Epidemic prone diseases remain to be serious public health threats to Mem- ber States in the African region. In response to these threats, Member States through the adoption and implementation of the Integrated Diseases Surveil- lance and Response Strategy and the International Health Regulations, con- tinue to strengthen their public health emergency response systems and struc- tures. In this issue, a summary of acute public health events that occurred dur- ing the course of 2014 is provided
In this issue:
NOVEMBER 2014– JANUARY 2015 RAINFALL
The Southern African summer monsoon was very active over the eastern parts of SADC region with heavy rain mostly concentrated over Island States, southern Malawi, northern Mozambique,
Zambia and Zimbabwe during December 2014 and early January 2015.
Despite those wet spells which brought flooding in some countries, overall normal rainfall conditions were mostly observed in the region;
GIS - 21 January 2015: An Early Warning System for incoming storm surge, swells and tsunamis will be set up before the next cyclonic season which will start from 15 November 2015. The project will be financed by the Global Environment Fund jointly with the UNDP.
The ministers of health and private sector representatives of the countries of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) agreed on 15 January to establish a health trust fund to sustain the response to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Les Ministres de la Santé et des représentants du secteur privé des pays de la Communauté de développement de l'Afrique australe (SADC) se sont mis d'accord le 15 janvier sur la création d'un fonds fiduciaire pour la santé afin de pérenniser la riposte au sida, à la tuberculose et au paludisme. Les participants au tout premier dialogue officiel entre les Ministres de la Santé de la SADC et le secteur privé, organisé à Victoria Falls, au Zimbabwe, en marge de la Réunion conjointe des Ministres de la Santé et des Ministres chargés du VIH et du sida de la SADC, sont tombés …
GIS - 19 January 2015: The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre submitted a report to give an overview of the situation prevailing in the country following the passage of Cyclone Bansi.
According to the report a total of 1,400 refugees attended the 14 refugee evacuation centres opened throughout the country. A bridge had partly collapsed at Notre Dame, and there were landslides at Kewal Nagar, and at Camp Thorel, there was an access problem at the bus terminal. Appropriate remedial action is being taken, the reports also mentions.
Mauritius - Tropical Cyclone BANSI
• BANSI passed off the north-eastern coast of Rodrigues early in the morning of 16 January, as an intense Tropical Cyclone.
• Heavy rainfall and strong winds have affected the island and may continue for the next 12 h.
• In the next 48h it is forecast to continue moving south-east over the Indian Ocean, weakening.
Madagascar - Tropical Cyclone CHEDZA
• Heavy rainfall has been affecting southeastern Africa since December 2014, causing floods in large parts of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, as well as in central Madagascar.
• As of 13-15 January, nearly 70 000 people have been displaced in Malawi, while over 48 000 have been affected in Mozambique, 6 000 in Zimbabwe and 3 211 in Madagascar. On 13 January, the president of Malawi has appealed to the international community for assistance.
• Tropical Cyclone BANSI moved eastsoutheast over the south-western Indian Ocean on 12 January, significantly strengthening, becoming a very intense Tropical Cyclone.
• On 13 January at 6.00 UTC, it had max. sustained winds of 241 km/h and its centre was located over water, approx. 300 km north of the island of Mauritius.
Madagascar In Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, high river levels have decreased, and most of the estimated 1,000 people evacuated have returned to their homes without major damage being reported. However, an alert remains in place.
On 7 January, supporters of the governing Patriotic Front (PF) and the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) clashed in the provincial town of Mongu.
This map presents the estimated total rainfall accumulation for Madagascar and Mauritius covering the period from 07 to 11 January 2015. This total estimate was derived from the Tropical Rainfall Monitoring Mission (TRMM) precipitation dataset at a spatial resolution of approximately 0.25 degrees for this region. It is possible that precipitation levels may have been underestimated for local areas, and is not a substitute for ground station measurements.
• Tropical Cyclone BANSI formed in the south-west Indian Ocean on 11 January and started moving southeast and then east, significantly strengthening. On 12 January at 6.00 UTC it had max. sustained winds of 185 km/h and its centre was located over sea, approx. 355 km north-west of the island of Mauritius.
The newly formed Tropical Cyclone Bansi is forecast to pass about 200 km north-east of Mauritius around 15 January, possibly as a powerful Category 4 Tropical Cyclone with associated sustained wind speeds of 209-251 km/h. While not predicted to make landfall, heavy rains and strong winds can be expected to start impacting Mauritius imminently. The French territory of Réunion Island has also already issued an alert.
The benefits of strengthening disaster preparedness are cost effectiveness and the delivery of effective humanitarian response.
Countries in the region have varying levels of preparedness.
Mozambique and Madagascar are most exposed to tropical cyclones.
Southern Africa currently hosts more than half a million people of concern. At the end of 2013, they included approximately 136,000 refugees, 278,000 asylum-seekers and nearly 1,700 returnees.