Emergencies

Emergencies

Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 61: 01 October 2019
Situation Update
In the past week, from 23 to 29 September, 20 new confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases, with an additional 12 deaths and an additional three probable cases validated from late August/early September, have been reported from seven health zones in two affected provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This perceived decrease in the number of cases should be interpreted with caution, as operational and security challenges in certain health zones make it difficult to undertake case detection and response functions. An increase in the number of reported cases is expected in the coming weeks once response activities resume in full.

The security situation In the overall operational areas of the EVD response is reported calm with no major security incidents affecting operations between the period between 26 to 29 September 2019…

Case management
…The The Pamoja Tulinde Maisha (PALM [together save lives]) randomized, controlled trial and Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered and Investigational Interventions framework continue to enroll EVD confirmed patients, total patients thus far are 857 and 761, respectively as of 24 September 2019…

Implementation of ring vaccination protocol
As of 28 September 2019, 230,055 people at risk have consented to and received the rVSV-ZEBOV-GP Ebola vaccine. Of those, 55,801 are contacts and 154,689 contacts-of-contacts. The total number of vaccines includes 47,533 HCWs/FLWs.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo health authorities have endorsed the use of a second investigational Ebola vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. This vaccine, which is administered as a two-dose course, 56 days apart, will be circulated in at-risk populations in areas that do not have active EVD transmission. Regular vaccination activities in EVD-affected areas will continue. The Merck/MSD vaccine will continue to be provided to all people at high risk of Ebola infection including those who have been in contact with a person confirmed to have Ebola, all contacts of contacts, and others determined to be at high risk of contracting Ebola…

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1,000 Ebola survivors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Joint Press Release by the UN Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator, World Health Organization, World Food Programme, UNICEF and Save the Children

GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 4 October 2019 – As the 1000th Ebola survivor returns home, United Nations agencies working to stop the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today commended the strong leadership of the DRC health authorities and the tireless efforts of thousands of local health workers and partners that have led to 1000 people surviving the disease.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres handed Kavira her Ebola survivor certificate in early September. “I never thought I would make it at first but now that I am cured, I want to go back to my community and tell them to seek treatment early if they are affected because you can actually survive,” said Kavira.

The outbreak, declared on 1 August 2018, started in North Kivu and has since spread to parts of Ituri and South Kivu provinces. Currently, active transmission is confined to Ituri, in several hotspots – Mambasa and Mandima – but the epidemic is evolving in an extremely complex environment, marked by poor health infrastructure, political instability, insecurity, community mistrust and resistance, and ongoing conflict involving scores of armed groups.

Through an integrated UN system-wide approach, the United Nations scaled-up its efforts in May in support of the DRC government-led response in the areas of public health, assistance to Ebola-affected communities, political engagement, security and strengthened financial management…

Although this is the largest and longest-running Ebola outbreak the DRC has experienced, new tools are now available to help stop the virus and save lives. A highly effective vaccine (shown to have 97.5% efficacy) has protected over 226,000 people. New treatments, that recent study results show can save over 90 per cent of people who come early during their illness, improve survival rates of people infected with Ebola.

“We have the tools, vaccines and treatments, but we still need to find and support every person who has been in contact with someone infected with Ebola,” Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, World Health Organization Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response, said. WHO is the UN Agency leading the public health response. “Surviving this disease is all about trusting the responders – contact tracers, decontamination teams, burial teams, vaccinators, Ebola Treatment Centre staff – who are working tirelessly to protect people from this virus”…

Led by UNICEF with the support of international partners, thousands of Congolese responders and associations from the affected communities are engaging with community and religious leaders, mass media, and Ebola survivors to bring crucial knowledge of symptoms, prevention and treatment to the households and communities most at risk. Children are among the most vulnerable in the communities, as they are not only at risk of contracting the virus but are also affected if they lose their parents or schools are closed. Save the Children and other organizations are reaching out to children on how to prevent contracting Ebola, through child-friendly awareness campaigns in schools and youth groups. An important part of this work is listening and responding to their pressing concerns, particularly in the areas where Ebola is often not perceived as a priority.

