February 2017 -- WHO is working with countries to respond to crises and emergencies by ensuring effective, efficient and timely action to address public health priorities so that lives are saved and suffering is reduced; and to recover from crises by ensuring the local health system is back to functioning. WHO's new Health Emergencies Programme changes the way WHO does business, expanding from being primarily a technical and normative organization to a fully operational agency in emergencies.
23 December 2016 – An experimental Ebola vaccine was highly protective against the deadly virus in a major trial, according to results published today in The Lancet. The vaccine is the first to prevent infection from one of the most lethal known pathogens, and the findings add weight to early trial results published last year. The vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, was studied in a trial involving 11 841 people in Guinea during 2015.
May 2016 -- The recovery toolkit is online library of guidance resources to support countries in the reactivation of health services which may have suffered as a result of an emergency, such as the Ebola outbreak. These services include ongoing programmes such as immunization, maternal and child health services, infection prevention and control.
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.
Disease outbreak news
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Oman
Yellow fever – Brazil
Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 – Somalia
Cholera – Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lassa Fever – Nigeria
Emergencies and outbreaks
- Zika virus and complications.
- Yellow fever outbreak Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda 2016-2017
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus