WHO & Regional Offices [to 26 March 2016]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 26 March 2016]

WHO: Angola grapples with worst yellow fever outbreak in 30 years
March 2016
Angola is grappling with a yellow fever outbreak, which has infected more than 450 people and killed 178 – the first epidemic of the disease to hit the country in 30 years.
The outbreak, which was first reported in the capital city Luanda in December 2015, has since spread to 6 of the country’s 18 provinces…

Vaccination a powerful weapon but in short supply
WHO has taken urgent action to contain this outbreak, working with the Angolan Ministry of Health and partners to vaccinate people in the affected provinces. As of 24 March 2016, WHO and partners have vaccinated 5.7 million people in Luanda against yellow fever using vaccines from the International Coordination Group emergency stockpile.

WHO has established an incident management system and deployed around 65 experts in epidemiology, vector control, community engagement and other areas to support the vaccination campaign.

WHO’s recently established Contingency Fund for Emergencies released US$500,000 to enable a rapid response to this outbreak in Angola and WHO’s African Public Health Emergency Fund has provided US$289,383. WHO has also supported the development of an emergency response plan to provide an additional US$ 3 million funds from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to cover 50% of the costs of the vaccines for the province of Luanda.

Vaccine storage
“The vaccination campaign has so far been effective. We are seeing case numbers dropping considerably, especially in Luanda. However, we have to keep going and vaccinate all the people in Luanda and the affected provinces to end this outbreak. This is an enormous job which is exhausting supplies of vaccines,” says Dr Yactayo.

Whilst concerted efforts are being made to stop the outbreak, there is a global vaccine shortage, with the emergency stockpile completely depleted. An additional 1.5 million doses are needed to vaccinate the population at risk in Luanda province alone.

With the spread of the outbreak to other provinces in Angola and increasing numbers of imported cases reported by countries in Africa, WHO requests prioritizing vaccination of people at highest risk. WHO is in discussion with manufacturers and partners to divert shipments of vaccines for national routine immunization programmes until the emergency stockpile is replenished.

Partners working with WHO and the Ministry of Health include UNICEF, CDC/Atlanta, CORE Group, Médicins Sans Frontières, Medicos del Mundo, the National Red Cross of Angola and local community based organizations…


Iraq’s 2015 response to cholera outbreak minimizes future risk
23 March 2016, Baghdad, Iraq – After the declaration of a cholera epidemic in Iraq in September 2015, and in anticipation of a potential new outbreak, WHO, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health of Iraq, jointly with water and sanitation and health cluster partners held a consultation today to review lessons learnt and best practices from the successful 2015 response to the outbreak. Consultations such as these will help guide cholera contingency plans for 2016 and beyond….

…The meeting focused on a number of key issues, including the need to:
:: build local capacities to scale up surveillance, case investigation and management, as well as cholera prevention and control measures
:: strengthen laboratory capacities at central, governorate, and peripheral levels to ensure early detection and confirmation of a cholera outbreak
:: enhance collaborative activities between relevant ministries and agencies, with clear roles and accountability
:: maintain strong and regular communication with the health sector and apply an intersectoral approach for the management of cholera/acute watery diarrhoea.
…Cholera is endemic in Iraq, and the outbreak, officially declared in September 2015, resulted in 4945 cases confirmed in 17 of the 18 governorates across Iraq. WHO and UNICEF supported the Ministry of Health and other partners to put in place immediate preventive and control measures that included targeting approximately 249 319 people with oral cholera vaccine in a 2-round immunization campaign for vulnerable populations in 62 refugee and internally displaced persons camps and collective centres throughout the country.


Disease Outbreak News (DONs)
:: 23 March 2016 Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China
:: 23 March 2016 Human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus – China
:: 23 March 2016 Lassa Fever – Germany
:: 23 March 2016 Lassa Fever – Togo
:: 23 March 2016 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia
:: 22 March 2016 Yellow Fever – Angola
:: 21 March 2016 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia


:: WHO Regional Offices
WHO African Region AFRO
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WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: PAHO/WHO calls on countries to work together to end tuberculosis in the next 20 years (03/24/2016)
:: Sesame Street Muppets Join PAHO to Educate Families About Preventing Zika Mosquito Bites (03/23/2016)

WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
:: Media statement – Invest in safe water to enhance public health
22 March 2016

WHO European Region EURO
:: Public Health Panorama: TB in central Asia
:: Regional workshop on the global oral polio vaccine “switch” 30–31 March 2016, Vienna, Austria

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: Iraq’s 2015 response to cholera outbreak minimizes future risk
23 March 2016

WHO Western Pacific Region
:: Stronger action and commitment needed to end tuberculosis
MANILA, 23 March 2016 – As the world observes World TB Day (24 March), the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Western Pacific Region urges governments and partners to strongly support calls to action to end the burden of tuberculosis (TB) in the Region. “Sadly, tuberculosis continues to be an agonizing chapter in the public health history of the Region,” said Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. “We must strengthen efforts to close the book on TB for the Region’s 1.8 billion people.”