This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 54 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Humanitarian crisis in Mali
- Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Cholera outbreak in Niger
- Measles outbreak in Mauritius
- cVDPV in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
For each of these events, a brief description, followed by public health measures implemented and an interpretation of the situation is provided.
A table is provided at the end of the bulletin with information on all new and ongoing public health events currently being monitored in the region, as well as events that have recently been closed.
Major issues and challenges include:
The humanitarian crisis in Mali is under reported, but is having a significant impact on the population with more than 4 million people affected including over 60 000 internally displaced and a further 140 000 as refugees in neighbouring countries. Nearly 2 million people are in need of health assistance and there is an increase in the number affected by epidemic-prone diseases outbreaks. A higher degree of support is needed from the international public health community to enable the local population to have access to basic social and healthcare services.
The current outbreak of measles in Mauritius demonstrates the importance of maintaining high levels of vaccination coverage against this leading public health threat. Prior to this current outbreak the last detected case of measles in Mauritius was in 2009 and the country consistently had one of the highest vaccination rates in the WHO African region. However, in the last two years the vaccination coverage has fallen, the result of which is the current outbreak. Supplementary immunisation activities are urgently being concluded to rapidly halt the spread of this outbreak.