The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 57 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:
Rift Valley fever in Uganda
Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lassa fever in Liberia
Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan
Humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria.
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.
Major issues and challenges include:
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has largely been contained, with the last confirmed case notified on 6 June 2018 and all contacts completing 21-day follow-up on 27 June 2018. The 12 June 2018 marked the start of the countdown towards the end of the EVD outbreak. While a small risk of resurgence and flare-ups remain, adequate measures are in place to rapidly detect and contain such events. In the meantime, there is a need to maintain implementation of all key response interventions until the outbreak is ultimately controlled.
Rift Valley fever (RVF) cases have simultaneously been confirmed in two districts in the western region of Uganda, with further investigation of another case in third district going on. The outbreak in Uganda is occurring at a time when Kenya is having a large RVF outbreak and Rwanda is experiencing an epizootic, with suspected human cases. This is indicative of the wider extent of the disease in the subregion. Risk modelling carried out by FAO in May 2018 showed suitability for vector amplification in several countries in East Africa, which are currently experiencing heavy rains. These RVF outbreaks in the subregion have the potential to cause serious public health consequences and huge economic loses if not addressed appropriately and effectively.