Knowledge transfer and training for outbreaks

WHO online courses for outbreaks and health emergencies


WHO has launched a series of video courses on epidemics, pandemics and health emergencies. Geared toward those working in emergencies, the courses are also accessible to the public.

The courses – which are on a platform called OpenWHO – transform complex scientific knowledge into easy-to-understand introductory video lessons, using a smaller bandwidth so that people in any country can access them. Offline versions are available for both IOS and Android devices. The platform can host an unlimited number of users and is free and open to anyone wishing to register.

Knowledge transfer: A weapon for fighting epidemics

Knowledge exists for battling many known disease outbreaks. The challenge is to get the latest science and knowledge into the hands and minds of decision-makers and front-line responders. Even more difficult is to capture, package and deliver knowledge on new diseases. From 1970-2007 at least 1420 new pathogens – disease-causing microbes – have been discovered, 177 of them identified in the past decade. 70% of these originated from animals, which humans are having increasing contact with due to modern farming, livestock practices, and deforestation. While not all new pathogens have public health impact, some threaten humans.

Knowledge transfer and training for outbreaks

Nyenpu Gormuyor is a nurse who completed trainings run by WHO. The training, she said, has made her feel safer, more confident and passionate for her work.

Major epidemics in the 21st century highlight the need for a system to quickly transform scientific knowledge into action on the ground. Knowledge that is understandable and actionable is essential to mounting an effective response to save lives, minimize illness and to prevent unnecessary damage to societies and economies.
WHO’s Knowledge Transfer and Training teams work to establish and scale up a system to enable national and international frontline responders to work in a fast, safe and coordinated manner in disease outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics. This is a core step in strengthening national capacities and WHO’s own response to outbreaks and health emergencies.

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Public health training

Innovative methodsA combination of workshops, learning strategies, guidance and materials

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Pre-deployment training

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Training catalogue for outbreak response

The Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases Department at WHO provides a broad range of trainings for different stakeholders and purposes. Specific trainings have been developed to boost and strengthen core skills in outbreak response, including training for trainers.

Contact us

For more information about knowledge transfer and training for outbreaks, please email: