Humanitarian Health Action

Health emergency highlights

Each issue of the Health Emergency Highlights contains information on the current humanitarian context, the health priorities and response operations in the three to four focus countries for that month. Each issue also highlights policy work in the area of health humantiarian action done by WHO and partners, events and thematic issues related to health in emergencies.

Health emergency highlights #69

WHO keeping hospitals and feeding centres alive in Yemen
Filling Gaps in Yemen's health system
Enabling quick action to save lives – the Contingency Fund for Emergencies
On the trail of Lassa fever in southern Nigeria
Health facilities devastated by Papua New Guinea earthquake
WHO providing urgent health services in response to displacements from Afrin
Providing assistance to vulnerable populations in Iraq
WHO responds to critical health needs of thousands of Syrians fleeing East Ghouta
WHO supports 16 African countries to protect against Listeriosis outbreak
WHO calls for urgent action to improve health conditions in Gaza
Training raises risk communication to new heights in Ethiopia

Health emergency highlights #68

On the frontlines of the fight against Lassa fever in Nigeria
Seven years of Syria's health tragedy
Revamp of plague detection in Madagascar
Somalia measles campaign aims to protect children and save lives
Polio personnel support Lassa fever response in Nigeria
Emergency health team deployed to earthquake-affected provinces of Papua New Guinea
Out of conflict, a new life for Syrian health workers in Turkey
Diphtheria vaccination campaign for 2.7 million children concludes in Yemen
Pledging Conference for the Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE)
Saving lives by sharing knowledge online
Nationwide polio vaccination campaign aims to vaccinate more than 2.4 million children
Zanzibar develops the National Action Plan for Health Security
Sudanese physicians and nurses graduate from “Mass casualty management” course

Health emergency highlights #67

Nigeria battles its largest Lassa fever outbreak on record
WHO delivers life-saving medicines and supplies to Gaza
A diversified strategy to vaccinate against yellow fever in São Paulo
Urgent need to scale up health services in Cox’s Bazar
Working together to protect health after Cyclone Gita
Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines
Portraits from Ukraine’s conflict line, where humanitarian assistance is most needed
European Region countries convene to boost emergency preparedness and response
What you need to know about avian influenza
Online course on revised cholera kits
High-level delegation visits Ethiopia
KS Relief gives US$ 2 million for health response to Rohingya crisis
SocialNet joins GOARN mission to help protect South Africans from Listeriosis

Health emergency highlights #66

Top epidemic-prone diseases without sufficient counter measures
Displaced people in Ibb devastated by hunger and disease
Standby partners' crucial role in emergency response
10 threats to global health in 2018
Seasonal influenza vaccination in Europe
WHO moves to contain Nigeria's Lassa fever outbreak
South Sudan declares the end of its longest and largest cholera outbreak
WHO responds promptly to a suspected Rift Valley fever outbreak
WHO delivers life-saving health supplies to Deir-ez-Zor
Kiribati Butiraoi ferry disaster
Online course for clinical management of respiratory diphtheria
Health systems strengthening and health emergencies response

Health emergency highlights #65

Historic yellow fever vaccination campaigns in Brazil and Nigeria
WHO airlifts 200 tonnes of health supplies to Yemen
Cox’s Bazar: 350 000 children get additional dose of diphtheria vaccine
Stopping the measles outbreak in Ukraine
Promoting the One Health approach in South Sudan
Medicine on the move
Diphtheria making an alarming comeback in Yemen
WHO supports rehabilitating health facilities in Darfur
MERS situation update
WHO works to keep the world safe
What to know about seasonal influenza

Health emergency highlights #64

Key results in 2017
Nearly half a million children vaccinated against diphtheria in Cox's Bazar
Dr Tedros: Invest in health to end plague in Madagascar
One million people immunized against cholera in Zambia
WHO, WFP and UNICEF statement on 1000 days of war in Yemen
New strain of meningitis expanding in Africa: urgent action needed
WHO helps Nigeria control cholera in Borno state
WHO delivers 70 tons of life-saving medicines and supplies to Sana'a
Communicating risk in public health emergencies
Update on yellow fever in Nigeria

