Health Action in Crises - Highlights No. 219, 28 Jul to 03 Aug 2008
Assessments and Events
- More than 50 000 people in seven countries have been affected by floods so far. - In Togo, the southern prefectures of the Plateaux and the Maritime region are affected by floods. Five people have died and many need to be evacuated. Several bridges were washed away, and access to the affected areas is difficult. Authorities request assistance from the international community.
- In Niger, the floods which have killed 12 people and affected almost 27 000 in Zinder and Dosso will increase the transmission of malaria. Although the cholera outbreak has abated and no cases have been reported in the last two weeks, the heavy rains could stir it up. As of 14 July, 540 cases and 52 deaths (CFR 9.8%) cases had been reported. Global acute malnutrition is at 10.7% nationwide.
- In Benin, heavy rains have caused floods in Cotonou and neighbouring areas, affecting at least 150 000 people. There are justified fears of greater risk for malaria, diarrhoeas, and respiratory infections, especially among children.
- In Burkina Faso, floods have killed 33 people. Meanwhile, meningitis continues to be a threat: between 14 and 20 July, 19 suspected cases and three deaths were notified. As of 20 July, 9677 cases were registered with 953 deaths (CFR 9.8%).
- In Liberia and in Sierra Leone, the waters of last week's floods (in Monrovia and Freetown, respectively) are receding. Floods have also killed 32 persons in Ghana, 41 in Nigeria, six in Mali and two in Mauritania.
- In Togo, the Government activated a national emergency plan. WHO participated in the Government/UN assessment to the flood-affected town of Atakpame. The WHO African Regional Office contributed US$ 45 000 for the immediate purchase of drugs and supplies. A joint assessment is planned for the Maritime region.
- In Niger, WHO provided two emergency health kits including cholera and malaria drugs and supplies to support the response of the regional Government and MSF. WHO continues to support surveillance, coordination and control. The national polio immunization days were carried out despite the floods.
- In Benin, the MoH and health partners, supported by WHO, are responding to the floods by ensuring greater availability of supplies for household hygiene, impregnated bed nets and essential drugs and by strengthening disease control. Measles immunization and distribution of vitamin A are planned for children in communities displaced by the floods.
- WHO's relief and recovery activities in the sub-region are funded by the WHO regular budget, Ireland, Norway, Spain, ECHO and UNHCR. Norway has pledged additional medicines, supplies and funds for Niger.