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ICRC NEWS 04
** SHORT MENU....
SOMALIA: ICRC COMBATS CHOLERA OUTBREAK IN MOGADISHU: Although the deyr, the shorter of Somalia's two rainy seasons, should have long been over by now, rain continues to fall in areas hit by torrential downpours since last October.
Nairobi, January 28, 1998 -- Heavy rains caused by El Niño have exacerbated outbreaks of Rift Valley fever, cholera and malaria in Kenya's northeastern, eastern, central, coastal and Rift Valley provinces, as well as in southern Somalia, according to recent World Health Organization (WHO) reports. Rift Valley fever is a viral disease commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa. The virus is transmitted primarily by infected mosquitoes, other biting insects and occasionally by contact with the blood or body fluids of infected animals.
Although Rift Valley fever has been confirmed in the current outbreak affecting humans and livestock in Kenya and Somalia, it is evident that other causes have contributed to the high rate of haemorrhagic symptoms and deaths among both humans and animals.
NAIROBI : The World Food Programme warned
today that unless donors provide new funding it will be forced to
halt emergency airlifts and airdrops of food and other vital supplies to
1.1 million people cut off by floodwaters in remote areas of Kenya
Estimating that it will cost US$12 million to deliver by air an additional 16,000 metric tons of assistance between now and the end of March, WFP called on donors to make pledges immediately to avert the suspension of the air operations at the end of January. This is in addition to funds for food aid.
Press Release WHO/13
Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is widely distributed in Kenya and Somalia, primarily in animals but also in humans, World Health Organization (WHO) officials investigating the disease outbreak in the two countries say. The estimated number of deaths in Kenya is now 350-400. These deaths are concentrated in Kenya's Northeastern Province and in southern Somalia, where after a critical review of the data from Somalia, a revised count indicates that 80 deaths are suspected to be due to haemorrhagic fever.
BYLINE=SONYA LAURENCE GREEN
Revised 20 Jan 1998
New York, Jan. 16, 1998 -- A Lutheran World Relief grant of $20,000 is for flood victims in Somalia. Overflow of the Juba and Shabelle rivers has flooded villages in the surrounding areas, leaving people temporarily or permanently homeless. Most of the food traditionally stored underground has been destroyed and standing crops are rotting under water. Chances of a second planting are uncertain. Latrines have been flooded, dysentery is on the rise and a severe outbreak of malaria
An outbreak similar to that reported in
north-eastern Kenya has been reported in Somalia in the flooded area
delimited by the towns of Belet Weyne and Johar on the Shabelle River.
Four of 13 blood samples from suspected cases have been positive for RVF.
Rome, January 15 -- A serious outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in parts of northeastern Kenya and adjacent areas of Somalia
constitutes an international emergency, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today.
The mosquito-borne disease is reported to have already claimed nearly 400 human victims and thousands of animals have also died. The outbreak follows heavy rain and flooding in the affected area which is hampering efforts to establish the full extent of the outbreak.
The flooding in Somalia has so far caused 1,855 deaths. About one million people are still at risk. Diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory infections are widespread. Outbreaks of cholera have been confirmed in Mogadishu, Merca and Kismayo. The UN system, NGOs and bilateral donors are undertaking joint operations for relief and rehabilitation at least until June 1998. To date, $14.3 million has been raised for the flood victims. UNDP is offering logistical support and facilitating the coordination of the operation.