Outbreak update – Cholera in Somalia, 29 September 2019

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

22 October 2019 – The Ministry of Health (MoH) of Somalia has announced 25 new suspected cases of cholera, with no deaths, for epidemiological week 39 (23-29 September) 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 8778, including 46 associated death cases. During this reporting period, all of the cases were reported from a total of 18 districts in Banadir region. Of the 25 cases reported during week 39, 60% of the cases (15) 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 region. Over the past two weeks there has been a minimal decreased in the number of cholera cases. The most affected districts in Banadir are Madina and Hodan. The overall reduction in the number of new cholera cases is attributed to improved implementation of preventive interventions including OCV and strengthening water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) activities in the hot spots.

Of the 813 stool samples tested since December 2017, a total of 161 samples tested positive for Vibrio cholerae.

During weeks 24 and 26 WHO and MoH implemented OCV campaign in 6 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 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.