WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 11 March 2017]
South SudanNo new announcements identified
:: Japan and WHO donate essential equipment to South Sudan’s National Blood Transfusion Services 6 March 2017
:: South Sudan: Amid multiple health challenges and famine, WHO and partners strive to immunize over 3 million children against polio
3 March 2017 — Despite multiple humanitarian crises, including famine, the first round of the National Immunization Days of 2017 is underway throughout South Sudan aiming to reach over three million children under 5 with two drops of polio vaccine…

The Syrian Arab Republic
:: WHO support saves lives of malnourished children in Syria
8 March 2017 — Six years into the Syria crisis, malnutrition rates have increased, especially among children under 5 years of age. Almost 4.3 million boys and girls under the age of 5 are in need of nutrition services, including 73 000 children who are acutely malnourished. WHO is working to ensure that children suffering from malnutrition are diagnosed and treated before their condition leads to serious and long-term medical complications.

:: Kidney patients struggle as Yemeni health crisis worsens
9 March 2017 – “I feel anxious every time I come here as I don’t know if I will able to get my treatment,” says 37-year-old Salim Ali, a renal failure patient who for the last 17 years has come to Al Hudaydah Renal Dialysis Centre in Yemen for bi-weekly haemodialysis sessions.
Haemodialysis is a treatment for patients with severe kidney failure using a dialysis machine to clean the blood. In general, haemodialysis takes between 3 and 5 hours and is done 3 times a week.
In recent months, with internally displaced people flooding into Al-Hudaydah governorate, the number of patients receiving haemodialysis treatment in the centre has risen to over 600, despite the fact that the centre’s capacity is 400. Day and night dozens of patients are crowded in the corridors of the centre, waiting for their turn…

IraqNo new announcements identified
NigeriaNo new announcements identified


WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 11 March 2017]
CameroonNo new announcements identified.
Central African RepublicNo new announcements identified.
Democratic Republic of the CongoNo new announcements identified.
EthiopiaNo new announcements identified.
LibyaNo new announcements identified.
Myanmar No new announcements identified.
NigerNo new announcements identified.
UkraineNo new announcements identified.


UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises.
:: Iraq: Mosul Humanitarian Response Situation Report No. 23 (27 February – 5 March 2017) [EN/KU]
:: Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Mosul, Iraq [EN/AR/KU]
(Baghdad, 4 March 2017): The Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande, expressed shock at reports of alleged use today of chemical weapons in Iraq’s Mosul neighbourhoods.
“This is horrible. If the alleged use of chemical weapons is confirmed, this is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime, regardless of who the targets or the victims of the attacks are. There is never justification–none whatsoever–for the use of chemical weapons,” said Ms Grande.
“We call on everyone to act responsibly and to grant and ensure immediate access for appropriate parties to investigate the circumstances of the alleged attack,” she said.
Ms. Grande reiterated that the use of chemical weapons by any side under any circumstances would violate international law, and reaffirmed the need for a thorough investigation of the alleged incidents.

:: Scarred but not broken by six years of conflict in Syria 9 Mar 2017
:: Turkey | Syria: Eastern Countryside of Aleppo Flash Update (as of 5 March 2017) [EN/AR]

:: USG/ERC Stephen O’Brien Statement to the Security Council on Missions to Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Kenya and an Update on the Oslo Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region
Published on 10 Mar 2017


POLIO [to 11 March 2017]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 8 March 2017
:: Coffee with Polio Experts: A short video-chat with Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication in Pakistan, on the prospects of eradicating polio in the country.
: Afghan women leading the battle against polio – a photo essay marking International Women’s Day, 8 March 2017.
:: Polio Research Committee (PRC) call for research proposals: the PRC is soliciting research proposals to support the implementation of the Polio Eradication & Endgame Strategic Plan. The deadline for submissions of proposals is 24 March 2017. Submission guidelines and procedures are available here.

Country Updates [Selected Excerpts]
No new cases or environmental samples reported across the monitored country/region settings: Afganistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Lake Chad Basin, Guinea and West Africa, Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

UNICEF [to 11 March 2017]
08 March 2017
National polio immunization campaign reaches five million children in Yemen as conflict intensifies
SANA’A – Amid escalating violence, UNICEF and partners have completed the first round of a nationwide door-to-door vaccination campaign reaching 5 million children under the age of five with oral polio vaccine and vitamin A supplementation.
In the first campaign of its kind this year, 40,000 vaccinators spread across Yemen to provide children with polio vaccine and vitamin A supplements. Mobile health teams have reached children wherever they are, including in places where access to health services has been cut off by the fighting. Health workers have shown heroic resolve in crossing frontlines, mountains and valleys to vaccinate children.
“In the last two years, more children have died from preventable diseases than those killed in the violence. This is why vaccination campaigns are so crucial to save the lives of Yemen’s children and to secure their future,” said Dr Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen…

