Dr Nedret Emiroglu

Director of the Division of Health Emergencies and Communicable Diseases, Special Representative of the Regional Director on the Sustainable Development Goals and Governance and Acting Director of Programme Management


The Division's aim is to provide leadership and strategic direction in regional and national efforts to protect the health of people, reduce deaths and illness from major communicable diseases and prepare, rapidly detect and respond to health emergencies and outbreaks in the WHO European Region as part of WHO's Health Emergency Programme. It acts within the regional framework of Health 2020 and the global agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The Division promotes WHO leadership in communicable disease prevention and control and in health security; sets norms and standards and proposes evidence-based policy options; provides high-level technical support to countries, including for preparedness and response to health threats; monitors health situations and assesses the trends in major communicable diseases and other health threats; and shapes the research agenda through relevant regional initiatives, partnerships and research projects;. The work is performed in collaboration with relevant partners and stakeholders, including other sectors, civil society and the UN family.

Specifically, the Division assists countries in the WHO European Region:

  • in developing and implementing policies, systems and evidence-based interventions to tackle the burden of communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections; tuberculosis, especially multidrug- and extensively  drug-resistant tuberculosis; malaria and other vector-borne diseases; influenza and other respiratory infections; vaccine-preventable diseases;  food safety; and antimicrobial resistance;
  • in achieving or maintaining regional elimination or eradication goals for measles, rubella, malaria and poliomyelitis;
  • in maintaining regional alert and response operations and assisting countries in strengthening preparedness, surveillance and response systems to address a wide range of public health events, including existing, new and re-emerging infectious diseases and environmental, chemical and radionuclear events, in line with the requirements of the International Health Regulations (2005) and specific country risks, in order to improve health security.

As Special Representative of the Regional Director on the SDGs and governance, Dr Emiroglu ensures oversight, policy coherence and synergy in the Regional Office's work in support of implementation of the SDGs aligned with Health 2020, the European policy for health and well-being. In this capacity, Dr Emiroglu also works to increase awareness, strengthen alliances and improve partnerships to support national and local achievement of the SDGs.

As Acting Director of Programme Management, Dr Emiroglu serves as the principal adviser to the Regional Director and has the responsibility of directing and coordinating the programmatic and management of health issues in the WHO European Region.


Dr Nedret Emiroglu is a medical doctor with a PhD in public health and 30 years of national and international experience. Before taking up her present position, she was Deputy Director of the Division of Communicable Diseases, Health Security and Environment and was Special Representative of the Regional Director on the Millennium Development Goals and governance between 2010 and 2015. She has extensive expertise and experience in the areas of communicable diseases, immunization, noncommunicable diseases and environment and health.

Since joining WHO/Europe in 2001 as Regional Adviser for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization, she has held the positions of regional adviser for the joint programme of communicable disease surveillance and response and Acting Director of the Division of Health Programmes, covering communicable and noncommunicable diseases and environment and health. In 2009, Dr Emiroglu became Head of the Unit for communicable diseases, with responsibility for programmes on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, immunization, surveillance and response (including the response to pandemic influenza) in the WHO European Region.

Between 1997 and 2001, Dr Emiroglu worked for WHO, first in the Western Pacific Region as a medical officer for the Expanded Programme on Immunization, and then in Turkey and the Balkans, where she was responsible for vaccination and polio eradication programmes.

Dr Emiroglu has 10 years' national experience in communicable disease prevention and control and led the immunization and vaccine-preventable disease control programmes in the Turkish Ministry of Health between 1987 and 1997.