This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE) is currently monitoring 59 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:
Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
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 (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to evolve in an unforgiving context. Persisting conflict and inadequate engagement from communities continue to hamper response activities in some affected areas, and population mobility has resulted in the emergence of clusters in new areas and in reintroduction events in areas where the outbreak had previously been controlled. The continued decline in case incidence in Beni is a promising sign that proven control measures, alongside newer therapeutic tools, are working.
The cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe continues to improve, especially in Harare city where no cases have been reported since 11 December 2018. However, the recent outbreak which emerged in Mount Darwin District is ongoing and is characterized by a high case fatality ratio. It is therefore critical to strengthen strategic response measures in Mount Darwin District in order to ensure a prompt control of the outbreak.