This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute 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 edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
Humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso
Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Cholera in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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 remains precarious, characterized by continued armed attacks, mass displacement of the population, and limited access to healthcare services. The closure of several health facilities due to insecurity coupled with ongoing strike action by health workers continues to hamper access to healthcare for over 800 000 people in informal camp settings and in host communities. While national authorities along with local and international partners continue to employ their best efforts to respond to this complex crisis, the limited resources and funds available have been a challenge to meet the growing humanitarian needs. There is a dire need for mobilizing additional resources to address funding gaps in order to sustain response operations.
The number of new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to decline, however, this should be interpreted with caution as restricted access to some areas due to insecurity as well as challenges associated with case detection and contact tracing persist. Hotspots remain in Mandima, Mambasa, and Oicha Health Zones, highlighting the need to continue to strengthen response activities while at the same time enhancing and sustaining capacities for operational readiness and preparedness in non-outbreak affected areas including neighbouring countries. Local and national authorities need to continue their input, along with partners and donors, to ensure that gains continue and ultimately bring the outbreak to a close.