WHO: South Sudan: Amid multiple health challenges and famine, WHO and partners strive to immunize over 3 million children against polio
03 March 2017, Juba, South Sudan – Despite multiple humanitarian crises, including famine, the first round of the National Immunization Days of 2017 is underway throughout South Sudan aiming to reach over three million children under 5 with two drops of polio vaccine.
The four-day campaign, undertaken by the Ministry of Health with support from WHO and other partners, are part of efforts to ensure that the country remains polio-free and immunization stays in the forefront of primary health care activities. More than 18 000 trained vaccinators will carry out the campaign using both house-to-house and facility-based services to reach all eligible children nationwide.
South Sudan has remained polio-free for the last seven years, but recent cases in Nigeria and the disruption in routine health services, coupled with low coverage of routine immunization, places the country at risk for importation of the virus.
Insecurity, accessibility and logistical challenges continue in many areas, including in Panyinjar, Leer and Mayendit Counties, where famine was recently declared. For the campaign to be effective in these areas, it will be implemented over 10 days to allow for overcoming security and access challenges. To further improve vaccination coverage, special strategies, such as evening vaccination and working with security and rapid response teams with access to insecure, remote areas, will be used…


Editor’s Note:
We will cluster these recent emergencies as below and continue to monitor the WHO webpages for updates and key developments.

EBOLA/EVD [to 11 March 2017]
No new digest content identified for this edition.


Zika virus [to 11 March 2017]
Situation Report
Zika virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome
10 March 2017
Key updates
:” Countries, territories and subnational areas reporting vector-borne Zika virus (ZIKV) infections for the first time since 1 February:
:: Countries and territories reporting microcephaly and other central nervous system malformations potentially associated with ZIKV infection for the first time since 1 February:
Mexico, Saint Martin
:: Countries and territories reporting Guillain-Barré syndrome cases associated with ZIKV infection for the first time since 1 February:
Curaçao, Trinidad and Tobago

:: WHO, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control have developed a new Zika virus classification scheme. The classification serves to categorize the presence of and potential for vector-borne ZIKV transmission and to inform public health recommendations. Based on the defined criteria and expert review, some countries, territories and subnational areas were reclassified and some were classified for the first time.

:: In line with WHO’s transition to a sustained programme to address the long-term nature of the disease and its consequences, this is the final WHO Zika situation report. WHO will continue to publish the Zika classification table (Table 1) on a regular basis as well as periodic situation analysis.

[See new CDC guidance below]


Yellow Fever [to 11 March 2017]
Disease outbreak news
:: Yellow fever – Brazil 16 March 2017
Updates on yellow fever vaccination recommendations for international travellers related to the current situation in Brazil
As of 3 March 2017, yellow fever virus transmission continues to expand towards the Atlantic coast of Brazil in areas not deemed to be at risk for yellow fever transmission prior to the revised risk assessment, supported by the scientific and technical advisory group on geographical yellow fever risk mapping (GRYF), and published by WHO in the Disease Outbreak News of 27 January 2017, and on the WHO International Travel and Health website on 31 January 2017 and 14 February 2017.
Taking into account the speed of spread observed in Espírito Santo State, the proximity to the urban area of Vitoria of epizootics and human cases under investigation for yellow fever infection, as well as the implementation of yellow fever vaccination campaign in the State of Espírito Santo as a whole, the WHO Secretariat has determined that the State of Espírito Santo in its entirety should be considered at risk for yellow fever transmission.
Therefore, vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for international travellers visiting any area in Espírito Santo State.
There are no additional changes with respect to other areas of Brazil determined to be at risk for yellow fever transmission in 2013 and as published by WHO in the Disease Outbreak News of 27 January 2017…


MERS-CoV [to 11 March 2017]
Disease outbreak news
:: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia 10 March 2017
Between 6 and 21 February 2017 the National International Health Regulations (IHR) Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported twelve (12) additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) including three (3) fatal cases. Four (4) deaths among previously reported MERS cases were also reported (case numbers 1, 2, 4 and 6 in the Disease Outbreak News published on 10 February 2017).
Detailed information concerning these cases can be found in a separate document (see link below). Most of these cases are primary cases with exposure to infected dromedary camels or consumption or their raw milk, which is the most likely source of their infection.
Globally, since September 2012, 1917 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV including at least 684 related deaths have been reported to WHO…
MERS-CoV cases reported between 6 February and 21 February 2017
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