Publications: Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response

We, the Ministers responsible for human, animal, wildlife and environmental health, and agricultural sectors in West African countries, meeting on 11 November 2016 in Dakar, Senegal;

Noting with concern that over 75% of the emerging and re-emerging diseases that have affected humans over the past decade have originated from animals or animal products, many of them with a potential to spread widely and to become global health security risks with major negative socioeconomic consequences;


mapping-epidemics-0516View/download the technical report [pdf 8.37MB]

Disease epidemics result in substantial ill health and loss of lives and therefore pose a threat to global health security, undermine socio-economic lives and destabilize societies.

Disease surveillance is a critical component in detecting and effectively responding to epidemics to minimize loss of live and their disruptive consequences. Carefully assembled surveillance data at the highest possible spatial resolutions also permit the understanding of the burden of epidemics, their co-occurrence and the key biological, ecological, economic, health system and governance determinants.

It is for this purpose that the WHO-AFRO has commissioned this report. The overarching objective was to develop a comprehensive spatially defined database of outbreaks and epidemics and delineate the ecological zones of diseases that are classified as Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) according the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 and malaria.



icon View/ download the risk assessment (2.26 MB)

This analysis was conducted in order to assess the risk of a Zika virus outbreak for each country in the WHO African Region, and their capacity to contain it, thus preventing it from becoming an epidemic. The specific objectives were to:

1. Map the epidemiological likelihood of Zika virus transmission using information on the current and past reports of clinical cases, serological evidence of exposure in humans, evidence of the transmission by Ae aegypti of other arboviruses, specifically dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya and the information on the general presence of the Ae aegypti or other Zika transmitting vectors.

2. Assemble indicators on demography, urbanization, access to health care, surveillance, laboratory capacity and other systems of health system strengths to define exposures, vulnerabilities and country coping capacity

3. Develop a Zika virus risk assessment framework that includes indicators of main hazards, exposures, vulnerabilities and lack of coping capacities by country.

4. Implement a Zika virus risk ranking by country in the WHO African Region.

log-2015-18Download the document: Regional Logistics Strategic Plan 2015-2018

icon English [788kB]
icon French [741 kB] 
icon Portuguese [697 kB]

Recurrent outbreaks of epidemic and pandemic diseases remain a threat to social and economic development of countries in the WHO African Region. These outbreaks are partly the cause of high morbidity and mortality, and negatively impact on the development of affected countries and their health security. Underlying factors such as weak public infrastructure, limited water supply and suboptimal sanitation and hygiene conditions, as well as negative cultural practices have contributed to the high frequency and magnitude of these outbreaks.


contact-tracing-evd Contact Tracing During an Outbreak of Ebola virus disease
icon English [707.89 kB
icon French [968.4 kB] 
icon Portuguese [743.95 kB]
This document provides guidance for establishing and conducting contact tracing during filovirus disease outbreaks. The guidance notes are based on extensive field experience in filovirus disease outbreak response in the WHO African region. The notes are intended for frontline epidemiologists, surveillance officers, health workers and other volunteers involved in contact tracing.


Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 7.23.50 AMicon Public health events of initially unknown etiolog: A framework for preparedness and response in the African Region [1.34 MB]
Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 7.14.48 AMSOP | Standard Operating Procedures for Coordinating Public Health Event Preparedness and Response in the WHO African Region
icon English [1.16 MB] | icon French [1.21 MB] |
icon Portuguese [1.2 MB]

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 7.16.37 AMSOP | Standard Operating Procedures for Coordinating Public Health Event Preparedness and Response in the WHO African Region (Brief)
icon English [941.31 kB] | icon French [949.5 kB] | icon Portuguese [946.55 kB]
icon One Health Meeting in the African Region
Okoumé Palace Hotel Libreville - Gabon 12-14 November 2012
icon WHO Technical Working Group on creation of an oral cholera vaccine stockpile
Meeting report - Geneva, 26–27 April 2012
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African ‘Meningitis Belt’
icon Procédures Opérationnles pour la Surveillance renforcée de la méningit en Afrique (255.18 kB)
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Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 15 Octobre 2009
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icon Detection and Response [201.2 kB]
icon Cholera [219.99 kB]
icon Avian Influenza [218.4 kB]
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icon Regional Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan, 2009-2010 [113.95 kB]
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icon Interim Case Management of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 for WHO AFRO [48.02 kB]