Uganda Cholera Outbreak in Mbale District - DREF operation n° MDRUG025
CHF 132,137 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 22,000 of the most vulnerable beneficiaries out of the 111,287people in the affected divisions in the municipality and sub county of Mbale District.
Un-earmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
On 14 February 2012, a new occurrence of cholera outbreak was confirmed in Mbale Municipal council by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the district health authority. Mbale is the main municipal, administrative and commercial centre of Mbale District and the surrounding sub-region. Census estimates put the 2010 district population at approximately 410,300 and the population of affected areas at 111,287. Among these, some 22,000 individuals have been identified, who are considered to be at higher risk of contracting and spreading the disease.
Since the confirmation of the cholera epidemic outbreak in Mbale, the total cumulative number of infected persons currently stands at 67 with 2 reported deaths.
It was inevitable from the beginning of 2012 that there would be an outbreak of cholera in town after Mbale Municipal Council authorities failed to collect garbage in town and National Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) delayed repair of broken pipes in Mbale Municipality for people to access clean water. Due to the lack of water, flush toilets stopped functioning, people started defecating in rivers, bathing in rivers, utilizing unprotected wells and other sources of unsafe drinking water in the area. With the poor sanitation conditions currently prevailing and the lack of access to safe water for the communities, it is feared that the disease might spread further if not contained.
In response to this, the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS), through community-based volunteers in Mbale Branch, plans to utilize the Epidemic Control for Volunteers (ECV) toolkit to engage households on the most effective disease control methodologies. Coupled with media campaigns, these are expected to improve awareness about cholera and its control measures such as provision of safe water and facilitating proper environmental, food and personal hygiene. It will also facilitate improved community-based disease surveillance. Through targeted activities, it will also improve access to safe water, including water quality analysis and sterilization of wells and river water sources.
This proposed operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by 31 May 2012; a final report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by end August, 2012).