“When survivors tell communities the reason they are alive is because they sought treatment early, people believe them and are getting the help they need sooner. Survivors have become a crucial element in gaining the community trust and acceptance required to defeat this epidemic”, Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in the DRC, said. “At the same time, having experienced the disease, they are able to offer a level of support and compassion to patients and their family members that is especially meaningful.”…

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:: 430 days and 1000 victories in the fight against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 04 October 2019 Statement from Dr Matshidiso Moeti

:: Surviving Ebola and passing final school exams while in treatment isolation: Now bring on the future 02 October 2019

:: Dear parents and neighbours – A young mother tells her story of Ebola denial and then gratitude for treatment 01 October 2019

:: Ebola, cholera and measles: Triple threats to the poorest communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 1 October 2019

:: A doctor takes you to the tough and joy-filled days in the Ebola battle in Goma 30 September 2019

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POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 25 September 2019
:: September’s Polio News is now available with the latest polio numbers and news updates.
:: Read through the August 2019 Technical Advisory Group (TAG) reports on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Summary of new viruses this week:
:: Pakistan — three WPV1 cases and 13 WPV1-positive environmental samples;
:: Democratic Republic of the Congo — one circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) case;
:: Ghana — one cVDPV2 case and five positive environmental samples;
:: Philippines — one cVDPV2 case, one cVDPV2 and 5 cVDPV1 positive environmental samples.

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Philippines
Philippines: Red Cross scales up as polio threatens 11 million children
Manila/Kuala Lumpur/Geneva 2 October 2019 –  Polio has made an alarming come-back after officially being eradicated 19 years ago in the Philippines. The Philippine Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are scaling up to help contain the highly infectious virus.

On 19 September, a three-year-old girl was diagnosed with polio, the Philippines’ first confirmed case since 2000. A five-year-old boy has since tested positive. The polio virus was also detected in Manila’s sewage and the waterways of Davao in Mindanao. Low immunization rates have contributed to the outbreak. Polio is mainly transmitted by food, water or hands contaminated with human faeces containing the virus, so good hygiene is vital.

Philippine Red Cross Chairman, Richard Gordon said:
“We have mobilized all our chapters to coordinate with the health department and local officials and to provide the full support of volunteers for mass immunization and updating the list of all zero to five-year-old children and get their vaccination status. This will help us identify the areas with the highest risk of polio based on low vaccination coverage as well as the lack of toilets and limited running water.”

The IFRC has released 336,302 Swiss francs (336,700 US dollars) from its disaster relief emergency fund to support the Philippine Red Cross in Mindanao and Metro Manila to go house-to-house to vaccinate in high-risk areas including in informal settlements and hard-to-reach areas, and children who have missed out on vaccinations. Social mobilization teams and an information campaign will target 1.2 million people with messages on the importance of vaccination.

Head of the IFRC Philippines Country Office, Chris Staines said:
“We are very concerned that the resurgence of polio in the Philippines puts 11 million Filipino children under five at high risk of disability and even death. We appeal to all parents to protect their children against the virus during this massive, synchronized nationwide campaign. The Philippines has eradicated polio before, and together we can do it again.”

This is the third health emergency this year that the Philippine Red Cross has responded to, with babies and young children disproportionately affected. During a measles outbreak in February, the Red Cross cared for 3,400 patients by setting up seven measles care units in tents outside six hospitals, vaccinated nearly 17,000 children between six months and five years of age, and reached more than 1.9 million people with life-saving information. In response to a dengue outbreak, the Red Cross cared for 5,000 patients in nine emergency medical units set up at eight hospitals, and reached 120,000 people with messages on dengue prevention and management. Philippines Red Cross volunteers continue to respond to both of these ongoing health emergencies, even as they scale up to face the urgent risks of polio.

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Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 5 Oct 2019]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 61: 01 October 2019
:: 1000 Ebola survivors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 04 October 2019
:: 430 days and 1000 victories in the fight against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 04 October 2019 Statement from Dr Matshidiso Moeti
:: Surviving Ebola and passing final school exams while in treatment isolation: Now bring on the future 02 October 2019
:: Dear parents and neighbours – A young mother tells her story of Ebola denial and then gratitude for treatment 01 October 2019
:: Ebola, cholera and measles: Triple threats to the poorest communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 1 October 2019
:: A doctor takes you to the tough and joy-filled days in the Ebola battle in Goma 30 September 2019

Mozambique floods – No new digest announcements identified
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 5 Oct 2019]

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Burkina Faso [in French] – No new digest announcements identified
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
HIV in Pakistan – No new digest announcements identified
Iran floods 2019 – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi floods – No new digest announcements identified
Measles in Europe – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified
Niger No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 5 Oct 2019]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified

UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Yemen
:: 03 October 2019 Yemen: Flash Floods Flash Update No. 1 (As of 3 October 2019)

Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified

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UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
Editor’s Note:
Ebola in the DRC has bene added as a OCHA “Corporate Emergency” this week:
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
:: 02 Oct 2019 Southern Africa: Climate crisis leaves 9.2 million people severely food insecure
:: 30 September 2019 Southern Africa: Humanitarian Key Messages, September 2019

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified