Sierra Leone: Cholera Epidemic Emergency appeal n° MDRSL003 Operation update n°4

Period covered by this Ops Update: 15 January 2013 - 3 March 2013.

Appeal target (current): CHF 1,061,852 in cash, kind and services.

Appeal coverage: 100%

Appeal history:

• The Preliminary Emergency Appeal was launched on 16 August 2012 for CHF 1,151,632 for six months to assist 1,440,000 beneficiaries.

• To start the operation, CHF 150,000 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF).

• The Emergency Appeal was launched on 17 September 2012 for CHF 1,358,780 for six months to assist 1,539,206 direct beneficiaries and 2,000,000 indirect beneficiaries.

• Operations update 1 was published on 24 October and provided a progress update on the deployment of three Emergency Response Units (ERUs), consisting of a Basic Health Care Unit from the Finnish and Japanese Red Cross, a Community Health Module from the Norwegian and Canadian Red Cross, and a Mass Sanitation Module from the British Red Cross. These bilateral contributions are not included in the current appeal target.

• The Revised Emergency Appeal was launched on 29 December, 2012 reducing the appeal amount from CHF 1,358,780 to CHF 1,061,852. The number of targeted beneficiaries also increased due to the expansion of the target area. Previously the operation had focused only on Kambia, Port Loko, Bombali and Tonkolili, with activities in the revised appeal expanded to all 13 districts in the country. The report on progress was also packaged as an operations update.

• On 15 February January, another operations update was issued. The period of operations for the emergency appeal was extended for one month until end of March. The reason for the extension was late arrival of funds, which resulted in delays in the implementation of planned activities.

• This operations update will extend the Emergency Appeal for one additional month. Operations are planned to be finished by the end of April. The reason for this second extension is delays in the implementation of the TERA SMS system.

Summary: The operational period for this Emergency Appeal has been extended for one month, until the end of April.

The cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone has declined from a high of more than 2,000 cases per week at the peak of the outbreak (in weeks 32 - 34), down to 39 cases in week 6 (2013). Although this is a significant decline, cases are still being reported. A similar weekly number of cases have been reported since week 45. This situation requires ongoing prevention and control efforts to ensure the outbreak does not spread further. Epidemiological surveillance will be continued throughout the operation.

With the outbreak stabilized and lower case load, the remaining activities focus primarily on WatSan hardware, hygiene promotion and expanding the network of SLRCS volunteers capacity to manage oral rehydration points (ORPs), monitoring and reporting of cases, and hygiene promotion. Construction of rehabilitation of 54 institutional latrines (drop holes) is either completed (34), on-going (10) or under preparation (10). Repeated outbreaks are likely to occur in coming years. The activities in the Appeal are crucial to improving resilience in reducing the risk of cholera epidemics, as well as lowering the number of cases and the case fatality rate in future outbreaks. Please refer to previous updates for progress to date.