Senegal + 5 more

International (ECHO Daily Flash of 8 March 2016)

News and Press Release
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I. International

Senegal – Nutrition crisis (ECHO, UNICEF) 

  • According to the recently published results of the latest nutrition survey, the north and east of Senegal suffer a nutrition crisis for the fourth consecutive year. In four regions (St Louis, Matam, Tambacounda and Louga), the WHO threshold for Severe Acute Malnutrition of children under five has been exceeded. The department of Podor (region of St Louis) remains the most affected, with a prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition of 18.2%.
  • The survey recommends more structural support to capacity building in the health sector and for community actors to improve the capacity of managing malnutrition. It also advocates for medium- to long-term interventions to contribute to the resilience of the population.

Niger – Meningitis epidemic (ECHO, WHO, Niger Ministry of Public Health) 

  • 414 cases of meningitis, including 33 deaths, have been registered in Niger in January and February 2016. This exceeds significantly the number of cases recorded during the same period in 2015 (95 cases). Most of the cases are registered in the districts of Niamey, Tahoua, Tillabery and Dosso (South West of Niger). This outbreak is suspected to be caused by Group C meningitis bacteria. 
  • 72 878 persons have been already vaccinated in the most affected districts. However, this figure remains far from the target of 546 045. The Ministry of Public health has already placed an order for vaccines to complement the existing national stock. However, there is concern about the production capacity for the vaccines, which could limit outbreak control.

Dominican Republic – Cholera outbreak (ECHO, Ministry of Health, Dominican Red Cross) 

  • An increased number of cholera cases have been reported in Santo Domingo (in the Victoria Jail) during the last 10 days. As of 7 March, 75 suspected cases and 4 deaths are reported. It is the biggest jail in the country and has an estimated population of more than 8 000 inmates while its original capacity is for 1 000 inmates. 
  • In the past, reports indicated challenges with the jail conditions, especially due to overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions. The cause of this current outbreak is linked to a rupture of a water tube. 
  • Response actions are ongoing and involve the Ministry of Health and the Dominican Red Cross. This cholera outbreak comes only three weeks after an outbreak in the Public Jail of Bani with 20 inmates being affected and two deaths reported. The source of the outbreak was also linked to poor sanitary conditions.

Honduras, El Salvador – Violence (ECHO) 

  • An increasing level of violence has been observed in Central America in the last few days. On 3 March, an indigenous rights activist was killed in Honduras, followed by execution of 12 youth in the capital Tegucigalpa on 5 March. On 3 March, 11 workers were kidnapped and executed in El Salvador, with the level of violence doubling in the country in the first two months of the year and reaching its highest level since the end of the civil war. 
  • Increasing gang violence is worsening the already precarious humanitarian situation of the population in the affected countries. The limited access to basic services such as health and education, and growing risk of indiscriminate violence and death, requires an increased multisectorial humanitarian response. 
  • A related surge in unaccompanied children from Central American countries has been observed arriving in the United States, with an estimated 75 000 children expected this year, raising major protection concerns.

II. Europe

Serbia – Floods (Serbian Ministry of Interior) 

  • On 7 March, due to heavy rainfalls and flooding threats, an emergency situation has been declared for 14 cities and municipalities in central and western parts of Serbia.
  • As of 8 March, 118 persons were evacuated by fire and rescue units of the Ministry of Interior. Additionally 710 households have been flooded while around 500 may be affected.
  • Safety and security measures are being undertaken in the form of mobilization and deployment of water pumping capacities as well as specialized water rescue teams.

MeteoAlarm – as of 8 March, 6.20 UTC (EUMETNET - MeteoAlarm) 

  • Ice and snow in southern **Germany **- Orange Alert. 
  • Avalanche risk in Nordland (Norway); north-western **Slovenia** - Orange Alert. 
  • Coastal events in north-eastern **Spain **- Orange Alert.

Reported high discharges/floods warnings during the last 24 hours by National services (EFAS) 

  • Hungary: Alert level 2 is exceeded on some tributaries of Tisa river (eastern part of Hungary). Water levels are stable or slowly decreasing.
  • Croatia: The national service reports alert level 3 (out of 4) on Sava and Ilova rivers and Retencija Lonjsko Polje, alert level 2 on some tributaries of Sava river. Water levels are stable.
  • Serbia: The national service issued warnings of alert level 2 for Zapadna Morava and Ibar rivers.