This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 74 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 in Angola
- Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dengue fever in Côte d’Ivoire
- Humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria.
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 recent events that have largely been controlled and thus closed.
Major issues and challenges include:
A new case of genetically-distinct circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been confirmed in Cuvango district, Huila Province, central Angola. This is the second cVDPV2 outbreak in Angola in 2019, occurring over 1 000 kilometers away from the first event. The occurrence of this event (symbolic) and the increasing frequency of cVDPV2 emergence across the African Region is becoming a major public health issue, given the compromised sanitation situation, high population mobility and challenges faced by the national immunization programmes. While comprehensive responses are being undertaken, these events should serve to remind all countries in the African region of the importance of improving the quality of routine and supplementary immunization activities and maintain high levels of polio (and all other antigens) vaccination coverage to minimize the risk and consequences of poliovirus circulation.
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, with persistent low transmission intensity. The weekly incidence showed some reduction in the number of new confirmed EVD cases this week, albeit with a fluctuating pattern. All efforts to step up and sustain ongoing response operations need to continue.