Health Action in Crises - Highlights No. 195 - 11 to 18 Feb 2008

from World Health Organization
Published on 18 Feb 2008
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 internal use and does not reflect any official position of the WHO Secretariat.


Assessments and Events

In Cameroon, the influx of Chadian refugees has almost ceased. At least 30 000 are now in Kousseri, of which about 20 000 are expected to remain. They will be moved to a camp further from the border, in Maltam. The intense population movements of the past weeks increase the risk of poliovirus spread into Cameroon.

In Chad, 12 000 new refugees arrived from West Darfur, in urgent need of aid. They will be accommodated in Mile and Kounoungou camps.

Two suspected cases of meningitis including one death have been reported in the eastern town of Bahai, but the alert threshold has not been reached.


Twenty humanitarian organizations have joined the national health authorities and are providing humanitarian aid in Kousseri.

MOH-Cameroon has made available health supplies and equipment . WHO provided medical supplies and equipment for 60 000 people (host and refugee population) over three months.

WHO, MSF-France and MSF-Suisse are supporting local authorities, and WHO will assist in setting up health facilities in Maltam.

The Organisation de Coordination pour la Lutte contre les Endémies en Afrique Centrale, supported by WHO UNICEF, UNHCR, IFRC and MSFSuisse, is conducting a mass vaccination against measles and polio for children from both the refugee and host communities. Each child will also receive vitamin A.

In Chad, UN agencies and partners are assessing humanitarian needs in N'Djamena following the heavy fighting of last week.

Polio immunization activities planned for 23-26 February are postponed due the ongoing insecurity.

In the East, WHO donated three emergency health kits to International Medical Corps to assist the new Sudanese refugees. Another kit was donated to Save the Children. Stocks of health supplies should last between two and four months.

In 2007, WHO's activities in eastern Chad were funded by Italy, Finland, ECHO and the CERF. Current emergency operations between Chad and Cameroun are being funded by the WHO regular budget. Allocation of funds
from the CERF is being discussed.