This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 68 events in the region. This week’s main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:
Measles in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Cholera in Ethiopia
Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan
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:
On 23 February 2020, the Republic of South Sudan formed a new Transitional Government of National Unity (ToGNU). There are high expectations that the formation of ToGNU, this week, will usher in lasting peace and security in South Sudan. The humanitarian community welcomes this momentous event as a turning point towards the restoration of and improvement in the livelihood of the population. Cognizant of the fact that the translation of this event into tangible improvement in livelihood of anyone in the remote community will be a tedious and tortuous process, the aid actors should continue providing for the immediate and life-saving needs of the community while aiming for early recovery, reconstruction and development of the nation, in support of the new government. Top of the agenda will be repatriation and resettlement of the internally displaced persons and refugees in a coordinated manner.
The measles outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo remains serious although the overall situation has been improving in the past two months. Large numbers of children have been vaccinated and more supplemental immunization activities are being planned. However, given the large scale of the outbreak, the ongoing response is facing several operational challenges, including inadequate logistics and funding. There is a need for the national authorities and partners to scale up and sustain the ongoing response to the measles outbreak to continue with the positive trend being observed. It is also important to start working towards improving routine immunization coverage, including the introduction of the second dose of measles vaccine.