Health: WHO is concerned about reports received from UNTAET in Ermera District, about recent illness (including deaths) among children in Atsabe, Lasaun and Atara. None of these cases has been confirmed by a health professional, but the description resembles measles. While it would be too late to conduct a measles vaccination campaign in the specific area, a Timorese doctor and two nurses will be dispatched to the area in the next few days to assess the situation and intervene as necessary.
In its weekly epidemiological bulletin, WHO reports that after respiratory tract infection, the most common syndromes were lower respiratory tract infection suspected diarrhoea and acute febrile illness.
WHO's new system for communicable disease surveillance includes a weekly laboratory report. Most of the reports relate to malaria smears; overall positive rates (as a percentage of slides examined) range from 15.4 per cent to 33.3 percent. In Dili 15.4 per cent to 24.5 per cent of slides revealed infection with Plasmodium falciparum, 6.1 per cent to 12.8 per cent infection with both species.
In the one report from Baucau, the overall rate was 17.7 per cent with 6.3 per cent of slides positive for P falciparum, and 11.4 per cent positive for P vivax.
There have been no further reports of dengue haemorrhagic fever since the one case reported in early February, nor any additional reports of acute flaccid paralysis.
Agriculture: Following the recent buffalo deaths in the Viqueque area due to an outbreak of haemorrhagic septicaemia, which was largely brought about by buffalo herds around the country not being vaccinated this past season. FAO is working hand-in-hand with the UNTAET Agricultural Unit and former civil servants of the former Ministry of Agriculture on a project proposal for a vaccination campaign for buffalo and other cattle in East Timor. The document will be circulated to the donor community for funding. FAO is considering support for the project by providing experts from its livestock department.
Currently FAO, the UNTAET Agricultural Unit and the former civil servants of the former Ministry of Agriculture are compiling and coordinating information of on-going agricultural activities in East Timor in order to obtain a clear overview of agricultural activities and ascertain outstanding needs.
It has been confirmed by CARE and FAO that paddy rice seed continues to be available in Viqueque. Some funds and transport may be available for deficit areas.
Water and Sanitation: In Suai, OXFAM have installed a public tap stand below the Bupati concrete tank; improved water supply to Kamenasa by installing a community tap stand as well as to Ahinairi, where the distribution line has been completed. OXFAM has implemented a new distribution schedule for Suai, whereby all areas of town now receive some water for a limited period each day. In addition, the repair of water pipes to the church and school have been completed and water is now being successfully pumped from a booster pumps to fill storage tanks.
In Maliana, OXFAM has concentrated its efforts on securing water supply for the area. Furthermore, OXFAM has installed tap stands at Raifun (population 1,209) and Lahomea (population 2,760); maintained irrigation channel, operation of sluice valves and channel clearance; repaired and maintained the Beremau water intake as well as 9 km of pipeline.
Action Contre La Faim (ACF) will have completed the rehabilitation of a well in Manatuto.
Logistics: On 10 February, WFP trucks transported 156 MTs of rice, oil and salt to Aileu, Baucau and Maliana. On 10 February, WFP helicopters delivered 24.1 MTs of rice and maize to Darulete and Citrana and 20.5 MTs of maize, 3.1 MTs of beans, and 1.3 MTs of oil and 100 kg of salt to Koliate and Leo Telo. The ET Carrier delivered 52.5 MTs of rice, 102 MTs of maize, and 20 MTs of UNHCR shelter material, Timor Aid education materials to the Oecusse/Ambeno enclave.
Ainaro: Timor Aid has confirmed that blackboards and desks for Ainaro District have been purchased and will be delivered in the coming weeks. In addition, 15 bicycles for agricultural extension workers in Ainaro will also be delivered shortly by Timor Aid.