This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 73 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Anthrax outbreak in Guinea
- Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic
- Humanitarian crisis in Nigeria
- Yellow fever in Uganda.
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 humanitarian crises in both Central African Republic and North East Nigeria continue, with healthcare delivery disruption through directly targeted attacks or as a result of collateral damage. Healthcare staff, partners and local authorities continue to provide care in these insecure environments and should be commended. However, increased support from the local and international community in terms of both human resources, interventions to improve security measures, as well as funding, is much needed to ensure the appropriate humanitarian assistance is provided to the affected populations.
Cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) continue to be confirmed in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo at an alarming rate, with security problems and community resistance a continuing problem. The announcement this week of a new UN Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator to oversee the coordination of international support for the Ebola response and ensure that appropriate security and political measures are in place to enable the Ebola response is a positive move. Working to support the Government in strengthening political engagement and operational support to negotiate access safely to communities in all areas and increase support for humanitarian coordination will be key to controlling the outbreak.