With COVID-19 science now doubling every 20 days and new guidance being published daily by WHO, health workers face the challenge of keeping up with constantly evolving information related to this disease. To support them, the WHO Academy has created an app that delivers a wide range of COVID-19 knowledge resources developed by WHO directly to their mobile phones and tablets. The app includes up-to-the-minute guidance, tools, training, and virtual workshops to support health workers in caring for patients with COVID-19 and in protecting themselves as they do their critical work. User-friendly and easily accessed in almost any area with mobile phone service, the free app is available in seven languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
More information on the WHO Academy and its COVID-19 mobile learning app for health workers can be found at www.academy.who.int
COVID-19 and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control
Dear friends and colleagues,
We have recently wrapped up an historic 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA73), the first-ever held virtually, where delegates adopted a landmark resolution to bring the world together and fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has indeed dominated the global health conversation, and with good reason. Difficult days lie ahead, but hopeful ones do as well. We will need to work together to rebuild families, communities and entire health and economic systems in a shared vision of our own humanity.
As part of our responsibility to provide normative guidance to countries, a wide range of guidance documents have been published to ensure that women continue to receive the services they require.
- WHO Consolidated Guideline on Self-Care Interventions for Health
- Q&A: Self-care interventions for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and COVID-19
- Gender and COVID-19 Advocacy Brief
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and Sexual and Reproductive Health
On the margins of WHA73, I joined civil society, youth, multilateral and government representatives to participate in a webinar hosted by the Alliance for Gender Equality called “Grounding Health Systems in Gender Equality to Achieve Universal Health Coverage" (see video above). We know that the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) agenda is at the heart of promoting gender equality, and it is a fundamental part of achieving gender-responsive universal health coverage (UHC). In the face of the current COVID-19 crisis, it is more important than ever to maintain a focus on gender-responsive UHC and SRHR to build back stronger health systems than ever before.
Read the report: COVID-19 significantly impacts health services for noncommunicable diseases
Dr Nono Simelela
ADG, Special Adviser to the Director-General on Strategic Programmatic Priorities
The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced today that a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease is occurring in Wangata health zone, Mbandaka, in Équateur province. The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world’s largest measles outbreak.
Initial information from the Ministry of Health is that six Ebola cases have so far been detected in Wangata, of which four have died and two are alive and under care. Three of these six cases have been confirmed with laboratory testing. It is likely more people will be identified with the disease as surveillance activities increase.
“This is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Although much of our attention is on the pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies.”
This is the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 11th outbreak of Ebola since the virus was first discovered in the country in 1976. The city of Mbandaka and its surrounding area were the site of Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 9th Ebola outbreak, which took place from May to July 2018.
“It’s happening at a challenging time, but WHO has worked over the last two years with health authorities, Africa CDC and other partners to strengthen national capacity to respond to outbreaks,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “To reinforce local leadership, WHO plans to send a team to support scaling up the response. Given the proximity of this new outbreak to busy transport routes and vulnerable neighbouring countries we must act quickly.”
WHO is already on the ground in Mbandaka supporting the response to this outbreak, as part of capacity built during the 2018 outbreak. The team supported the collection and testing of samples, and reference to the national laboratory for confirmation. Contact tracing is underway. Work is ongoing to send additional supplies from North Kivu and from Kinshasa to support the government-led response. A further 25 people are expected to arrive in Mbandaka tomorrow. WHO is also working to ensure that essential health services are provided to communities despite these emergency events.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 10th outbreak of Ebola, in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces, is in its final stages. On 14 May 2020, the Ministry of Health began the 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of that outbreak.
New outbreaks of Ebola are expected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo given the existence of the virus in an animal reservoir in many parts of the country.
Note to Editors - key figures
COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- As of 31 May 2020: 3195 cases have been reported, including 72 deaths.
Measles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Since 2019: 369 520 measles cases and 6779 deaths have been reported.
Recent Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
11th outbreak: Mbandaka, Équateur province.
- Ongoing. Declared on 1 June 2020.
- 6 cases (3 confirmed, 3 probable). Of those, 4 people died and 2 are alive
10th outbreak: North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces
- Ongoing. Declared on 1 August 2018.
- 3463 cases (3317 confirmed and 146 probable). Of these, 2280 people died and 1171 survived.
9th outbreak: Mbandaka, Équateur province.
- Declared on 8 May 2018 and ended on 24 July 2018.
- 54 cases (38 confirmed and 16 probable). Of those, 33 died and 21 survived.