Humanitarian Health Action

Health Action in Crises publications

Monthly highlights

The HAC Monthly Highlights aims to enable WHO and partners to share information on salient HAC's activities in selected crisis countries; preparedness, response and recovery issues; humanitarian health policies and strategies; partnerships and donor news; Global and Country Health Cluster news and interagency issues.

WHO's activities in emergencies and humanitarian action

The year 2010 was marked by two major natural disasters. In January, an earthquake in Haiti killed over 200 000 people and reduced the capital city Port-au-Prince to rubble. In the words of WHO’s Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, the earthquake was “a mega-disaster that stretched the resources of the humanitarian community to the limit”. Seven months later, Pakistan was ravaged by floods that cut a devastating swathe through the country. According to the country’s Foreign Minister, the floods “stole the dreams of millions of Pakistanis, shattered their hopes for a better future, and reversed years of development gains”.

Global assessment of national health sector emergency preparedness & response

The Fifty-Eight World Health Assembly urged WHO to increase its role in risk reduction and emergency preparedness in the health sector. This prompted an Expert Consultation on Emergency Preparedness in February 2006 which proposed a global survey to assess and monitor the status of emergency health preparedness and response in Member States.

The resulting Global Assessment of National Health Sector Emergency Preparedness and Response is intended to inform strategies for assisting Member States in developing and strengthening national approaches to health emergency preparedness and response.


Risk reduction and emergency preparedness

WHO six-year strategy for the health sector and community capacity development.

This strategy is based on the recommendations of a global consultation held by WHO in February 2006 that brought together experts in emergency preparedness and response from around the world. The consultation was followed by several important activities to discuss the various components of the strategy and to reach consensus on the objectives and key strategic directions.


Mass casualty management systems

Strategies and guidelines for building health sector capacity.

These Guidelines address management and policy issues that relate to the mass casualty management systems and how they fi t within the broader topic of emergency preparedness.


Integrating Emergency Preparedness and Response into Undergraduate Nursing Curricula

WHO initiated the process of reviewing and upgrading the contribution of nursing and midwifery in emergencies through organizing a global consultation in collaboration with the International Council of Nursing, in November 2006. Among other things the global consultation recommended that Member States should include emergency nursing in pre-service nursing curricula, develop continuing education programmes to build the capacity of nurses and midwives in emergency preparedness, response and mitigation and adopt the set of core competencies for nurses in emergency and disaster preparedness and use it for developing educational programmes in disaster nursing.
The aim of this document is to identify key competencies, domains and implementation strategies for the integration of emergency preparedness and response into nursing and midwifery curricula.


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Health in Emergencies newsletters

1998-2004--Health in Emergencies promoted WHO’s work in preparedness and response to disasters, conflict and post conflict situations, and raised awareness of good practice in health management in humanitarian emergencies.