This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 60 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Lassa fever in Guinea
- Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Measles in Madagascar
- Humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic.
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 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to evolve in a particularly complex and challenging environment, characterized by a volatile security context and some incidents of community mistrust leading to localized violence. Katwa remains the main hot spot of the outbreak, while relatively high transmission is seen in Butembo, Oicha and Beni. Ongoing risk assessments to help direct the response and continued implementation of both proven and innovative public health measures will bring the outbreak to an end.
The measles outbreak in Madagascar remains serious as detailed outbreak investigations established high morbidity and mortality in several health districts. The ongoing response measures are being challenged by inadequate resources, especially funds and vaccines.
With over 75% of the country affected, there is a need to quickly scale up the ongoing reactive vaccination campaigns in order to protect the remaining vulnerable population and bring this high-magnitude outbreak under control.