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Democratic Republic of the Congo: WHO AFRO Outbreaks and Other Emergencies, Week 12: 18 – 24 March 2019; Data as reported by 17:00; 24 March 2019

Source: World Health Organization
Country: Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies
occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies
Programme is currently monitoring 67 events in the region. This week’s
edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:

  • Cyclone in Mozambique and Zimbabwe
  • Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Humanitarian crisis in Mali
  • Humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic.

    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:

Tropical cyclone Idai has caused severe devastation in Mozambique
and Zimbabwe, and the situation remains serious. Thousands of people
in Mozambique are reportedly still waiting to be rescued after several
days, mainly because of the overwhelming scale of the disaster. While
search and rescue operations are ongoing, other immediate needs are
emerging, including access to potable water, food and shelter, while
the risk of outbreaks of communicable diseases is ever increasing.
Restoration of healthcare services is therefore paramount to prevent,
prepare for and respond to outbreaks of communicable diseases as
well as provide trauma care, psychosocial counselling and treatment
of common and chronic illnesses.

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The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Democratic Republic of the
Congo continues. The past week has seen an increase in the number
of EVD cases reported after weeks of overall declining trends. This rise
could be partly attributed to the disruption of response interventions
following the recent spate of insecurity, including attacks on treatment
centres, and pockets of community mistrust. This phenomenon also
demonstrates how easy it is to lose the gains already made if the
ongoing responses are not sustained. Currently, response teams are
fully operational in all outbreak affected areas and there are encouraging
improvements in community acceptance of the response, despite the
ongoing insecurity.


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