Outbreak update – Cholera in Somalia, 27 October 2019

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

14 November 2019 – The Ministry of Health (MoH) of Somalia has announced 56 new suspected cases of cholera, with no deaths, for epidemiological week 43 (21-27 October) in 2019. No suspected cholera cases were reported between epidemiological weeks 1 and 7 due to the closure of the main cholera treatment center from which the data was collected. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases since the beginning of this outbreak in December 2017 is 8968, including 46 associated deaths. During this reporting period, all of the cases were reported from a total of 27 districts in Banadir and lower Jubba regions. Of the 56 cases reported during this week, 45% of the cases (25) are children below 5 years of age.

The cholera outbreak has been contained in the districts of Jubaland, Hirshabelle and South West States following the implementation of oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaigns and other health interventions in these areas. Active transmission is still reported in Banadir. These areas have experienced heavy rains in the recent past that may have contributed to contamination of water sources leading to repeated cholera outbreaks. Over the past two weeks there has been a minimal increase in the number of cholera cases with one cholera death reported since the beginning of 2019 in Banadir region. The most affected districts in Banadir are Darkenley, Madina and Hodan.

The overall reduction in the number of new cholera cases as compared to the numbers at the beginning of the outbreak is attributed to improved implementation of preventive interventions including OCV and strengthening water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) activities in hot spots.

Of the 820 stool samples tested since December 2017, a total of 162 samples tested positive for Vibrio cholerae. In week 43, 46 cases were tested using Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) of which 10 were positive.

In June 2019, WHO and MoH implemented OCV campaign in the six cholera high risk districts of Kahda, Hamajajab and Heliwa in Banadir region as well as Kismayo, Balad and Afgoi. A total of 621 875 (96.7%) of people aged one year and above received the first dose of the cholera vaccine.

WHO continues to provide leadership and supports the health authorities and partners in activities to mitigate the outbreak. The disease surveillance system is managed by the Electronic Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN) system with the support of WHO and is currently being expanded to all health facilities across the country. WHO and the MoH continue to monitor outbreak trends through the EWARN system and promptly investigate and respond to all alerts.