Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 11 December 2018 [GPEI]
:: Featured on http://www.polioeradication.org:  Mohamed Shire, polio expert from Somalia: from smallpox to polio, a life spent pursuing eradication of diseases; Going the distance to end polio in Papua New Guinea: a video diary of vaccination teams travelling for days by road and helicopter to reach even the most remote areas.

Summary of new viruses this week:
Afghanistan – one new case of wild poliovirus (WPV1).
Papua New Guinea – one circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) and two cVDPV1-positive environmental samples


Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 15 Dec 2018]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: 19: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu  12 December 2018
:: DONs Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo   13 December 2018
[See Milestones above for more detail]

Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis
:: Weekly Situation Report 54 – 9 December 2018

:: The 9th round of water quality surveillance in refugee settlements started from 26 November 2018 and planned to be completed by 12 December 2018.
:: Four days training on Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies (GBViE) was conducted from 26-29 November 2018.  The training targeted health partners providing health services to GBV survivors in the Rohingya refugee camps.
:: Health sector completed the review of JRP projects in the online project system.
:: Third week of the OCV campaign covered 257 682 doses (78.4%) of the targeted beneficiaries.


South Sudan
:: South Sudan set to vaccinate targeted healthcare and frontline workers operating in high risk states against Ebola
Juba 8 December, 2018
[See Milestones above for more detail]

Myanmar – No new announcements identified
Nigeria – No new announcements identified
Somalia – No new announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new announcements identified
Yemen – No new announcements identified



WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 15 Dec 2018]
:: WHO Member States sign Khartoum Declaration on Sudan and Bordering Countries: Cross-Border Health Security
4 December 2018 – Six countries in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean and African Regions have signed a declaration committing themselves to strengthening preparedness and response to public health threats and events across borders in an effort to further the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and enhance global health security. The Khartoum Declaration on Sudan and Bordering Countries: Cross-Border Health Security was signed by Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, South Sudan and Sudan on 22 November 2018 in Khartoum, Sudan…

:: Le Niger vaccine 152 000 personnes contre le choléra dans les zones à haut risque
06 décembre 2018

Brazil (in Portugese) – No new announcements identified
Cameroon  – No new announcements identified
Central African Republic  – No new announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new announcements identified
Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean – No new announcements identified

Iraq – No new announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new announcements identified
Libya – No new announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new announcements identified
Ukraine – No new announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new announcements identified

WHO-AFRO: Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin, Week 49: 01-07 December 2018

The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 57 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:
:: Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Lassa fever in Nigeria
:: Measles in Mauritius
:: Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.


WHO Grade 1 Emergencies  [to 15 Dec 2018]
Indonesia – Sulawesi earthquake 2018
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Namibia – viral hepatitis
Philippines – Tyhpoon Mangkhut


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. 
YemenNo new announcements identified.
Syrian Arab Republic   No new announcements identified.


UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
:: Ethiopia Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 69 | 25 November – 9 December 2018
Some 8 million people are projected to continue to receive humanitarian assistance in 2019, requiring US$1.2 billion.

Somalia  – No new announcements identified.


“Other Emergencies”
Indonesia: Central Sulawesi EarthquakeNo new announcements identified.


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 15 Dec 2018]
:: 19: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu  12 December 2018
:: DONs Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo   13 December 2018
[See Milestones above for more detail]

MERS-CoV [to 15 Dec 2018]
No new announcements identified.
Yellow Fever  [to 15 Dec 2018]
No new announcements identified.
Zika virus  [to 15 Dec 2018]
No new announcements identified.





WHO & Regional Offices [to 15 Dec 2018]
News Release
Nearly 30 million sick and premature newborns in dire need of treatment every year
Global coalition calls for better care and stronger legislation to save babies on the brink of death
13 December 2018   NEW DELHI/ GENEVA /NEW YORK

Tanzania is first African country to reach an important milestone in the regulation of medicines
News Release
Brazzaville / 10 December 2018: Tanzania is the first confirmed country in Africa to achieve a well-functioning, regulatory system for medical products according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  This means that the Tanzania Food and Drug authority (TFDA) has made considerable improvements in recent years in ensuring medicines in the healthcare system are of good quality, safe and produce the intended health benefit.

“This is a major African milestone and we are very proud of Tanzania’s achievement, which we hope will inspire other countries in the region,” says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Access to medicines alone, without quality assurance, is not enough.  With this milestone Tanzania makes a big step towards improving the quality of its health care services.”

Medicines are used to prevent illnesses and treat diseases, helping many people to lead full and productive lives. However, if produced, stored or transported improperly, if falsified, or used incorrectly or abused, medicines can be hazardous and can lead to hospitalization and even death.   For these reasons, it is important to have effective regulatory systems that also serve to promote timely access to quality medicines.

Fewer than 30% of the world’s medicines regulatory authorities are considered to have the capacity to perform the functions required to ensure medicines, vaccines and other health products actually work and do not harm patients.  For that reason, WHO and African governments have intensified efforts to bolster the capacity of regulating medicines in the region.

Over the past years WHO has been supporting African countries, including Tanzania to strengthen their regulatory entities.

“The core of WHO’s work is to empower countries through support and knowledge transfer so that they can expand access to health services for their populations,” says Mariangela Simao, WHO Assistant Director General for Access to Medicines, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals.  “If countries want to improve health outcomes, they first need to ensure access to safe and quality medical products that actually work and benefit patients.”…


Weekly Epidemiological Record, 14 December 2018, vol. 93, 50 (pp. 681–692)
:: Schistosomiasis and soiltransmitted helminthiases: numbers of people treated in 2017


WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO

Selected Featured News
:: WHO reviews the Expanded Programme on Immunization/ Polio Eradication Initiative to improve immunization and surveillance strategies  [South Sudan]  15 December 2018
:: Members of Parliament commit to advocating for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Uganda  13 December 2018
:: Liberia Commemorates World Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Week  12 December 2018

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: PAHO urges collective action to ensure that everyone, everywhere can access health care (12/13/2018)
:: As talks get underway at COP24, MERCOSUR Ministers of Health commit to prioritize health in climate change adaptation plans (12/10/2018)
WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
– No new announcement identified 

WHO European Region EURO
:: Milestones on the road to universal health coverage 11-12-2018

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: WHO delivers surgical supplies to meet the needs in the occupied Palestinian territory
14 December 2018
:: Moroccan House of Representatives votes for a 50% increase in the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages  13 December 2018
:: A life pursuing eradication  11 December 2018
Mohamed Shire, a polio eradication expert from Somalia, speaks about lessons from a life tirelessly working to eradicate first smallpox, then polio

WHO Western Pacific Region
:: Exercise Crystal: Ten years of strengthening communication between countries and WHO during emergencies  14 December 2018
A highly infectious strain of deadly bacteria has been released at a music festival and other public events in multiple countries—this is the fictional scenario that confronted participants in Exercise Crystal from 4 to 5 December.
Representatives from 29 countries and areas across the Western Pacific Region took part in the annual simulation exercise, testing their communication and coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) during outbreaks or public health emergencies…