Health emergency highlights #63

Up to 650 000 people die of respiratory diseases due to seasonal flu every year
Uganda ends outbreak of Marburg virus disease
Diptheria is spreading fast in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
WHO helps worst cases of malnutrition in children in South Sudan
WHO steps up efforts to fight severe acute malnutrition in Yemen
Drawing attention to the needs of people in Syria living with injuries and disabilities
Training social scientists for preparedness and response in health emergencies
A visit to Gornali is no holiday
"We don't have enough medicines to treat our patients"

Health emergency highlights #62

Encounters with plague: tracing and preventing illness
1.4 million vaccines sent to Nigeria for yellow fever control
From the ground up: local partners improve health care
Lifesaving mobile health teams reach people in newly accessible areas of Iraq
Water quality control preventing water-borne diseases in South Sudan
Beyond bullets and bombs: saving the lives of chronic disease patients living in conflict settings
UN leaders call on the Saudi-led coalition to lift blockade of Yemeni ports
New Zealand joins list of internationally classified Emergency Medical Teams
WHO delivers medicines as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Health emergency highlights #61

WHO airlifts supplies to wounded from Iran-Iraq earthquake
WHO, WFP and UNICEF appeal for immediate lifting of humanitarian blockade in Yemen
WHO calls for immediate and unimpeded access to eastern Ghouta
Training National Emergency Medical Teams
WHO donates motorcycles to support Marburg response in eastern Uganda
Field hospitals in Iraq
Working within communities to stop Marburg
Expanded measles vaccination for new Ronhingya arrivals

Health emergency highlights #60

Madagascar plague: preventing regional spread
Over 700 000 people vaccinated against cholera in Cox's Bazar
WHO supports containment of Marburg on Uganda-Kenya border
WHO response to urgent health needs in Syria
Tackling malaria and polio in north-eastern Nigeria
Delivering kits for diabetes and hypertension during humanitarian crises
Lifesaving medicines and supplies for victims of Mogadishu blasts
WHO supports polio vaccination campaign for 200 000 children
Managing future global public health risks

Health emergency highlights #59

WHO provides 1.2 million antibiotics to fight plague in Madagascar
Massive oral cholera vaccine campaign in Bangladesh
Commitment to reduce cholera deaths by 90% by 2030
Attack on vaccines sets back immunization efforts in eastern Syria
Immunizing 874 000 people against yellow fever in Nigeria
“We’re doctors but we’re also human”
Investing in disaster prevention for a healthier world
Focusing on polio eradication and health emergencies
Monitoring and responding to 33 outbreaks and 13 humanitarian crises in Africa

Health emergency highlights #58

Connecting needs and services in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Next steps to combat global health threat by MERS-CoV
Accelerated shipment of medical supplies
Responding to flooding in South Sudan
Inside the struggling al-Jumhoori Hospital in Sa’ada, Yemen
WHO online training helps medical staff in besieged areas save lives
Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) response efforts ramp up in South and Central Darfur
Tanzania National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS)
WHO condemns attacks on Syrian hospitals and health workers
Joint External Evaluation (JEE) Dashboard

Health emergency highlights #57

Cholera vaccination in Nigeria
Restoring health services in countries affected by Hurricane Irma
Seham's struggles
Seven tonnes of medicines delivered to Raqqa hospital
Effective preparedness for hajj 2017 pays off
WHO investigating increase in cholera cases
Nigeria emergency declaration: one year later
Mental health is a critical component in disaster response and recovery

