This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 63 events in the region. This week’s main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:
- Ebola virus disease in Uganda
- Rift Valley fever in Central African Republic
- Ebola virus disease in - Democratic Republic of the Congo
- 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:
Uganda has experienced a fresh importation of Ebola virus disease (EVD) this week, the second event in the course of the EVD outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Such events are not unexpected, given the ongoing community transmission of the disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo and the high population movements between the two countries. Authorities in Uganda have again demonstrated a high level of epidemic preparedness and readiness, by promptly detecting this event. With the available capacity and capabilities, it is expected that the current incursion of Ebola will be halted rapidly. However, the risk of further geographical spread to Uganda and to other neighbouring countries remains substantial as long as the outbreak continues in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Accordingly, there is a need to enhance and maintain capacity for operational readiness and preparedness in all neighbouring countries to rapidly detect cases and mitigate local spread.
Ultimately, the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo needs to be controlled.
The Ministry of Health in Central African Republic has reported a confirmed case of Rift Valley fever (RVF), an event occurring for the first time in the country. While deeper investigations are ongoing, this event highlights the need for a comprehensive understanding of the epidemiology of the disease and to enhance public and animal health surveillance for RVF and other zoonoses in the country and the whole region.