Africa weekly emergency situation update No. 31

Report
from World Health Organization
Published on 13 Oct 2008
General Context

The general context is dominated this week by the situation is eastern DRC and the threats on the power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe. Other Political crises leading to insecurity, displacement of populations in some countries are still on-going. Diseases outbreaks continue to strike several countries. WHO continue to provide technical support in many countries in crisis.

Countries Situations

Acute Crises

- CAR: Security situation relatively calm. Increase of security measures and support to security countrywide through UN system structures should improve the overall security situation and facilitate return to their homes of IDPs. But recent attacks and violence in the country show that the situation is fragile and may deteriorate any time.

- Chad: The security situation of the east is still unpredictable. Attacks by armed men in Abeche and the surroundings areas with many casualties and deaths are reported. Robberies and car hijackings are still been reported. The Hepatitis E outbreak in the IDPs camp of Dogdore and Bredjing is still ongoing with 49 new cases without death reported in week 39. A total of 1,755 cases with 22 deaths have been reported from week 1 to week 38 in the Eastern Chad. WHO and key partners are strengthening surveillance activities and the case management.

- DRC: The security situation in the eastern DRC is chaotic. In the past month alone, dozens of civilians have been injured and up to 100,000 displaced in North Kivu. In Ituri, clashes between the national army and a new rebel group of the Popular Front for Justice (FPJC) continue. More than 40,000 people have fled, lacking humanitarian aid. After the Ugandan rebel Lord Resistance Army (LRA) attacks the past two week in Dungu leading to the displacement of about 17,000 civilians, the government has deployed troops. A cholera outbreak is ongoing in the IDP camp of Ngungu (North Kivu) with 135 cases and 20 deaths. WHO supported the health authorities for the investigation and the control of the outbreak.

- Ethiopia: The global food crisis seriously impacts on Ethiopia food insecurity initially induced by the failure of rainfalls in most of the parts of the country late 2007 to date. Though the rainfalls have improved the food security situation in parts of SNNP Region, the situation has been deteriorating in most parts of the country such as Borena, East and West Haraghe in Oromiya, Tigray, Afar and Somali Regions. The Government has revised the number of people in need of food assistance from 4.2 to 6.4 million people countrywide. Approximately 1.9 million of these beneficiaries live in Somali Region. WHO is leading the health sector response.

- Guinea-Bissau: The cholera outbreak is still out of control. Last report from the country indicates that as of the 9th of October 2008, a total of 10,476 cases and 181 deaths have been reported. WHO and numerous national and international partners are supporting the Ministry of Health to contain the outbreak.

- Niger: The situation is dominated by the cholera outbreak in the region of Tahoua and Maradi. On week 40, new foci have been reported in the districts of Mayahi and Guidan Roumdji in the region of Maradi and Birni N'Gaouré (Boboye) in the region of Dosso. 84 new cases with 3 deaths have been reported on week 40 versus 62 cases with 1 death on week 39. A total of 914 cases and 70 deaths have been reported since the beginning of the outbreak. WHO is supporting the health authorities to control the cholera outbreak with cholera kits and essential drugs.

- Zimbabwe: The power-sharing deal under threat according to the opposition after the announcement of a Cabinet by President Mugabe.

Countries Under Surveillance

- 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. There is still no official information from the authorities regarding the fuel situation.

- Kenya: The political, social and security situation is calm. At least 1,262 households affected by rainstorms and floods in Turkana District are in need of humanitarian assistance. From 4th October 2008, a stormy rainfall was reported in Turkana District, causing huge havoc to livestock and crops in Katilu Division. Cholera outbreak jn Bungoma and Mount Elgon districts, last data reported a total of 92 cases and 4 deaths. The MOH are still present on the ground and WHO is supporting through an emergency response plan.

- Mauritania: Tension on political situation. The African Union urge the military regime in a communiqué dated on 7th October 2008 to return to constitutional.

- Nigeria: Slight decrease of violence in the Delta Region. The Niger Delta Technical Committee set up by the Federal Government to address the socio-political crisis in the region is seeking the input of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and other militant groups in its reports to be submitted to the government at the conclusion of its assignment.

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