Health emergency highlights #56

Rapidly responding to cholera in Nigeria
Partnering to respond to health emergencies
Preventing spread of disease after Sierra Leone mudslide
Patients, health workers and hospitals are #NotATarget
Health services for people fleeing the crisis in Iraq
Health services for people fleeing the crisis in Iraq
Scaling up operations in north-east Syrian Arab Republic
MERS-CoV global summary and risk assessment
Zika preparedness
National Action Plan for Health Security in Namibia

Health emergency highlights #55

Cholera count reaches 500 000 in Yemen
WHO and partners fight against malaria in Nigeria
Health services for displaced populations
Millions of Somalis trapped in a cycle of hunger and disease
Preventing the spread of disease in Ethiopia
International spread of poliovirus remains a public health emergency
Protecting children from vaccine preventable diseases
WHO committed to helping Sri Lanka control dengue
After action review of cholera response in Tanzania
Sudan advances global leadership on humanitarian and development nexus

Health emergency highlights #54

WHO's Director-General, along with the heads of the World Food Programme and UNICEF, travelled to Yemen to see the scale of the humanitarian crisis and deadly cholera outbreak, and step up combined response efforts. WHO delivered almost 30 tonnes of medicines to support health services for people in Al-Qamishli, Syrian Arab Republic. In response to the measles outbreak in Somalia, WHO and partners are organizing a nationwide vaccination campaign targeting 4.2 million children. The total funding requirement for this campaign is US$ 11.7 million, of which WHO requires US$ 6.8 million.
WHO has used community enegagement activities to contribute to the control of acute watery diarrhoea in Ethiopia; provided lifesaving treatment for severly malnournished children in South Sudan; provided access to essential medicines for nearly 2 million people in Sudan; established a regional emergency hub in Nairobi, Kenya; and worked with over 120 participants at a meeting on delivering global health security through sustainable financing.

Health emergency highlights #53

WHO recently highlighted five places (Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Syrian Arab Republic) where more support is needed to help people now. The cholera outbreak in Yemen continues to be a major concern for WHO and partners. WHO mobile health teams are helping people in northeastern Nigeria. The Emergency Medical Teams Initiative has published a report with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Local partners in the Syrian Arab Republic are referring trauma patients. A new oral cholera vaccination campaign is planned for South Sudan. Measles continues to spread across Europe. WHO warns the health sector in Gaza is facing a deepening crisis. Take a new course on risk communications essentials.

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Health emergency highlights #52

Dr Tedros started as Director-General of WHO on 1 July. WHO declared an end to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 2 July. WHO and partners continue to support the response to a major cholera outbreak in Yemen.

WHO delivered more than 12 000 treatments to camps in Al Raqqa, Syrian Arab Republic; opened a new primary health care centre in Kirkuk, Iraq; helped to end a meningitis outbreak in Nigeria; developed a new toolkit for Zika virus; increased the number of Emergency Medical Teams; and brought mobile clinics to internally displaced Afghans.

None of this would be possible without the commitment of our donors who fund WHO's work in health emergencies and outbreaks.

Health emergency highlights #51

WHO is responding to an outbreak of cholera in Yemen where the number of cases continues to rise.  Mobile laboratories are being used to conduct rapid diagnostic tests for Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
WHO is working with partners to meet the health needs of South Sudanese refugees; identifying the source and conatining the spread of a foodborne illness outbreak in Iraq; leading the revitalisation of the health care services in Nigeria; releasing internal emergency funds to scale up the emergency response in the Gaza Strip; providing vital care for displaced Syrians; and treating trauma and war wounds in Afghanistan.
As part of WHO's work for emergency preparedness, health facilities in the Caribbean are being transformed to make them safer and more resilient to natural disasters; on World Blood Donor Day, WHO emphasized the role each individual can play in emergency preparedness by giving blood even before an emergency strikes; and WHO launched a series of video courses on epidemics, pandemics and health emergencies.  

