Twenty-five governments and international agencies call for a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to strengthen national and global capacities to prepare for future pandemics. WHO Director-General Dr Tedros said, “The world cannot afford to wait until the pandemic is over to start planning for the next one. This treaty is an opportunity to strengthen the international health architecture. The time to act is now.”
WHO, Germany launch new global hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence
WHO and Germany will establish a new global hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence, data, surveillance and analytics innovation. Working with partners around the world, it will lead innovations in analytics across the largest network of global data to detect and monitor pandemic and epidemic risks
Everyone, everywhere can do their part in helping vaccinate the world and end the COVID-19 pandemic.
As COVID-19 threatens the health and well-being of everyone on the planet, this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) stresses the urgency of ending the current pandemic and preventing the next one by building a healthier, safer and fairer world.
WHO has been providing critical equipment and supplies to meet the increased needs during the current surge. In addition to surveillance, rapid situational analysis and technical advice, WHO continues to support efforts to accelerate vaccination for COVID-19.
“Even as a small child, I have always wanted to do something for society.” Meet Laxmi, the first woman driver and part of the Emergency Team in WHO Nepal Office, who is helping prepare local hospitals for COVID-19 vaccination in remote areas.
WHO strengthens support to contact tracing to break chains of transmission WHO supports the national government with the Contact Tracing Handbook for more than 1,700 local units to enhance their surveillance systems and response strategies, ensure an efficient and effective system for limiting the spread of COVID-19, and train health workers in contact tracing.
Health workers support COVID-19 vaccination
"I got vaccinated to set an example," said President Azali Assoumani, calling on his compatriots to respond to the vaccination campaign. With WHO’s guidance, the country began to vaccinate by priority groupings: all categories of health workers, followed by teachers, military and paramilitary forces, the elderly, and those with co-morbidities.
Honduras | ES
Risk communication, community participation in the indigenous communities
WHO carried out training sessions in five municipalities of the Tolupán indigenous population, on prevention and control of communicable diseases, strengthening the capacities of institutional health teams, application of safety measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases; and information on leptospirosis, vector diseases, prevention of diarrhea and safe water consumption.
With more people forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict, instability, and natural disaster, WHO has been working to ensure that migrant and refugee health is incorporated into global health responses in countries.
- WHO survey that shows everyday experience of migrants during the pandemic.
- In Bangladesh, WHO is strengthening Cox’s Bazar referral pathway for emergency medical and life-saving interventions for Rohingya refugees; and supporting COVID-19 treatment centers inside and outside the refugee camps.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
WHO congratulates the DRC for the end of the 12th Ebola outbreak
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros congratulated the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the end of the 12th Ebola outbreak which started in North Kivu in February, coming from nine months since an earlier outbreak was declared over in the same province. Dr Tedros stressed the need for continued vigilance to prevent a return of the disease and in containing other health challenges.
WHO supports evaluation of EWARN system to identify gaps and challenges in performance
WHO supports Libya’s evaluation of the Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN), which is a real-time surveillance modelling system to detect and verify potential disease outbreaks caused by emerging and epidemic-prone diseases. The evaluation assessed the effectiveness and usefulness of EWARN to meet its objectives, rapid response team capacity, and operations.
An imam in the fight against Ebola
“Four of my brothers and cousins died of Ebola in 2015, so I know what I’m committing myself to,” says imam El hadj Moussa Soumahoro, as his congregation disperses while greeting each other from a distance. He has just ended a morning sermon that included Ebola preventive messages and the importance of vaccination against the virus that recently re-emerged in Guinea for the first time since the 2014-2016 outbreak.
Related: Ebola: how Guinea is responding to the epidemic
WHO hands over five Health Emergency Operation Centers
WHO turned over Health Emergency Operation Centers to Nepal to strengthen the communication and coordination for effective public health response, especially during unpredictable emergencies. Another EOC was also inaugurated in Burundi recently.
Vaccination against yellow fever among Ethiopian refugees and host communities
WHO, UNICEF and GAVI have supported health authorities in Sudan in vaccination campaigns against yellow fever, cholera and polio targeting 100 000 people; including host communities and Ethiopian refugees who fled the conflict in the Tigray region. Community volunteers have also raised awareness of yellow fever and cholera symptoms, transmission, and preventive measures.
Highlights on donors, partners, and key supporters
Continuing the fight: WHO donors and partners support COVID-19 response around the world
COVID-19 vaccination campaigns have now been rolled out in over 100 countries and are providing hope. But the pandemic continues, and much essential work remains to be done. We highlight a recent selection of WHO’s activities in regions and countries around the world with the support of Gavi, ECHO, Canada, USAID and many other key partners. Related story here.
Greta Thunberg joins WHO’s call for vaccine equity
Greta Thunberg, climate and environment activist, has joined WHO in urging countries and manufacturers to boost and share COVID-19 vaccine supplies globally. Through the Greta Thunberg Foundation, she donated €100,000 (US$ 120,000) to the WHO Foundation to support COVAX Facility, in an effort to ensure equitable access of vaccines to the most at-risk in all countries.
The ACT-Accelerator one year on
The Access for COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator marks its first anniversary with a special report on the global alliance’s progress against the pandemic. The report details major scientific advances that have been made to confront this new disease, along with historic collaboration of global health organisations, governments, foundations, civil society, scientists, and the private sector.
Putting the focus on health: the Health For All Film Festival
On its second year now, WHO's ‘Health for All’ Film Festival received nearly 1,200 submissions from 110 countries, covering themes around universal health coverage (UHC), health emergencies, better health and well-being, and the pervasive and universal consequences the COVID-19 pandemic to people’s lives. See the final selection and the winners here.