This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 72 events in the region. This week’s main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:
- Measles outbreak in Ethiopia
- Humanitarian crisis in North East Nigeria
- Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Circulating vaccine-derived polio virus type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreak in Zambia.
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:
The humanitarian crisis in North East Nigeria remains of concern with those in IDP camps facing suboptimal living conditions, in particular restricted water and poor sanitation, which must be urgently addressed by authorities.
The onset of the rainy season is of concern and surveillance for potential outbreaks should be improved to ensure vigilance is maintained for early warning signals of potential outbreaks.
In Ethiopia over eight thousand people have now been affected by a measles outbreak, with more than 80% of cases not vaccinated or with an unknown vaccination status. Measles is endemic in the country and the cold chain system remains weak. Community education on the importance of vaccination together with supplemental immunization activities in areas with low vaccine coverage needs to occur to improve the vaccination rates in Ethiopia and reduce the incidence of cases.