This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 53 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Cholera in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Cholera in Cameroon
- Humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic
- Humanitarian crisis in north-east 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 recent events that have largely been controlled thus closed.
Major issues and challenges include:
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, against the backdrop of increased insecurity in and around Béni city. There was an armed attack in Béni city on Friday 16 November 2018 – the second in one week. Several outbreak response operations were affected to varying extent, with some briefly suspended. This EVD outbreak remains dangerous and unpredictable, calling for more concerted efforts to strengthen all aspects of the response operations in the given circumstances.
The cholera outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo persists and has started escalating in the past weeks, especially in four provinces. Over 800 suspected cholera cases and 20 deaths were recorded during the reporting week. This cholera outbreak has been ongoing since 2015, exacerbated by the complex humanitarian situation. Previous interventions have only managed to mitigate the situation briefly. This outbreak has caused far greater morbidity and mortality in the population compared to any other public health event in the country, thus calling for increased investment in order to step up control efforts.