WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 25 March 2017]
Iraq  –
WHO scales up disease surveillance reporting in East Mosul and Hamdaniya districts, Iraq
19 March 2017, Erbil, Iraq – The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) are scaling up disease surveillance activities in newly accessible areas of Ninewa governorate, Iraq, to reduce the risk of disease outbreaks. As a result of acute shortages of safe water, sanitation services, food, and electricity in East Mosul and Hamdaniya districts, current humanitarian conditions pose a high risk of communicable diseases among displaced persons, returnees, and host communities.

Nigeria No new announcements identified
South Sudan  – No new announcements identified
The Syrian Arab Republic No new announcements identified
YemenNo new announcements identified


WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 25 March 2017]
Cameroon  – No new announcements identified.
Central African Republic  – No new announcements identified.
Democratic Republic of the Congo No new announcements identified.
EthiopiaNo new announcements identified.
LibyaNo new announcements identified.
Myanmar No new announcements identified.
Niger  – No new announcements identified.
Ukraine  – No 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. 

:: UN Expresses Profound Concern about Terrible Loss of Life in Western Mosul
Published on 24 Mar 2017
The United Nations is profoundly concerned by reports yesterday of a high number of civilian casualties in Al Aghawat Al Jadidah, a densely populated neighborhood in Mosul. Initial reports indicate hundreds of causalities.

“We are stunned by this terrible loss of life and wish to express our deepest condolences to the many families who have reportedly been impacted by this tragedy,” said Ms. Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.

“Nothing in this conflict is more important than protecting civilians,” said Ms. Grande.    “International humanitarian law is clear. Parties to the conflict — all parties – are obliged to do everything possible to protect civilians. This means that combatants cannot use people as human shields and cannot imperil lives through indiscriminate use of fire-power.”

As the fighting to retake Mosul intensifies, civilians are being put at extreme risk. “We fear for the families who are caught in the conflict,” said Ms. Grande. “Everything must be done to avoid civilian casualties.

:: Iraq: Humanitarian Bulletin, February 2017 | Issued on 23 March
:: Iraq: Mosul Humanitarian Response Situation Report No. 25 (13-19 March 2017)

:: 24 Mar 2017   Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) Syria Operation, March 2017

:: 19 Mar 2017  Yemen Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 21 | As of 18 March 2017
…Two years of conflict puts future of coming generations at great risk
..First UN cross-line medical aid delivery to Taizz city in months
…117,107 people migrate to Yemen from the Horn of Africa in 2016
…Cholera response gives promising results


POLIO [to 25 March 2017]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 22 March 2017
:: From 25 to 28 March, synchronised polio campaigns will take place across 13 counties in west and central Africa including Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Guinea, Mali and Niger. Over 190 000 vaccinators will immunize more than 116 million children over the course of the campaigns..

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

 [See report on story on polio immunization across Africa in Milestones above]


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

 Yellow Fever  [to 25 March 2017]
Disease outbreak news
20 March 2017
Updates on yellow fever vaccination recommendations for international travellers related to the current situation in Brazil

As of 16 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 6 March 2017; as well as on the WHO International Travel and Health website on 31 January 2017,14 February 2017, and 6 March 2017.

As of 16 March 2017, confirmed cases of yellow fever virus infection in humans were reported in Rio de Janeiro State, and epizootics and human cases are under investigation for yellow fever virus infection in São Paulo State. These reports are consistent with the increased yellow fever activity observed in other States (Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais) that share the same ecosystem — tropical and sub-tropical broad leaved forests. As of 16 March 2017, there is no evidence of human cases of yellow fever virus infection transmitted by Aedes aegypti, the vector that could sustain urban transmission of yellow fever.

The WHO Secretariat has determined that the State of Rio de Janeiro, with the exception of the urban areas of Rio de Janeiro City and Niterói, and the State of São Paulo, with the exception of the urban areas of São Paulo City and Campinas, should also be considered at risk for yellow fever transmission.

Consequently, vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for international travellers visiting those areas in the States of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The typology of activities that international travellers anticipate to undertake while visiting areas determined to be at risk for yellow fever transmission should be weighted in the risk-benefit analysis informing the individual decision to be immunized against yellow fever.

There are no other additional changes with respect to other areas of Brazil determined to be at risk for yellow fever transmission in 2013, as published by WHO in the Disease Outbreak News on 31 January 2017 and 6 March 2017…

 EBOLA/EVD  [to 25 March 2017]
No new digest content identified for this edition.

 MERS-CoV [to 25 March 2017]
No new digest content identified for this edition.

 Zika virus  [to 25 March 2017]
No new digest content identified for this edition.