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Saving lives and reducing suffering: WHO’s work in emergency response operations in the who African Region in 2017 - Emergency Operations Annual Report

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1. Situation

The World Health Organization, African Region, is beset with recurrent outbreaks and other health emergencies. Every year, more than 100 public health emergencies are reported to WHO by Member States, of which 80% are of infectious origin. In 2017, 142 public health emergencies were reported: 123 disease outbreaks and 19 humanitarian crises and natural disasters (see figure 1). Cholera outbreaks were the most recurrent, affecting 14 countries, followed by measles (11) and Dengue Fever (11). These health emergencies threaten national, regional and global public health security, and, if not contained effectively, result in high morbidity, mortality, disability and socioeconomic disruptions. In 2017, an Incident Management Support Team (IMST) set up in the AFRO/SHOC with WHO Health Emergency (WHE) team members received support to implement the Incident Management System (IMS). There were other clusters as well, at the Regional Office (Office of the Regional Director, Programme Management Office, Communicable Diseases Cluster (CDS), Family and Reproductive Health Cluster (FRH), Health Systems Strengthening Cluster (HSS), and the General Management and Coordination Cluster (GMC).