WHO policies and strategies


Work in the area of Epidemic Preparedness and Response is guided by World Health Assembly resolutions on global health security, epidemic alert and response and revision of the International Health Regulations; and regional resolutions on “Integrated epidemiological surveillance of diseases: regional strategy for communicable diseases”-Resolution AFR/RC48/R2; “Avian influenza preparedness and response to the pandemic” – Resolution AFR/RC56/R7 - “Resurgence of cholera in the WHO African region: current situation and way forward” - Resolution AFR/RC57/R1 – and “Strengthening outbreak preparedness and response in the context of the current pandemic influenza” – Resolution AFR/RC59/R12.

Member States are called upon to:

  • Strengthen preparedness and response to major epidemic and pandemic prone diseases
  • Reduce the risk of emerging diseases through effective health promotion activities, minimizing health care associated infections, and community empowerment and participation
  • Strengthen early detection of emerging infectious disease outbreaks through early warning and alert systems, enhanced public health function of laboratories, and integrated surveillance
  • Strengthen timely response to disease outbreaks
  • Strengthen technical and operational support for communicable disease control during humanitarian emergencies caused by conflict or natural disasters
  • Improve the coordination of regional and international capacity