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Epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases

‘So not one outbreak goes unnoticed’: WHO supports influenza surveillance in Libya and Djibouti

‘So not one outbreak goes unnoticed’: WHO supports influenza surveillance in Libya and Djibouti

Influenza experts from WHO and Libya’s Ministry of Health review a laboratory.

22 July 2018 - During the last two weeks of June, two teams of influenza experts from WHO were deployed to Libya and Djibouti at the invitation of the countries’ Ministries of Health. The purpose was to assess and improve the influenza surveillance system, laboratories, and capacity of rapid response teams (RRTs) to detect and respond early to any threat. Dr Abdinasir Abubakar, who led the WHO delegation to Djibouti, said: “In both countries our teams had a comprehensive set of objectives. This allows us to really move the needle and improve the state of national influenza surveillance system - saving lives as a result.”

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Responding to a MERS outbreak: WHO trains Rapid Response Team members in Saudi Arabia

Participants role-played different scenarios to better prepareResponding to a MERS outbreak: WHO trains Rapid Response Team members in Saudi Arabia

12 July 2018 – During the first week of July, 24 public health experts gathered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to receive training on how to respond to an outbreak of deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) as part of a Rapid Response Team (RRT). Since late 2012, the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has infected 2229 people and claimed 791 lives (35.5%), with the majority of cases and deaths occurring in Saudi Arabia (1853 and 717, respectively).

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Regional training course organized to improve current laboratory biosafety and biosecurity practices

Biohazard_training_workshop

Regional training course organized to improve current laboratory biosafety and biosecurity practices

29 April 2018 – During the joint external evaluation (JEE) for IHR core capacity assessments in the Region, one of the critical gaps identified was absence of a laboratory biosafety and biosecurity programme with limited availability of skilled laboratory workforce for managing such programmes.  

Between 16 and 20 April, 2018, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterraneanorganized a 5-day regional biosafety training course for the containment of influenza and other infectious diseases of international concern in Casablanca, Morocco. 

The training course was hosted at the Institute of Pasteur in Casablanca while the Association of Public Health Laboratory of the United States of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, United States of America, collaborated with the WHO Regional Office to facilitate the course.

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Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework

The Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework or ‘PIP Framework’ is an innovative public health instrument that seeks to better prepare the world to respond to pandemic influenza.

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