Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 4 July 2017 [GPEI]
:: On 1 July 2017, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus began his five-year term as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new Director-General. In his introductory speech to WHO staff, he emphasised his commitment to seeing the last case of polio during his tenure.
:: The GPEI offers sincere thanks to polio eradication pioneer and leader Dr Margaret Chan, who has retired from her role as Director-General of WHO. Read more
:: The Korea Foundation for International Healthcare is supporting efforts to improve surveillance in one of the last remaining strongholds of the poliovirus. Read more
:: Ambassador Carole Lanteri, of the Permanent Mission of Monaco, handed over to Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative Mitsuko Shino, of the Permanent Mission of Japan, as co-chair of the Polio Partners Group in June. Read more
:: Summary of newly-reported viruses this week: Pakistan – two new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) positive environmental samples. Syria – 2 new circulating vaccine-derived type 2 polioviruses (cVDPV2) isolated from acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases and six new cVDPV2s isolated from contacts. See country-specific section below, for more details.
Weekly country updates as of 4 July 2017
Syrian Arab Republic
:: In Syria, two new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported in the past week, bringing the total of cVDPV2 cases to 24. All cases had onset of paralysis between 3 March and 28 May. Twenty-two of the cases are from Mayadeen district, Deir-Al-Zour governorate, and two cases are from Raqua and Talabyad districts, Raqua governorate. Additionally, six cVDPV2s were also isolated from contacts, all from Mayadeen district (collected in May and June).
:: Confirmation of these latest cases is not unexpected at this time and does not change the operational situation, as outbreak response plans are being finalized, in line with internationally-agreed outbreak response protocols. Although access to Deir-Al-Zour is compromised due to insecurity, the Governorate has been partially reached by several vaccination campaigns against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases since the beginning of 2016. Most recently, two campaigns have been conducted in March and April 2017 using the bivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV). However, only limited coverage was possible through these campaigns. In response to the isolation of cVDPV2 from Raqua governorate, the Syrian Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF is considering adding the area to the outbreak response. This is under discussion due to ongoing military operations.
WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 8 July 2017]
The Syrian Arab Republic
:: Syrian Arab Republic: Local health partners support referral of trauma patients from Deir-ez-Zor and Rural Ar-Raqqa to Al-Hasakeh governorate
5 July 2017, Damascus, Syria – One-year-old Mohamed was lying on a mattress near a window at his home in his village, 10 km west of Deir-ez-Zor, when an airstrike hit his neighbourhood. When his father heard the screaming, he rushed to help and saw that his son’s leg was badly injured. Mohamed needed urgent medical care, but what made things worse is that there was no functioning hospital nearby due to the ongoing conflict.
:: 400 tons of life-saving health supplies arrive in Yemen
2 July 2017 – Twenty ambulances, 100 cholera kits, hospital equipment and 128 000 bags of intravenous fluids – these are just some of the supplies which arrived in Hodeida, Yemen, Friday, as part of a 403-ton shipment sent by the World Health Organization (WHO). An additional 10 ambulances were delivered through the Port of Aden 3 weeks ago with 10 more due to arrive in coming weeks.
Iraq – No new announcements identified.
Nigeria – No new announcements identified.
South Sudan – No new announcements identified.
WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 8 July 2017]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: End of Ebola Outbreak in DRC: 2 July 2017
[See Milestones above for more detail]
Cameroon – No new announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new announcements identified.
Ethiopia – No new announcements identified.
Libya – No new announcements identified.
Myanmar – No new announcements identified.
Niger – No new announcements identified.
Ukraine – No new announcements identified
UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises.
:: The United Nations Condemns the attack at Kilo 60 in Anbar [EN/AR/KU]
(Baghdad, 3 July 2017) – The United Nations condemns unequivocally the attack yesterday by a suicide bomber at the Kilo 60 transit site, west of Ramadi, where 14 people were reportedly killed and 13 injured, most of whom were women and children…
Yemen – No new announcements identified
UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
:: Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 03 July 2017
:: DR Congo: Six months into the year, humanitarian actors struggle to scale up response due to low funding
Kinshasa, 7 July 2017: With half of its 26 provinces affected by armed violence, ethnic conflict, diseases and natural disasters, all this within a volatile regional context and amid historically low levels of funding, the first six months of 2017 have proven that the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains an unrelenting humanitarian crisis that is having a suffocating impact on millions of people…
:: Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia June 2017 | Issued on 05 July 2017
Nigeria – No new announcements identified.
Editor’s Note: Yemen’s cholera epidemic and OCV
We continue to monitor for updates on the decision to approve, and presumably use, one million doses of OCV from the stockpile for Yemen in mid-June. We have not identified any formal announcement of the original allocation decision, or any specific updates on the status of implementation on WHO, UNICEF or other agency websites.
In the Geneva Press Briefing of 7 July 2017, reporters asked several questions on the status of the OCV allocation decision and the plan for use in Yemen. The WHO spokesperson, Tarik Jasarevic, despite reporting another sharp increase in cholera cases and spread to a new governate in Yemen, was evasive at best, confirming that the “decision was made to approve one million doses for Yemen” but that a decision about actual use was “still being considered.” There was no timeline provided, discussion of issues, or other detail provided.
We provide a link to the video of Geneva Press Briefing below noting that the discussion on OCV occurs at about 41.00 during the WHO report. We were dismayed to find that transcript of the briefing does not include any mention of this exchange.
We are concerned that this represents a transparency issue at minimum…
Geneva Press Briefing: WMO, OHCHR, WHO, IOM, UNHCR, UNCTAD – 7 Jul 2017 –
Biweekly Geneva Press Briefing Chaired by Alessandra Vellucci, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva [Video: 56:35]
REGULAR PRESS BRIEFING BY THE INFORMATION SERVICE – 7 July 2017 [Transcript]
UNICEF [to 8 July 2017]
7 July 2017
Funding shortfalls threaten education for children living in conflict and disaster zones
HAMBURG, Germany/NEW YORK, 7 July 2017 – Funding shortfalls are threatening education for millions of children caught up in conflicts or disasters, UNICEF said today ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg.
Over 7 million children are on the move in West and Central Africa each year
DAKAR/NEW YORK, 5 July 2017 – Children account for over half of the 12 million West and Central African people on the move each year, with some 75 per cent of them remaining in sub-Saharan Africa, and less than one in five heading to Europe – UNICEF announced today as part of a new report.
We will cluster these recent emergencies as below and continue to monitor the WHO webpages for updates and key developments.
MERS-CoV [to 8 July 2017]
:: Managing contacts in the MERS-CoV outbreak in the Republic of Korea 1 July 2015
DONs- Disease Outbreak News
:: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia 6 July 2017