Namibia has been experiencing an outbreak of cholera since Nov 2013, previously largely confined to northern regions. The situation in particularly hard-hit Kunene was said to have been brought under control on 20 January 2014. However, additional cases with some fatalities were recorded in Kunene, as well as Otjozondjupa and Oshana regions in the last week.
On 5 Feb 2014, the first case of cholera was recorded in Katutura on the edge Windhoek, although it was confirmed that this is a different unrelated strain of cholera to that in the north. The number of cases in Windhoek fitting the case surveillance definition of acute watery dihorrea has grown to 32, with 2 fatalities (Case Fatality Rate of 6.3% for Katutura, Windhoek).
Khomas Regional Council and the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) are coordinating a response in conjunction with United Nations and Namibia Red Cross Society partners to prepare in the event of a serious cholera outbreak.
Priorities include the establishment of 4 Cholera Treatment Centres (CTCs) and the procurement of key items including oral rehydration solution, water purification tablets and medicines. Partners are working with an estimated population of 200,000 in Katutura, highly at risk of coming into contact with the Vibrio cholera bacteria. A minimum of 3 million litres of clean water per day could potentially be required if a major outbreak occurs in this population.
The World Health Organisation, UNICEF, OCHA and the Namibia Red Cross Society are linking together to identify areas of support for the response in accordance with the requests from Khomas Regional Council and MoHSS.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.