This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 62 events in the region. This week’s main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:
- Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 in Ghana
- Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Cholera in Cameroon
- Humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo
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 frequency of occurrence of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been increasing in the African region, lately, as is the spatial distribution. Ghana has become the latest country to be affected (this week). This comes at a time when the WHO African Region is nearing wild-poliofree certification, with the last wild polio case detected on 21 August 2016 in Nigeria – thus the region has seen three years without any case of wild poliovirus. While this is a major milestone, the increasing number of cVDPV2 events is concerning, calling for urgent attention at the outset.
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, with Beni and surrounding areas remaining a concern due to persistent insecurity and civil unrest, hampering response efforts. The situation in Goma city is encouraging, while rapid response teams have been deployed to South Kivu to reinforce response measures to prevent expansion of community transmission. Moving forward, it is critical for all stakeholders to accelerate and sustain all activities in a united approach.