(Ecofin Agency) – Monkeypox in Nigeria and Africa, polio vaccination in Zambia, funds to strengthen health system in South Africa… A look back at some highlights of health news in Africa this week.
Africa CDC strengthens its influence
After being elevated to autonomous public health authority status by the African Union last February, the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) continues to expand its position and influence at the continental level.
We learn that negotiations are currently underway to set up a possible continental pandemic declaration mechanism under the control of the Africa CDC in order to reduce the continent’s dependence on other regions. While this development is welcomed by the WHO, which “fully supports the ongoing African Union-led process to strengthen the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC),” it does not come without the conduits for possible influence tensions between open to them the two organizations, the first pan-African and the second UN, in managing health interventions on the continent.
Nigeria: 10 new cases of monkeypox
In the West African giant, health officials reported 10 new confirmed cases of monkeypox (monkeypox) in the week ending June 5 alone, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 31 in 2022, Outbreak News Today reports.
The ten new confirmed cases were reported in six states: Edo (2), Rivers (2), Plateau (2), Lagos (2), Ondo (1) and Imo (1). Of the 31 confirmed cases, 21 or 67% were reported in people between the ages of 21 and 40. From September 2017 to June 5, 2022, Nigeria reported 257 confirmed cases and nine deaths (1 death in 2022).
Monkeypox: Continent should be priority for immunization campaigns, says Africa CDC
For the Africa CDC, the continent, as an endemic area, must be the priority for starting a global vaccination campaign against monkeypox. Ahmed Ogwell Oumad, Acting Director of the Pan-African Institution, said on Thursday 16 June.
Institutions such as the European Union have already announced their intention to jointly purchase vaccines and other treatments against this zoonosis.
“Our position is that vaccination is an important tool and that it has to start here in Africa (…)” he told the media when there were nearly 1,600 cases of monkeypox with 66 deaths on the continent. The affected countries are Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
South Africa: $480 million from World Bank to strengthen health system
The Pretoria government will receive $480 million from the World Bank to strengthen its Covid-19 vaccination program and health system. This was announced by the National Treasury in a press release earlier this week. In the country hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, these resources will be used to improve the capacity to identify SARS-CoV-2 variants on its territory and in the African region by funding the genome surveillance project.
Cholera outbreak reported in Kenya
In early May, Kenyan authorities detected cholera in Kisumu County and a total of 319 cases and two deaths were reported by the end of the month. In the capital, Nairobi, cases have been reported in five of the city’s 17 subdistricts: Mathare, Starehe, Kamukunji, Westlands and Roy Sambu.
According to the WHO, Kenya joins the list of three other countries, South Sudan, Tanzania and Somalia, in the East African subregion experiencing cholera outbreaks. No epidemiological link has yet been established between the ongoing cholera outbreak in Kenya and neighboring countries.
Zambia: 4.5 million children vaccinated against polio
Following a polio outbreak reported in Mozambique earlier this year, frontline health workers in Zambia vaccinated 4.5 million children under the age of 5 against the virus. During the search, teams screened those who had been forgotten and vaccinated almost 500,000 in two days.
Health update for the week of May 30 to June 5, 2022 (WHO)
In its weekly bulletin dedicated to public health emergencies in the African region, the WHO Health Emergencies Program reports tracking 154 events across the continent for the week of May 30 to June 5, 2022, from of which the most notable were: the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, cholera in Kenya and the situation of COVID-19.
Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan
WHO reported that the situation in this Horn of Africa country remained dire, noting in particular that more than two million people were displaced internally and some 8.9 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance due to flooding, food insecurity and conflict . “The country is still suffering from the 2021 floods, the worst since 1960, and the water has yet to fully recede. These floods caused the displacement of more than 800,000 people, leading to the creation of new refugee camps and spontaneous informal settlements on the heights. ‘ the UN agency said.
The hardest hit states were Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity. Additionally, in the second quarter of 2022 (April to July), 7.74 million people are at risk of acute food insecurity, a 13.3% increase from the previous quarter.
Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: no new cases
“17 days have passed since the last report on May 19, 2022 without a new case of Ebola virus disease being reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ‘, according to the WHO. Equateur province remains the only one affected in the country, with two affected health zones (Mbandaka and Wangata) and three affected health areas (Libiki, Mama Balako and Motema Pembe) being added.
However, the source of the outbreak remains elusive and investigators continue to seek additional information, including identifying case and contact exposure histories. The epidemic has accumulated 5 cases, including 4 confirmed and 1 probable, 1,620 vaccinated people, including 823 frontline health workers.
DRC: Suspected cases of meningitis
In the Haut-Uele province (Gombari health zone), the local health authorities were informed on May 25, 2022 of four consecutive deaths with typical features of meningitis, involving two men and two women. An investigation initiated by local health authorities identified a total of 26 cases with 14 deaths as of May 31, 2022 (mortality rate of 53.8%). Further analysis is underway at the Kinshasa National Reference Laboratory (INRB-Kinshasa), according to the WHO.
Namibia: Measles outbreak
On June 2, 2022, the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services informed WHO of a confirmed outbreak of measles in Outapi district, Omusati region, bordering Angola. Of the 23 suspected cases reported, five were confirmed in the laboratory. All cases were identified in children aged five months to 12 years
Covid-19 in Africa:
This week there were just over 542,000 active cases of Covid on the continent, while almost 5,000 new cases were identified. Africa has thus accumulated 12.23 million official cases with 255,500 deaths since the pandemic began. South Africa continues to bear the brunt in terms of positive cases.