WHO in emergencies

In 4 years, 494 attacks on health killed 470 patients and health staff in Syria

March 2020, Geneva/Copenhagen/Cairo – The World Health Organization condemns in the strongest terms, attacks on health care that have been a hallmark of the complex humanitarian crisis in Syria that this month enters its tenth year.

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Health workers describe mayhem as WHO delivers urgent medicine and supplies to ensure continued health services

28 February 2020, Geneva/Copenhagen/Cairo – In a two-day operation the World Health Organization sent 55 tons of medicine and medical supplies in 7 trucks from Turkey into Idlib governorate and parts of Aleppo. Since December 2019 the area has witnessed the largest exodus of internally displaced Syrians in the 9-year history of the Syria conflict.

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Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines

28 February 2020 - WHO convenes technical consultations in February and September each year to recommend viruses for inclusion in influenza vaccines for the northern and southern hemisphere influenza seasons, respectively. This meeting announcement and recommendation relates to the influenza vaccines for use in the forthcoming northern hemisphere 2020-21 influenza season.

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WHO continues efforts in the fight against cholera

27 February 2020 – In a health centre called the 26th September, 50-year-old Mariam fought for her life as cholera and heart disease ravaged her body. Mariam was rushed to the health centre after suffering from severe watery diarrhoea, dehydration and hypertension.

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How learning to talk the talk is saving lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Goma, 25 February 2020 - Guinean anthropologist, David Niabalamou is so passionate about his job engaging with communities affected by Ebola that he’s learned two new languages in twelve months, earning him the affectionate nickname, David the Local, from colleagues. Having worked on the Ebola response in his native Guinea from 2014 to 2016, Niabalamou was keenly aware that language is key to earning people’s trust.

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Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak.

Find more information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak



13 - 17 May 2019 at CICG Geneva. On 16 May, Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme will make the keynote presentation in the Working Session: Health in All Disaster Risk Management Strategies. In parallel with this event, WHO will launch the Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management Framework Strategy.

WHO emergencies videos

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 humanitarian action done by WHO and partners, events and thematic issues related to health in emergencies.