WHO appoints head of new health emergencies programme

Geneva: The World Health Organisation on Tuesday announced the appointment of Peter Salama as the Executive Director of its new Health Emergencies Programme to better address emergencies such as Ebola and Zika outbreaks. Salama is from Australia and is currently Unicef Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa and Global Emergency Coordinator for the Crises in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.  He has previously served with Unicef as Country Representative in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, as Global Coordinator for Ebola, and as Chief of Global Health. WHO's new Health Emergencies Programme is designed to deliver rapid, predictable and comprehensive support to countries and communities as they prepare for, face or recover from emergencies caused by any type of hazard to human health, whether disease outbreaks, natural or man-made disasters or conflicts. The development of the new programme is the result of a reform effort, based on recommendations from a range of independent and expert external reports, involving all levels of WHO -- country offices, regional offices and headquarters. It unifies WHO's standards and processes to strengthen the organisation's response to health emergencies across the full risk management cycle of prevention, preparedness, response and early recovery.