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Health Action in Crises Highlights No 153 - 9 to 15 Apr 2007

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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.

SUDAN

Assessments and events:

In Darfur, violence continues and three soldiers from the African Mission were attacked on 10 April. In the last two months, 21 cases of meningitis have been reported from five IDP camps, of which 12 have been confirmed. There has been no reported death and surveillance and case management have been intensified.

In northern Sudan, 382 suspected cases of meningitis, including 16 deaths, were reported from 1 January to 24 March in 13 out of 15 states. Khartoum has reported most cases: 202 including five deaths.

In southern Sudan, between 1 January and 1 April, 10 752 cases of meningitis and 649 deaths were reported in nine state. During the same period, 4767 cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) and 127 deaths were reported. Meanwhile, armed raids by the Ugandan LRA are threatening food security and overall stability in Equatoria states. A household survey found that malnutrition is still a significant problem.

Actions:

In Darfur, a mass vaccination campaign is planned for end of April in Seleah and Yasin camps that have crossed epidemic threshold for meningitis. Up to 40 000 people, both IDPs and host populations will be targeted. ICG has agreed to release the needed trivalent vaccines.

In response to the meningitis outbreak in northern Sudan, the Federal MoH conducted field investigations, standardized case management, provided health education and strengthened surveillance. WHO is supporting the MoH in maintaining a buffer stock of oily chloramphenicol, outbreak investigation supplies, lumbar puncture kits and rapid tests.

In southern Sudan, WHO continues supporting the MoH/GoSS in coordinating the response to the meningitis and cholera outbreaks.

WHO is donating a New Emergency Health Kit to the NGO Cordaid to support the provision of health care services in Northern Bar el Ghazal. WHO also assisted the MoH/GoSS to finalize the Essential Medicines List.

In 2006, contributions for WHO's emergency activities came from ECHO, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, the United States as well as the CERF and the Common Humanitarian Fund. For 2007, support has been received from ECHO, Ireland, the CERF and the Common Humanitarian Fund.