Health emergency highlights #50

The 70th World Health Assembly took place in Geneva 22-31 May. Delegates elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as new WHO Director-General and made decisions on a wide range of health emergency-related issues. WHO and the UN Foundation produced a live show interviewing Dr Rick Brennan, WHO Director of Emergency Operations.
WHO and partners continue to respond to the Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the first days of the outbreak, the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies quickly released money needed for the immediate response.  As soon as the outbreak was detected, WHO and other partners, mobilized new technologies for initial sample testing.
A WHO-chartered aircraft carrying cholera supplies landed in Yemen; WHO and partners are responding to the health impacts of pre-famine conditions in Somalia; and hundreds of volunteers vaccinated displaced children in Iraq. Polio workers in Nigeria are responding to a meningitis C outbreak; and new animations from WHO show the scope and complexity of the global drive to end polio. 
  At the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, WHO and health sector partners came together to reduce risks from emergencies and disasters.  A new WHO Office for Humanitarian and Health Emergencies Preparedness has been established in Turkey.  Read about the progress in 70 years of the Global Influenza Programme.  

Health emergency highlights #49

WHO is working with national authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to mount a rapid and effective response to the Ebola outbreak.
WHO has scaled up its presence and activities in Somalia due to increasing health needs related to food insecurity. Read about the link between food insecurity and disease.
WHO works with partners to fight the recent upsurge in cholera transmission in Yemen; tells the story of a family separated by conflict that is reunited in Iraq; gives new life to Syrian refugees requiring emergency medical care; and responds to a puzzling plague outbreak in Madagascar. Read about how WHO is preparing for the next influenza epidemic; and using social science to revolutionalize emergency response and knowledge transfer to fight epidemics.

Health emergency highlights #48

WHO answers the question "Health security: is the world better prepared?"  Read about the health situation in Yemen where millions are at risk. WHO and partners open a trauma field hospital in Iraq; conduct a joint cholera review mission in Somalia; and vaccinate Syrian children with the support of new technology.  We are calling for increased support for the fuel and electricity crisis in Gaza and monitoring outbreaks and other emergencies in the African Region.  We have snapshots of what partners are doing to support mental health services during emergencies and the Global Health Cluster strategy 2017 - 2019.

Health emergency highlights #47

WHO is boosting lifesaving care for injured civilians in Iraq; providing vaccines to control meningitis C in Nigeria; calling for increased support for health in the Syrian Arab Republic and implementing a famine response plan in South Sudan. 
WHO’s work to prepare for and prevent disease outbreaks includes vaccinating 5 million children in Yemen, updating yellow fever vaccination recommendations for Brazil and conducting simultaneous vaccination campaigns against polio in four countries.  WHO also considers bioethics in its response to Zika virus.

Health emergency highlights #46

WHO has sent yellow fever vaccines to Brazil; provided health services and essential medicines to displaced people in Yemen; airlifted ambulances into Iraq; provided medicines and supplies to stabilization centres in Nigeria to treat Severe Acute Malnutrition; expanded mental health care services across the Syrian Arab Republic and; provided technical expertise in the cholera response in Somalia. 
WHO’s work on preparedness and monitoring for emergencies includes working with partners to build a resilient health system in South Sudan; launching a podcast series on Zika virus; updating the WHO Simulation Exercise Manual and; posting Joint External Evaluation reports for Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan.

Health emergency highlights #45

WHO is helping to contain a Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria; sending cholera kits and tuberculosis medicines to Yemen; delivering mobile clinics to northern Syrian Arab Republic; immunizing over 3 million children against polio in South Sudan; and developing a Zika country classification scheme to help public health authorities assess the risk of Zika virus. WHO activated an emergency response plan following the reported use of chemical weapons agents in Iraq.
WHO's work to strengthen health security includes tracking vaccine deliveries and vaccination campaigns; supporting the Government of Tanzania to develop a National Action Plan for Health Security; and guiding laboratories to implement quality management.

