Angola + 4 more

Health Action in Crises - Highlights No. 284, 28 Dec - 10 Jan 2010

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Each week, the World Health Organization Health Action in Crises in Geneva produces information highlights on critical health-related activities in countries where there are humanitarian crises. Drawing on the various WHO programmes, contributions cover activities from field and country offices and the support provided by WHO regional offices and headquarters. The mandate of the WHO departments specifically concerned with Emergency and Humanitarian Action in Crises is to increase the effectiveness of the WHO contribution to crisis preparedness and response, transition and recovery. This note, which is not exhaustive, is designed for operational use and does not reflect any official position of the WHO Secretariat.

SOMALIA

Assessments and Events

- Based on reports gathered from health partners, the recent fighting in Dhuusa Mureeb in Galgaduud caused an estimated 150 deaths and 81 injuries. Between 10 000 and 12 000 people have been newly displaced in Elbur District, of which most are women, children and older people IDPs. The main health concerns are lack of safe drinking water, sanitation and shelter as well as increased risk of acute respiratory infection and acute watery diarrhoea.

- Between 21 and 26 December, Banadir Hospital reported 70 cases of acute watery diarrhoea, bringing the total number reported since 12 October to 766. Of these, 86% were children under five. Eighteen deaths were reported during that period, and children under two accounted for 83% of all (CFR 2.35%). One of seven samples tested positive for Vibrio cholera.

- During the same period, the seven districts of Lower and Middle Jubba under surveillance reported 86 cases and no deaths, of which 27% were notified in Kismayo District. The 35 health facilities in Lower Shabelle reporting to the surveillance system notified 23 cases and no deaths.

- Nutritional surveys completed in October-November indicate a sustained nutritional crisis in Central Somalia with Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) levels significantly above the emergency threshold of 15%.

Actions

- In Banadir Hospital, WHO is analysing the records of AWD cases. The hospital serves a substantial IDP population.

- WHO continues to monitor health services for conflict-affected communities in Kismayo and surrounding areas, and is ready to provide necessary medicines and supplies.

- In Galguduud, WHO is assessing with partners the needs of affected communities and the number of reported casualties. Merlin pre-positioned medical supplies in the area through the HRF, and WHO will provide additional support as required.

- WHO sent 2 basic units of the Inter-Agency Emergency Health Kit to Trocaire in Luuq (Gedo Region) for the hospitals in Luuq and Elbon. The supplies provide enough for 2000 people for 3 months.

- WHO visited Hudur and Tieglow (Bakool Region), Buale (Middle Jubba) and two health facilities in Warsheikh (Middle Shabelle) to assess access to services and follow up on communicable diseases in conflict-affected populations. WHO also visited the hard-to-reach area of Labatunjerow, in Bay Region, to assess health service provision for conflict-affected communities.

- WHO participated in the FSNAU survey to assess levels of malnutrition in Lower and Middle Jubba.

- WHO's emergency activities are funded by the CERF and the Humanitarian Response Fund.