Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Ebola diaries

Stephane Higonnet, WHO, at an Ebola meeting, Guinea
WHO/C. Taylor-Johnson

23 March 2015 -- The Ebola outbreak has been the largest, longest, most severe, and most complex in human history. Starting from the initial detection of the outbreak, to the arrival of the first responders, to the overwhelming spread of cases in West Africa — The Ebola Diaries is a series of first-person accounts describing what it has been like working on the front lines of a global health crisis of unprecedented proportion.

Nigerian mobile lab in Sierra Leone

Dr Danny Asogun, the Nigerian team leader for the EMLAB mobile laboratory in Freetown, Sierra Leone
WHO/Pieter Desloovere

March 2015 -- A Nigerian mobile lab has been operating in Sierra Leone as part of the international effort to help test Ebola samples in the current outbreak. The lab saves critical hours by testing the samples rapidly and reducing the need to transport samples over long distances. The lab plans to return to Nigeria to work on Lassa fever when the Ebola outbreak is over.

Ebola in West Africa: 12-months on

WHO Director-General Dr Chan shaking hands with Rebecca Johnson, nurse, Ebola survivor, Sierra Leone 2014
UNMEER/Martine Perret

15 January 2014 -- One year after the first Ebola cases started to surface in Guinea, WHO is publishing this series of 14 papers that take an in-depth look at West Africa’s first epidemic of Ebola virus disease. The papers explore reasons why the disease evaded detection for several months and the factors, many specific to West Africa, that fueled its subsequent spread.

Stories of Ebola survivors

WHO Ebola expert patient trainer Austin S. Jallah. Margibi County, Liberia, 2014.
WHO/P Desloovere

23 December 2014 -- Although Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease, getting medical care early can make a significant difference. Today, about 1 out of 3 Ebola patients survive. Many of them are now using their experience to help fight the disease in their community. Here are their stories.

News and top stories

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

Contact us:


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