This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 58 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
Lassa fever in Benin
Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Yellow fever in Nigeria
Measles in Madagascar.
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:
Responding to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in north-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to face enormous multifaceted challenges. The major issues remain insecurity, population mobility and pockets of community reluctance due to misinformation and rumours. Efforts to tackle the community aspects affecting the response are ongoing as well as strengthening proven public health measures (contact tracing, engaging communities) and the application of new tools at hand (immunization and therapeutics). WHO remains confident that this outbreak will be contained and brought to an end.
A new focus of yellow fever outbreak has emerged in Edo State, Nigeria, following a large outbreak that occurred from September 2017 to March 2018. Additionally, a number of countries in the African Region have confirmed yellow fever outbreaks, lately, including Congo,
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea and South Sudan.
The recent resurgence of yellow fever outbreaks in the African region is concerning, and needs to be tackled swiftly if the target to eliminate yellow fever outbreaks by 2026 is to be achieved in a timely way