Indonesia + 1 more

UNTAET Humanitarian Pillar Situation Report 03 to 04 Feb 2000

Oekussi: Exhumation of a mass grave in the Passabe area of the Oekussi (Ambeno) enclave is continuing. So far, the two Australian forensic experts have exhumed 26 bodies and the incomplete remains of 6 persons. Investigators believe that they may find between 50-60 bodies. The massacre which took place in the enclave is believed to be one of the worst massacres following the announcement of the results of the 30 August ballot. The forensic work is expected to be completed by Monday, 7 February, when all the remains, including clothing, will be taken to the Dili morgue for further examination of the cause of death and identification.
Returns: On 3 February, a total of 139 persons were transported by IOM from Atambua to Maubara, Balibo, Maliana and Bobonaro. On 4 February, a total of 454 persons were transported from Atambua to Dili, Ermera, Balibo and Maubara. Currently, 129 persons are in the Transit Centre awaiting secondary transportation to their home villages. The total number of returnees now stands at 134,781.

Logistics: In the last two days, 90MT maize was transported to Alieu and Gleno by land convoy. The WFP helicopter has transported 23.9MT of mixed commodities to Boboe Leten, Oekussi, Daru Lete and Atara. The ET carrier is currently loading 230MT of maize, rice, vegetable oil and beans, plus UNICEF education materials, and hospital equipment for MDM-F, as well as water and sanitation materials for Oxfam. The barge is leaving tonight and is expected to arrive on Sunday.

Health: In their weekly epidemiological report, WHO reports that a 7- year old child from Dili was admitted to the ICRC hospital with a diagnosis of dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), later confirmed serologically. This is a matter of concern, as DHF has been known to cause very large outbreaks in this region, with high case fatality rates. DHF poses the greatest threat to young children, who have been infected by a different dengue virus serotype. Simple dengue infection has been known in many parts of East Timor in recent months, however this is the first report we have received in-country of DHF, although one woman recently died in Australia, after a short visit to East Timor, with severe dengue virus disease.

Oxfam, who marshalled 20 community mobilisers to empty all water containers within a 100m radius of the sick child's house, provided a rapid response. The goals of future interventions are to reduce case fatality rates and the total number of people bitten by Aedes aegypti, the mosquito known to carry dengue and anopheles, the vector for malaria through wider community mobilisation efforts.

WHO plans to conduct a public information campaign by providing educational materials for announcements on community radio, through print media, and schools. WHO has guidelines for proper case management, which were highly successful in other South-East Asian nations, such as Thailand.

The Australian veterinarian investigating a spate of buffalo deaths in the Viqueque region, and also reported in the Manufahi district, suggests that the disease is likely to be haemorrhagic septicaemia, a disease known to affect buffalo in the area. This disease is caused by a bacterium Pasteurella multocida, and is commonly fatal in large animals. Pasteurella multocida can cause disease in humans, but only when inoculated directly into the skin, such as via a cat bite. There have been no reports of unusual human disease in Viqueque and it is unlikely that this outbreak will lead to human illness.

Upper respiratory tract infection and malaria continue to be the commonly reported syndromes in East Timor, followed by lower respiratory tract infection, watery diarrhoea, and acute febrile illness. Measles has also been reported in Ermera and Covalima, while acute jaundice syndrome was also reported in Covalima, Oecussi, Dili and Ermera.

The CARE Food for Work programme has announced it has begun supporting 25 voluntary nurses in the Manatuto district.

Shelter/Non-food items: Several NGOs, among them GOAL, World Vision and ACF, have started bringing shelter materials and clothing to schools and clinics in the districts of Aileu and Manatuto.

Humanitarian Assistance & Emergency Rehabilitation Pillar

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