Tag Archives: WHO

Burundi President-elect starts mandate

Burundi’s constitutional court has agreed that President-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye should be sworn in immediately following the sudden death of Pierre Nkurunziza, the government said in a statement posted to Twitter on June 12.

The Constitution provides for the speaker of parliament to take over in such a situation. The court ruled, however, that “the interim period is not necessary and that … Ndayishimiye must be sworn in as soon as possible”, the government said.

However there is the growing suspicion that the COVID-19 outbreak in Burundi will further disrupt public life. The social media persisting reports indicate that premature death of President Nkurunziza and his family members were caused by neglect of the coronavirus hazard.

Whatever happening in Burundi was quite predictable. Pierre Nkurunziza ignored WHO guidelines. He assumed that COVID-19 never existed, nobody in Bujumbura raised a voice! Pierre dead, his mother too; his wife & sister $ President-elect admitted [to hospital]…” independent journalist Abuga Makori writes.

AU confirms Ebola outbreak

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has a new Ebola outbreak in the northeast province of the country.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on June 1 released a statement announcing the outbreak in Mbandaka, in Équateur province. According to the statement, six cases have been confirmed, with four deaths and two patients under medical care.

“It is likely more people will be identified with the disease as surveillance activities increase,” added the statement.

DRC escape of Ebola patient

The Democratic Republic of Congo was two days away from announcing the end of the world’s second-largest Ebola epidemic when a new chain of infection was discovered on April 10, following more than seven weeks without a new case.

Since then, health authorities have sought to contain any renewed spread of infections.

But on April 18 a 28-year-old motorbike taxi-driver who had tested positive for Ebola ran away from the centre where he was being treated in the town of Beni.

“We are using all the options to get him out of the community,” said Boubacar Diallo, deputy incident manager for the WHO’s Ebola response operation. “We are expecting secondary cases from him.”

An Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo may spread again after a patient escaped from a clinic, complicating efforts to contain the disease that has infected six people since last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on April 19.

Ebola patient passed away in Uganda

The nine-year-old girl  from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), , who was tested positive this week for the Ebola virus in Uganda, died on August 30 morning. (Image: illustration).

“She died around 8 AM this morning,Yusuf Baseka, director of health services for Kasese District, southwestern Uganda told AFP. The child was in isolation in a health center in Bwera, in the same district of Kasese. The body of the girl “is being repatriated” in the DRC, with his mother who accompanied her daughter’s  remains, he said.

“I want to reassure all Ugandans and non-Ugandans that we have the full capacity to control Ebola. Stay calm and vigilant,” tweeted Ugandan Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng before the announcement of the girl’s death. She is the fourth person diagnosed with Ebola in Uganda to die.

In June, three family members diagnosed in Uganda, after contracting the disease in the DRC, died. Two died on Ugandan soil and the third in the DRC after being repatriated. In late July, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Uganda free from Ebola, with no other cases reported in the meantime.

The contaminated girl arrived at the Mpondwe crossing point on the DRC-Uganda border this week to seek medical help in Bwera, according to the Ugandan Ministry of Health. In Mpondwe, where Uganda has sanitary controls in place, medical teams have noted that Ebola-like symptoms include fever, generalized weakness, rash and unexplained blood loss in the mouth. , according to the same source.

Blood tests confirmed that she was “Ebola positive“. The Ministry pointed out that since it had been controlled at the border, it had not come into contact with anyone in Uganda.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever, highly contagious, causes the death of between 25% and 90% of patients, according to the WHO. There is no commercialized treatment or vaccine, but several leads are being tested. It is spread through direct contact with blood, body secretions (sweat, stool, etc.), through sexual intercourse and through the improper handling of contaminated cadavers.

A total of 2,006 people died of Ebola in the DRC in a year, and Ugandan authorities, who fear the virus is spreading in their country, have taken strict preventive measures. Nearly 18,000 people cross the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda daily, according to Ugandan government statistics.

Ebola hits South Kivu

A woman and her child were confirmed with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s South Kivu region this week, which outlines new challenges in defeating the outbreak.

Health officials expressed their concerns that the latest cases were registered more than 700 km south from the initial epicenter of the outbreak .

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the young woman (24) died, and her 7-month-old son, who is also confirmed to be infected with the Ebola virus, is receiving a relevant treatment.

Ebola disease has killed at least 1,900 people in Congo over the past year.

