Eastern and Southern Africa: Communicable Diseases Snapshot (as of 15 August 2016)

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 15 Aug 2016

Regional overview

The Southern and Eastern Africa region has been impacted by simultaneous disease outbreaks, including yellow fever, cholera and Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD), measles, and chikungunya. On top of this, spikes in malaria cases are reported in Burundi, South Sudan and eastern DRC. Of all the outbreaks, AWD and cholera are of biggest concern. There are over 60,000 suspected cases in the region to date, and active transmission is ongoing in Kenya, Tanzania, DRC, Zambia, Ethiopia and Somalia. Yellow Fever continues to be a continental threat. Angola is facing the largest yellow fever outbreak in recent history with 3,552 suspected cases up to 30 May. In DRC, the Government declared an epidemic in 3 provinces with 1,339 suspected cases.

Angola / DRC border

To contain the Yellow Fever outbreak, over 18 million vaccines have been delivered to date in Angola and DRC. A follow-up vaccination campaign targeting 6-7 million people on the border of Angola and DRC with full doses and 10 million people in Kinshasa with 1/5 doses is planned. Although significant gains were made, vaccination campaigns need to be acceler- ated in places with high density or movement of people. Lack of funding and delays in the deployment of Portuguese speaking staff are hindering the scaling-up of the response. WHO has also warned that the global stockpile of vaccines may not be sufficient if simultaneous outbreaks hit densely populated areas.

Somali cluster

The Somali cluster is facing concurrent Chikungunya, Dengue Cholera/AWD and Measles outbreaks. The impact of these diseases is compounded by high multi-dimensional poverty, food insecurity and high malnutrition levels, displacement, conflict, lack of clean drinking water and weak social services. The governments, together with humanitarian partners, have been able to significantly reduce the number of cases of Chikungunya and Cholera in recent weeks: for example cases in Mandera have decreased from 70 Cholera cases to two and 129 to zero Chikungunya cases. However, sustained disease surveil- lance, WASH and Vector Control and weak social services remain a concern in effectively addressing recurrent disease outbreaks in the area.

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