This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 60 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Plague in Uganda
- Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Hepatitis in Namibia
- Lassa fever in 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 recent events that have largely been controlled and thus closed.
Major issues and challenges include:
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, with the prevailing insecurity and community mistrust posing significant challenges to the response efforts. Deeper engagement and involvement of the communities in the ongoing response is critical as well as ensuring the safety of patients and the response staff.
Namibia has been experiencing an outbreak of hepatitis E since September 2017. While good progress has been made to lower the incidence of the disease, the ongoing response measures have not been able to interrupt further transmission. The outbreak has now affected eight out of 14 regions in the country. Lately, the Minister of Health and Social Services has renewed efforts to control the outbreak.
However, to turn this proclamation into tangible actions on the ground requires commitments and resources. All key stakeholders, including the national authorities, partners and the community are urged to embrace the renewed efforts to bring this outbreak to an end. the national authorities, partners and the community are urged to embrace the renewed efforts to bring this outbreak to an end.