Africa weekly emergency situation update Vol. 2, No. 15

Report
from World Health Organization
Published on 13 Apr 2009
General Context

Even though the water levels in Southern Africa is subsiding, humanitarian partners still fear more floods in Angola and Namibia because rains are continuing. Other major concerns are ongoing outbreaks of diseases notably cholera and meningitis.

Countries Situations

Acute Crises

Angola: More than 200,000 people are directly affected by the flood of which 52,646 are reported displaced in Cunene. 24 deaths are now reported. With rains and flooding expected to continue into the middle of May, concerns have been expressed about the risk of water-borne diseases. The number of cholera cases reported as of 04th April is 487 and 2 deaths (CFR 0.4%).

CAR: At least 20 people died and dozens were hurt on 12th April as farmers and traders clashed over stolen cattle with guns, knives and arrows. Bandits, rebel groups and government forces are all active in the region. Around 45,000 farmers have fled to neighbouring countries.

Chad: The security situation is still unpredictable. As of 1st April, 16,420 refugees from Central African Republic have been registered. Health needs have been provided. Meningitis outbreak has been declared by the MoH. At date, a total of 871 cases (since January 1) and 102 deaths have been reported (CFR:11.7%).

DRC: LRA rebels are still committing violent acts on civilians in the North East province. Several women and children were abducted last week and 4 people were killed in Aba. Population displacement reported in South Kivu due to the activities of FDLR rebels. OCHA DRC also raised concerns about increasing attacks on humanitarian workers in the North Kivu in 2009. Cholera: in Katanga, 51 new cases without death reported in week 14. In South Kivu, 74 new cases with 1 death reported in week 14.

Ethiopia: Overall political and social situation remains stable. In Borena Zone, schools were reported to be closed due to clashes between the Borena and the Geris clans. The food insecurity continues in Tigray, Amhara, Oromiya regions and most of Somali including Afar regions where vulnerable households are depending on food relief. Flooding in Shashemene woreda caused significant damage to residents. In week 14, 42 cases and 1 death of acute watery diarrhoea have been reported from Somali and Oromia Regions . Official records since week10 show a total of 270 cases and 1 death (CFR 0.3 %.).

Kenya: The social and political situation remained calm during the week. Cholera outbreak: Six of the eight provinces have reported cases. The worst affected districts are in Nyanza province. As at 8th April 2009, the total number of reported cholera cases has risen to 2,149 with 43 deaths (CFR = of 1.8%). WHO and Ministry of health Technical team are on the ground supporting the District teams and other.

Madagascar: The political situation remained uncertain. The tropical storm Jade that hit the country last week claimed 9 deaths, and 6 wounded. 36,319 were affected of which 4,090 remain homeless. 2,063 houses and 66 schools have been destroyed. Floods were reported in the affected areas.

Namibia: The last figure released by OCHA reports that 220,000 people have been affected by the flood in the country. More than 78,293 people had lost both the crops in their fields and those they had harvested. With rains and flooding expected to continue into the middle of May, the report expressed concern about the risk of water-borne diseases.

Niger: Meningitis remains the major concern. In week 14, a total of 1,139 cases with 50 deaths were reported. The cumulative number of cases is now 8,292 cases with 327 deaths (CFR of 3.9%) since January 2009. 20 districts are now affected with 15 in epidemic and 5 in alert.

Zambia: The Government is yet to declare a state of emergency following the floods which have wreaked havoc in the west and north-west of the country, affecting 700,000 people. With no sign of a let-up in the rainy weather, there are growing fears the flooding could worsen in the coming weeks.

Zimbabwe: Cholera cases are still being reported but a slight decline in the number has been noted. 81 Cases and 2 deaths reported on 10th of April compared to 137 cases and 0 deaths the day before. A total of 95,738 cases and 4,154 deaths (CFR: 4.3) have been reported as of 10th April 2009.

Countries Under Surveillance

Burkina Faso: Meningitis, from week 1 to 13, a total of 2,760 suspected cases with 373 deaths were reported (CFR:13.51%). Two districts (Kongoussi, Ziniare) have passed the alert threshold and one district ( Titao) the epidemic threshold. Funds have been received from CERF for the response.

Burundi: Rain-induced floods have displaced over 8,000 people in a commune north of Bujumbura and damaged at least 1,200 houses and crops.

Congo: We are monitoring the situation ahead of the July presidential election.

Guinea: The socio-political situation continues to improve. Four new suspected meningitis cases in the country reported bringing the total to 86 with 8 deaths and CFR of 9.3%.

Mozambique: The ongoing cholera outbreak has affected all the provinces. In week 13, a total of 756 new cases were reported. A cumulative 15,036 cases with 132 deaths (CFR: 0.9%) have been reported.

Uganda: No new update. The cumulative number of cases of hepatitis E registered is 9,772 with 151 deaths (CFR 1.5%).

Southern African Floods: Botswana, Malawi are under surveillance for the flood situation and its aftermath.

For more information please contact: Dr Omar Khatib, Programme Manager, EHA/AFRO email: khatibo@afro.who.int

MAP: Africa: Weekly Emergency Situation Update (as of 13 Apr 2009)