WHO in emergencies

Returning home after surviving Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Returning home after surviving Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

19 June 2018 - Lucien Ambunga, Catholic Priest and Pastor for the remote rural community of Itipo celebrated his first Sunday (June 10) mass since he returned to his parish on 8 June, after recovering from Ebola.

WHO’s social anthropologist for the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Julienne Anoko says it’s important to support people who have recovered from Ebola as they return to their communities. “We need to take care of their reintegration because many of them are being stigmatized by their communities because the communities don’t know, they are afraid.”

WHO/O. Sakuya
Ebola outbreak - focus shifts to remote areas

At one-month mark in Ebola outbreak, the focus shifts to remote areas

9 June 2018 - One month into the response to an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the focus has moved from urban areas to some of the most remote places on earth.

The shift comes after a series of unprecedented actions that have led to cautious optimism about the effectiveness of the response.

Ebola response - building trust and engaging with affected communities

13 June 2018 - The following resources can be used to guide RCCE work which is central to stopping the outbreak and preventing its further amplification. Unlike other areas of response, RCCE draws heavily on volunteers, frontline personnel and on people without prior training in this area. As such, these resources provide basic background information, scopes the socio-economic and cultural aspects, and provides the latest evidence-based advice and approaches.

Ring vaccination is a new and vital tool in the control of Ebola.

Ebola vaccine provides protection and hope for high-risk communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

30 May 2018 -- It’s been ten days since Jean René* lost his brother to Ebola virus disease (EVD).

"My brother’s wife has come to live with my family," said Jean René, who lives in a community about 20 kilometers north of Mbandaka, the first urban centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo to have confirmed cases of EVD during the current outbreak.

WHO/S. Oka

WHO and World Bank Group join forces to strengthen global health security

24 May 2018 - WHO and World Bank Group today launched a new mechanism to strengthen global health security through stringent independent monitoring and regular reporting of preparedness to tackle outbreaks, pandemics, and other emergencies with health consequences.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and World Bank Group President Dr Jim Yong Kim co-led the creation of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, launched today on the margins of the 71st Session of the World Health Assembly.

WHO supports Ebola vaccination of high risk populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

21 May 2018 - The Ministry of Health with WHO, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), UNICEF and other key partners are implementing a ring vaccination with the yet to be licensed rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine, whereby the contacts of confirmed cases and the contacts of contacts are offered vaccination. Frontline healthcare workers and other persons with potential exposure to EVD – including but not limited to laboratory workers, surveillance teams and people responsible for safe and dignified burials – will also receive the vaccine.

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.

What we do

From prevention through preparedness to early warning, response, and early recovery, the WHO Health Emergencies programme is operational.


Health crisis in Central African Republic.
WHO/C. Black

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.


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

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.