This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 54 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
Declaration of the end of cholera outbreak in South Sudan
Humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic
Cholera in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Hepatitis E in Namibia
Cholera in Angola
Listeriosis in South Africa
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. Since the beginning of the year, ten events have been controlled and closed including outbreaks of foodborne illness in Benin, influenza A H1N1 in Ghana, malaria in Kenya, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Mauritania, meningitis and hepatitis E in Niger, dengue fever in Senegal, cholera in South Sudan, cholera in Uganda, and anthrax in Zambia.
Major challenges include:
The humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic has deteriorated in recent weeks, with increased episodes of violence since late December 2017. Although WHO and other partners are engaged in the response, the security situation has resulted in the temporary withdrawal of some actors who were previously providing services to affected populations.
National and international actors need to scale up actions to stabilize the situation urgently to allow needed humanitarian aid to continue to be provided.
The listeriosis outbreak in South Africa is of concern because of its national scale and lack of identification of the source of the outbreak. Case investigation activities and testing of food and environmental samples need to be accelerated to facilitate the identification of the source of contamination and implementation of response measures to bring the outbreak to an end.