WHO in emergencies

Dr Niazy trains medical staff on handwashing during a COVID-19 training session in River Nile state. Photo: WHO/Sudan

Training health workers to fight COVID-19 in Sudan

28 May 2020 – The polio eradication programme has stepped up to help the Sudanese Ministry of Health limit spread of the COVID-19 virus. The programme is working in 14 states in the country supporting COVID-19 surveillance, information dissemination and training of health workers.

Dr Ali Abdulla, laboratory specialist and health director at the National Center of Public Health Laboratories in Sana’a

Health care workers, a fragile health system and the looming spectre of COVID-19 in Yemen

27 May 2020 – “I can only spend half an hour with my 7 children each day before I leave to work in the morning, since my workday doesn’t end until 3:00 a.m.,” says Dr Ali Abdulla, laboratory specialist and health director at the National Center of Public Health Laboratories in Sana’a. Since the beginning of the pandemic in Yemen, Dr Ali has been working non-stop in the laboratory despite the fact that he has not been paid in months.

WHO/Omar Nasr

Flooding in Somalia raises concern about cholera in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak

14 May 2020 – While Somalia deals with one of the world's biggest public health threats from COVID-19, which has so far claimed 52 lives in the country and infected 1219 people in less than 2 months, the country is also facing floods in the north that have killed 24 people and affected over 700 000 people in 24 districts. The flood has also displaced almost 283 000 people. Although all the 6 states have been affected by this flash flood, 3 states – Hirshabelle, Jubaland, Southwest and Puntland states – are worst affected. The flooding resulted from a sharp rise in the level of the Shabelle river following heavy and incessant rains in Somalia and Ethiopian highlands, which started in late April. As of 10 May, water levels reached 7.93 metres, which are 0.37 metres below the bank's full level of 8.30 metres.

Migrants in Yemen face growing protection risks as a result of COVID-19 fears

WHO, IOM raise concern over COVID-19 discrimination against migrants in Yemen

在线观看|影视免费观看vip10 May 2020 Cairo – COVID-19’s presence in Yemen was officially confirmed on 10 April. Nearly a month later, Sana’a city’s first case was announced, that of a Somali refugee. Migrants in the country are being stigmatized as “transmitters of disease”. Xenophobia and scapegoating campaigns are leading to retaliation against these vulnerable communities, including physical and verbal harassment, forced quarantine, denial of access to health services, movement restrictions, and forced movements to frontline and desert areas, leaving them stranded without food, water and essential services.


WHO supports accelerated response efforts for contact tracing in Somalia as cases surge

在线观看|影视免费观看vip11 May 2020 – As the laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 surge in Somalia, the country has also intensified its operations response to contain the epidemic. The WHO country office in support of this intensified response operations has deployed over 4000 community health care workers, each having to visit at least 5000 households every month for active case identification and contact tracing throughout the country

Reinforcing emergency response against COVID-19 in Africa

在线观看|影视免费观看vip7 May 2020 -- Brazzaville – In an expanded pool of expertise, the World Health Organization (WHO) is supporting several African countries to coordinate the work of external emergency medical teams deployed to support the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

New WHO estimates: Up to 190 000 people could die of COVID-19 in Africa if not controlled

7 May 2020 - Brazzaville – Eighty-three thousand to 190 000 people in Africa could die of COVID-19 and 29 million to 44 million could get infected in the first year of the pandemic if containment measures fail, a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa finds. The research, which is based on prediction modelling, looks at 47 countries in the WHO African Region with a total population of one billion.

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.


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.

Behind the headlines

At any one time, dozens of infectious disease outbreaks are happening around the world. In this special feature, we visit a series of recent health emergencies, telling the stories behind the headlines and exploring the many different dimensions of an outbreak response.

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.


WHO training on personal protective equipment during the Ebola outbreak in Guinea

The Director-General has established an Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (IOAC), to provide oversight and monitoring of the development and performance of the Programme and to guide the Programme’s activities.



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