WHO in emergencies

13 February 2018 - WHO is scaling up its response to an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria, which has spread to 17 states and may have infected up to 450 people in less than five weeks. “The high number of Lassa fever cases is concerning. We are observing an unusually high number of cases for this time of year.” said Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO Representative to Nigeria.

Nasser (right) and his son, grandson and a friend in their tent in Ain Issa Camp.

Medicine on the move

WHO ramps up health support to camps in northeastern Syria in response to huge population movements

WHO/L. Mackenzie
Nigeria set to vaccinate 25 million people, its biggest yellow fever campaign ever

Nigeria set to vaccinate 25 million people, its biggest yellow fever campaign ever

24 January 2018, Abuja - The Government of Nigeria launched a mass vaccination campaign to prevent the spread of yellow fever on January 25 with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners. More than 25 million people will be vaccinated throughout 2018, in the largest yellow fever vaccination drive in the country’s history.


WHO airlifts 200 tonnes of health supplies to Yemen

SANA’A, 18 January 2018 — The World Health Organization has delivered 200 tonnes of life-saving medicines and health supplies to Yemen. Four United Nations planes carrying the cargo landed in Sana’a Airport this week.

WHO/Sadeq Hasan

WHO supports the immunization of 1 million people against cholera in Zambia

January 2017 – According to Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya, the campaign will bring the life-saving oral cholera vaccine to the people who need it most. He also highlighted the role that communities can play in preventing the spread of the disease.

Key results in 2017

WHO is committed to saving lives and reducing suffering in emergencies – whether caused by conflict, disease outbreak or a disaster. View some of the key results of our emergency programme in 2017.

A new strain of meningitis expanding in Africa: urgent action needed

21 December 2017 - As bacterial meningitis season begins in West Africa this year, a convergence of factors is threatening the region with large outbreaks affecting millions. A new hyper-invasive strain of meningococcal meningitis serogroup C is circulating at the same time that an acute shortage of meningitis C-containing vaccine threatens to severely limit the region’s ability to minimize the number of persons affected. The risk of imminent large-scale epidemics is dangerously high.

Outbreaks and crises

Map showing emergencies around the world that has a WHO grading, 2016.

WHO has an essential role to play in supporting Member States to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies with public health consequences.

What we do

From prevention through preparedness to early warning, response, and early recovery, the WHO Health Emergencies programme is operational.


Health crisis in Central African Republic.
WHO/C. Black

WHO thanks all of the contributors that provide funding or in-kind contribution for WHO’s work for emergencies.


WHO coordinates the international health response to emergencies and humanitarian crises, but we cannot do this work without our partners who help us deliver health services in even the most difficult situations.


Each issue of the Health Emergency Highlights contains information on the current humanitarian context, the health priorities and response operations

R&D Blueprint

Illustration of lab equipment.

The R&D Blueprint is a global strategy and preparedness plan to ensure that targeted R&D can strengthen the emergency response by bringing medical technologies to patients during epidemics.