This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 74 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Cholera in Chad
- Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan
- Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dengue fever in Côte d’Ivoire.
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 South Sudan, characterized by economic instability, critical food insecurity, and constant population displacements remains of concern. Armed attacks including those against vulnerable populations, as well as the harassment of humanitarian actors continue, in spite of the current peace accord signed last year. Morbidity and mortality rates due to common infectious diseases remain very high. The risk of outbreaks of water-borne diseases is high given the ongoing heavy rainfall and associated flooding. Current resources are limited to continue to cater to the humanitarian needs of the vulnerable population, including the huge number of internally displaced persons and the anticipated increase in the number of new returnees. There is a dire need to mobilize additional funds from the international community and donors in order to scale-up humanitarian assistance. Enhanced peacebuilding efforts with engagements of all stakeholders and warring parties must continue in order to ensure long-term stability
The persistent transmission of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, with Beni Health Zone reporting more than half of the new cases. Resurgence of armed attacks from non-state actors continue to complicate response efforts and response strategies are being adapted to the evolving circumstances. Risk of spread to unaffected areas within Democratic Republic of the Congo and across the porous border to neighbouring countries remain high due to high rates of population movement from outbreak-affected areas. With renewed commitments from international donors and partners to contribute muchneeded resources, especially funding, to support and maintain the ongoing response operations, novel approaches are needed to bring this outbreak to an end. Operational readiness and preparedness activities need to be sustained in unaffected provinces within Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as in neighbouring countries to ensure early detection and control of any future cases.