Africa weekly emergency situation update No. 29

Report
from World Health Organization
Published on 29 Sep 2008
General Context

The crisis situations in our region have not changed. Political crises leading to insecurity, displacement of populations in some countries, diseases outbreaks or natural disasters in some others. WHO continue to provide technical support in many countries in crisis.

Countries Situations

Acute Crises

- CAR: Reduced Tensions and confrontations in the North-West following the Libreville peace agreement between the armed groups and the government. The recent security condition has restricted access to basic health care to some of the displaced populations of Ouham and Ouham-Pendé.
- Chad: The security situation of the east is still unpredictable and marked by the resurgence of criminality and burgling in houses. The Hepatitis E outbreak in the IDPs camp of Dogdore is still ongoing with 21 new cases and 1 death reported in week 38 bringing the total to 1,057 cases with 11 deaths. A joint WHO-UNHCR investigation team is in the field since 22nd September 2008.
- DRC: The fighting continues between the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and rebels of the CNDP (National Congress for the Defense of the People). Since August 28 the fighting have forced the displacement of an estimated 100,000 people with a total of about 1, 3 million displaced people in this region since the beginning of this year. Reports are mentioning the recruitment of a several child soldiers.
- Ethiopia: Floods in Gambella region, the number of affected population has increased to 91,764 people, 35,861 displaced and 5 deaths in 10 out of 11 districts. Reduced food ration and global crisis contribute to maintain the food crisis situation in drought affected areas. Increasing food insecurity and malnutrition in some areas continue to challenge humanitarian response activities. Recent assessments estimate that those in needs of emergency food could number as many 8.2 million. WHO is leading the health sector response.
- Guinea-Bissau: The cholera outbreak is still out of control. As of the 21st of September 2008, 7,166 cases and 133 deaths have been reported. WHO and numerous national and international partners are supporting the Ministry of Health to contain the outbreak.
- Mauritania: The concern is very big in Mauritania where 11 soldiers and their civilian guide were ambushed and killed on 14 September 2008 in Tourine in the northeast.
- Niger: On week 38, only 2 foci of cholera remain actives in the districts of Keita and Birni N'Konni. 128 cases with 4 deaths were reported. In Maradi and Guidan Roumdji the last reported cases were on the 16th of September. A cumulative number of 778 cases and 60 deaths have been so far reported. WHO is supporting the health authorities to control the cholera outbreak.
- Nigeria: Increase violence in the Delta Region where heavy clashes were reported between militaries and the rebel group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). Civilians were caught in crossfire, and about 20,000 inhabitants have fled the area.
- ZIMBABWE: The parties have not yet reach an agreement on Power sharing. In the meantime the humanitarian crisis is worsening. It is estimated that more than five million people, out of a population of 12 million, would require food assistance in the first quarter of 2009.

Countries Under Surveillance

- Benin: The cholera outbreak under control. The number of new cases is decreasing. As of the week 38, 527 cases with 2 deaths have been reported in the country. 2 new foci have been announced in Malanville (81 cases 0 death) and Karimama (11 cases 0 death). 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 calm. Cholera outbreak in Bungoma and Mount Elgon districts. A total of 92 cases and 4 deaths were reported.

These areas have been in conflict over land dispute for over two years now and are still on going. The MOH are still present on the ground and WHO is supporting through an emergency response plan.

- South Africa: Situation is still under surveillance since the resignation on the 21st of September of President Thabo Mbeki.
- Zambia: The situation is calm but needs a close monitoring, the country will hold presidential election on 30 October following death of President Levy Mwanawasa

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