Research in emergencies

WHO brings the world’s scientists and global health professionals together to accelerate research and development in emergency situations. In order to prevent and respond to catastrophic events like pandemics, natural disasters and the emergence, or re-emergence, of highly pathogenic diseases, it is essential to be able to quickly gather and share the best available knowledge and evidence on diseases, and on potential available countermeasures.

An important part of WHO's work with global expert networks is the Research and Development Blueprint (R&D Blueprint), a global strategy and preparedness plan that triggers the rapid activation of research and development activities during outbreaks. This includes fast-track development of effective diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines that can save lives and prevent the spread of large-scale epidemics.

Featured guidance on research in emergency situations

Genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2: a guide to implementation for maximum impact on public health

Sequencing enabled the world to rapidly identify SARS-CoV-2 and develop diagnostic tests and other tools for outbreak management. Continued genome sequencing...

SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests: An implementation guide

This guide provides an overview of the major elements that must be considered before, during and after the implementation of antigen-detecting rapid...