This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 70 events in the region. This week’s main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:
Lassa fever in Nigeria
Lassa fever in Sierra Leone
Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan
Humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso
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 Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria is still ongoing and a significant upsurge in the number of cases has been observed in the first three weeks of 2020. Although Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Nigeria and the epidemic season is anticipated from December to June, the current increase in new confirmed cases and deaths should be monitored closely and responded to appropriately in order to reduce morbidity and mortality.
The deterioration of the security situation in Burkina Faso has resulted in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. The number of internally displaced people has exponentially increased since the beginning of 2019, with over half a million displaced people reported by the end of 2019. National authorities and the international community should work together to mobilize additional funds to allow the scale up of response activities in all crisis affected regions.