WHO in South-East Asia

WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE)

Health Ministers Commit to Emergency Preparedness

Health Ministers Commit to Emergency Preparedness

03 September 2019: Health Ministers of the 11 Member States of the WHO South-East Asia Region signed the Delhi Declaration on Emergency Preparedness in the South-East Asia Region (SEAR), at the Ministerial Round Table session during the SEAR Regional Committee Meeting in New Delhi, India. In doing so, they committed to “4 I” :

  • Identify risks;
  • Invest in people and systems for risk management
  • Implement plans
  • Interlink sectors and networks

Thailand becomes first in SEAR with WHO classified emergency medical team

31 July 2019, Thailand today became the first in WHO South-East Asia Region to get WHO classification for its emergency medical team (EMT). This classification makes Thailand EMT the 26th team in the international roster of WHO classified, internationally deployable medical teams.

EMTs are an important part of the global health workforce. Arriving where needed in the shortest time, and delivering quality care appropriate to the context, EMTs can help substantially reduce loss of lives during public health emergencies.

Major Earthquake Hits Sulawesi, Indonesia, 28 September 2018

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit Donggala District Central Sulawesi, Indonesia on 28 September 2018. The epicenter was 8 km northwest Donggala with the depth of 10 km. The earthquake hit 31 sub districts in Donggala and was felt strongly in Sirenja sub district and Donggala regency. The earthquake also affected Palu City and Parigi Mountong regency. A tsunami hit Palu City, provincial capital of Central Sulawesi around fifteen minutes after the quake.

Based on initial information from BNPB (National Disaster Management Agency) of Palu City and Donggala District (as of 29 September), 384 persons died, 540 people were severely injured and dozens of houses were damaged. Estimated affected population is more than 310 000 in Donggala regency, near the epicenter. Nearby major city is Palu city with maximum affected population of more than 350 000.

Lombok Earthquake (West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia), 5 August, 2018

Lombok Earthquake (West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia)

A Magnitude 7 earthquake occurred on 5 August 2018 18:46 hrs, with epicenter at a depth of 10 km in the area of West Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. According to latest government figure (9 August), there are 259 recorded fatalities, 1,033 injuries, 270,168 internally-displaced people, 64,534 damaged houses, and 429 damaged public facilities. Eight health centers (puskesmas) and 1 public hospital in North Lombok District and 2 health centers in East Lombok have been severely damaged.

Picture Source: BBC
Myanmar Floods - August 2018

Myanmar Floods - August 2018

Due to the monsoon season, floods and landslides have been reported in 9 out of 14 regions/states in Myanmar resulting in 152,541 people displaced and 17 deaths. The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is leading the response, with the Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) spearheading the health response . MoHS activated the Health Emergency Operations Centre to monitor and coordinate an effective health response to the affected population. WHO is providing essential medicines, life jackets and operational support to MoHS in responding to the health needs.

Additional workforce added to Cox’s Bazar hospital

Cox’s Bazar, 21 June 2018: To strengthen health services for Rohingya refugees and their host communities in Cox’s Bazar, additional health workforce has been added to the district hospital here, the only facility providing referral services to nearly 1.3 million vulnerable population at increased risk of diseases in the ongoing rainy season.

WHO and health sector partners are working with Bangladesh government to maintain life-saving primary and secondary health services for Rohingya refugees and their host communities in the ongoing rainy season.

WHO Bangladesh

Preventive, contingency measures reinforced as monsoon sets in Cox’s Bazar

Cox’s Bazar, 1 June 2018: With rains starting to intermittently flood the Rohingya refugee camps, the World Health Organization and other health sector partners are further strengthening preventive and contingency measures to minimize the health impact of monsoons for the nearly 1.3 million vulnerable populations in Cox’s Bazar.

WHO and health sector partners are working with Bangladesh government to maintain life-saving primary and secondary health services for Rohingya refugees and their host communities in the ongoing rainy season.

IRC/Lisa Ward

Outbreak of Nipah virus encephalitis in Kerala state of India

On 19 May 2018, a Nipah virus disease (NiV) outbreak was reported from Kozhikode district of Kerala, India. This is the first NiV outbreak in South India. There have been 17 deaths and 18 confirmed cases as of 1 June 2018. The two affected districts are Kozhikode and Mallapuram. A multi-disciplinary team led by the Indian Government’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is in Kerala in response to the outbreak. WHO is providing technical support to the Government of India as needed. WHO does not recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions or entry screening related to NiV outbreak.

Health Emergencies

Map showing emergencies around the world that has a WHO grading, 2016.

WHO has an essential role to play in supporting Member States to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies with public health consequences.



Good practices in health emergencies in South-East Asia

Meetings Reports and Documents

Regional meeting: scaling-up capacities in emergency risk management in SEAR countries, 29 Nov-1 Dec 2016, WHO-SEARO, New Delhi, India

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WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE)
World Health Organization
Regional Office for South-East Asia
Email: searwhe@who.int

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