Scope of work
This document summarizes the roles of WHO in the Asia Tsunami relief operation. These roles drive WHO's country level staffing, operational structure, financing and communications.
WHO's response to the Asia Tsunami is coordinated by HAC at SEARO and WHO/HQ. SEARO is leading on the overall response, particularly country level planning and activities. WHO/HQ is assisting with logistics, resource mobilization, international communications and inter-agency coordination.
WHO country focus
WHO's principal focus, in order of priority at 10 January 2005, are Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, India and Thailand.
WHO primary functions
In these first days, WHO seeks to maximize the life-saving and life-preserving impact of all humanitarian action through our support to countries (and the international community) for:
- Surveillance and response: Tracking patterns of life-threatening diseases among those at risk through prompt set-up of a surveillance and early warning system with daily epidemiological reports (Immediate mobilization and deployment of GOARN)
- Access to essential health care: Work with all partners to ensure equitable access to adequate quality of essential health care through key hospitals and health centers
- Public health: Providing guidance re critical Public Health issues (Response to disease outbreaks, water quality, excreta management, chemical threats, chronic disease management and mental health): filling critical gaps till others are able to take on the task
- Medical supplies: Contribute to ensuring that medical supply chains function as efficiently as possible and respond to the needs of end-users
- Joint action: Co-ordination of health actors at local, national and international level, with agreed strategies and joint action
At medium term, WHO will support Ministries of Health for the revitalization and future rehabilitation of health systems and services, and make available its extensive expertise to guide long-term international health assistance to affected communities, ensuring that rehabilitation incorporates local capacity-building to reduce risks.
Operational platform. Implementing the above requires a marked scale-up of WHO capacity and has considerable staffing/resource implications. A critical step, already underway, is the establishment of operational platforms at the country level (both national levels and worst-affected areas, especially in INO and SRL) and in SEARO. SEARO is establishing country by country and SEARO staffing requirements based on the functions above. HAC/HQ is assisting with special assets in the areas of logistics, communications and security.