17 February 2017

Southern Africa: Yellow Fever Ends After Thousands of Deaths

Luanda — THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the end of the yellow fever that has killed over 400 people in the neighbouring Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the outbreak in December 2015, Angola reported a total of 4 306 suspected cases and 376 deaths. DRC reported 2 987 suspected cases and confirmed 16 deaths. The first cases in this outbreak were identified in Viana, Luanda Province, Angola. The outbreak spread to the entire country and to neighbouring country Democratic Republic of the Congo, where local transmission was established in March 2016. Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, commended the response to the outbreak. "We are able to declare the end of one of the largest and most challenging yellow fever outbreak in recent years through the strong and coordinated response by national authorities, local health workers and partners." More than 30 million people were vaccinated in the two countries in emergency vaccination campaigns. Over 41 000 volunteers and 8000 vaccination teams with more than 56 NGO partners were involved in the mass immunization campaigns. In addition to supporting mass vaccination campaigns, WHO and partners continue to provide support to Angola and DRC to strengthen disease surveillance, to control the spread of mosquitoes and engage communities to protect themselves. Climate change, the increased mobility of people within and across borders from rural to densely populated urban areas, and the resurgence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito are increasing the risk of yellow fever epidemics. - CAJ News

DRC reported 2 987 suspected cases and confirmed 16 deaths. The first cases in this outbreak were identified in Viana, Luanda Province, Angola. The outbreak spread to the entire country and to neighbouring country Democratic Republic of the Congo, where local transmission was established in March 2016. Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, commended the response to the outbreak. "We are able to declare the end of one of the largest and most challenging yellow fever outbreak in recent years through the strong and coordinated response by national authorities, local health workers and partners." More than 30 million people were vaccinated in the two countries in emergency vaccination campaigns. Over 41 000 volunteers and 8000 vaccination teams with more than 56 NGO partners were involved in the mass immunization campaigns. In addition to supporting mass vaccination campaigns, WHO and partners continue to provide support to Angola and DRC to strengthen disease surveillance, to control the spread of mosquitoes and engage communities to protect themselves. Climate change, the increased mobility of people within and across borders from rural to densely populated urban areas, and the resurgence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito are increasing the risk of yellow fever epidemics. - CAJ News

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