15 December 2014 -- Countries in Africa have been working on improving their preparedness in the event of an Ebola outbreak. The WHO teams have provided simulated exercises in hospitals and technical trainings on immediate emergency response and communication, on infection prevention and control, safe burials, and other components of response. The Ebola outbreaks and response in Nigeria and Senegal showed that the disease can be stopped if a country is adequately prepared from the start.
12 December 2014 -- Ministers of health and finance of Ebola-affected countries, international organizations and partners assembled for a high-level meeting on 10-11 December 2014 on strengthening health systems in these countries. They have agreed on what needs to be done to rebuild and strengthen essential health services so that they can both absorb the shock of an emergency like Ebola, and continue to provide regular health services such as immunization, maternal and child care.
11 December 2014 -- DRC has a lot of experience with Ebola – this year the country witnessed its seventh outbreak of the disease. The country had the knowledge and the people needed to stop an outbreak, plus strong technical assistance and support from WHO. The well-coordinated response to Ebola shows that when national authorities in DRC set priorities and stuck to them they were able to end the outbreak.
WHO has issued a roadmap to guide and coordinate the international response to the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in west Africa. The roadmap aims to stop ongoing Ebola transmission worldwide within 6-9 months while rapidly managing the consequences of any further international spread. It also recognises the need to address, in parallel, the outbreak’s broader socioeconomic impact.
An integrated global alert and response system for epidemics and other public health emergencies based on strong national public health systems and capacity and an effective international system for coordinated response.
- Support Member States for the implementation of national capacities for epidemic preparedness and response in the context of the IHR(2005), including laboratory capacities and early warning alert and response systems;
- Support national and international training programmes for epidemic preparedness and response;
- Coordinate and support Member States for pandemic and seasonal influenza preparedness and response;
- Develop standardized approaches for readiness and response to major epidemic-prone diseases (e.g. meningitis, yellow fever, plague);
- Strengthen biosafety, biosecurity and readiness for outbreaks of dangerous and emerging pathogens outbreaks (e.g. SARS, viral haemorrhagic fevers); Maintain and further develop a global operational platform to support outbreak response and support regional offices in implementation at regional level.