A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
An initial three cholera cases were reported in So-Ava and an outbreak was declared on 16 August by local government authorities. Reported and verified cases were few in the early weeks and considered manageable by local authorities, but a sharp and heightened spike in the number of confirmed cases between 25 – 30 August in the three main areas of Cotonou, Savalou and So-Ava resulted in a request from Benin Red Cross Society to IFRC for support through DREF to respond. As of 4 September 2016, a total of 281 cases and 9 deaths were recorded with a 3.20% case fatality rate, with Cotonou the most affected area to date.
Summary of the current response
Overview of Host National Society
Since the emergence of a prior initial epidemic in February 2016, volunteers of the affected communities have been mobilised to promote sensitisation on good health practices in relation to water, hygiene and sanitation. They equally participate in epidemic surveillance as well as referral of suspected cases to health centres for immediate attention.
However, as a result of the prevalence and the increasing number of cases related the epidemic in new areas, the National Society (NS) intends to intensify activities aimed at containing the spread through DREF, primarily targeting the affected communities, responding to the affected individuals and protecting other communities not yet affected using the SWORD and SHIELD approach. This approach takes into consideration the containment of the disease and also putting in place preventive measures in the nearby communities. The sword is used to address the existing cases while the shield is used to prevent the transmission of new cases. This operation will encourage community mobilisation and wide sensitisation campaign in Cotonou area.