EBOLA/EVD [to 17 January 2015]

EBOLA/EVD [to 17 January 2015]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC); “Threat to international peace and security” (UN Security Council)

Editor’s Note:
Our extensive coverage of Ebola/EVD activity continues – including detailed coverage of UNMEER now available at the end of this digest and other INGO/agency activity reported in the relevant sections below. Please also note that many of the journals we cover continue to publish important EVD content which is threaded throughout this edition.
We note that the WHO will hold a “Special Session of the Executive Board on the Ebola Emergency” at its meeting later in January, with supporting documentation just below. This content includes an important call for a resolution to clarify and affirm the WHO’s role in large-scale health emergencies overall.


:: 136th WHO Executive Board session
26 January–3 February 2015 –
Main Documents: http://apps.who.int/gb/e/e_eb136.html
Selected documents of interest to Ebola:
EB136/49 – Ensuring WHO’s capacity to prepare for and respond to future large-scale and sustained outbreaks and emergencies
…4. As the number of emergencies with public health implications is rising, the need for effective, efficient and well-designed global response capacities has never been clearer. Though WHO has often been called on to support Member States as they respond to crises, the unprecedented complexity and scale of the current Ebola outbreak demonstrates that the Organization’s capacities, methods and approaches are not necessarily scalable or adaptable to novel or larger challenges. Further, WHO’s focus on technical support and normative guidance has left a gap in institutional capacity for and appreciation of the importance of operations.

5. The international community expects WHO to be able to mount a comprehensive and rapid response, whenever and wherever an emergency that impacts public health arises that outstrips national capacity. To meet this expectation, the Organization’s emergency management capacity must be ready to address the public health impact of emergencies of any category, irrespective of hazard, across the full emergency risk management spectrum. Today, WHO has the essential institutional experience and country presence needed, but is not designed or capacitated to fulfil this function. To rectify this, WHO must substantially strengthen and modernize its emergency management capacity.

In moving this forward, it is necessary that:
(a) there is a recognition and clear delineation of WHO’s mandate and role in emergency response;
(b) effective crisis management mechanisms – systems and structures – exist to enable WHO to fulfil that role;
(c) adequate capacities exists to predictably apply these crisis management mechanisms;
(d) appropriate and dedicated funding is in place; and
(e) a robust performance management and accountability framework is in place to provide timely, systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the Organization’s emergency response, and recalibration as required.

6. As such, a package of five proposals for adapting, modernizing and reforming WHO are presented here. If implemented, these changes could capacitate the Organization to successfully lead in protecting the most vulnerable populations from the devastating public health impacts of emergencies…

[Ebola] Current context and challenges; stopping the epidemic; and preparedness in non-affected countries and regions
Fast-tracking the development and prospective roll-out of vaccines, therapies and diagnostics in response to Ebola virus disease
Special Session of the Executive Board on the Ebola Emergency
Building resilient health systems in Ebola-affected countries
Special Session of the Executive Board on the Ebola Emergency
Highlight of efforts made to date towards preparing non-affected countries and
regions to respond to potential importation of EVD
Special Session of the Executive Board on the Ebola Emergency
IHR and Ebola