New challenges for yellow fever outbreak control in Angola

Luanda, 23 March 2016 – Two months after the first yellow fever cases were confirmed in the Viana municipality, Luanda province, the Angolan authorities and health partners involved in the outbreak response are facing new challenges with reports of local transmissions in other Provinces of the country. In spite of all the efforts made since 21 January 2016, ten out of the eighteen provinces in Angola continue reporting yellow fever cases with a a total of 459 confirmed cases and 178 deaths to date.

Suspected cases imported from Angola have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo,Kenya and China. Namibia and Zambia are on high alert due to the yellow fever outbreak in Angola.

To stop the outbreak, Angola developed a National Response Plan and a total of 6.4 million people were targeted for yellow fever vaccination in the Province of Luanda. To date, 87% of this target population has been vaccinated. A total of 7.355 million doses of yellow fever vaccines were made available with the support of WHO, the ICG (International Coordinating Group for yellow fever vaccine provision) and countries including Brazil and South Sudan.

With the new scenario, of local transmission outside Luanda, the national authorities and health partners  need to review the current National Response Plan, to identify critical actions and reinforce all the components of the response. This includes advocacy at a higher level to increase funding and expand the vaccination coverage in all concerned provinces; the improvement of case investigation and epidemiological surveillance, vector control and the intensification of social mobilization activities, in order to stop the further spreading of yellow fever cases within and outside Angola. Epidemiological surveillance investigation teams have been deployed in areas which reported local transmission.

Health partners, (inlcuding UNICEF, CDC/Atlanta, CORE Group, Médicins Sans Frontières, Medicos del Mundo, the National Red Cross of Angola, Religious organizations, the National Army, the National Police, other community-based organization National and international partners) continue their joint efforts to overcome the new challenges, including in the area of communication and social mobilization.

Dozens of volunteers and activists from local organizations like the National Red Cross, and other community based organization are also actively engaged in face-to-face communication. Informing and consulting the population in high risk areas.

Since the official statement announcing the confirmation of the current yellow fever outbreak, in Angola, on 21 January 2016, WHO has strengthened its technical support to the country through the deployment of around 65 experts in critical areas such as the coordination of the response, epidemiological surveillance, case investigation, entomological research, vector control, logistics, laboratory testing, data management, information technology, case management, and social mobilization.

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For further information, please contact:

Dr Jean-Marie Kipela, Tel: +244 941280588; Email: Este endereço de e-mail está protegido contra spambots. Você deve habilitar o JavaScript para visualizá-lo.
Dr François Nguessan, Tel: +244930443862; Email: Este endereço de e-mail está protegido contra spambots. Você deve habilitar o JavaScript para visualizá-lo.

Angola