Africa weekly emergency situation update No. 28

from World Health Organization
Published on 22 Sep 2008
General Context

Our region continues to face political crises leading to insecurity, displacement of populations. The fighting continues to the Eastern DRC while in Zimbabwe the power sharing talk has ended abruptly. Many countries face disease outbreaks and malnutrition following food crisis. WHO is providing technical support in many countries in crisis.

Countries Situations

Acute Crises

- CAR: Security situation tenser in the North-West. Clashes were reported between the National Army (FACA) and the rebels of ARPD (Popular Army for the Restoration of Democracy). Displacements of populations in villages near the areas of confrontation.

- Chad: The security situation of the east is still unpredictable. The Hepatitis E outbreak in the IDPs camp of Dogdore is still ongoing with 7 new cases reported in week 37 bringing the total to 1,036 cases with 10 deaths. WHO is supporting surveillance and response activities.

- DRC: The security situation in both North Kivu and South Kivu provinces is still tense. Fighting continue between Congolese army troops and members of the rebel National Congress for the the People's Defence (CNDP). Since August 28 the fightings have forced the displacement of an estimated 100,000 people. The humanitarian emergency in the east could have a deep negative impact on food production, provoking a lack of food in the region and difficulties in the rest of the country because among the displaced people there are thousands of farmers that are fleeing from the areas of combat.

- Ethiopia: Increasing food insecurity and malnutrition in some areas continue to challenge humanitarian response activities. In most zones of Somali and Oromia Regions critical shortage of water continue to be reported despite improved water availability. Recent assessments estimate that those in needs of emergency food could number as many 8.2 million. The prevalence of children with severe acute malnutrition was highest in SNNP Region (3.5%) and in the Somali Region (2.2%). WHO is leading the health sector response.

- Guinea-Bissau: The cholera outbreak is out of control. The number of reported cases has doubled in the past three weeks. All of the country's 11 health regions have been affected. As for now 6,461 cases and 122 deaths have been reported with more than 4,500 cases in the capital Bissau. WHO and UNICEF are the lead agencies in regards to coordination, prevention, provision of communication materials to contain the outbreak.

- Niger: Resurgence of cholera, the outbreak has reached 3 new districts in the Region of Maradi and Tahoua. On week 37, 48 new cases with 4 deaths were reported compare to 25 cases with 0 death on the previous week. Nationwide it has been reported 639 cases with 55 deaths from week 1 to week 37. Malnutrition prevalence remains high with a total of 124 161 cases with 261 deaths so far reported. WHO is supporting the health authorities to control the cholera outbreak.

- ZIMBABWE: Power sharing talks ended abruptly after the parties failed to agree on which party would control some powerful ministries.

Countries Under Surveillance

- Benin: The cholera outbreak under control. The number of new cases is decreasing. As of the week 37, 519 cases with 2 deaths have been reported in the country mainly in the capital city of Cotonou. The WHO is supporting for the epidemiological data collection and analysis.

- Eritrea: The suspension of diesel supply to UN agencies by the Government remains in place since 14 April 2008 and continue to negatively affect field monitoring and supervisory activities.

- Kenya: The political, social and security situation is cautiously calm. At least 35,000 people are facing extreme food and water shortage in Mandera in the northeast along the border with Somalia and Ethiopia due to prevailing drought and poor rains. A number of camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been closed across the country. The resettlement of IDPs due to the post election violence in "Rudi Nyumbani" continues.

- Mozambique: Wildfires have been reported in the central region of the country with 49 deaths and 23 people seriously injured and 3,000 people are homeless. Responses measures have been put in place by the government, assisted by partners involved including WHO.

- South Africa: The situation in South Africa also needs a close monitoring after the resignation on the 21st of September of President Thabo Mbeki.

- Zambia: The situation needs a close monitoring, the country will hold presidential election on 30 October following death of President Levy Mwanawasa

MAP - Africa: Emergency Situation in AFRO Countries

For more information please contact: Dr Omar Khatib, Programme Manager, EHA/AFRO email: