A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
The dengue outbreak in 2019 was one of the worst in the recent history2. Dengue is a public health issue caused by various factors, including climate change, population growth, migration, poverty, lack of basic services, especially those related to water supply and liquid and solid waste disposal. Of the latter, discarded tires and plastic containers increase the number of breeding sites for vectors, such as the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the main vector for the dengue virus.
As of the closing of the operation, and according to the Epidemiological Week (EW) 1 of 2020 report, 1,069 cases of dengue were reported in Colombia, of which 48.8 per cent included no warning signs; 50.1 per cent showed warning signs; and 1.1 per cent were classified as severe.
Dengue was detected in more than half of the country, with 20 departments showing an increase in cases and 12 departments under a dengue alert. Four departments (Norte de Santander, San Andrés and Providencia, Quindío, and Guainía) remained within the expected parameters and did not have a decline in cases.
Considering the health situation in Colombia and to respond to identified needs, Colombian Red Cross Society (CRCS) implemented actions based on a community strategy with a comprehensive health and water and sanitation approach, aiming to ensure increased coverage and the continuity of services as well as adequate sanitation and hygiene management - a fundamental factor in reducing breeding sites. In addition, an inter-institutional coordination strategy was developed that included various actors such as the Ministry of Health, hospitals, health centres and other service providers, and the education sector.