Outbreak Update – Cholera in Somalia, 7 December 2018

7 December 2018 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 18 new suspected cases of cholera, with no deaths, for epidemiological week 47 (19 to 25 November) of 2018. Of these new cases, 61% (11) are females while 50% (9) are children below five years of age. The cumulative total of cases is 6605, including 45 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.7%), since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017. Of the 334 stool samples tested in the National Public Heatlh Laboratory (NPHL) since the beginning of this year, 103 tested positive for Vibrio cholerae, serotype O1 Ogawa.

There has been a consecutive weekly downward trend of suspected cases reported since week 28. The peak was 296 cases in epidemiological week 23, dropping to 18 cases in this reporting period. In week 45, active transmission of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera was reported in six districts in the Banadir region: Darkenley, Daynile, Hodan, Madina, Shibis, and Yaqsid. All cases reported this week are among the internally displaced people (IDPs). None of the reported cases had previously received the oral cholera vaccine (OCV). OCV campaigns have contributed significantly to the reduction of reported cases in the country.

With the support of WHO, Somalia implemented its first oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaign in 2017 in 11 locations in the Banadir, Middle Shebelle, Bay, Hiran and Lower Jubba regions. From 19 to 25 November 2018, WHO supported the Federal Ministry of Health and the Somali Young Doctors Association (SOYDA) to conduct a vaccination campaign in high-risk areas of Banadir and Afgoye districts. A total of 2101 people aged 1 year old and above received their first dose of OCV in Kahda and Daynile in Banadir as well as Arbis and Elasha in Afgoye, Lower Shabelle. The cumulative number of people aged 1 year old and above who have received at least one dose of OCV in the country since 2017 is 1 248 765. Another OCV campaign has been planned for February 2019, targeting 660 000 people living in IDP camps in six high-risk districts in the Lower Jubba, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle, and Banadir regions.