Summary of the WHO’s Mediterranean Centre for Health Risk Reduction (WMC) activities in 2010
WHO/WMC, HAC’s out posted office based in Tunis, is a common technical base supporting regional and country offices in a number of training and learning activities. In 2010 courses and events included:
- the Health Cluster coordination courses (held in Jakarta, Alexandria and Geneva),
- the training on analysis of disrupted health systems,
- the management of public health risks in emergencies.
The centre also supported partners such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Office of Refugee Response and Emergencies) to develop learning pathways for health and humanitarian action for their field staff. Finally additional work completed in 2010 aims to develop a draft set of competencies for health and humanitarian workers. In this regard, WMC also established a deployment mechanism which aims to roster and deploy staff for the Organization.
WHO/WMC’s programme on vulnerability and risk mapping provided technical support to Oman, Sudan, Eretria, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Tunisia, Kenya, Mexico and others to map risks through a process of spatializing hazards in relation to capacities and public health indicators. A new version of the e-Atlas DVD of disaster risk models the distribution of natural hazards and populations with the objective to stimulate ministries of health and partners to improve their disaster management capacity.
The newest programme to come online late 2010 is the information and knowledge management for public health and humanitarian action. This programme aims to address three cores areas:
- operational research in emergency settings,
- developing a gateway for managing the volume of health information related to emergency preparedness,
- response and recovery and conducting systemic review of performance in emergencies as well as identification of public health gaps in emergencies.
Current achievements include a draft policy paper on developing a common operational research agenda for emergencies to be discussed with partners as well as a guidance on what is information and knowledge management with respect to emergencies.
Partners of the WMC include the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Library of Medicine (Center for Disaster Information), the UNDP Global Risk Identification Programme (GRIP), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite (UNOSAT), Johns Hopkins University (School of Public Health) and many others.