This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 69 events in the region. This week’s main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:
- Measles in Central African Republic
- Measles in Chad
- Cholera in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
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:
Central African Republic is experiencing a measles outbreak within the overall context of a complex humanitarian emergency. The incidence cases have rapidly increased in the past weeks and new areas have been affected, including in the urban area of Bangui. A recent risk assessment indicates a high potential for the spread of the disease. While some response measures have been taken, including reactive vaccination in some health zones, these have not conclusively brought the outbreak under control. There is a need for the national authorities and partners to step up response to the ongoing outbreak to avoid further escalation of the situation.
The protracted cholera outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo is showing signs of improving lately, although the situation is still serious. The number of cases reported on a weekly basis is still very high, at around 500. While this reduction is encouraging, there is a need to sustain the ongoing control interventions. It is also important to address the primary underlying predisposing factors, including provision of potable water and improved sanitation. Alleviating the security situation in the country would go a long way in addressing the root cause of the multiple health problems.