This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 66 events in the region. This week’s main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:
Yellow fever in Mali
Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Floods in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Humanitarian crisis in Cameroon.
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:
Several countries, especially those in east and central regions of Africa are currently experiencing severe floods following heavy rains, causing many casualties, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and ravaging physical infrastructure and livelihoods. Most of the affected populations are already vulnerable and deprived, either due to pre-existing humanitarian situation, poverty, food insecurity or limited access to social services. In addition to the immediate impact, the adverse weather condition is bound to predispose the affected communities to water- and vector-borne diseases, including cholera, typhoid fever, malaria, dengue fever, etc. While the national authorities and partners in the affected countries are responding to the urgent life-saving and immediate needs, it is important to put in place adequate preparedness and readiness measures for potential disease outbreaks, as well as early-recovery interventions to quickly restore the livelihoods of the affected communities.
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, with the incidence of cases recorded during the reporting week sharply rising. The impact of the disruption of response operations at the peak of insecurity and unrest in the past weeks has started manifesting. With the security situation relatively normalizing (though remaining precarious), there is a need to restore and intensify outbreak response interventions in order to reverse this concerning trend.