This Weekly Bulletin focuses on 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 main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:
- Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Measles outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Lassa fever outbreak in Liberia
- Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.
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 Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo is persisting. The apparent decline in transmission over week 36 is encouraging, as is the lack of new confirmed cases in Alimbongo and Oicha, but must still be treated with caution. The persistence of transmission in the hotspots shows that extreme vigilance must continue. Challenges still remain around community resistance and security issues, although ongoing community engagement initiatives are starting to show results.
The measles outbreak in DRC has become one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing measles outbreak this year. The outbreak has affected all 26 provinces of the country and children under 5-years old continue to be disproportionally affected. In the Ebola-affected provinces of North-Kivu and Ituri, the concomitance of measles brings an additional layer of complexity to the already challenging Ebola response notably in terms of differential diagnosis, triage, case management and implementation of vaccination campaigns.