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24 April 2019

Open today: abstract submission process for Second Scientific Conference - EMARIS 2019

OPEN TODAY:  The abstract submission process for the Second Scientific Conference,  EMARIS 2019, has opened!Deadline for abstract submission: 25 June, 2019.Are you a researcher working on Influenza and other Respiratory Diseases related to the countries in WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Region? Then your abstract may be eligible - see the full submission...

14 April 2019

Working beyond capacity to get the data out: disease surveillance in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

This week, influenza surveillance experts and representatives of Ministries of Health across WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region are meeting to discuss monitoring and evaluation of sentinel-based influenza surveillance systems. Ahead of the event we spoke with Dr Rana Jawad Asghar, epidemiologist and surveillance system expert. Early detection of influenza outbreaks is crucial...

10 April 2019

Opening soon: abstract submission process for Second Scientific Conference - EMARIS 2019

The technical unit of Infectious Hazard Management in WHO’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean is pleased to announce the Second Scientific Conference of the EMARIS Network, taking place in Marrakesh, Morocco from November 12 to 15, 2019.  Be part of documenting the regional progress in strengthening surveillance and response capacities...

12 March 2019

Somalia: ending the specter of cholera

When Dr Mutaawe Lubogo speaks about his work, enthusiasm colors his voice and a sparkle lights his eyes. Dr Lubogo, a cholera expert working with WHO in Somalia, is passionate about the fight against infectious diseases in the country. “Mention an epidemic, and find it in Somalia”, he says. “People...

07 February 2019

The next flu pandemic: a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’

An interview with Mr Christopher Chadwick, Technical Officer for Influenza Preparedness and Response at the World Health Organization. When you hear the word ‘pandemic’, what do you see? Likely some combination of millions of sick people and deaths, airports and borders closing, the international medical community in overdrive. Worldwide devastation. What...

20 January 2019

Infectious disease outbreaks reported in the Eastern Mediterranean Region in 2018

20 January 2019 – Throughout 2018, WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Region witnessed a number of new infectious diseases outbreaks and cases of other diseases were reported sporadically throughout the year in endemic patterns. The sporadic reporting of these infectious diseases continued as the transmission, which began in the previous years, was...

27 December 2018

“Saying ‘we can end cholera’ is not silly at all”

An interview with Dr Dominique Legros, Cholera Team Lead at the World Health Organization. There is a new battle plan in the fight against cholera. The document, aptly called “”, exudes optimism and aims for a world in which the ancient disease is no longer a threat to public health. Dr...

19 December 2018

‘A health threat anywhere is a health threat everywhere’: new strategic framework for infectious hazard management discussed and adopted

19 December 2018 - From 16 to 19 December, nearly 100 infectious disease experts from Ministries of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and research institutes in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) and worldwide, convened in Amman, Jordan, to discuss, review and adopt the new strategic framework for prevention and...

26 November 2018

Using surveillance data to analyse influenza severity in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

26 November 2018 – From 1 to 4 October, in a premiere event for the Region, over 25 influenza experts converged in Tunis for a training workshop on influenza baseline setting and threshold value determination for so-called Pandemic Influenza Severity Assessments (PISAs). By organizing and facilitating the course, WHO’s Regional...

25 November 2018

Filling knowledge gaps to strengthen Yemen’s cholera response

25 November, 2018 – To improve the response to the ongoing cholera outbreak in Yemen, which has caused over 1.3 million suspected cases since 2016, experts from WHO, UNICEF, MSF and other partners met in Amman from 9 to 11 October. The meeting focused on identifying existing knowledge and information...

22 November 2018

Ramping up Ebola preparedness to ensure early detection and response

22 November 2018 – The Infectious Hazard Management unit of WHO’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean has launched a series of activities to scale up Ebola preparedness and readiness. Although no cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have yet been reported from the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the risk...

06 November 2018

Training workshop held on establishing pool of experts on Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)

25 October 2018 – From 23 to 25 October 2018, the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office convened a training workshop in Abu Dhabi on improving public health preparedness and readiness measures for response to the threat of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). About 25 representatives from the ministries of health...

24 October 2018

Pool of MERS experts for deployment established by WHO’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean

23 October 2018 - From 23 to 25 October, 60 high-level public health and MERS practitioners, researchers, and experts will meet in Abu Dhabi to establish a pool of experts that can be deployed rapidly during any future outbreaks, as well as share and discuss the latest evidence, best practices,...

10 October 2018

Recent imported case of MERS with travel history to Kuwait   proves it is still a global threat

10 October 2018 - In a globalized world, infectious disease outbreaks can travel between countries within hours, potentially becoming a concern for the entire world. When a 61-year old Korean man was diagnosed with the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in the Republic of Korea (RoK) on September 9,...

27 September 2018

New EWARN Handbook to enhance quality of epidemiological surveillance in humanitarian emergencies

27 September 2018 - From 17 to 20 September, 30 health professionals from 7 countries met in Beirut, Lebanon, to discuss and improve data collection, analysis and reporting for Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN) in humanitarian emergencies.  EWARN, an early warning surveillance system for humanitarian emergencies, has played...

29 August 2018

Mission accomplished: an incident- and outbreak-free Hajj

26 August 2018 - Last week, a total of 2.7 million muslim pilgrims passed through Saudi Arabia on the annual Hajj, one of the largest mass gatherings in the world and a key pillar of Islam. Thanks to the hard work by the Saudi Ministry of Health and the support...

17 August 2018

Preparing for pandemic flu: five countries ready to update preparedness plans

15 August 2018 - From 13 to 15 August, public health experts from five countries gathered in Tunis, to develop a planning tool for creating and updating national plans for pandemic influenza preparedness. It was the first time two WHO Regional Offices (the Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, or...

14 August 2018

‘The next pandemic could be around the corner’: planning for Pandemic Influenza in Tunisia

13 August 2018 - Today, in the centennial anniversary year of the Spanish flu pandemic which killed over fifty million people in 1918, public health experts from five countries are gathering in Tunis for a three-day workshop, to develop a planning tool for creating or updating national plans for pandemic...

29 July 2018

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

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...

15 July 2018

Responding 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...

29 April 2018

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...

29 March 2018

Health workers trained on electronic disease early warning surveillance systems

29 March 2018 – WHO concluded a 4-day training workshop today for Somalia’s disease surveillance officers on the use of the newly updated electronic platform for disease early warning systems (EWARN), in order to improve the national capacity to detect health threats in real-time, and respond quickly to public health...

14 February 2018

List of Blueprint priority diseases

2018 annual review of the Blueprint list of priority diseases List of Blueprint priority diseases For the purposes of the R&D Blueprint, WHO has developed a special tool for determining which diseases and pathogens to prioritize for research and development in public health emergency contexts. This tool seeks to identify those diseases...

12 February 2018

Emerging infectious disease outbreaks reported in the Eastern Mediterranean Region in 2017

12 February 2018 - Throughout 2017, the Eastern Mediterranean Region of WHO faced a number of emerging infectious diseases, some of these turning into explosive outbreaks. The emerging infectious diseases that have been reported in the Eastern Mediterranean Region in 2017 include: 1) acute watery diarrhoea; 2) avian influenza; 3)...

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