Cascade training on acute watery diarrhoea/cholera prevention for community health volunteers in the Banadir region

Mogadishu, Somalia, 3 December 2017 ‒ The World Health Organization (WHO), in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Health conducted a 2-day cascade training on case management of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera in Mogadishu for 250 community health volunteers from 6 cholera hot spot districts in the Banadir region on 2 December 2017.

The volunteer health workers were selected from the groups previously trained to support the different community acute watery diarrhoea/cholera prevention initiatives for home-based management of fever, malnutrition, oral cholera vaccine mobilisation, antenatal care, as well as acute flaccid paralysis surveillance at the community level.

This cascade community health workers’ training is part of the cholera preparedness plan designed earlier in 2017 with the aim of preventing outbreaks during the rainy season in districts characterised by repeated cholera outbreaks. Trainees will be provided with guidelines on the prevention of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera, hygiene and sanitation promotion, preparation of home-made oral rehydration solution and its use, in addition to the administration of zinc tablets.

“The good cooperation between WHO and the Federal Ministry of Health has succeeded in building qualified national capacities to expand the outbreak management training programme at the community level,” said Dr Ghulam Popal, WHO Representative in Somalia. “WHO will continue providing the Somali Federal Ministry of Health with the technical advice and logistic support required to contain the threat of communicable disease outbreaks that challenge the health welfare of the Somali people,” Dr Popal added.

As of November 2017, over 800 health and community health workers received trainings on AWD/Cholera case management supported by WHO through the generous contribution from the Government of Germany. However, WHO is still suffering a funding gap of US$ 5 million required to maintain its first-line health response operations, including national capacity-building activities on the management of emergency outbreaks.

Between January and November 2017, a total of 78 596 cases with 1159 associated deaths were reported from 55 districts in 19 most affected regions of Somalia. In response, WHO supported the Federal Ministry of Health with over 167 tons of medicines and medical consumables, including interagency diarrheal disease kits and laboratory supplies. In addition, 2 doses of the oral cholera vaccine were administered to over 1 million people in 11 high-risk areas in Somalia in October this year.