This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 62 events in the region. This week’s main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:
- Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 in Ghana
- Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso
- 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:
The humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso is fast deteriorating, with increasing armed attacks and mass population displacement. The number of internally displaced persons has soared in the past months, and the food insecurity levels have been described as unprecedented. The functionality of the healthcare systems to deliver essential health services has been severely compromised, as is the capacity to provide other aid assistance. The health sector response plan as well as the overall humanitarian response plan are grossly underfunded. The humanitarian emergency in Burkina Faso requires urgent interventions, including efforts to restore peace and security.
The Ministry of Health in Ghana conducted in-depth field investigations into the outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2. The ongoing investigations appear to indicate a wider geographical diffusion of the poliovirus across the country and an elevated potential for further spread.
This calls for a comprehensive and robust response to this event in Ghana and all the other countries in the sub-region. The national authorities and partners in Ghana started implementing response measures to this outbreak. Countries in the sub-region need to step up preparedness measures to prevent the emergence and spread of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2.