This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 65 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Flooding in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
- Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Measles in Chad
- Humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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 Democratic Republic of the Congo continues. Currently, the greatest concern remains transmission in the neighbouring urban areas of Katwa and Butembo, which contribute about three-quarters of all recent cases. The two hotspots have been responsible for recrudescence of infections to areas where transmission had been contained. The response teams need to pay particular attention on Katwa and Butembo, without losing focus on the other areas to avoid potential recurrence of cases in those areas that have already contained the disease.
- Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have been devasted by severe flooding and strong winds as a result of the tropical cyclone Idai. The full impact of the cyclone is yet to be established, however, initial reports indicate loss of life and significant damage to infrastructure. While measurable disaster preparedness measures were put in place prior to the event, the magnitude of the impact of the cyclone is simply overwhelming. There is a need to support the affected countries to address the immediate life-saving humanitarian needs as well as medium-to-long term recovery programmes.