WHO sets up emergency rapid response network

WorldHealthOrganization-1Geneva, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Health Organization launched a new network of rapid response medical teams Wednesday to react to humanitarian crises across the globe.

The UN body is appealing to health services and medical aid groups across the world to pre-register with it for specialist expertise to be better coordinated and brought up to standard if needed.

Dr Ian Norton, who heads the project, said the idea was to have suitably qualified teams across the world ready to deploy in the case of major emergencies such as epidemics, earthquakes and tsunamis.

“We are asking organisations, countries and NGOs to register. We expect at least 150 to register within the first year,” Norton told reporters in Geneva.

Authorities in countries hit by emergencies will be able to consult the list and decide which foreign medical teams they need, Norton said.

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