WHO AFRO Outbreaks and Other Emergencies, Week 1: 29 December 2018 – 4 January 2019 Data as reported by 17:00; 4 January 2019

This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE) is currently monitoring 60 events in the region. This week's edition covers key ongoing events, including:

Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Cholera in Burundi

Cholera in Cameroon

Yellow 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.

Major issues and challenges include:

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is in a critical phase as it enters its sixth month since the declaration of the outbreak. Despite the use of an effective vaccine, novel therapeutics as well as other EVD strategic interventions, the outbreak is persisting due to security challenges, pockets of community reluctance and inadequate infection prevention and control in some health facilities. Nevertheless, WHO and partners, under the government's leadership, continue to respond to the EVD outbreak and remain committed to containing the outbreak.

The Ministry of Health of Burundi has declared a new outbreak of cholera in the country. This outbreak, which is rapidly evolving, is particularly affecting people living in overcrowded areas, where sanitation conditions are precarious. Given that the risk factors for transmission of water-borne diseases are prevalent in the affected communities, there is a need to aggressively tackle this outbreak at its early stage using relevant sectors in order to avoid further spread.

Source: World Health Organization

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