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 ongoing events, including:
- Cyclone Kenneth in Comoros and Mozambique
- Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso
- 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 current trend of intensified transmission of Ebola virus infections across multiple hotspots in North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo increases the already high risk of further spread of the disease to other provinces and to surrounding countries. The situation is likely to worsen in the coming days as the operating environment has increasingly become more insecure and socio-politically complex. Additionally, the existing funding gap could lead to WHO and partners rolling back some activities precisely when they are most needed. There is an urgent need to increase both technical and financial support from all national and international actors in order to arrest this situation. WHO urges the international community to step up support to the ongoing response to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tropical Cyclone Kenneth has caused serious devastation in the Comoros Islands and northern part of Mozambique. The number of people impacted has risen as further information becomes available from affected areas. Immediate humanitarian assistance is beginning to reach the affected communities as access is gradually improving. The risk of water- and vector-borne diseases is high due to water contamination and water shortages, calling for accelerated establishment of preventive and preparedness measures. There is a need to step up provision of humanitarian assistance as well as planning for early recovery of the affected communities.