This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 55 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 Cameroon
- Plague outbreak in Madagascar
Monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria.
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 persistence of active transmission of Ebola virus in Beni remains a challenge. The worsening security situation last week in Beni has severely limited response operations over recent days. Fear, misunderstanding and scepticism around Ebola virus disease has made community acceptance of response teams difficult. However recent community engagements initiatives are showing effect. The detection of new confirmed Ebola cases near the Ugandan border is of concern considering the high risk of spread to neighbouring countries.
- The current cholera outbreak in Cameroon is characterized by a high case fatality ratio and large proportion of deaths in the community. The co-occurrence of active conflict in the affected area restricts healthcare access for communities, which is likely to exacerbate poor clinical outcomes and underreporting of cholera cases. Recurrent flooding, poor water and sanitation conditions as well as population movements within the country and cross-border with Nigeria, constitute the main risk factors driving the transmission of the disease in the North region. Furthermore, the influx of refugees from Central African Republic and Nigeria may predispose the population to further spread of the disease and put a strain on the country’s resources and capacity to respond to the outbreak.