CERF provides $4 million to support unprecedented cholera outbreak in Chad

7 October 2011: The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has provided $4 million in life-saving funds towards reducing deaths and illness associated with cholera in Chad. Since January 2011, 13,804 cholera cases have been reported in the country.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received $2.3 million and the World Health Organization (WHO) received a further $1.8 million to reinforce emergency rapid response to the cholera outbreak. With CERF funds, more than 7 million individuals, or 70,000 households, will benefit in the geographic area of targeted implementation.

Since January 2011, Chad has registered more than 13,000 new cholera cases with 389 deaths reported in 36 of the country’s 61 health districts. The persistence of cholera cases during the dry season indicates that cholera is now present in an endemic form in some regions of Chad, as confirmed by epidemiological studies conducted by international NGOs in 2010, and by UNICEF in August 2011.

As cholera cases have been reported in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun and Chad, the current cholera outbreak in Chad is considered a regional public health issue requiring coordinated surveillance and response among these four countries. The current epidemiological profile and projections show that the scale of the 2011 cholera epidemic in Chad will be unprecedented in the country.

In response, UNICEF has already initiated partnerships with local NGOs, the Chadian Red Cross and international NGOs to implement sanitation and awareness-raising activities in communities at risk. In addition, UNICEF provides water and sanitation materials and health kits to the Ministry of health on a regular basis. These ongoing activities will be strengthened and new activities will be implemented in partnership with national authorities.

The World Health Organization project will be implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health, local communities and in close collaboration with NGOs involved in cholera case management. The project will strengthen the on-going emergency response, extended case management activities to all affected districts and will focus on underserved health districts.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.