Côte d'Ivoire: Meningitis Outbreak DREF operation n° MDRCI005 Final Report
Summary: CHF 61,402 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Red Cross Society of Côte d’Ivoire (RCSCI) in delivering immediate assistance to 254,050 households.
On 9 January 2012, an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis was reported in the Central and Northern districts of Côte d'Ivoire.
According to the National Institute of Public Hygiene (Institut national d’hygiène publique --INHP) the epidemic was initially limited to only two locations; Tengrela and Bouaké, but spread later to almost all districts in the North (Tengrela, Boundiali, Korhogo, Ferke, Seguela, Bouna) as well as Bandama Valley Region in central Côte ’Ivoire.
By week 5 from when the outbreak was detected, the Institute reported 39 cases, including 6 deaths. In some localities in northern Côte d'Ivoire such as Kouto, there was a sharp increase in the number of reported cases from week 2 to week 4 of the outbreak.
Faced with this major epidemic, the Government of Côte d'Ivoire sought support from its partners to provide emergency response through the organization of vaccination campaigns against meningitis in epidemic areas.
The Red Cross Society of Côte d’Ivoire, as the lead agency in social mobilization in emergencies mobilized its volunteers in the affected districts to assist the Ministry of Health staff to conduct house to house health education, case tracing and cleaning up campaigns. The National Society intensified its humanitarian activities by mobilizing and training volunteers in the most vulnerable communities. The volunteers were equipped and deployed to carry out house-to-house sensitization activities on proper hygiene practices, risk factors, prevention and control of the disease, the importance of meningitis vaccination, symptoms identification, early referral to health facilities and other steps to take if a case is detected. The IFRC, through its delegation in Abidjan, (capital of Côte d’Ivoire), worked closely with the National Society by supporting its staff and volunteers in all activities and ensuring that management as well as operational issues were directed and implemented within the principles and core values of the Red Cross Movement. RCSCI received technical support from the West Coast Regional Representation of IFRC to develop a plan of action to scale up its humanitarian assistance to the affected communities.
With this microbiological evolution of the epidemic of meningitis provided by the Pasteur Institute Côte d’Ivoire, one can see the declining number of suspected cases and fewer new confirmed cases from the week 11, following the Red Cross intervention. This helps demonstrate the added value of the Red Cross action in the campaign of mass vaccination against the meningococcal meningitis in Northern Côte d’Ivoire.
The major donors and partners of the DREF include the Red Cross Societies and governments of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the USA, as well as DG ECHO, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) the Medtronic, Z Zurich and Coca Cola Foundations and other donors. Details of contributions to the DREF can be found on: http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/Active/MAA00010_2012.pdf.
The IFRC, on behalf of the Red Cross Society of Côte d’Ivoire, would like to extend thanks to all partners for their generous contributions.