Africa weekly emergency situation update Vol. 2, No. 45

Report
from World Health Organization
Published on 07 Dec 2009
General Context

The latest update from the UNHCR reported about 112,000 displaced people who fled from the conflict in Dongo, North East DRC in the province of Equateur, 74,000 of these displaced people are in Congo. The Political situation in Guinea experienced some turbulence following the shooting of the country's President last week. Pandemic A (H1N1): As of 07th December 2009; Twenty nine (29) countries have reported confirmed cases with a total case load of 16,031 and 115 deaths. Disease outbreaks, the complex emergencies in central African countries and the food crises in the horn of Africa remain major humanitarian concerns in the region.

Situation in Countries

Acute crises

CAR: Security in the North east remains unstable. There is no information about the humanitarian workers abducted in Birao and who are supposedly detained in Sudan. Many NGOs and humanitarian actors have suspended their activities in the area. Since the 05th of December 2009, refugees from Dongo (DRC) are reported in the South West zone of Lobaye; about 3,439 people of which 1,500 children under 5 years have been registered in 6 villages.

Chad: Security in eastern Chad continues to be of high concern for the humanitarian community providing assistance to tens of thousands people in the area. This situation has pushed many aid organizations (NGOs, ICRC) to suspend their activities leaving more than 37,000 without assistance. On the 30th of November 2009, a humanitarian convoy (composed by WFP, UNHCR and UNPOL) was attacked by eight armed men on the Farchana-Hadjer Hadid road.

DRC: Insecurity: the situation in Dongo, province of Equateur where several attacks against the national policemen and national army are reported remains critical. The rebels launched an attack against the key town of Gemena on the 08th of December which forced the population to flee the town. Based on the report from the UNHCR, since the beginning of the conflict, 112,000 people have been displaced of which 74,000 are in the neighbouring Congo. The humanitarian community in the area has been mobilized and is responding to the immediate needs of the displaced population. The attacks of FDLR rebels in South Kivu and North Kivu has continued as the rebels took revenge by attacking the hospital of Kalole in Shabunda (South Kivu). The hospital was burnt down and seven people abducted by FDLR rebels on the 2nd of December 2009. In the territory of Walikale (North Kivu) the continued harassment on civilians by the FDLR has resulted recently in the displacement of about 9,000 people who flee the area to the neighbouring forest. Cholera outbreaks: In South Kivu 317 new cases with 03 deaths were reported in week 48 making a total of 10,387 cases with 105 deaths (CFR: 1.01%) from week 1 to 48 in 2009, the epidemic has affected four of the ten health zones (Kadutu, Fizi, Bunyakiri and Katana)*. In North Kivu, 71 new cholera cases without death were reported in week 48 making a total of 5,710 cases with 61 deaths (CFR: 1%) from week 1 to 48 in 2009*. Meningitis outbreak in Kisangani (province of Orientale), 115 cases with 13 deaths (CFR: 11.3%) were reported in three health zones (Mangobo, Makiso and Tshopo) from the 28th of November to the 07th of December 2009*. WHO and other health partners (MSF, CTB) are supporting response and surveillance activities.

Ethiopia: Food security situation: While the upcoming harvests will improve the overall food availability, it is expected that harvest is to be below-normal as a result of the late start of the June - September rains in some areas. The poor rains have also affected the reproduction of livestock by contributing to shortages of water and pasture, mainly in parts of Afar and Somali Regions. Some areas, however, are already vulnerable to food insecurity because of the below normal harvest. Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD), outbreak reports received from SNNPR and Oromiya indicate an increasing number of AWD cases as well as expansion of the outbreak to new districts. No exact official figures have been obtained from the ministry of Health yet. Immediate response needs include drugs and medical supplies.