Timor-Leste: Dengue outbreak DREF operation n° MDRTP003

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CHF 32,204 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to 17,000 beneficiaries. Un-earmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: A dengue fever outbreak has occurred in the Timor-Leste capital Dili, with an escalation in the number of dengue cases in early January 2014. As of the second week of January, the number of confirmed cases at the national hospital was 67 people and one death. The actual number of cases however is much higher as dengue is heavily under-reported and many people do not visit the hospital. The Ministry of Health (MoH) expects the numbers will continue to increase in the coming months due the wet season. Following the recent situation, the MoH, with support from the World Health Organisation (WHO), has been focusing on vector control activities across Dili to control mosquito breeding. The MoH invited the Red Cross and other organizations to conduct a joint campaign to reduce the spread of dengue infection.

In response to the government’s request, Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (CVTL) has mobilized 28 trained volunteers in two target areas in Dili. The volunteers have started to visit households and disseminate information related to dengue fever and its prevention. The proposed MoH campaign will include environmental cleaning in target areas. CVTL plans to strengthen the capacity of the volunteers by providing refresher training on dengue knowledge and behaviour change communication skills. In relation with awareness campaigns, CVTL will distribute brochures, erect banners with appropriate health messages in strategic locations and further disseminate key messages to target groups and the general public through the use of local radio.

This operation is expected to be implemented over a three months period, and will therefore be completed by 30 April 2014. A final report will be made available three months after the end of the operation, by 31 July 2014.