Health Action in Crises - Highlights No. 228, 29 Sep to 05 Oct 2008

from World Health Organization
Published on 05 Oct 2008 View Original
Each week, the World Health Organization Health Action in Crises in Geneva produces information highlights on critical health-related activities in countries where there are humanitarian crises. Drawing on the various WHO programmes, contributions cover activities from field and country offices and the support provided by WHO regional offices and headquarters. The mandate of the WHO departments specifically concerned with Emergency and Humanitarian Action in Crises is to increase the effectiveness of the WHO contribution to crisis preparedness and response, transition and recovery. This note, which is not exhaustive, is designed for internal use and does not reflect any official position of the WHO Secretariat.


According to the Emergency Relief Coordinator, three million people are already reliant on aid, a figure that could rise to five million as the situation is continues to deteriorate.

A workshop is planned for 6-7 October to organize the CAP 2009.

Assessments and Events

- Humanitarian access has improved greatly since the power-sharing deal was signed.

- The main causes of morbidity are acute respiratory infections, malaria and diarrhoeal diseases. Mortality linked to malnutrition appears to have increased.

- District hospitals have no efficient communication systems with the health centres they serve; many vehicles are either broken down or not used due to lack of fuel and lubricants.

- Emergency preparedness and response committees and teams exist at the provincial level, but coordination is poor and technical skills for diagnostic, treatment and reporting are often inadequate. Staff motivation is low.

- Monitoring, evaluation and follow up of outbreak response is not adequate; centrally driven, actions often cease as soon as the outbreak is presumed controlled, and subsequent follow up is insufficient.

- There are no adequate stockpiles for emergency response at district level.


- WHO organized on 18 and 19 September a workshop with national, UN and NGO partners to review activities and draft a Health Cluster work plan to:

- improve understanding of the current health situation and the existing health and humanitarian
coordination mechanisms;

- obtain updated information on ongoing and planned interventions by various humanitarian organizations
operating in the health sector;

- include a wide number of stakeholders in the development of the Health Cluster Work Plan.

- WHO's emergency activities are funded by its regular budget, Ireland and the CERF.