Health emergency highlights #44

WHO is scaling up its health response in crisis-affected countries: working to provide critical health services for 1.5 million people in Somalia; providing health assistance to 8.2 million people in the Lake Chad Basin; assisting the crumbling health system in Yemen; and preparing to meet the urgent health needs of 750 000 residents in west Mosul, Iraq. WHO has secured oral cholera vaccines in an effort to contain cholera in hard to reach areas in South Sudan, including some recently affected by famine.

In February, the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared the end of the yellow fever outbreak. Also, WHO interviewed experts on how to respond to outbreaks such as Zika in the future. Thirty Joint External Evaluations (JEE) have been conducted within the first year of launching the JEEs.

Health emergency highlights #43

One year after WHO declared Zika a public health emergency, staff around the world tell their stories about managing the Zika virus in their region and how the response will be handled moving forward. And one year after the end of Ebola, a new report details the work over the past 12 months, particularly in supporting Ebola survivors and continuing vital research into the disease.
In the past few months WHO has deployed medical teams to provide urgently needed health services for internally displaced people in Yemen and emergency health kits were sent to Ukraine to address the health needs of over 300,000 patients. WHO has been working in partnership with the Ministry of Health in South Sudan to strengthen disease surveillance, outbreak response and health care services to save lives.
WHO is working to prevent crises before they occur: one tool is the Joint External Evaluations that measure country specific progress in preventing, detecting, and responding to public health threats. The 29th Joint External Evaluation was concluded in Ghana this month.
WHO answers questions on how, in emergencies, people are at a higher risk of undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. WHO/Europe strengthened support to national authorities to build the resilience of health facilities in emergencies using the Hospital Safety Index. Working with partners, WHO aims to ensure emergency medical teams deploying to disasters are trained and equipped to respond.

Health emergency highlights #42

First, 10 things to know about the Syrian crisis. In the past two weeks, as the conflict in Mosul, Iraq intensified, WHO increased trauma care services to ensure patients have a greater chance of survival. WHO provided lab personnel in South Sudan with training to ensure timely and reliable identification of diseases and scaled up measles vaccination to reach 2.3 million children. In Mosul, WHO and partners ensured polio vaccination reached 6 million children.
In January, WHO published the list of priority diseases that need urgent research and development to prevent public health emergencies in the near future. A report on WHO's response in severe, large-scale emergencies was delivered to the 140th Executive Board. WHO’s Regional Emergencies Director for the African Region, gives an overview of the emergencies in the African Region, and the work that prevents most incidents from escalating. WHO is working with the UN Central Emergency Response fund to provide health services in response to forgotten crises around the world. Finally, Management of Dead Bodies after Disasters: a manual for first responders, a joint publication by WHO and partners, was updated and published to provide simple, practical guidance for first responders.

Health emergency highlights #41

This issue begins by reviewing the key achievements for WHO's work in emergencies in 2016. In the last weeks of 2016, WHO confirmed that an experimental Ebola vaccine is highly protective against the deadly virus. WHO and partners are leading a measles vaccination campaign in Nigeria to protect more than 4 million children against an outbreak. In Iraq, WHO's response has saved hundreds of lives, particularly through the delivery of supplies and services to treat trauma injuries. WHO’s teams in the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey are providing on-going support to the evacuations from eastern Aleppo. WHO leadership of the international response to Zika virus continues. In 2016, the sixth country team passed WHO’s rigorous classification process and was verified by the Emergency Medical Team Initiative to deploy and set up a fully staffed field hospital in the event of an emergency. Finally, Executive Director Pete Salama outlined how the new emergencies programme bridges two worlds.

Health Action in Crises Monthly Highlights

The distribution of the Monthly Highlights was interrupted in September 2011. As of November 2012 they have been replaced by Health in emergencies highlights.

Health Action in Crises weekly highlights

The distribution of the weekly Highlights was interrupted in February 2010. As of September 2010 they have been replaced by a more comprehensive monthly version.