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Gabon - Diphtheria outbreak 2024

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    Ntem (department)


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    Bitam: 3 cases of diphtheria detected

    February 12, 2024 at 11:19 a.m.

    Diphtheria is a respiratory infection caused by bacteria that affects the mucous membranes, especially those of the upper respiratory tract. After the discovery of 3 suspected cases of diphtheria during the month of December in Bitam, capital of the Ntem department, a delegation from the Ministry of Health went to the Woleu-Ntem province. Objective, to evaluate the capacity to manage cases of possible illnesses.

    It is with the aim of strengthening community communication around diphtheria that a delegation of agents from the Ministry of Health went to Oyem, capital of the Woleu-Ntem province, on Wednesday February 7, 2024. Led by the head of mission, Phillipine Awowono, this investigative mission will provide an exact vision of the epidemiological situation of this respiratory disease after the detection of 3 people in Bitam in December 2023.

    Low national vaccination coverage rate

    In order to make up for the vaccination delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health initiated a vast vaccination catch-up operation in 2021 across the country as part of the expanded vaccination program . Which operation made it possible to vaccinate children aged 0 to 11 against diphtheria, measles, tetanus, whooping cough and hepatitis B. However, despite this health campaign, Gabon is still among the 21 countries at risk regarding diphtheria, particularly due to its low national vaccination coverage rate.

    Thus, following the three suspected cases of diphtheria identified in Bitam who died from this infection, it would be wise for the Ministry of Health to deploy agents to inform and raise awareness among the population on the importance of vaccination and the risks linked to non-vaccination of children through local communication. Diphtheria is a fatal disease, and the World Health Organization (WHO) recalls that vaccination is a key element of primary health care and an indisputable human right that is essential to prevent and combat outbreaks of infectious diseases.

    La diphtérie est une infection respiratoire  causée par une bactérie qui affecte les muqueuses, surtout celles des voies respiratoires supérieures.

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    started a topic Gabon - Diphtheria outbreak 2024

    Gabon - Diphtheria outbreak 2024


    Week 4: 22- 28 January 2024
    Data as reported by: 17:00; 28 January 2024

    All events currently being monitored
    by WHO AFRO



    Grade 2
    Date notified to WCO 23-Jan-24
    Start of reporting period 1-Dec-23
    End of reporting period 25-Jan-24

    Total cases 1
    Cases Confirmed 1
    Deaths 1
    CFR 100.0%

    On 23 January 2024, Cameroon reported a confirmed case of Diphtheria. The affected individual is a 9-year-old male from Bitam Health District in Gabon. The onset of symptoms occurred on 1 December 2023, and he sought medical consultation on 3 December 2023 in the Enongal health area, Ebolowa health district in Cameroon. The person died on 7 December 2023. The sample tested positive for Diphtheria on 23 January 2024.

    This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African region. This week’s articles cover: Rift Valley Fever in Kenya Measles in Mauritania Lassa Fever in Nigeria