This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute 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 edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
Humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso
Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Measles in Chad
Cholera in Cameroon.
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 humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso, characterized by increasing waves of violence and armed attacks, continues to worsen. The number of internally displaced people continues to grow as more people flee their homes due to armed attacks. Access to basic social services including healthcare is limited and humanitarian assistance to the affected population in conflict-stricken areas continues to be hampered by indiscriminate violence and attacks against aid workers. Available funding has been overwhelmed by the increasing number of people affected, creating an urgent need for the mobilization of much-needed resources to effectively respond to the humanitarian crisis.
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, with fluctuating epidemiological intensity. On 17 July 2019 the WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus declared the EVD outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), following a meeting of the International Health Regulations Committee for EVD. With the declaration of the outbreak as a PHEIC it is anticipated that response activities would be further strengthened. While progress is slowly being made, the ongoing response operations are being challenged by suboptimal resourcing, negatively impacting on the entire response. Member States and other donors are strongly encouraged to provide additional funding in order to ensure that hard won progress in containing this EVD outbreak will not suffer a potentially devastating setback due to financial limitations.