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31 Dec 2013 description

Executive Summary

In 2009, an estimated 400 000 children were newly infected with HIV, with 90% of infections occurring in children in sub-Saharan Africa through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Without any intervention, the risk of MTCT ranges from 20% to 45%; without any treatment, half of the babies will die before their second birthday. About 42 000 to 60 000 of pregnant women die from HIV. In contrast, in high-income countries, the number of new infections among children as well as the number of maternal and child deaths due to HIV are virtually zero.

31 Dec 2013 description

The data table below is as of 31 December 2013. The text is as of 18 December 2013.

As the year 2013 draws to a close, the GPEI takes stock:

  • In Afghanistan, no indigenous cases of wild poliovirus have occured all year - all cases are linked to cross-border tansmission with neighbouring Pakistan.

24 Dec 2013 description

The data table below is as of 24 December 2013. The text is as of 18 December 2013.

As the year 2013 draws to a close, the GPEI takes stock:

  • In Afghanistan, no indigenous cases of wild poliovirus have occured all year - all cases are linked to cross-border tansmission with neighbouring Pakistan.

17 Dec 2013 description

In Syria, government military aircraft targeted rebel-held districts in the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 15 people according to opposition activists. In parallel, Damascus announced that it had retaken control of the key Damascus – Homs supply highway after gaining ground in the battle for the strategic Qalamoun region. London and Washington decided to suspend all non-lethal assistance to the Syrian opposition fearing that military equipment may fall under the control of Islamic radical groups.

11 Dec 2013 description
  • New cases reported in Pakistan, including in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Sindh. See ‘Pakistan’ section below for more.

  • The draft strategic plan for outbreak response in the Middle East is now available online here.

Afghanistan

09 Dec 2013 description

Snapshot 3 - 10 December

In Syria, the conflict has been going on for over 1,000 days, and to date, the war has displaced 6.5 million people internally and forced 2.3 million to cross into neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, Washington indicated that it has been in talks with Islamist opposition factions non-linked to Al-Qaeda, in order to push for a negotiated settlement to the crisis.

02 Dec 2013 description

In Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that an estimated 126,000 people have died during the conflict, more than a third of them civilians. Meanwhile, Turkey and Iran, which support opposing sides within the crisis, jointly called for a ceasefire before the beginning of the peace talks, set for 22 January in Geneva.

28 Nov 2013 description
  • In Syria, four new wild polio virus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported in the past week. New cases in Aleppo and Douma (rural Damascus) indicate that polio is spreading within the country and reaffirm the urgent need to vaccinate all children in Syria, regardless of who controls the area where they are.

  • In Kenya, the government declared polio a public health emergency on 22 November and directed the Ministry of Health to fast-track the immunization activities and to ensure the entire country is covered.

25 Nov 2013 description

In Syria, government forces fully control the town of Qara after almost a week of heavy fighting which caused over 15,000 Syrian refugees to cross into Lebanon. Meanwhile, the UN stated that it has brokered an agreement allowing for the Government of Syria and opposition negotiators to meet for peace talks in Geneva on January 22. The opposition reaffirmed the conditions of its participation: the release of prisoners, humanitarian assistance for besieged towns, and the exclusion of President Assad from the new transitional government.

22 Nov 2013 description

In this issue, a general overview of outbreaks that occurred within the WHO African Region between January and October 2013, as well as the ongoing outbreaks as reported by Member States is provided.

Overview of reported outbreaks in WHO African Region

11 Nov 2013 description

Snapshot 5 – 12 November

In Syria, the opposition agreed to participate in international peace talks in Geneva under the condition that President al-Assad is excluded from any transitional government, which constitutes a major obstacle to the initiation of the process as the Government stated it will not enter discussion if this demand is upheld. The peace dialogue has been repeatedly postponed and will not go ahead as planned in November. To date, the overall number of Syrian refugees is over 2.2 million and the number of people in need in the country stands at 9.3 million.

06 Nov 2013 description
  • Following confirmation of polio in Syria, health ministers of the Eastern Mediterranean declared the circulation of poliovirus in the Region an ‘emergency’ for all Member States at its Regional Committee meeting in Oman last week.
04 Nov 2013 description

Snapshot 29 October – 5 November

In Syria, the opposition remains divided over their participation to proposed peace talks in Geneva, with a decision being expected by 9 November. In Damascus, the Government repeated that it will not enter discussions if President al-Assad is forced to resign. While the overall number of Syrian refugees went over 2.2 million, revised estimates indicated that the number of people in need in Syria has increased from 6.8 million in April to 9.3 million in late October. An estimated 6.5 million are internally displaced.

31 Oct 2013 description

Key Highlights

The major humanitarian issues in the African region during the month of October 2013 were:

  1. Population displacements due to on-going political conflicts in Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC);

  2. Flooding in South Sudan affecting access to remote areas following the heavy rain since August;

  3. Disease outbreaks in countries affected by crisis

    • Outbreaks of polio, and measles among the returnees in South Sudan, and the displaced populations in CAR respectively.

28 Oct 2013 description

In Syria, fighting has intensified in October with the Government gaining control of strategic areas around Damascus and south of Aleppo. Meanwhile, while the number of Syrian refugees has reached almost 2.2 million people, parties to the conflict and international actors are increasingly focused on the Geneva II conference scheduled to take place in November after having been postponed several times.

23 Oct 2013 description
  • World Polio Day - 24 October! Partners, governments, civil society and communities worldwide are today marking World Polio Day, as efforts to eradicate this disease once and for all are being intensified. More

  • In Syria, reports of suspected polio cases have emerged. A cluster of hot cases is currently being investigated, and has prompted planning for a comprehensive outbreak response across the region. See ‘Syrian Arab Republic’ section below for more.

22 Oct 2013 description

Snapshot 15 – 22 October

In Syria, conflict is of high intensity in Rural Damascus, Dar’a, Aleppo, Idleb, and Homs, and Damascus city has repeatedly been under fire from opposition mortar rounds. Clashes between rival opposition groups have spread, culminating in a bloody battle over the control of some northern Aleppo neighbourhoods. While Government forces have made gains in Rural Damascus, the opposition has won ground in Dar’a, with both sides renewing efforts to gain a firm upper hand before the proposed Geneva II peace talks in November.

16 Oct 2013 description

1) Since June, insufficient and poorly-distributed rainfall has led to large rainfall deficits across the Gulf of Guinea countries and has reduced maize yields in Ghana, southern Togo and in southwestern Nigeria. Although seasonal rainfall has increased during the second peak of the bi-modal rainfall season, below average thirty and sixty day rainfall totals have continued. Average rainfall is forecast during the next week.