This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 55 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Yellow fever in Ethiopia
- Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Cholera in Niger
- Humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.
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 persistence of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo remains a serious concern. The incidence of new confirmed EVD cases has been increasing in the last four weeks, most notably in the city of Beni and communities around Butembo. There is a complex environment around the EVD outbreak emanating from a mixture of security challenges and misconception/mistrust within some communities. This has complicated the response efforts in many ways. The Ministry of Health, WHO and partners continue to work closely with communities, constantly adapting to the complex situations, while fully aware that there is a challenging road ahead before this outbreak will be declared over.
- A new outbreak of yellow fever has been confirmed in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ (SNNP) Region, located in the south-western part of Ethiopia. This outbreak is of concern since the population of Ethiopia is highly susceptible to yellow fever due to absence of recent exposure and lack of large-scale immunizations. Ongoing population and livestock movements due to conflicts in the region also constitute a risk for further spread of the disease. While a reactive vaccination campaign was swiftly carried out in the affected area, there is a need to scale up the response to other at-risk areas as well as adopting longer term control measures.