WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 18 March 2017]
South SudanNo new announcements identified
The Syrian Arab Republic – No new announcements identified
YemenNo new announcements identified
IraqNo new announcements identified
NigeriaNo new announcements identified


WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 18 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
MyanmarNo 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. 24 (6 March – 12 March 2017) [EN/KU/AR]

:: Syria Operation Overview (February 2017) 18 Mar 2017
:: Message on Syria 15 Mar 2017 UN Humanitarian Chief
:: Syrian Arab Republic: Aleppo Situation Report No. 16 (13 March 2017)

YemenNo new announcements identified.


Editor’s Note:
We present two versions of the important announcement of a new OCV campaign in Somalia – because each presents some unique details and for comparative purposes.

WHO: Oral cholera vaccination campaign launched in Somalia
15 March 2017 – The Government of Somalia has launched an oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaign today with the support of WHO, targeting over 450 000 people in 7 high-risk areas around the country. It is the first OCV campaign to be conducted in the country, and comes at a critical time after Somalia announced the ongoing drought as a national disaster and faces the possibility of another famine.

The campaign is being held in select communities in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Beledweyne through a combination of fixed and mobile sites for maximum accessibility by the communities. The vaccines, which will be administered to at-risk persons aged one year or older, are being delivered in 2 rounds. The first round of the campaign has commenced today and will continue until 19 March, and the second round of the campaign will be held from 18 to 22 April.

“This is one of the largest oral cholera vaccination campaigns conducted in Africa,” said Dr Ghulam Popal, WHO Representative in Somalia. “This vaccination campaign will contribute to the reduction in the number of new cholera cases, interrupt transmission and limit the spread of cholera,” he said.

Somalia is currently experiencing a large-scale outbreak of cholera with over 11,000 cases of cholera and 268 deaths (case–fatality rate 2.4%) reported in 11 regions since the beginning of 2017. This is more than half the number of cases reported in total for 2016. The response efforts by the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF and health partners have included active case search, effective case management, intensive household chlorination campaign, and community awareness.

The oral vaccination campaign was preceded by extensive social mobilization efforts to inform the community of the benefits, availability and necessity of the vaccine. Vaccination is a preventive measure against cholera that supplements, but does not replace, other traditional cholera control measures such as improving access to safe water and sanitation and hygiene measures/interventions.

Somalia has long experienced a humanitarian emergency due to conflict, insecurity, displacement of people and limited access to health system. This situation is further compounded by drought, malnutrition and lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities. If the current drought and food insecurity continue, the number of cholera cases is likely to increase. Preventative measures such as oral cholera vaccine can mitigate these numbers, and save lives.

The vaccination campaign is supported by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and health partners in its various stages of planning and implementation. WHO is also providing support for the campaign in the areas of planning, organization and monitoring.

Gavi: Cholera vaccination campaign begins in Somalia
Mass vaccination campaign will target over 450,000 people to halt cholera outbreak.
Geneva, 15 March 2017 – A major vaccination campaign to halt the spread of cholera begins in three drought-ravaged regions of Somalia today.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has delivered 953,000 doses of Oral Cholera Vaccine to the country to protect over 450,000 people from the disease. The campaign will take place in three of the worst-hit regions, Banadir, Kismayo and Beledweyne, with the vaccination being given in two doses to everyone over the age of one. The first round runs from 15-19 March and the second from 18-22 April.
The vaccines were procured, transported and stored at the appropriate temperature by UNICEF. They will be administered by the Government of Somalia with the support of World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF; while UNICEF and others continue to improve water and sanitation infrastructure and promote behaviour change. As well as providing the vaccines, Gavi has provided US$550,000 to support the campaign.
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said:
“The people of Somalia are going through unimaginable suffering. After years of conflict, a severe drought has brought the country to the brink of famine and now a suspected cholera outbreak threatens to become a nationwide epidemic. These lifesaving vaccines will play a vital role in slowing the spread of the disease, buying valuable time to put the right water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure in place to stop the root causes of this outbreak.”…
…A vaccination campaign also begins this week in South Sudan. Gavi is delivering 475,000 doses to the country to help halt a cholera outbreak that has reached over 5,500 cases nationwide and claimed over 100 lives. The vaccines will be administered and distributed by MedAir and the World Food Programme (WFP), working with the WHO.


UNICEF [to 18 March 2017]
17 March 2017
One year on after EU-Turkey statement the human cost to refugee and migrant children mounts up
GENEVA, 17 March 2017 – One year after the Balkan border closures and the EU-Turkey Statement which were aimed at stopping mass migration flows, refugee and migrant children face greater risks of deportation, detention, exploitation and deprivation, says UNICEF.

Yemen needs urgent assistance to prevent famine – FAO, WFP, UNICEF
15 March 2017, Sana’a/Amman -Severe food insecurity threatens more than 17 million people in conflict-ridden Yemen, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released by the United Nations and humanitarian partners today.

Hitting rock bottom: Children’s suffering in Syria at its worst – UNICEF
DAMASCUS/AMMAN, 13 March 2017 – Grave violations against children in Syria were the highest on record in 2016, said UNICEF in a grim assessment of the conflict’s impact on children, as the war reaches six years.


POLIO [to 18 March 2017]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 15 March 2017
:: Summary of newly-reported viruses this week (see country-specific sections below for further details):  Pakistan – one WPV1 case, six WPV1 positive environmental samples.
:: Yemen and Syria have both carried out polio immunization campaigns as part of ongoing efforts to protect children affected by conflict.

Country Updates [Selected Excerpts]
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.

:: One new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case was reported in the past week from Diamir district, Gilgit Baltistan province, with onset of paralysis on 13 February.  The total number of WPV1 cases for 2017 is two, and for 2016 remains 20.
:: Six new WPV1 positive environmental samples were reported in the past week, ranging from Punjab to Sindh and from Islamabad to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The most recent is from Killa Adbullah district, Balochistan, with a collection date of 15 February.


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 18 March 2017]
No new digest content identified for this edition.

Zika virus [to 18 March 2017]
No new digest content identified for this edition.

Yellow Fever [to 18 March 2017]
No new digest content identified for this edition.

MERS-CoV [to 18 March 2017]
No new digest content identified for this edition.