This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 52 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:
- Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe
- Cholera outbreak in Algeria
- Yellow fever outbreak in Republic of Congo
- Humanitarian crisis in Mali.
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 events that have recently been closed.
Major issues and challenges include:
The recently declared cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe is of significant concern with the President of Zimbabwe declaring a state of disaster in Harare on 13 September 2018. The outbreak is rapidly escalating with hundreds of suspected cases being reported daily and the risk factors for cholera transmission ever present. The government have led the response from the front and the national and international public health community are being mobilised to support the strengthening of control activities.
The incidence of acute malnutrition in Mali as a result of the insecurity presents a challenge. This has been brought about by communities unable to access their fields to cultivate crops due to the presence of improvised explosive devices and armed insurgents, resulting in a depletion of previous cereal stocks. Local authorities, with the support of partners reacted rapidly following notification of the situation. However, until the conflict driving the crises is curtailed by national and international governments the health and nutritional crisis will likely remain.