Africa weekly emergency situation update Vol. 2, No. 29

from World Health Organization
Published on 20 Jul 2009
General Context

Pandemic H1N1: WHO is very concerned by the rapid spread of the pandemic which has now claimed more than 700 lives worldwide. In our Region, no death has been reported so far but the number of confirmed cases and countries affected is rapidly increasing. As of 21st of July 2009, a total of 174 confirmed cases were reported from 12 countries. AFRO maintains its call to the member states to intensify surveillance.

Floods: We continue to monitor the floods in West Africa countries as we enter the rainy season. Other outbreaks of diseases notably meningitis in the meningitis belt is ongoing.

Country Situations

Acute Crises

Benin: There was no significant change in the flooding situation. Rains with heavy winds continue to move to the North. The about 2,000 displaced families are receiving assistance comprising of emergency kits and mosquito nets from WHO and the health cluster.

CAR: Continued insecurity in Birao (North-East) were farmers are still being attacked by rebels and bandits. The presence of the National Army has been reinforced with new military troops in Ndele (North-East).

Chad: Continued banditry attacks in the East. The meningitis outbreak is still ongoing in the eight districts of eastern Chad. In week 28, only one new suspect was reported which makes a cumulative total of 73 suspected cases with 6 deaths (CFR: 8%). Measles: 10 suspected cases were reported in eastern Chad in week 28 bringing the cumulative total to 1,153 cases with 11 deaths from week 1 to 28*.

DRC: MONUC shares the concerns of humanitarian community that civilians are bearing humanitarian consequences of the military actions to dismantle the FDLR rebels but also says that the suspension of theses operations will lead to a disaster in the region as the rebels will re-supply, regroup and prolong the rape, forced labor, looting and torture on civilians**. Cholera: In South Kivu, 60 new cases without death were reported in week 28 making a cumulative total of 4,326 cases with 63 deaths (CFR: 1.4%) from week 1 to 28 (after cleanup of database). In North Kivu, 58 new cases with 2 deaths of cholera were reported in week 28 making a total of 2,342 cases with 27 deaths (CFR: 1%)*.

Ethiopia: Nutrition: The number of estimated beneficiaries for food aid needs has been revised for the period June to December 2009 to 6.2 million people. Consequently, there is an expected increase of the needed quantity of food. The nutrition situation in Abaya district is critical with high level of severe malnutrition. Refugees: As of 15 July 2009, the number of newly-arrived refugees from Somalia registered in Dolo Ado stands at 10,346, of which 6,903 have been moved to the newly opened Boqolomayo camp. In total, there are approximately 100,000 refugees throughout the country, with new influxes continuing to arrive in Afar and Somali regions from Eritrea and Somalia. Acute Watery Diarrheoa (AWD): Cases continue to increase, according to the Federal Ministry of Health, 579 new cases of AWD and 11 deaths were reported from 5 regions in week 28; a cumulative total of 2,041 AWD cases and 34 deaths (CFR 1.7%) have been reported from Addis Ababa, Afar, Somali, Oromiya, Harari and SNNP Regions from 15th June to 12th July 2009*.

Kenya: The food security situation in Kenya remains precarious, with over 10 million people in need of emergency assistance. The long rains have failed in most parts of the country and staple food prices have increased. Drought in key pastoral areas in northern regions has worsened the situation and is creating instability and increased armed conflict among the local ethnic groups. Reports of massive mortality among livestock in the drought-affected regions are reported. Resource based clashes and Cattle rustling in the northern parts of Kenya among Boranas and Turkanas have continued over the week leading to several deaths and injuries. Cholera outbreak which affected 32 districts nationwide with a total of 4,269 suspected cases, 94 deaths (CFR: 2.2%) since January 2009. Influenza A, No new cases have been reported within the week*.