Health Desk – 08 May, 2021: Emergencies including conflicts and disasters can create large surges in rehabilitation needs that are beyond the capacity of most health services to manage. Despite this, rehabilitation is rarely considered as part of emergency preparedness, and during responses, rehabilitation needs are often considered too late.
WHO’s critical functions for emergency responses include (amongst others) providing leadership, information and planning, technical expertise and coordination. As part of the Rehabilitation 2030 agenda, WHO is now building its technical capacity to provide operational rehabilitation expertise in these areas.
Occurring at the same time as a worsening COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh conflict resulted in a surge in traumatic injuries in Armenia. Faced with these two challenges, the government of Armenia mounted a response to effectively manage the wounded, and in February 2021, it was agreed that WHO would deploy a technical advisor to work with the Ministry of Health on a rapid assessment of the rehabilitation situation, and to support the establishment of a rehabilitation coordination platform.