FGM victims need psychological aid

African survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM) say they are in need of mental health aid, and urged governments and charities to provide support for dealing with long-term trauma.

Survivors and activists from across the continent attending a summit on FGM and child marriage in Senegal this week said mental health should have been on the agenda.

Common in 28 African countries, FGM is often seen as a rite of passage and justified for cultural or religious reasons but can cause chronic pain, infertility and even death.

FGM typically involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia and is practiced on girls from infancy to adolescence, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating about 200 million women and girls have undergone the procedure.

World leaders pledged to end the practice under a set of global goals agreed in 2015.

Cut at 18 against her will, 29-year-old Lekumoisa said she has never received any services to help with the trauma.

 

WHO declines Ebola global alert

In a controversial decision, the World Health Organization (WHO) has again declined to declare Africas latest Ebola outbreak global alert, although the desease has killed more than 1400 people and just crossed into a new country.

It was the view of the committee that the outbreak is a health emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, but it does not meet all criteria,Preben Aavitsland, acting chair of an expert committee convened by WHO, said at a press conference  in Geneva, Switzerland.

The committee gathered for the third time after news emerged this week that the virus had spread from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to neighboring Uganda, so far claimed lives of two people there—a 5-year-old boy and his grandmother—who had crossed the border.

Many infectious disease experts and public officials had expected, and called for WHO to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) when Ebola broke out of the DRC.

*I’m baffled and deeply troubled by this decision,Lawrence Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.. “The status quo is no longer tenable. It is time to sound a global alert.”

Ebola fighters under attack

World Health Organization (WHO) said it feared continued “intense transmission” of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where deaths from a nine-month-old epidemic is 994 and expected to exceed 1,000 within hours.

The WHO plans to introduce an unlicensed new Ebola vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, in addition to a Merck vaccine already being used, as “another tool in the toolbox”, Dr. Michael RyanExecutive Director of the Geneva.WHO Health Emergencies Programme, told a news briefing in Geneva.

However security incidents continue to plague the response to the outbreak, including a would-be assault on a facility, slowing vaccination and daily checks on some 12,000 people potentially exposed to the virus,  Ryan underlined. Since January  there were 119 separate attacks, and 85 health personnel either injured or killed.

Violence contributes to Ebola outbreak in Congo

Militia violence in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has prevented aid workers from reaching some suspected cases in an outbreak of Ebola that has so far took lives of 44 people, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

At least 1,500 people are in high risk group exposed to the deadly virus in North Kivu province but the violence there prevents the officials from adequate measures to identify all the chains by which it is spreading in the east of the country.

“We don’t know if we are having all transmission chains identified. We expect to see more cases as a result of earlier infections and these infections developing into illness,WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said at a news briefing in Geneva.

The worst-case scenario is that we have these security blind spots where the epidemic could take hold that we don’t know about,” he said.

The WHO, using figures compiled with Congo’s Health Ministry, said confirmed and probable cases numbered 78 in total, including 44 deaths. About 1,500 people have been identified as contacts of infected  patients transmitting the disease, which causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

The outbreak is spreading across the lush farmlands of eastern Congo. Its epicenter is the town of Mangina in North Kivu province and it has already reached neighbouring Ituri province.

Congo has experienced 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered on the Ebola River in 1976, and it has altogether took away some 900 lives, according to registered cases.

Ebola spreads to DCR urban areas

The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo has spread from the countryside into urban areas, prompting fears that it will be difficult to control.

Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga confirmed a case in Mbandaka, a city of a million inhabitants at more than hundred kilometres distance from where the places where first outbreak was confirmed.

Mbandaka  is a busy transportation hub with routes to Kinshasa.

At least 44 people are considered to have been infected with Ebola and 23 deaths are being investigated.

Ebola, or haemorrhagic fever, is a serious viral illness that causes internal bleeding and usually proves fatal. It can spread rapidly through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid and its early flu-like symptoms are not always obvious. Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. The viruses that cause EVD are located mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. EVD spreads through direct contact with an infected animal, for example a bat or nonhuman primate,  or in most cases with a sick or dead human infected with Ebola virus.

At present there is no approved vaccine or treatment for EVD. Research on EVD focuses on finding the virus’ natural host, developing vaccines to protect at-risk populations, and discovering therapies to improve treatment of the disease. The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests. The 2014–2016 outbreak in West Africa involved major urban areas as well as rural ones.

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