This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 68 evenAts in the region. This week’s main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:
- Meningitis in Benin
- Measles in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic.
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 6 January 2020, a new outbreak of bacterial meningitis was notified to WHO by the Ministry of Health of Benin. The outbreak was initially detected in Banikoara Commune, Northern Benin. The proximity of the affected area to neighbouring Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria is of concern and suggests the need for cross-border collaboration and strengthening of surveillance.
The measles outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo is still ongoing. Although the case incidence showed a decreasing trend in the last four weeks of December 2019, the cumulative number of cases and deaths continues to increase, with over 6 000 deaths being reported during the year 2019. In order to successfully curb the outbreak, there is a need to extend vaccination to children over 5 years old and to strengthen other response activities beyond vaccination.