This edition of the Compendium covers 19 outbreaks, which occurred in 15 countries, presented in chronological order. These include yellow fever in Uganda, cholera in South Sudan, Rift Valley fever in Niger, meningitis in Nigeria, listeriosis in South Africa, malaria in Cabo Verde, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in Namibia, cholera in Malawi, Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo (Likati, May 2017), meningococcal septicemia in Liberia, cholera in Nigeria (north-east), pneumonic plague in Madagascar, Marburg fever in Uganda, dengue fever in Senegal, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in Mauritania, influenza A H1N1 in Ghana, Lassa fever in Nigeria, Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo (Equateur; May 2018), and Rift Valley fever in Kenya.
The reports are presented in a way that makes them accessible to a wide audience – epidemiologists, policy makers, strategists and anyone working in the area of health emergency responses.
Sub-Saharan Africa experiences over 100 acute public health emergencies each year. Most of the events are outbreaks of infectious diseases. However, the region continuously faces ongoing humanitarian crises and frequent natural disasters. All 47 member states are at risk.
WHO is committed to saving lives and reducing suffering during times of crisis – whether caused by conflict, disease outbreak or a disaster. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is mandated to undertake WHO’s functions and responsibilities during health emergencies. The vision of this programme is to protect health and save lives during outbreaks and emergencies. Our mission is to help countries and to coordinate international actions, to prevent, prepare for, detect, rapidly respond to, and recover from outbreaks and other emergencies.
The priorities of this programme include:
Supporting the assessment of country health emergency preparedness and development of national plans to address critical capacity gaps Developing strategies and capacities to prevent and control high-threat infectious hazards Monitoring of new and ongoing public health events to assess, communicate and recommend actions for public health risks Ensuring readiness to diminish public health risks in countries with high vulnerability Providing life-saving health services to affected populations in countries with ongoing emergencies.
Specific programme areas that fall under this global programme include:
Country Health Emergency Preparedness and the International Health Regulations (CPI)
Emergency Operations (EMO)
Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessments (HIM)
Infectious Hazards Management (IHM)
Management and Administration (MGA).
In March 2017, the WHO Health Emergencies Programme in the Regional Office for Africa started the Weekly Bulletin on Outbreaks and Other Emergencies, which is a summary of new and ongoing events, put together using reports from country offices. This is sent out to about 2 500 recipients each week and has been extremely well received.
The Compendium of Short Reports on Selected Outbreaks in the African Region, “The Compendium”, complements the Weekly Bulletin and aims to document outbreaks that have ocurred in the WHO African Region, responded to and successfully controlled by the respective Member States, WHO Health Emergencies Programme and other stakeholders. The Compendium illustrates how short reports can contribute to sharing information and approaches to different public health events, emergencies and outbreaks.
Each report has a similar structure, with a summary of the event, which highlights key features, the evolution of the event with a brief epidemiological description, public health actions, any gaps in action and a discussion of the situation.
The reports are presented in a way that makes them accessible to a wide audience – epidemiologists, policy makers, strategists and anyone working in the area of emergency responses.