vaccination coverage is still insufficient (weekly health update in Africa)

vaccination coverage is still insufficient (weekly health update in Africa)

(Ecofin Agency) – While the measles epidemic continues in South Africa, in South Kivu (DRC) nearly 300 cases of cholera have been detected. At the same time, the WHO takes stock of the situation of yellow fever in Africa, and calls for more vaccination…

Yellow fever: the situation in Africa in 2022

In 2022, 12 countries in the WHO African region reported outbreaks of yellow fever (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Uganda), according to a recent update on yellow fever in the region, published by WHO. Eight of these countries have seen continued transmission since 2021 (Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Ghana, Nigeria and Republic of Congo) and four countries are reporting confirmed cases recently (Kenya, Niger, Sierra Leone and Uganda), it says. One country, Gabon, reported cases in 2021, but no further cases were recorded in 2022, indicating the end of the epidemic in Gabon.

Evolution since 2021

From 1 January 2021 to 19 December 2022, a total of 203 confirmed cases and 252 probable cases with 40 deaths (CFR 9%) were reported to WHO by 13 countries in the WHO African Region, with 49 specimens additional plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) positives currently awaiting classification.

Vaccination coverage challenges

Also according to WHO estimates, overall yellow fever vaccination coverage in the African region is not sufficient to ensure mass immunity. Thus, in 2021, the routine yellow fever vaccination coverage in the African region for childhood vaccinations was 48%, which is well below the 80% threshold required to confer population immunity against yellow fever. This suggests, according to experts from the UN agency, the presence of an underlying population susceptible to yellow fever and a risk of continued transmission.

Vaccination coverage by country

In 2021, vaccination coverage was estimated in some countries monitored as follows: Chad (45%), Cameroon (54%), Congo (67%), Côte d’Ivoire (65%), Gabon (64%), Ghana ( 94%), Kenya (7%), Niger (80%), Nigeria (63%), Central African Republic (41%), Democratic Republic of Congo (56%), and Sierra Leone (85%).

Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever that is transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

South Africa: a measles epidemic with more than 200 cases

In South Africa, there are now more than 200 cases (227 cases in all provinces until December 17), as part of the measles epidemic, which has been going on for several months in the southern country. The information comes from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). In detail, 216 cases have been reported in five provinces where the outbreak was declared, namely Limpopo (110 cases), Mpumalanga (64 cases), North West (27 cases), Gauteng (10 cases) and Free State ( 5 cases). Measles is spread from person to person through breathing, coughing or sneezing. Its signs and symptoms include a rash, high fever, and cough, runny nose, or red, watery eyes. People can spread measles up to 4 days before and 4 days after getting a rash. Although rare, complications can occur, such as pneumonia, and even lead to death.

South Kivu (DRC): nearly 300 cases of cholera

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a total of 296 cholera cases including 6 deaths have been recorded over the past month in Ruzizi health zone, located in the south of South Kivu province, sources say. local. ” From week 47 to date, this area has already recorded more or less 296 cases. Most of the cases come from the Nazareno health area in the refugee transit camps. This is the consequence of a low supply of drinking water and non-compliance with hygiene measures explains Togera Étienne, communications officer for the Ruzizi health zone.

The health actor pleads in particular for the rehabilitation of the water installations of Regideso (Congolese public company, responsible for the distribution of drinking water) which were damaged by the overflow of water from the river.

Note that the cholera epidemic continues to claim victims in several regions of the province of South Kivu, as well as in North Kivu. Last week, at least 5 inmates died of cholera at Kamituga central prison in Mwenga territory. In all, during the first 11 months of 2022, 14,145 suspected cases of cholera including 247 deaths (lethality of 1.7%) were recorded in 97 health zones spread across the country, in 17 provinces.

Madagascar: plague deaths are reported

On the Big Island, the plague is reported, especially near the capital Antananarivo. About 75 km from the metropolis of 1.7 million inhabitants, in Ambohimiadana, Antsaharatsy, commune of Ampanotokana, three people died on Tuesday after being sick. Three other people had to be hospitalized, including a young man who is in critical condition. In the locality, the directors of the schools decided to temporarily close the classes as a precaution.

In total, the number of potential victims in this locality amounts to 5, including the parents of one of the three people identified on Tuesday. Note that regional director of health in the region of Anamanga, was removed from office in the Council of Ministers, thus regretting not being able to give any information on this situation in Ampanotokana. An investigation is announced by the Ministry of Health.

Ayi Renaud Dossavi

Read also:

Lassa fever, Ebola and Covid-19: Africa’s weekly health update

Vaccines, measles and ebola: the weekly health update in Africa

WHO renames MonkeyPox, DRC vaccinates against yellow fever in South Kivu: the weekly health update in Africa

Ebola down in Uganda, dengue fever in Senegal, HIV in the DRC: the weekly health update in Africa

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