This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 71 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique and Comoros
- Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic fever in Namibia - Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.
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:
Three weeks after cyclone Kenneth made landfall in northern Mozambique and the Comoros Islands, the affected population continue to suffer from consequences of the cyclone, although the humanitarian conditions continue to improve. Damage caused to agriculture and livestock has contributed to a worsening of living conditions for affected populations, triggering malnutrition among children, due to food insecurity. Humanitarian access remains a challenge in affected areas, especially in Mozambique, with many areas remaining inaccessible by road and requiring access via air or river transport. Humanitarian agencies in Mozambique and Comoros have to continue to monitor and respond to health challenges – including the spread of vector-borne and water-borne diseases in affected areas.
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, with increasing incidence. This recent rise in the number of new cases could be partly attributed to the disruption of response interventions following the latest spate of insecurity, and continuing pockets of community mistrust. The transmission remains most intense in seven main hotspot areas: Katwa, Mabalako, Mandima, Butembo, Musienene, Kalunguta, and Beni. A new case was also reported in the health zone of Alimbongo this week, with links to cases deriving from Katwa. Responses activities are ongoing in EVD affected provinces.