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Health Action in Crises - Highlights No 161 - 11 to 17 Jun 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.

CHAD

Assessments and events:

- Due to the ongoing strike of the country's civil servants, government-run hospitals and clinics have been closed since 2 May. Initially planned for two weeks, the strike has been extended for an unlimited period of time.

- The number of cases of jaundice in the east (Koloma and Gouroukoum camps) continues to be increasing. Between 4 and 10 June, 57 news cases were reported, bringing the total since 1 January to 544, including seven deaths. However, the number of reported cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) is decreasing.

- A recent MSF-Epicentre survey in four camps around Goz Beida reported a critical situation: 20% of global acute malnutrition and 3.5% of severe malnutrition. It also reported crude mortality rates of 1.8/10000/day and 4.1/10000/day for under-five children.

Actions:

- WHO and partners are finalizing a response plan against hepatitis E.

- During the nutrition coordination meeting, a sub group was created within the Health cluster to better address the nutritional needs in the east.

- WHO is working with health and nutrition partners to improve monitoring of mortality; new criteria for medical and nutritional activities in IDP camps are being implemented through the health and nutrition cluster.

- Three trainings were organized during the past week. The first to improve outbreak early warning in IDP camps around Adré; the second, in Abéché, on TB case management; and the third, organized in cooperation with the International Medical Corps, dealt with transfusion safety.

- WHO continues coordinating health activities with partners on the ground.

- Emergency activities are supported by ECHO, Italy and the CERF.