Emergencies preparedness, response

Caring for Ebola survivors

At the Ebola survivors clinic in Liberia, 2015
WHO/C. Bailey

March 2016 -- Ebola virus has been detected in the breast milk of survivors up to 16 months after the onset of symptoms. Studies into virus persistence in breast milk are ongoing and more evidence is needed to understand the risk of transmission and duration of the virus. The revised guidance recommends that if Ebola virus is detected in breast milk, lactating survivors should suspend breastfeeding and use a safe breast milk substitute until they obtain 2 consecutive negative Ebola tests.

Health systems recovery

Children in Liberia, during the Ebola outbreak 2014
WHO/C. Banluta

Recovering from Ebola requires getting essential health services back up and running in a safe and reliable way, and addressing the weaknesses of the system. WHO is supporting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone on the road to recovery.

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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.

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