CAR + 12 more

Health Action in Crises - Highlights No. 175 - 17 to 23 Sep 2007

Attachments

Each week, the World Health Organization Health Action in Crises in Geneva produces information highlights on the health aspects of selected 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.

WEST AFRICA FLOODS

Assessments and Events

- Torrential rains continue to have impact on at least 12 countries, affecting over 500 000 people. Flooded crops, lost livestock and damaged infrastructure are expected to exacerbate the already precarious food and health security. Increased risk for malaria and waterborne diseases is expected and is of immediate concern.

- In Ghana, OCHA reports more than 20 people have died and over 260 000 are affected. Serious food shortages are anticipated. Cases of diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera have been reported in the upper east regions.

- In Togo, the Government reports 64 999 people affecteds with 20 deaths and 60 injured; 11 055 are reported homeless. The WHO Regional Office reports inaccessibility as a major constraint in the assessment of health needs. Conditions suggest that outbreaks of waterborne illnesses are possible.

- In Niger, the Government reports 16 700 people affected by floodwater. A crisis was declared by the Government on 8 August. A lack of drinking water and waterborne disease continues to be experienced.

Actions

- WHO is monitoring the situation and providing support and supplies (essential drugs and consumables) to affected countries where needed.

- In Ghana and Togo, field assessment missions are ongoing.

- In Ghana, the Ministry of Interior has established a Inter-Ministerial Disaster Relief Committee and district task force teams to oversee activities in their respective communities.