Recurring epidemics in the WHO African Region: situation analysis preparedness and response
AbstractBACKGROUND 1. Countries in the WHO African Region continue to be affected by recurring epidemics of cholera, malaria, meningitis, measles and zoonotic diseases including viral haemorrhagic fevers, plague and dengue fever. The epidemics have significant impact on health and economic development in the Region. For example, in 2007, African countries experienced economic losses of US$ 60 million as a result of cholera.1 2. Conditions favouring recurring epidemics are prevalent in most Member States in the Region. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, underlying health conditions, limited public awareness of prevailing health risks, and weak health systems with limited capacity for timely identification and response to epidemics all contribute to the frequency and severity of epidemics. The inextricable link between humans and animals in Africa can lead to a serious risk to public health given that the majority of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases have originated from animals. Zoonoses such as Ebola, Marburg, lujo arenavirus, plague, yellow fever and H5N1 avian influenza are examples of diseases experienced in the African Region in recent years.
Regional Committee for Africa, 60. (2011). Recurring epidemics in the WHO African Region: situation analysis preparedness and response. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1681