Press releases

Ministers of Health in the African Region endorse WHO’s commitment to transformative change

25 November 2015

Ministers of Health in the African Region endorse WHO’s commitment to transformative change

N’Djamena, 24 November 2015 – Today, delegates at the 65thSession of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa endorsed the WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO)’s Transformation Agenda, a vision and strategy that will ensure the Organization is better equipped to be the primary leader in promoting health in Africa.

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WHO Regional Committee for Africa gets underway in N’Djamena, Chad

23 November 2015

WHO Regional Committee for Africa gets underway in N’Djamena, Chad

N’Djamena, 23 November 2015 – Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno has called on African countries to demonstrate more active solidarity to provide appropriate responses to the many health challenges facing the Region.

In a speech read on his behalf by Prime Minister of the Republic of Chad, His Excellency Kalzeube Payimi Deubet, at the opening ceremony of the 65th Session of the WHO Regional Committee taking place in N’Djamena, he noted that the global financial crisis that hit international institutions, including WHO, requires all members states in the region to honor their obligations. The Prime Minister used the opportunity to announce "Chad's willingness to honor all firm commitments with respect to special funds and participation in statutory contributions of the Organization".

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Dr Moeti lauds health development efforts in Chad

19 November 2015

Courtesy call on Prime Minister of Chad Mr Kalzeubé Payimi Deubet

N’Djamena, 19 November 2015 - The World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, has commended ongoing efforts in Chad to improve the health and wellbeing of the people. Dr Moeti made the remarks during a courtesy call on the Chadian Prime Minister Kalzeubé Payimi Deubet.

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Network of Public Health Emergency Operation Centers established to protect lives

12 November 2015

Network of Public Health Emergency Operation Centers established to protect lives

12 November 2015, Brazzaville - The need for each African country to have functional Public Health Emergency Operation Centers (PHEOCs ) that should serve as a hub to coordinate the preparedness for and response to public health emergencies to save lives, was one of the key issues discussed at a three-day meeting held in Brazzaville from 9 to 11 November 2015.

Organised by WHO, the meeting brought together public health emergency experts from 26 countries. It was also an opportunity to establish the public health emergency operations network in the Region.

While health security is considered the sovereign responsibility of Member States, the means to fulfil this responsibility are increasingly global and the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) and the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) constitute the essential vehicle for this action.

The establishment of Africa Public Health Emergency Operations Centers Network is happening at a crucial time when most countries in the WHO African region have not implemented all the core capacities, required under IHR. In order to prevent, control and respond to all PHE and emergencies, the WHO African region requires a flexible and integrated regional network of Emergency Operation Centers. Through the establishment of an Africa Public Health Emergency Operations Centers Network, countries in the Region can collectively and effectively prepare and respond to public health emergencies such as the Ebola epidemic. This network will also address the need for efficiency, coordination and availability of timely exchange of information, which has been a challenge for countries of the WHO African Region.

“A regional network of public health emergency operations centres will facilitate all countries in the WHO African Region to learn from and support each other. This landmark regional network will help to mobilize necessary resources from the region and globally, including the global emergency operations centres network (EOC-NET), to strengthen capacities of PHEOCs and in general the capacity of preparedness and response to public health emergencies in African countries,” said Dr Ibrahima-Socé Fall, the Director of Health Security and Emergencies at the WHO Regional Office for Africa. 

WHO, together with partners is supporting countries in the African Region to establish and improve functional public health emergency operations centers, based on the Incident Management System.

“Where and when the next major outbreaks will occur is unpredictable.  What may be more certain is that with the establishment of PHEOC and the AFRO PHEOC Network, we are sure to be better prepared, well-coordinated and hopefully the loss of lives will be minimal as our actions will be timely and professional." said Dr Amara Jambai Deputy Chief Medical Officer II, Sierra Leone.

So far, 25% of the African Region Member States have established public health emergency operations centers (PHEOC), and remaining countries are expected to follow in the near future.

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For more information:

Technical contacts:
Dr Ibrahima-Socé Fall, Director of Health Security and Emergencies; Tel: +47 24139695; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dr Nestor Ndayimirije, Regional Adviser-Epidemic, Alert, Preparedness and Response; Tel: +47 24139161; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Senait Tekeste Fekadu, Manager, Strategic Health Operations Centre, Tel: +47 24139426, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Media contact:
Collins Boakye-Agyemang, Regional Communications Adviser; Tel: + 242 06 520 6565; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Cory Couillard, Communications Officer ; Tel: 00 47 241 39995; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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Measles vaccination has saved an estimated 17.1 million lives since 2000

11 November 2015

Measles vaccination has saved an estimated 17.1 million lives since 2000

12 November 2015, Geneva - The number of measles-related deaths has decreased 79% from 546 800 at the beginning of the century to 114 900 in 2014. New data released by WHO for the Measles & Rubella Initiative, estimates that 17.1 million lives have been saved since 2000, largely due to increased vaccination coverage against this highly contagious viral disease. Measles vaccination has played a key role in reducing child mortality and in progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4.

However, the new data published in this week’s edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC), "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" and WHO’s "Weekly Epidemiological Record", shows that overall progress towards increasing global immunization coverage has recently stagnated. While coverage with the first dose of the measles vaccine increased globally from 72% to 85% between 2000 and 2010, it has remained unchanged the past 4 years.

read the press release