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
Dengue Fever in Senegal
Hepatitis E in Namibia
Cholera in Zimbabwe.
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 Ebola virus disease situation in North Kivu and Ituri provinces remains of grave concern. New cases and deaths continue to be recorded daily, particularly in Beni Health Zone. Cases emerging closer to insecure areas, as well as continuing community resistance, high population mobility and constant insecurity in some areas continue to pose a challenge to the implementation of response activities. These challenges are fully recognized by the MoH and WHO. The new strategic response plan and the Emergency Committee recommendations are aiming to address these challenges.
The geographical expansion of the dengue outbreak to three additional regions in Senegal and the recent occurrence of cases in Touba district, Diourbel region, is concerning. Touba district will soon host the Grand Magal; an annual religious pilgrimage of the Senegalese Mouride Brotherhood which gathers over 3 million people. The influx of viraemic travellers attending this celebration may increase the risk of expansion of the outbreak within and outside the country.