WHO in emergencies

Diphtheria is spreading fast in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

7 December 2017 -Diphtheria is rapidly spreading among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, WHO warned today. More than 110 suspected cases, including 6 deaths, have been clinically diagnosed by health partners, including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).

WHO Bangladesh/ C Bercaru

1.4 million vaccines from global stockpile support yellow fever control in Nigeria

1 December 2017 - The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on vaccine provision for yellow fever has provided 1.4 million vaccine doses for an immunization campaign that starts on Saturday (2 December) to help control an ongoing yellow fever outbreak in Nigeria.


Madagascar’s plague epidemic is slowing, but we must sustain the response

27 November 2017 – An unprecedented outbreak of pneumonic plague that started in August in Madagascar and killed more than 200 people is declining – but WHO cautions that the response must be sustained.

UN leaders appeal for immediate lifting of humanitarian blockade in Yemen – lives of millions are at risk

16 November 2017 -- Together, we issue another urgent appeal for the coalition to permit entry of lifesaving supplies to Yemen in response to what is now the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The supplies, which include medicines, vaccines and food, are essential to staving off disease and starvation. Without them, untold thousands of innocent victims, among them many children, will die.

Supplies delivered to Iran for medical assistance after the earthquake

WHO airlifts supplies to wounded in Islamic Republic of Iran-Iraq earthquake

16 November 2017 – WHO has airlifted trauma kits and medical supplies to the Islamic Republic of Iran to support the treatment of thousands people injured as a result of the recent earthquake in the Islamic Republic of Iran-Iraq border region. The supplies, enough to provide surgical care for up to 4000 trauma patients, were transported from WHO’s emergency logistical centre in Dubai to Kermanshah province in western Islamic Republic of Iran on 16 November at 10.30am local time. They were immediately delivered to hospitals and other health facilities receiving the injured.


WHO reinforces health care services for thousands of people in newly accessible areas of Ar-Raqqa governorate, Syria Arab Republic

25 October 2017 - As areas in Ar-Raqqa governorate become accessible, the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to strengthen health care services for thousands of people in the area through the delivery of medicines and medical supplies to Al-Tabqa National Hospital, northwest of Ar-Raqqa city.

WHO supports containment of rare virus on Uganda-Kenya border

20 October 2017 - WHO is working to contain an outbreak of Marburg virus disease (MVD) that has appeared in eastern Uganda on the border with Kenya. Marburg virus disease is a rare disease with a high mortality rate for which there is no specific treatment.

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.

Disease Outbreak News (DONs)