Southern Africa Weekly Update (20 - 27 February 2017)
An outbreak of fall armyworm, a new pest in the region, has been reported in Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland. Regionally, around 330,000 ha of staple crops (especially maize) have been affected. The remaining SADC mainland countries remain at high risk.
Tropical Storm Dineo caused widespread damage in Mozambique. Preliminary information suggest that around 551,000 people have been affected, with 33,700 houses destroyed. The Humanitarian Country Team is preparing a Flash Appeal.
In Malawi, at least 22,700 households (114,000) have been affected by storms, and floods since November last 2016, with around 500 ha of crops destroyed.
Localized floods have also been reported in Zimbabwe. More rains are expected over the region over the next 10 days.
Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF)
A CCHF death has been confirmed in east-central Namibia, with two more cases under investigation. Authorities say the situation is under control. The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MHSS), Veterinary Services and WHO is on the ground to undertake an outbreak investigation. CCHF is endemic to the region: in neighboring South Africa, about 1 - 10 CCHF cases are diagnosed annually. About 20 to 25% of patients die:but the death rate can be 30 - 50% if patients do not receive proper medical attention. The tick-borne viral disease is primarily transmitted to people from livestock animals. Human to human transmission can occur as a result of close contact with blood and body fluids of an infected person.
Outbreaks continue to be reported in Tanzania, Angola, and Mozambique. New cases have been decreasing significantly in Tanzania, where an outbreak has been ongoing since December 2015. Only 20 new cases were reported between 06 and 12 February, compared to 299 cases between 23 and 29 January. Mozambique has seen a spike in recent cases, with 210 recorded over the past month. In Angola, the outbreak in the northern cities of Soyo and Cabinda is declining, according to the Ministry of Health, but cases have been reported in the capital Luanda – these are assumed to be linked with the Soyo outbreak.
Attacks on foreign nationals have broken out over recent weeks. On 24 February, an anti-foreigner march took place in the capital Pretoria with organizers accusing foreigners of crime and stealing jobs from South Africans.