Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Liberia: Local students become active Ebola case finders

T. Harrison joined team of active Ebola case finders to go from house to house to find out if sick people are being treated, Libera
WHO/P. Desloover

19 December 2014 -- Ever since the closure of the university due to the Ebola outbreak, Tony Harrison, sociology student at the University of Liberia, has been trying to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus in his country. He joined the team of active case finders to go from house to house to find out if sick people are being treated.

Preparing to confront Ebola – just in case

WHO officer training Ebola health workers on how to safely operate in personal protective equipment. Sierra Leone, 2014.
WHO/N. Alexander

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.

Uniting to build stronger health systems in Ebola-affected countries

WHO officer talking to villagers of Kamosondo that are trying to rebuild their primary health care unit after being overwhelmed by the care of Ebola patients, Port Loko district of Sierra Leone, 2014.
WHO/S. Saporito

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.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: The country that knows how to beat Ebola

Ebola awareness campaign with community leaders in Djera, DRC, on hand hygiene, safe burials during the Ebola outbreak.
WHO DRC/Eugene Kabambi

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.

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Our vision

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.


Core functions

  • 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.

Latest publications

Website for Information and Communication Technologies for Public Health Emergency Management launched


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Highlights

Global Infection Prevention and Control Network (GIPC Network) Launch

WHO Unit on Disease Control in Humanitarian Emergencies - DCE

Natural ventilation design project website launched

Communicable disease alert and response for mass gatherings