Zimbabwe Humanitarian Situation Report Issue no. 2, Feb 2006

Update on cholera outbreak
A fresh cholera outbreak has occurred in Hopley Farm but figures of reported cases and deaths are yet to be confirmed. The outbreak is on going in Epworth, Gokwe South, Kwekwe, Makoni, Chimanimani and Buhera. No more new cases have been reported for Chikomba.

The World Health Organization intervened by providing technical support in areas such as case management (treatment of cases), lab confirmation, health education, contact tracing, surveillance and practicing infection control procedures at treatment camps to prevent the spread of the disease among health staff and patients/relatives.

In Epworth, WHO supported outbreak control efforts by supplying the following: 500 Oral Rehydration Solution sachets, 100m ground sheeting for tents, 3 x 10 men tents, electric generator with codes and accessories, 5 x 25kg chloride of lime, 20,000 aqua tabs, 15 cholera beds, 2x20 litres sodium hypochlorite, 5 camping chairs, 2 camping tables, 2,000 capsules doxycycline, 1,000 capsules erythromycine, 4 gas lamps, 3 boxes gloves each containing 50 pairs, 2 x boxes 22 gauge cannulars, 2 x boxes 24 gauge cannulars, 4 x 125 litre water containers with taps and 4x water containers without taps, and pamphlets/posters for health promotion.

Food aid from WFP

In January, more than 3.3 million beneficiaries received 36,890 MT of cereals and pulses under the Vulnerable Group Feeding programme (VGF) at more than 1100 food distribution points throughout the country. Through the VGF programme, WFP provided temporary food packages consisting, on average, of 10 kgs of maize and 1 kg of pulses to beneficiaries in the most food insecure households in 37 districts. WFP is assisting 42 percent of the rural population of the country through the VGF, with a separate NGO food pipeline assisting an additional 12 percent. WFP also reached 608,000 people in January through school feeding and support for orphans, home based care and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV programmes. Also, WFP is providing food support to an estimated 47,900 urban residents affected by the government's clean-up operations.

WFP and cooperating partner staff conduct daily post distribution monitoring and verification exercises in the 37 rural districts. The process seeks to make sure all the people meeting the targeting criteria receive food aid. Following the outbreak of cholera, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare officials advised WFP and its cooperating partners to suspend school feeding activities in certain parts of the country to prevent the spread of the disease. On January 20, the City Health Department officials suspended school feeding programmes in Harare until further notice.

WFP has received US$ 732,038 ECHO funds for a capacity building project for WFP Cooperating Partners. A series of programme management trainings are planned over the next six months to facilitate timely delivery of food assistance.

Localized floods continue

Floods have affected about 50 families in Gokwe South, Midlands province. The floods caused by incessant rains over the past week destroyed houses and roads rendering some areas inaccessible. The Department of Civil Protection carried out a rapid assessment and sourced plastic sheeting to provide temporary shelter for some of the affected families. A detailed damage and needs completed and OCHA has put a vehicle and personnel on stand by to participate in the assessment being planned by the Civil Protection Unit (CPU). OCHA contacted partners like IOM who have tents to get them ready for shelter assistance once requested following the CPU call for humanitarian actors to be alert.

(pdf * format - 1.21 MB)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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