Pam delivers a devastating blow to health services in Vanuatu

WHO/A. Craig

18 March 2015 --WHO is responding to the health needs of those affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam – a storm which has been described as the strongest cyclone in the Pacific in more than a decade. While information on the extent of the damage caused by the Category 5 storm remains limited, it is clear that Vanuatu’s health services have taken a beating. The country’s main tertiary hospital has been damaged and there are concerns about potential overcrowding at the facility.

Health is at the centre of new global plan for disaster risk reduction

18 March 2015 -- Ten years since adopting the Hyogo Framework for Action in Kobe shortly after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Government representatives gathered in Sendai, Japan on 14-18 March to negotiate a new framework for global action to reduce the risks of disasters. For the first time, protecting people's health is at the centre of such a framework. – Representatives from 187 UN member States today adopted the first major agreement of the Post-2015 development agenda, a far reaching new framework for disaster risk reduction with seven targets and four priorities for action.

WHO's Emergency Health Response in Iraq

Health workers vaccinate a child against measles in the Duhok during the national vaccination campaign
Dr L Hazim
Health workers vaccinate a child against measles in the Duhok during the national vaccination campaign

3 March 2015 --The first national polio campaign for 2015 was launched in the country, targeting 5.9 Million children aged 0 month to 5 years. The polio campaign is supported by WHO and UNICEF and it will run for 5 days in the central and southern governorates and 12-15 days in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. WHO continues to support the Federal Ministry of Health in capacity building of the staff working in the Regional Emergency Medicine Training Centre in Baghdad. WHO delivered health equipment and essential medicines to Directorate of Health (DOH) in Duhok, Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah.

Recent crises

Health Emergency Highlights

This issue features the health situation and Health Cluster response to the humanitarian crisis in Libya, the floods in Malawi and Mozambique, and the typhoon in the Philippines. The Regional Director WHO South-East Asia Region makes a statement on the 10 year anniversary of the South-East Asia tsunami.