WOMO – Global Excess Mortality Monitor

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Mortality is a basic indicator of health. Understanding its evolution is fundamental for effective public health planning and action. Monitoring excess mortality routinely is pivotal during influenza and other pandemics, as it provides a robust way to monitor progression and the impact on public health, when other systems are failing.

Excess mortality serves as an indicator of disease burden in outbreaks caused by previously-unknown pathogens, which can be difficult to assess, as well as evaluating the impact of any undertaken public health measures. 

A global system is needed to gain insights into cross-border events, detecting emerging epidemics and mapping the likely effects of potential pandemics in their initial stages, in order to prepare adequate health responses on a global scale.

Why is this relevant?
Monitoring excess mortality is critical in guiding policy decisions and interventions. When the effects of an event are long-lasting and difficult to detect in the short term, the cumulative effects can be devastating.

How does this program help?
Excess mortality monitoring enhances preparedness to mitigate risk and respond to all potential hazards, especially for cross-border threats, and is fundamental for the management of the public health responses to emergencies.


Continuously updated and changing data formats make the WOMO program highly challenging. With more resources, more countries will be added in the future.

US Excess Mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic


Uzma Iffat
Sweta Papolu
Rekha Varrier

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